Film Review: The Upside

The Upside, Neil Burger’s remake of 2011’s Les Intouchables, is sentimental yet sufficiently charming.

Recently out of jail, Dell needs to prove he has been looking for work. Wealthy quadriplegic Phillip needs a new carer, and the unlikely Dell just might fit the bill…

A remake of Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano’s Les Intouchables, The Upside moves the action from Paris to New York. Director Neil Burger makes a few changes from the French film, but these work well enough. Some of the updates are enhancements, putting the two characters on a more even keel, in terms of their actions. 

Dell is the fish out of water character in The Upside. He is plunged into a world of opulence – a stark contrast to prison. Dell is given enough backstory to become more than simply a vessel to improve the life of Phillip. The odd couple pairing works well, with each of them experiencing each other’s world. There is plenty of humour to be found, even if the catheter jokes don’t always hit the mark. 

The narrative moves at a good pace, with the burgeoning friendship given sufficient exploration. The Upside is more concerned with an idealised version of the central pairing than a realistic one. The film does not focus on the race or class disparity between the two protagonists in any meaningful way, despite their differences being key to the unusual friendship. Instead, Burger relies on schmaltz to propel on the narrative. The result of this is a sufficiently entertaining film, but not a particularly memorable one.

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart have good chemistry. The pair work well together; it is their combined charm that endears viewers. Nicole Kidman provides good support in a rather thankless role, whilst Tate Donovan is amusing in a small role.

The Upside is a saccharine affair; it will prove just the ticket for those looking for something sentimental but not too deep.

Previews: Edie Trailer, Yellow Submarine, More!

Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Edie trailer, Yellow Submarine, Whitney, and more…

Edie Trailer

Here is the new Edie trailer. The film is about an older woman who decides to fulfil a life-long dream following the death of her controlling husband. Directed by Simon Hunter, the film stars Sheila Hancock in the lead role. Edie will be released in UK cinemas on 25th May 2018.

Yellow Submarine Trailer

For its 50th anniversary, The Beatles’ animated classic Yellow Submarine gets a big screen rerelease. Directed by George Dunning, the film features some of The Beatles’ best-loved songs. Yellow Submarine will be screened across the UK on 8th July, with tickets going on sale on 17th April 2018.

Whitney Trailer

This is the new trailer for documentary Whitney. The film will no doubt be compared to the other recent Whitney Houston documentary, Nick Broomfield’s Whitney: Can I Be Me, although this new film is produced by Patricia Houston. Whitney is directed by Kevin MacDonald (Marley) and will be released in UK cinemas from 6th July 2018.

Big Fish & Begonia Opening Clip

Here are the first three minutes of upcoming animation Big Fish & Begonia. The film is about a young girl who is transformed into a dolphin when she turns sixteen in order to explore the human world. The film combines new storytelling with ancient Chinese legends. Big Fish & Begonia will hit UK screens on 18th April 2018.

Night School Trailer

Above is the trailer for new comedy Night School. The film is about a group of adults forced to attend night classes to pass the GED exam. The film is directed by Malcolm D. Lee (who had recent success with Girls Trip) and stars Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and Rob Riggle. Night School is scheduled for release on UK screens on 28th September 2018.

Previews: The Commuter Trailer, Tomb Raider, More!

Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the brand new The Commuter trailer, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Tomb Raider, and more…

The Commuter Trailer

Here is the brand new The Commuter trailer. The action thriller is about a regular commuter who is forced to find a hidden passenger on his train. The film sees director Jaume Collet-Serra reunite with Liam Neeson following Non-Stop and Unknown. Also starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, and Sam Neill, The Commuter launches onto UK screens on 19th January 2018.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Trailer

Here is the new Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle trailer. The film is a new adventure based in the world of Jumanji. The film is about four teenagers who are sucked into the jungle world, and stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is set for release on 20th December 2017.

Tomb Raider Trailer

This is the trailer for the new Tomb Raider film, a reboot of the game-set series which starred Angelina Jolie in the early 2000s. Alicia Vikander plays Lara Croft, and the film focuses on the character at the beginning of her career. Also starring Dominic West and Walton Goggins, Tomb Raider is scheduled for release in March 2018.

The Glass Castle Clip

Above is a clip from The Glass Castle. The film is based on the memoirs of Jeannette Walls, focussing on her relationship with her unconventional father. Starring Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, The Glass Castle is out in cinemas on 6th October 2017.

Better Watch Out Trailer

This looks like a lot of fun. Better Watch Out is a Christmas time-set horror comedy about a babysitter who must defend her tween charges from an intruder. The film looks like it has all the ingredients of an entertaining movie, from the trailer above at least. Starring Levi Miller and Olivia DeJonge, Better Watch Out hits UK screens on 8th December 2017.

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Poster

I was non-plussed about The LEGO NINJAGO Movie but this cat is making it much more appealing. The third LEGO movie, this film is about a group of secret ninja warriors. Featuring the voices of Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, and Justin Theroux, The LEGO NINJAGO Movie is out in UK cinemas on 13th October 2017.

Previews: Logan Lucky Trailer, Stronger, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the Logan Lucky trailer, My Little Pony: The Movie, Stronger and more…

Logan Lucky Trailer

Here is the new Logan Lucky trailer. The films sees director Steven Soderbergh teaming up with Channing Tatum once again for this new action comedy. Tatum is joined by an enviable cast that includes Adam Driver, Katie Holmes, and Daniel Craig. Logan Lucky will hit UK cinemas on 25th August 2017.

Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle Trailer

Here is the brand new trailer for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The film is set in the same world as the 1995 film, albeit updated to be a video game rather than a board game. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is scheduled for release in UK cinemas in December 2017.

My Little Pony: The Movie Trailer

Will this new film be as good as 1986’s My Little Pony: The Movie? Only time will tell. After Hasbro re-launched the toy and media franchise in 2010, a new new movie seemed inevitable. This new film features an all-star voice cast, including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoworth, Live Schreiber, and Taye Diggs. My Little Pony: The Movie arrives on UK screens on 20th October 2017.

The Greatest Showman Trailer

The Greatest Showman is a new original musical. The film is inspired by P.T. Barnum, and celebrates the birth of show business. Hugh Jackman headlines, and is joined by Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya. The Greatest Showman is set for release in UK cinemas on 1st January 2018.

Annabelle: Creation Poster

Here is the latest poster for Annabelle: Creation, which emphasises the creepiness of the doll. The film is a prequel, and details how the doll was brought to life originally. This latest horror is directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out). Annabelle: Creation hits UK screens on  11th August 2017.

The Dark Tower Featurette

This new featurette for The Dark Tower reveals a bit more about the main character in the film. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star in the film, based on Stephen King’s novel. The Dark Tower is out in cinemas on 18th August 2017.

Stronger Trailer

Here is the trailer for drama Stronger. The film is based on the true story of the Boston man  whose iconic photo from the 2013 Boston marathon bombing was broadcast throughout the world. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Masley, and Miranda Richardson. Stronger will be released later this year.

Previews: Nine Lives Trailer, Deadpool and more!

Plenty in this week’s preview of upcoming films, including the Nine Lives trailer, a Deadpool clip, Zoolander 2 and more…

Nine Lives Trailer

Talking animal film alert! A cat is at the centre of the film in the Nine Lives trailer. The film tells the story of a billionaire businessman who finds himself trapped in the body of the family cat. Starring Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Walken, Nine Lives is set for release later this year.

Deadpool Clip

What is clear from the fantastic marketing for the film is that Deadpool is not for children. This clip falls in line with what has been revealed. Deadpool looks as if it will be a heady mix of comedy and action. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, and Gina Careno, Deadpool hits UK screens on 10th February 2016.

Zoolander 2 Commercial

Here is a spoof commercial for Zoolander 2. The clip offers us a insight into Kristen Wiig’s character Alexanya Atoz. The film certainly continues the theme of parodying the fashion industry. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell reprise their roles in Zoolander 2, which opens in UK cinemas on 12th February 2016.

The Secret Life of Pets Poster and Trailer

The Secret Lives of Pets poster

Here is a poster for one of the most anticipated films of the summer (in my eyes at least). The Secret Life of Pets answers one of lives quintessential questions; what do pets do whilst their humans are at work? With the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart and Eric Stonestreet, The Secret Life of Pets will be released on 24th June 2016.

Disorder Trailer

Disorder focuses on a secret service soldier who takes a private job protecting a wealthy family. Matthias Schoenaerts stars as the soldier, and Diane Kruger as the wife of the wealthy businessman. Disorder will receive its UK premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival on 21st February, and will be released in cinemas on 25th March 2016.

Eddie The Eagle Trailer

Eddie The Eagle tells the story of Michael Edwards and his determination to become Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper. The film stars Taron Egerton in the title role, and Hugh Jackman as Eddie’s coach. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Eddie The Eagle is out in UK cinemas on 1st April 2016.

Previews: 10 Cloverfield Lane Trailer, Sing Street and more!

Plenty of film previews this week, including the 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer, Sing Street, The Secret Life of Pets and more…

10 Cloverfield Lane Trailer

This is a bit of a surprise. From the 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer, it is unclear whether the film is a sequel, prequel or sidequel to Cloverfield. Produced by J.J. Abrams, the film features Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman seemingly as survivalists living in a basement. I’m sure more will be revealed soon. 10 Cloverfield Lane hits UK screens on 8th April 2016.

Sing Street Trailer

Set in 1980s Dublin, Sing Street is about a boy who is forced to transfer from a private school to a inner-city state school. Starring Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Aiden Gillen, the film is set to have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Sing Street will be released in UK cinemas on 22nd April 2016.

The Secret Life of Pets Trailer

This trailer exhibits why no one should ever have a pet snake. The Secret Life of Pets is about what domesticated animals get up to whilst their humans are at work. The film features the voices of Kevin Hart, Louis C.K. and Eric Stonestreet. I think it will be one of my favourite animated films of the year, if filmmakers get things right. The Secret Life of Pets is out on 24th June 2016 in the UK.

Money Monster Trailer

Julia Roberts and George Clooney team up again for real-time thriller Money Monster. Julia Roberts is the producer of host George Clooney’s financial show when they are taken hostage live on air. Directed by Jodie Foster, Monster Money is set for release in May 2016.

Hail, Cesar! Trailer

The more I see of the Coen brothers’ new comedy Hail, Cesar!, the more I am looking forward to it. The film stellar cast is enough of a draw, yet the film also looks as if it will be hilarious. Moreover, I have just noticed that Dolph Lundgren stars in this. Give the film all the Oscars next year! Hail, Cesar! sweeps onto UK screens on 4th March 2016.

Previews: Captain America: Civil War Trailer, Krampus and More!

Plenty to see this week, with the Captain America: Civil War trailer, a Krampus featurette, the latest Pride and Prejudice and Zombies poster and more…

Captain America: Civil War Trailer

Yesterday the Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped. From the looks of it, the film will continue with the tone of the excellent Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With a host of Avengers making an appearance in the new film, it looks continue on from events introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. No sign of Spider-Man yet, so roll on 29th April 2015.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Poster

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Here is the latest poster for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Based on the 2009 parody novel, the film stars Lily James, Sam Riley and Jack Huston. Featuring the characters from Jane Austen’s celebrated novel, the film is a period zombie flick. Pride and Prejudice and Zombie is out in UK cinemas on 12th February 2016.

Krampus Featurette

Krampus looks a bit insane, but a lot of fun. The above featurette explores the legend of Krampus, giving viewers a background to the creature featured in the upcoming film. Starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette, Krampus hits UK screens on 4th December 2015.

The Secret Life of Pets Teaser

Here is a little Christmas teaser for next year’s animated feature The Secret Life of Pets. The film concentrates on the lives of pets when their humans are away. With the voices of Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart, The Secret Life of Pets is set for release on 14th June 2016.

The Big Short Poster

The Big Short

Ooh, look at this cast. The Big Short is based on a true story about four outsiders in the finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the late 2000s. Starring Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, The Big Short is out in cinemas on 22nd January 2016.

The Other Side of the Door Trailer

Well this looks alarming. The Other Side of the Door is about a family who are able to use an ancient ritual to contact their young son who was killed in a tragic accident. The mother’s failure to adhere to the rules has horrifying consequences, as the above trailer demonstrates. The Other Side of the Door hits UK screens on 18th March 2016.

Central Intelligence Trailer

Central Intelligence is a new action comedy about a CIA agent who enlists the help of his high school best friend on a mission. The film certainly plays to the strengths of Dwayne Johnson in a larger-than-life role. Partnered by Kevin Hart, Central Intelligence is scheduled to open in UK cinemas on 1st July 2016.