Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Proud Mary trailer, Jigsaw, The Snowman, and more…
Proud Mary Trailer
Here is the new trailer for Proud Mary. Well, you couldn’t really title a film that without featuring Tina Turner’s iconic song. Taraji P. Henson stars as a hit woman working for an organised crime family in Boston. Proud Mary will hit UK screens on 2nd February 2018.
Above is the new Jigsaw trailer. The film reignites the Saw franchise, with the killer who was seemingly dead earlier in the series appearing to strike again. Fans of all things creepy will cheer the return of Billy the puppet. Jigsaw is set for release in time for Halloween, on 27th October 2017.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle Trailer
The latest trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle reveals a little more about the plot and new characters. The sequel sees the return of Taron Egerton and Colin Firth, who face a new challenge in America. They are joined by an enviable cast that includes Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, and Jeff Bridges. Kingsman: The Golden Circle will be released on UK screens on 20th September 2017.
Here is the latest poster for upcoming horror IT. Based on the classic Stephen King novel, the film is about the mysterious disappearance of children in the town of Derry. The film stars Bill Skarsgård as antagonist Pennywise. IT is out in UK cinemas on 8th September 2017.
Only The Brave Trailer
Only The Brave is based on a true story of an elite team of firefighters in American. The film stars Josh Brolin as the leader of the group, who trains his team from local firefighters to well-known task force. The film also stars Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, and Jennifer Connelly. Only The Brave is set for release later this year.
The Snowman Trailer
This trailer for The Snowman really hones in on the mystery elements of the film. Based on the Jo Nesbø novel, the film is about a detective and his recruit trying to track down a serial killer. The film is directed buy Thomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The Snowman will hit UK screens on 13th October 2017.
Blade Runner 2049 Trailer
Here is the latest trailer for the hotly anticipated Blade Runner 2049. Set thirty years after the original Blade Runner, the sequel sees the return of Harrison Ford’s Deckard, who has been missing all this time. Ryan Gosling plays K, a LAPD officer. Blade Runner 2049 is out in UK cinemas on 6th October 2017.
Bleed For This is a decently entertaining boxing film. It is perfectly watchable, but by no means a classic of the genre.
World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza is known for never giving up. When an accident threatens not only his career, but his life, it looks as if his boxing days are over. Vinny, however, wishes to prove the naysayers wrong…
Based on the true story of boxer Vinny Pazienza, Bleed For This follows the hallmarks of the boxing film. By the time the montage sequence rolls around in the first third, viewers will recognise the conventions. However, the accident puts a spin on things, and the film becomes more of a triumph over adversary.
Director and co-writer Ben Younger has created the archetypal boxing movie with Bleed For This. It follows a simple narrative to Rocky et al, following an underdog as he hopes to beat the odds. Younger’s film can be distinguished from others in the genre by the fact that it is based on real events. Besides this, however, there is little to make the film stand out.
The film blends drama and comedy, amongst the sports narrative. The film is very Hollywood in its style. Younger adds some nice touches, like the home video-style footage. The fight sequences are well executed; editing in the scenes add to the tension. Bleed For This focuses on Vinny and his relationship with those close to him. It is a male-heavy film; females are strictly supportive or viewed through a voyeuristic gaze. The film feels macho, a throwback to the era it is set in, perhaps. Miles Teller offers a strong performance as Vinny. Ciarán Hinds is decent as his father, whilst Aaron Eckhart is almost recognisable as coach Kevin.
Bleed For This is enjoyable and well executed. Compared to the recent Creed, however, it does not put its head above the parapet.
Bleed For This is being screened at BFI London Film Festival in October 2016.
Today saw the launch of the BFI London Film Festival 2016. This year’s programme is bursting with cinematic delights. There are more galas than in previous years, and screen talk participants include Werner Herzog and Paul Verhoeven. Here are some of the films to look out for at London Film Festival 2016.
The London Film Festival 2016’s opening gala A United Kingdom had already been announced, the Scorsese-produced, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire looks like a lot of fun. Elsewhere, plenty of hotly anticipated films including La La Land, Arrivaland The Birth of a Nation. Writer-director Nate Parker also stars in the story of an enslaved preacher who led a revolt in 1830s Virginia. Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals is also a headline gala. An adaptation of Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan, the film stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon. Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe stars David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o.
Strand Galas and Special Presentations
This year sees additional galas, which will take place on a purpose built venue on the Strand. They include The Handmaiden, from director Chan-wook Park. The film looks as sumptuous as Park’s previous film Stoker. Miles Teller stars in Bleed For This, based on the true story of boxer Vinny Paziena. Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq is the Sonic Gala. The hip hop musical features Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Andrea Arnold’s American Honey and Ava DuVernay’s The 13th are among the special presentations this year.
Paul Verhoeven’s Elle is amongst the Official Competition at London Film Festival 2016. Staring Isabelle Huppert, the film is an adaptation of a Philippe Dijan novel. Terence Davies’ A Quiet Presentation is a biopic of Emily Dickinson staring Cynthia Nixon. Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, about a young man struggling with his sexuality in 1980s Miami, looks like a great watch. In the First Feature Competition, Porto sees one of Anton Yelchin’s final performances, whilst animation My Life As A Courgette looks like a lot of fun. David Lynch: The Art Life is among the contenders for the Documentary Competition, as well as The Graduation. The latter is a documentary about a prestigious film school in Paris. Chasing Asylum, about the Australian government’s immigration policies, seems very topical.
The Love strand features Lovesong, director So Yong Kim’s film about a lonely young mother. It stars Jena Malone and Riley Keough. Highlights in the Debate category include Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman. A Separation‘s Farhadi has already won awards at Cannes. Mindhorn features in the Laugh strand. The film stars Julian Barratt as a washed-up 1980s TV detective. Dare features Christine, starring Rebecca Hall as the notorious television journalist. Paul Schrader’s Dog Eat Dog looks to be a highlight of the Thrill section, with Nicholas Cage starring alongside Willem Dafoe. Another David Lynch connection (Cage and Dafoe starred in Lynch’s Wild at Heart), Blue Velvet Revisited, features in the Cult strand.
Cult also features I Am Not A Serial Killer, based on the young adult novel. The Innocents looks to be a highlight of the Journey strand. Anne Fontaine’s film is about a young doctor working for the French Red Cross in 1945. London Town, a coming of age film set in 1979 London, features in the Sonic strand. The Family strand includes Rock Dog, an animation featuring the voices of J.K. Simmons and Luke Wilson. Finally, Experimenta includes Have You Seen My Movie?; a must-see for cinema fans.
The full London Film Festival 2016 programme can be viewed here. The BFI London Film Festival runs from 5th-16th October 2016.
Todd Phillips’ War Dogs is a funny and engaging crime comedy-drama. The film entertains throughout its madcap tale.
David Packouz is at a standstill career-wise, when is school friend Efraim Diveroli arrives back into town. Efraim is making a great success of bidding on US military contracts, and invites David to join him. With their business expanding, the pair try to enter the big leagues of arms dealing…
Based on a Rolling Stone article, War Dogs is the true story of two high-school friends who became arms dealers during the Afghanistan war. Certainly some of the incidents in the film may appear far-fetched, but they are based in reality. The film is certainly a case of the truth being stranger than fiction.
The film is told from the point of view of David, a somewhat naive young man who shows insight later. It is easy to see why David is beguiled by his old friend Efraim; the latter appears to have a vociferous appetite for living. Nevertheless, at times David seems a bit too gullible in believing his friend’s excuses or reasoning. Overall, the pair have good chemistry, and are tremendous fun to watch.
The reason that War Dogs works so well is because of the tone that permeates the film. The tale gives an insight into arms dealing and the US military that few will know about. Phillips gives a clear opinion on what he thinks of this. Yet the film is funny and informative without being preachy or flippant. Similarly, there are shades of grey with the protagonists. Phillips does not completely condemn or absolve them, making for a more engaging film.
Miles Teller is decent as David. It is Jonah Hill who steals the show, however, as Efraim. It is one of the actor’s strongest roles to date – he is a lot of fun to watch. Bradley Cooper also amuses in a small role. The soundtrack to the film works well, much like in Phillips’ The Hangover.
Phillips perfectly blends entertainment with education in War Dogs. A great watch.
A cornucopia of film-related goodness in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest Inside Out TV spot, a Terminator Genisys featurette, Maggie trailer and lots more…
Inside Out TV Spot
Here is the latest Inside Out TV spot. The Disney Pixar film has been doing fantastic business in the US, and looks certain to replicate that in the UK with its summer holiday’s release. With the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, Inside Out hits UK screens on 24th July 2015.
Terminator Genisys Featurette
The cast and crew of upcoming Terminator Genisys talk about protagonist Sarah Connor in this new featurette. The famous action heroine is played by Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke, who indicates that there will be nods to the original film in this latest instalment of the franchise. Terminator Genisys is released on 2nd July 2015.
Ant-Man TV Spot
Marvel’s latest super hero to receive the big-screen treatment is Ant-Man. From the above TV spots and earlier trailers, the film looks to offer a fair amount of humour. Starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, Ant-Man launches its way onto the big screen on 17th July 2015.
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation Poster
Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in the five instalment of the Mission: Impossible film franchise. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation sees the IMF disbanded, leaving Ethan and his team trying to combat deadly terror attacks. With Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames also returning, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation bursts into cinemas on 30th July 2015.
Arnold Schwarzenegger must once again play the hero in new thriller Maggie. The film is a teenage girl who is infected during a zombie outbreak, and her father’s efforts to protect her. Also starring Abigail Breslin, Maggie is set for release on 24th July 2015.
Ted 2 Trailer
So teddy bears coming to life is something that I dream about. Ted is a little lewd for my tastes, but the first film was enjoyable enough. Ted 2 reunites Mark Wahlberg and Seth McFarlane, and brings on board Amanda Seyfried as Ted’s lawyer. Ted 2 hits the big screen on 8th July 2015 in the UK.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Trailer
The trailer for the latest instalment of the Paranormal Activity franchise is here. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension sees a family discover some old VHS tapes which hold a nasty surprise. The conclusion of the horror franchise is scheduled for release on 30th October 2015.
Here is the latest poster for upcoming comedy Vacation. The film is the latest in the National Lampoon franchise, and sees a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) taking his family on a road-trip vacation. Also starring Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth, Vacation is release in UK cinemas on 21st August 2015.
The Secret Life of Pets Trailer
I know what pets to all day; the nap and eat and nap some more. That is to say, they live the life. New animated comedy The Secret Life of Pets takes us behind closed doors. Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper and Hannibal Buress, The Secret Life of Pets is set for release on 24th June 2016.
Fantastic Four Photo Shoot
Here are the stars of the new Fantastic Four film looking dapper. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell star as the superhero quartet in the reboot of the Marvel franchise. Fantastic Four launches its way onto the big screen on 6th August 2015.
Here is the latest blog from the set of new James Bond move Spectre. Director Sam Mendes discusses filming a scene that takes place amidst the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City. Starring Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz, Spectre will be released on 6th November 2015.
Magic Mike XXL Clip
The marketing for sequel Magic Mike XXL has been wonderful. This latest clip suggests the tongue-in-cheek attitude will continue in the film. Whereas the first film descended into schmaltz, here’s hoping this instalment will keep the tone humorous. The film is, after all, about male entertainers. Magic Mike XXL is released in cinemas on 3rd July 2015.
With the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron last week, superhero movie season has just begun.Back in the late 1970-mid-1990s era, audiences were lucky to get one big comic book adaptation a year. Now, this is the tentpole genre, with several new superhero movies being released each year. Both Marvel and DC Movies have revealed a busy slate for the coming years. The reality is, however, that the new superhero hero movies are unlikely to be ‘new’ at all, with the plethora of remakes, spin-offs and reboots that are due to come out in the next few years.
New Superhero Movies
There are in fact some new superhero movies set for release – that is to say films that feature characters or concepts that have not been depicted on the big screen before. These include…
Marvel’s next cinematic release is Ant-Man, which hits the big screen on 17th July 2015. Despite not being one of Marvel’s better-known superheroes, Ant-Man first appeared in comics in the early 1960s. Not carrying the same exposure in other media as some other Marvel title characters, it will be interesting to see how Ant-Man fairs with audiences. Nevertheless, Guardians of the Galaxywas not harmed by a lack of mainstream audience consciousness.
Director David Ayer has been teasing fans will glimpses of the film on his Twitter account. Although some of the characters have appeared in feature films before (notably the Joker and Lex Luthor), Suicide Squad is classed as one of the new superhero movies because the story of this group has not previously been depicted on the big screen.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the lead role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The sorcerer first appeared in marvel comics in 1963. The film, which is set for release on 28th October 2016 in the UK, appears to be an origins story. Which is just as well, given that the superhero is not one of Marvel’s most popular characters.
Although there has been a television film (aired in 1974), as well as the famous television series, Wonder Woman has never starred in her own feature film. Perhaps the most iconic of all female superheroes, Wonder Woman will finally take centre stage in her own cinematic release on 23rd June 2017.
This category occupies the majority of forthcoming releases in the comic book adaptation genre. Many of the new superhero movies are sequels to films released in the last few years, including…
Ryan Reynolds reprises his role (from 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as the Marvel antihero in Deadpool. It is unclear how much of a crossover there will be with the X-Men series of films. But with the star power of Reynolds and the lure of a R-rating in the US, Deadpool is sure to bring in audiences when it is released on 12th February 2016.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
One of the most anticipated movies of 2016, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel and seemingly a precursor to DC’s forthcoming The Justice League Part 1 and 2. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will offer viewers their first look at Ben Affleck as Batman when it is released on 25th March 2016.
Captain America: Civil War
2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of the best Marvel films thus far, so expectations are high for its sequel. The film will feature a host of Avengers’ characters, including Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye. It seems to be the closest fix to an Avengers movie until 2018, when Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is released. Captain America: Civil War will hit the big screen on 29th April 2016.
The follow-up to 201’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse sees the return of director Bryan Singer. The film reintroduces a number of characters viewers of the first film series will be familiar with. This time they appear as younger versions, including Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler (pictured above). X-Men: Apocalypse will be released on 19th May 2016.
Another off-shoot of the X-Men franchise, the character is the subject of his own film when Gambit is released on 7th October 2016. This time around, the character is played by Channing Tatum, following Taylor Kitsch’s turn in the role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It has been reported this week that the character may not make an appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse, making it unclear whether Gambit is a sequel that relates to this world, or is a reboot of the character from the 2009 film.
The third-standalone Wolverine film is set for release on 2nd March 2017. Star Hugh Jackman indicated on his Instagram account that this would be the last time he would play the role. Little is known about the plot of the film; it does not yet have an official title. Perhaps the three X-Men film released before Wolverine 3 will have some impact in shaping the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
A cinematic adaption one of Marvel’s less-popular franchises, 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge worldwide hit. The sequel, when it is released on 28th April 2017, has a lot to live up to. At the moment, it is unclear whether there’ll be any crossover with the Avengers universe, although one of Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘s stars hopes this will be the case.
There are two clear superhero reboots scheduled for release in the next two years, although some of the above films may fall into this category. Audiences can look forward to seeing new versions of…
The 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel were hardly great fan favourites, so there does not seem to be a great deal of upset at the reboot of the Marvel franchise. What is promising about this new version is the cast, which includes Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. With a 2017 sequel already planned, Fantastic Four hits the big screen on 6th August 2015.
Yes a Spider-Man reboot has already been done, with the sequel to that reboot only being released last year. However a new reboot is scheduled for release in 2017, with a number of actors being discussed for the lead role. Although not much is known about this new film at the moment, Spider-Man will appear in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
This is not the last of this swath of new superhero movies, with both Marvel and DC planning a slate that will continue until at least 2020. These include standalone films for Aquaman and Black Panther, sequels for Thor and others, and reboots such as Green Lantern. After Marvel’s recent dominance of the superhero genre, it will be interesting to see whether DC can regain some of their earlier magic. Despite the apocalyptic action depicted in the films, this is where the real battle lies.
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash is magnificent, unrelenting, masterfully crafted cinema.
Andrew is a promising young drummer studying at a prestigious music conservatory. Andrew dreams of greatness, something that his band instructor will stop at nothing to extract…
Whiplash is an exemplary film, with plenty of cause to praise and nothing to criticise. Writer and director Damien Chazelle has done an excellent job in crafting a film that hits all the high notes.
From its premise, it might be difficult to see how a film about a drummer and his teacher could be tense, consuming and enthralling. However, this is exactly what Whiplash is. Chazelle wisely reveals enough about his protagonists to make the audience empathise, without weighing a buoyant narrative down with character development.
The story in Whiplash is constructed so the audience identifies with Andrew, the determined young drummer. He is flawed, yet in an underdog position which makes viewers root for him. Fletcher is more complex in that he comes across as a bully, but not necessarily a bad guy.
The cat and mouse dynamic between these two protagonists is a delight to watch. The burgeoning relationship keeps the audience on their toes; it is difficult to second guess what will happen next. The delicious, sting-in-the-tail finale is a masterstroke by Chazelle.
Editing in Whiplash is superb in heightening tension. The cinematography is also effective in illustrating the exhaustion of the demands put on Andrew. J.K. Simmons is a tour de force as Fletcher. His performance is convincing and always compelling. Miles Teller is also fantastic is Andrew. He brings as intensity to the role that is astounding in pivotal scenes.
Whiplash is a fantastic film, which should leave viewers eager to see more from Damien Chazelle. Must-see cinema.
Whiplash is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2014.
The full programme for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 was announced today, and it is brimming with fascinating artifacts. A total of 245 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, are being screening during the twelve day festival, as well as 148 shorts. Opening the London Film Festival 2014 is The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. The festival closes with David Ayer’s Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. The BFI London Film Festival 2014 runs from 8th-19th October. Here are my picks from the programme…
Men, Women & Children
Following the success of Young Adult and Labor Day, Jason Reitman’s latest film is an adaptation Chad Kultgen’s novel. Focusing on emotional isolation in the digital age, Men, Women & Children features an ensemble cast that includes Jennofer Garner, Adam Sandler and Judy Greer.
Second Coming is Debbie Tucker Green’s directorial debut. The British drama stars Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba as a London-based couple living with their teenage son. Second Coming is one of the film’s shortlisted for the London Film Festival 2014’s First Feature Competition.
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash is about the relationship between a musical prodigy and his teacher. Starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, the film won the Grend Jury and Audience awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Dear White People
Writer-director Justin Simien’s Dear White People is a satire which tackles the issue of race in contemporary America. Set at an Ivy League college, the film concerns a sole-black fraternity which is to be diversified.
A film about a dog. When young Lili goes to stay with her dad, he is not interested in looking after her pet dog Hagen. Deciding to leave the dog at the side of the road, this sets off a eye-opening series of events in director Kornél Mundruczó’s White Dog.
Tickets for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 go on sale to the public on Thursday 18th September 2014. For the full schedule, and details of events, see here.
A veritable profusion of cinema-related goodness this week, with the new Tammy trailer, Under The Skin and Miss Piggy…
Above is the first Tammy trailer. The comedy stars Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. Apparently, Susan Sarandon plays Melissa McCarthy’s grandmother. I’m not sure how this is possible, given how young Sarandon looks. Perhaps she is aged up. Tammy is due for release in UK cinemas on 4th July 2014.
Under The Skin
Here is the full UK trailer for science-fiction thriller Under The Skin. Directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson the film has been receiving critical acclaim at its festival screenings. Under The Skin is released in UK cinemas on 14th march 2014.
The Love Punch
Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson star as an ex-husband and wife whose retirement fund is wiped out when their company is defrauded in The Love Punch. This comedy caper also stars Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie. The Love Punch hits UK screens on 18th April 2014.
Muppets Most Wanted
Miss Piggy looks resplendent. Her dress is designed by none other than Vivienne Westwood, who has also designed Miss Piggy’s key wardrobe for Muppets Most Wanted. The image above begs the question of whether Miss Piggy marries Kermit in the film. I wholeheartedly approve, particularly if Rowlf provides piano accompaniment. Muppets Most Wanted is released in cinemas on 28th March 2014.
Postman Pat: The Movie
Postman Pat can carry a tune?! This is apparently the case in the upcoming Postman Pat: The Movie. I am more interested, however, in the robots. And Jess of course. And the glimpse of robot Jess. Postman Pat: The Movie hits UK screens on 23rd May 2014.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
This teaser trailer has everything; Optimus Prime getting pumped with bullets, Marky Mark running around looking scared, Dinobots, and, erm, dragons. I’m sure more will be revealed as the release approaches. Transformers: Age of Extinction is due for release on 10th July 2014 in the UK.
The Legend of Hercules
This trailers is giving me shades of Gladiator and 300. Kellan Lutz plays the titular character in The Legend of Hercules. Having previously appeared in Immortals, Lutz is no stranger to ancient myth films. The Legend of Hercules is released in UK cinemas on 28th March 2014.
Yves Saint Laurent
Biopic Yves Saint Laurent looks slick, polished, and endlessly stylish. Pierre Niney stars as the young fashion designer who is catapulted to fame in the late 1950s. Yves Saint Laurent is released in UK cinemas on 21st March 2014.
Liam Neeson has really carved out a niche as an abrasive but meritorious action hero of late. Non-Stop continues this trend, as the above clip from the movie illustrates. Also starring Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o, Non-Stop hits UK screens on 28th February 2014.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel seems to be ticking all the boxes. Writer-director Wes Anderson is most admirable, and the cast, including the excellent Bill Murray, is enviable. Also, there’s a cat. The Grand Budapest Hotel is released in the UK on 7th March 2014.
Based on the best-selling novel, Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet. The sci-fi film is set in a future where people are divided into factions based on their personality. Divergent hits UK screens on 4th April 2014.
G.B.F. looks like a fun, high school-set comedy. The film is directed by Darren Stein, who helmed late nineties black comedy Jawbreaker. I’m hoping for the same kind of satirical style from G.B.F., which is released in cinemas on 21st March, and is available on demand on 22nd March 2014.
21 and Over is pretty standard college-based comedy fare. Whilst there are some laughs, they are not enough to make the film really memorable.
Jeff Chang’s best friends from school, Casey and Miller, surprise him on his 21st birthday. The pair have a big night out planned, but Jeff has an important medical school interview the next morning. Casey and Miller suggest a few drinks, but this quickly descends into something else…
From the writers of The Hangover, the parallels between the basic premise of the 2009 hit and 21 and Over are abundant. The narrative features standard mishaps. There is not a whole lot of originality in Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s film.
There are laughs in 21 and Over, although the film does rely upon crude humour. The dialogue apes the quick-fire insulting of Superbad, although it isn’t as successful. Some of the derogatory remarks hit the mark, while others appear a little tired.
The second half of the film ushers in a little seriousness in terms of the motivations of the main characters. This plays out in a rather schmaltzy manner. In attempting to inject some sincerity into the story, the filmmakers call for a depth that simply is not there. This is not a huge hindrance, but the attempted emotion adds nothing to the overall plot.
21 and Over features the requisite elements of the American young male comedy. The soundtrack is integral at times; with the party sequences being raucous.
Performances in 21 and Over are fine. Sklar Astin and Justin Chon are believable as Casey and Jeff Chang respectively. Miles Teller is in danger of being typecast in this type of role however.
21 and Over adds little to the comedy genre. Those who go in will likely know what to expect, and will probably enjoy the film as a result.