Stuff to Look At

A catch up of all the trailers you may have missed for the Easter weekend…

The Big Wedding

Robert De Niro heads an all star cast in comedy The Big Wedding. I wish Robert De Niro was still making films with Martin Scorsese, but there you go. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, and Katherine Heigl, who surely cemented this role in her pact with the devil. The Big Wedding is released in UK cinemas on 29th May 2013.

Oblivion

Above is a featurette on upcoming movie Oblivion. Starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko and Melissa Leo, Oblivion is a future-set science fiction film from the director of Tron: Legacy. Oblivion is out in cinemas on 10th April 2013.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness looks very promising. J.J. Abrams’ 2009 update of Star Trek was a great sci-fi action romp, and Into Darkness seems to be following the same path. Starring Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch, Star Trek Into Darkness hits UK screens on 9th May 2013.

World War Z

Brad Pitt stars in apocalyptic extravaganza World War Z. Based on the novel by Max Brooks, Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a UN employee trying to ascertain the cause of a pandemic which is threatening the world. World War Z is released in UK cinemas on 21st June 2013.

Despicable Me 2

Gru is back! But perhaps more importantly, Agnes is back! From the above trailer, Despicable Me 2 appears to have a sound plot. It also features a host of talent, including Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig and Steve Coogan. Despicable Me 2 is due for release on 28th June 2013.

Kick-Ass 2

Hit Girl is now a fully-fledged teen! Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Moretz return for Kick Ass 2. The sequel, which also stars Jim Carrey, is released on UK screens on 19th July 2013.

Film Review: The Fighter

The Fighter is set in 1993, a time when few would have believed Marky Mark’s career would have longevity, let alone that he would deliver award-worthy performances. Nonetheless, Mark Wahlberg’s acting is not even the highlight of The Fighter, a film that boasts great writing and superlative performances.

A low-level boxer dreaming of success, Mickey Ward is always in his brother Dickie Eklund’s shadow. A former boxer with a drug addiction, Dickie thinks he is going to make a comeback. However, it is Mickey’s career that is on the up, and his older brother has a significant part to play…

Based on the true story of Mickey Ward’s rise to success, The Fighter is an incredibly engaging movie. Although it is a story about boxing, the film primarily focuses on the very personal story behind the sportsman. The Fighter is more concerned with relationship dynamics than accounting Mickey’s triumphs. It is this that give the film its heart, and compels the audience to root for Mickey Ward during the matches.

Screenwriters Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson infuse the narrative with both emotion and comedy. The dialogue is fantastic; it generates a surprising amount of humour. The Fighter is so effective because it easily flits between poignancy and absurdity. A heartfelt conversation between the two brothers can be quickly followed by some humorous interaction between Alice and her daughters, for example.

David O. Russell directs The Fighter with aplomb. The film never really feels like it is building in momentum; it feels like an exploration of the characters’ lives rather than a path to a big climax. The film may have dragged in another director’s hands, but Russell crafts his characters with care and attention. He depicts a multi-faceted group who all have Mickey’s best interests at heart, despite some of their actions.

What is most interesting about the visual style of the film is the use of television-style footage. At the beginning of the film, a camera crew follows Dickie around for a documentary. This is a great introduction to the characters, succinctly exhibiting how each of the brothers are treated. The boxing matches also employ this televisual appearance, which gives these scenes a heightened sense of realism. The fights do look like actual boxing matches; the violence of these bouts is more acute as a result.

Mark Wahlberg is brilliant as Mickey. Wahlberg offers a quiet, composed performance, which contrasts well with Christian Bale’s larger than life Dickie. Bale is fantastic as the drug-addled former boxer, giving one of his best performances to date. Melissa Leo is excellent as Alice Ward, often stealing scenes with her outlandish persona. Perfomances are great all round and the casting is on point, particularly with Amy Adams as Charlene and Alice’s daughters.

Falling somewhere between Raging Bull and Rocky in terms of tone, The Fighter is a very enjoyable film. Highly recommended viewing.