Previews: War Dogs Trailer, Finding Dory and more!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the War Dogs trailer, Star Trek Beyond, Finding Dory and more…

War Dogs Trailer

Here is the War Dogs trailer. The Hangover director Todd Phillips helms this action comedy. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller star as two unlikely arms traders who travel to Afghanistan. Based on a true story, the film also stars Bradley Cooper. War Dogs reaches UK screens on 26th August 2016.

Star Trek Beyond Featurette

Rihanna talks about her love for Star Trek and her new song for the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. Justin Lin takes over directing duty from J.J. Abrams for this latest instalment of the franchise, which sees the crew of the USS Enterprise encountering a new threat. Star Trek Beyond will hit UK screens on 22nd July 2016.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson Trailer

It is a bit strange to see the movie version of an event that many will remember took place less than a decade ago. Tom Hanks stars as the pilot who saved his passengers by landing the plane on the Hudson River. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film also stars Laura Linney and Aaron Eckhart. Sully: Miracle on the Hudson is released in cinemas on 2nd December 2016.

Finding Dory Clip

Baby Dory is just adorable. Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory shifts the attention to Marlin’s friend Dory. Along with her friends, Dory searches for answers about her past in this latest film. Finding Dory will hit UK screens on 29th July 2016.

Nerve TV Spot

From the directors of Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3, comes Nerve. Starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, the film is about a high school student who joins a popular online game. Nerve will be released in UK cinemas on 11th August 2016.

Morgan Trailer

Morgan is a science-fiction thriller produced by Ridley Scott. The film stars Kate Mara as a corporate troubleshooter is set to a remote environment to investigate an accident. Also starring Toby Jones and Paul Giamatti, Morgan is set for release in September 2016.

Film Review: Paranormal Activity 3

For the third instalment of Paranormal Activity filmmakers go back to the past. A prequel to the first two movies, Paranormal Activity 3 is better than the second one in that it at least shows some innovation.

In September 1988, young girls Kristi and Katie live with their mother and her partner Dennis. Strange occurrences begin to take place, which coincide with the arrival of Katie’s imaginary friend Toby. Dennis decides to set up video cameras around the house in order to capture any unusual incidents…

Using the same format at the first two films, Paranormal Activity 3 uses video footage to tell its tale. Again, like the first two films, it seems unusual that someone would concentrate on making sure they were filming in a moment of sheer terror. Nevertheless, the style gives the film an authentic feeling.

Making the third film a prequel was a sensible choice, given that the first two films gave successive films little place to go. It also allowed writer Christopher B. Landon to give a back story to the sisters featured in the first two films. There is a little amusement to be gained from the late-1980s costumes, toys and technology, which is also a bonus.

In terms of frights, Paranormal Activity 3 features the same jumpiness as the first two films. Many of the scares have been recycled from the first two films. However, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman bring some creativity to the film. The ‘Bloody Mary’ sequence is one of the films most frightening episodes. Similarly, the oscillating camera is used to great effect in the film.

As with so many horror films, the ending is a letdown after all the build up. The film would have been scarier if events remained unaccounted for. Although this may have frustrated some viewers, it would have made the film stronger overall. As it stands, the ending is rather weak.

Performances in Paranormal Activity 3 are fine. Chloe Csengery is well cast as the young Katie. Sound employed effectively in the film. Like the first two instalments, the use of sound and the use of silence is integral to getting the frights. Pacing in the film also works well; the slow build at the beginning is necessary to set the scene.

Paranormal Activity 3 will satisfy viewers looking for more of the same. There are some good frights, but it feels as if the franchise has now gone beyond its peak. There seems little need for a fourth chapter.

Paranormal Activity 3 Trailer

It’s that time of year again. For the third year running, the makers of Paranormal Activity are serving up another slice of the action around Halloween time. This instalment is a prequel to the first two films. I found the second film a bit disappointing as it was too similar to the first. I don’t think this will be a problem for the new film, as it is more of an origins story. Also it is set in 1988, and what’s not to love about that? Check out the trailer above; it is pretty scary. Paranormal Activity 3 is out on 21st October 2011.

The Empire Big Screen Diaries – Day 3

Like the protagonist on an epic quest in a sword and sorcery film, I embarked on the final day of Empire Big Screen. First order of business was the Paramount Showcase. After a brief video animating the company’s biggest films, a series of trailers were shown. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was followed by Paranormal Activity 3 and Like Crazy. After this, a featurette on Cowboys and Aliens was screened, introduced by Jon Favreau (on video). We also got to see a short clip of the Footloose remake, and the trailer for The Devil Inside (which was highly reminiscent of last year’s The Last Exorcism). Two clips of the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots were then screened. Te footage was great; the film looks as if it will be very funny. To round things off, footage of The Adventures of Tin Tin was screened with a message from producer Peter Jackson and director Steven Spielberg. The clips looked good, but I always think humans in CG-animation look weird.

After a brief interlude, the Lionsgate Showcase began. After the trailer for A Dangerous Method was shown, we got to see footage from Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus. Set in the modern day but with the original Shakespearean dialogue, the film looks interesting if a little unusual. The showcase was rounded up by four trailers – 50/50, Abduction, Warrior and Conan the Barbarian.

Seizing the opportunity for a proper lunch break, we headed to Armadillo (again). My fish burger was nice, but I felt bad that we didn’t leave a proper tip. In fairness, it was all the change we had, but apologies to Armadillo staff.

The Disney Showcase was the final one of the weekend. Real Steel was first up, with director Shawn Levy on stage to talk about the film. He also gave away tickets to the premiere, but asked the most difficult question ever. Needless to say, I did not know the answer. Two clips were then screened; the film looks like fairly standard family fare. Andrew Stanton then introduced John Carter and footage from the film was screened. Finally, Steven Spielberg (by video) introduced some footage of his upcoming film War Horse. What struck me more than anything was that Spielberg seems to have some hand in directing or producing many of the films discussed this weekend. He may have even a hand producing this post. Human star of the film Jeremy Irvine then came on stage to discuss making War Horse.

After hanging out in the press room for a bit (Jeremy Irvine was being interviewed there, talent-spotters!), it was time for The Muppets! Director of The Muppets James Bobin and star Kermit the Frog were interviewed live via satelite. I was told that the Muppets were originally meant to appear in person. Maybe it is just as well this did not happen, as I may have got kicked out for running up on stage and hugging Kermit. The interview was a lot of fun, and the clip screened involved Kermit singing a song. It almost brought a tear to the eye…

After all that excitement, it was time for the Conan the Barbarian premiere. Jason Momoa was present to introduce the film, shown at the biggest screen at the O2 Cineworld. The film was pretty disappointing itself (review to follow).

After the very last visit to the press room, I went to the secret screening. Cineworld tried to rob me blind with their popcorn prices, after which I settled down to watch the film. Before it started, I asked the gentleman next to me if he knew what the film was (I did by this point). When he answered “Cowboys and Aliens” I was perplexed, and thought he was joking until he showed me his ticket. I was in the wrong screen. After cursing my stupidity, I ran next door and luckily the trailers were still on. I then settled down to watch The Debt, a very good thriller (review to follow). And that concluded Empire Big Screen; the film was good way to end a busy but exciting weekend.

Many thanks to Empire and Romley Davies for having me, plus all the lovely people who made the weekend so much fun (you know who you are!).