Stuff To Look At

Plenty of cinematic delights, including the latest trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a clip from The Book Thief and more…

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Here is the latest trailer for Captain America: The Winter Solider. The film sees the return of Chris Evans in the title role, plus Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is due for UK release on 28th March 2014.

The Book Thief

Based on the best-selling book by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief stars Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. The above clip is from the story, which is set during World War II. The Book Thief is released on 31st January 2014.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman 2 poster

Following the release of the latest trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, here is the new poster for the film. The film seems to be pushing the 1980s setting, which is never a bad thing. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues hits UK screens on 20th December 2013.

Non-Stop

Thriller Non-Stop stars Liam Neeson as an Air Marshall in a very perilous position. The trailer reads like Speed on a plane. Non-Stop is due for release on 28th February 2014.

American Hustler

Christian Bale is barely recognisable in American Hustler. It’s like the 1970s threw up all over David O. Russell’s film. Also starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustler hits screens on 20th December in the West End and 3rd January 2014 nationwide.

The Butler

Lee Daniels’ The Butler is just brimming with stars. Led by Forest Whitaker, the film also stars Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Mariah Carey and many others. The Butler is released in the UK on 15th November 2013.

Film Review: Precious

Precious is almost unrelentingly sombre in the issues the film addresses. The lighter spots are saved for the title character’s daydreams, and the relationship she builds with her classmates and teacher. These lighthearted moments are not only what save the teenage protagonist, but also the film itself. Without these, Precious offers a grim tale of abuse and disadvantage.

Through her relationship with her teacher, nurse and friends, Precious finds the strength to overcome obstacles so afflicting they would extinguish a lesser soul. But don’t be under the misapprehension that this is a heart-warming tale; the seriousness of the abuse exposed makes for morose and sometimes uncomfortable viewing.

Newcomer Sidibe offers an earnest portrayal of the downtrodden youth; she is engaging and elicits befitting sympathy. Mo’Nique excels as abusive mother Mary; her recent Bafta success is well-deserved. In her small but notable role as the welfare advisor, Carey is believable and gives a credible performance, surprising considering her much-maligned previous cinematic foray in Glitter.

Daniels’ direction is focussed, concentrating firmly on the protagonist’s trials and tribulations. It is clear that this is a personal story, and not a social commentary. Production design and cinematography are solid; the grimy, dole apartment is suitably contrasted with Precious’ brightly-lit daydreams.

Whilst Precious is a story about overcoming adversity, its bleakness will not leave cinemagoers reaffirmed. That is not to say that the film takes on a preachy tone, however the continual torment faced by Precious does not make the film enjoyable either.