Previews: The Accountant trailer, The Woods and more!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including The Accountant trailer, The Woods, and more…

The Accountant Trailer

Here is the new The Accountant trailer. The film stars Ben Affleck as a maths savant who works as a freelance accountant for dangerous criminal organisation. With his latest client, accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) notices a major discrepancy. The Accountant is set for release on 4th November 2016.

The Woods Trailer

The first-look trailer for The Woods smartly eschews revealing too much. The film has been receiving critical acclaim thus far. It will be interesting to see what You’re Next and The Guest director Adam Wingard has in store for horror fans. The Woods will be released in UK cinemas on 16th September 2016.

Jason Bourne Featurette

Jason Bourne is back in this new featurette for the upcoming action thriller. Jason Bourne reunites Matt Damon with original director Paul Greengrass. Alicia Vikander also joins the cast, which includes Julia Stiles and Tommy Lee Jones. Jason Bourne bounces back onto the big screen on 27th July 2016.

Alice Through The Looking Glass Clip

Here is a new clip from the upcoming Alice Through The Looking Glass. Mia Wasikowska’s Alice returns to Wonderland after an absence to find things have taken a turn for the worse. The film reunites the cast from the 2010 film including Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway. Alice Through The Looking Glass hits UK screens on 27th May 2016.

The Magnificent Seven Trailer

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of 1960’s The Magnificent Seven (which was, in turn, a remake of Seven Samurai). Antoine Fuqua, which features an all-star cast including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke. The Magnificent Seven will be released in IMAX and regular cinemas 23rd September 2016.

Captain Phillips Press Conference

Captain Phillips Press Conference

Director Paul Greengrass and star Tom Hanks were on hand to talk about Captain Phillips, which has its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. Paul Greengrass called it “an honour and a privilege” to open the London Film Festival. He said: “I love the festival. I think it’s an important festival, and I think it’s growing in importance… Unlike other festivals, for instance, what I think is very very good about the London Film Festival is that it takes place in a city where a lot of movies are made. And that distinguishes it, I think, in a very powerful way”. Tom Hanks followed this up by joking; “It may out other film festivals out of business”.

Hanks spoke about meeting the real Richard Phillips. He stated: “It’s not the most realistic of moments to walk into somebody’s house and say ‘Hi, yes, Forrest Gump, yeah that’s me. I will now be playing you in a film whether you like it or not’. It’s an interesting dilemma that you have”. Hanks went on to discuss playing Rich, explaining; “Even in the first meetings I had with Rich I said, look, I’m going to say things you never said, and I’m going to do things you did not do. But based on that, let’s get as close to the the DNA of the authenticity as possible”.

The pair talked about the filming process. Speaking about filming at sea, Greengrass commented; “It was pretty difficult. The worst was the the lifeboat scenes. We did some of those scene on the stage, but we started on the ocean. That was a truly horrendous experience – it’s very small, you are low down, you are crammed in. On the first day we started shooting… I spoke to Chris [Carreras, First Assistant Director] and said ‘What’s going on?’ and he said ‘Focus puller has just thrown up all over Tom'”.

Tom Hanks was also asked about his recent omission that he suffers with Type 2 Diabetes. When asked about what advice he would give to other actors who put on and lose weight for roles such as Russell Crowe, Hanks joked “Are you trying to tie me into a quote on Russell Crowe?! Is there anyone else you want to work into there? Miley Cyrus? Benedict Cumberbatch?”. On Cyrus, he stated: “I think she’ll be fine”.

Captain Phillips opens the BFI London Film Festival on 9th October 2013.

Film Review: Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips

Paul Greengrass’s based-on-true-events thriller is taut for the most part, and engaging throughout.

Captain Phillips is in charge of the Maersk Alabama, a vessel carrying containers destined for Mombasa. As the Maersk Alabama is approached by two small boats travelling at speed, Captain Phillips warns his crew to ready themselves for a possible Somali pirate attack…

Paul Greengrass is a director who is skilled at building tension, and this skill is most apparent in Captain Phillips. The film is very effective at gripping viewers in pivotal scenes.

The first half of the film is very strong. The second half lets momentum slip slightly, but Captain Phillips recovers for a thrilling finale. There are scenes in the film which are simply enthralling.

The story unfolds at a good pace. Action is condensed from the timescale of actual events, but this seems necessary for maintaining tension and relaying the story in just over two hours.

Billy Ray’s screenplay gives away enough about the protagonist to make viewers care about the outcome. Nonetheless, the focus remains on the action. Some sequences are frenetic in their tension. Greengrass’s direction and the sound are highly effective in these scenes. Other scenes serve to exhibit the realities of the situation.

Tom Hanks delivers a marvellous performance throughout. It is the film’s final scene, however, that really conveys Hanks’ acting prowess. Performances elsewhere are decent, with Barkhad Abdi standing out as Muse, leader of the attackers.

Captain Phillips is a triumph of direction and performance. Although there is some slack in the second half, the film is most entertaining.

Captain Phillips opens the BFI London Film Festival on 9th October 2013.

Film Review: Green Zone

A number of reviews have highlighted Green Zone‘s similarities to the Bourne film series. It is not hard to see why – with Greengrass at the helm (director of two of the Bourne films) and Matt Damon taking centre stage, Green Zone could be ‘Bourne in Iraq’.

Taking cues from Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City, the film focuses on the WMD (or lack of) scandal in 2003. Damon plays a soldier who becomes suspicious about the intelligence after his unit’s lack of success in locating the weapons of mass destruction.

The film attempts to saddle an action thriller with a real political narrative. The problem lies in the fact that in this type of action film, the political element does not work too successfully. The political story is simplified in order to placate the need for the frequent action sequences. And as this is based on a recent and familiar subject, there is little doubt to how the film will conclude.

Greengrass’ use of hand-held camera is present once again here; the technique certainly adds tension in pivotal scenes. Moreover, production design, sound and editing are all solid. As an action thriller, Green Zone is an enjoyable enough film.

In the post-Bush era, one imagines that Green Zone is only one of many films that will be made concerning the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions. Like the plethora of ‘Nam films decades before, there are sure to be more controversial or illuminating ventures than this rather stock Greengrass feature.