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.

Film Review: Marley

A good documentary will leave viewers eager to find out more about the subject matter. Kevin Macdonald’s film about legendary artist Bob Marley does just this.

Bob Marley was one of the most recognised and successful musicians of the twentieth century. In his documentary about the reggae legend, Kevin Macdonald speaks to a number of friends, colleagues and family members. As well as discussing their memories of Marley, Macdonald delves into the singer and songwriter’s background, revealing social and political influences on his music…

Marley is a perfectly pitched documentary. It offers both amusing anecdotes and more sober insights into the life of the Jamaican artist. The film offers an insight into Bob Marley that gives context to his beliefs and his music. Perhaps the most interesting facet is that the documentary highlights how the artist’s early life and struggles influenced his music and political beliefs.

Macdonald interviews a number of people connected with Bob Marley. The fact that close family members have agreed to take part, gives this documentary an air of authenticity. Macdonald speaks with the people who knew Marley best, from his mother and wife, to band members in the later years. The variety of sources gives the documentary balance.

Marley’s music is used throughout the film. Thankfully, Macdonald eschews listing the artist’s chart successes, mentioning only now and again the fortunes of Marley’s career. Songs are used to accompany concert footage and the biography. A mixture of well-known hits and lesser-known tracks feature in the documentary, a pertinent reminder of the volume of music that Marley produced.

Marley should prove fascinating for both ardent fans of the artist, who are likely to find the anecdotes interesting, and those less familiar with his life and musical output. Kevin Macdonald’s film provides a definitive biography of Bob Marley.

Film Review: The Eagle

The Eagle is a fairly standard sword and sandals tale that eschews grandeur to concentrate on a more personal story. Although the themes seem rather simplistic at times, the film is entertaining nevertheless.

Marcus Aquila’s father was in charge of the Ninth Legion, of which all men vanished along with their gold emblem in the north of Britain. Now a centurion, Aquila is a skilled soldier but carries with him lingering thoughts about his father’s disappearance. When he hears rumours about the eagle’s whereabouts, Aquila travels with his slave Esca across Hadrian’s Wall to try and retrieve it…

The Eagle is less of an epic than a film such as Gladiator; the battle in Kevin MacDonald’s film appears  not as wide-ranging. The focus is squarely on the personal in The Eagle. Aquila is concerned with restoring his father’s honour, and travels with only a slave instead of an army. The film provides no great surprises with its narrative, but there is enough drive and action to entertain audiences.

Jeremy Brock’s screenplay is perfectly suitable for the genre, although the dialogue can be a little hackneyed. Themes in The Eagle are stripped back to basics; the film concentrates on honour and trust. It does not really delve deeper than the surface into these issues. The relationship between Aquila and Esca is built upon these themes. There are definite homoerotic overtones, but these amount to all tease and no pay off, as perhaps is expected.

The battle scenes in the film are graphically violent. It seems that the filmmakers wanted to accentuate the violence of the period. The art direction and cinematography work well, generating a sense of harshness in the landscape that matches the brutality of the violence. The sound design is interesting; for the most part it is good, but veers towards overemphasis in the later battle sequences.

Performances in The Eagle are good overall. Channing Tatum makes a formidable soldier, he is certainly appropriately cast in terms of physique. Jamie Bell adds substance to the film as the slave Esca. He brings a solemnness to the character which is credible. Donald Sutherland plays the wizened old man well as Aquila’s uncle. All the Romans in the film speak with American accents; an unusual choice that is a little distracting at the beginning of the film.

The Eagle is not particularly remarkable or innovative, but it is a decent sword and sandals film. Fans of this genre are unlikely to be too disappointed by this offering.