Previews: Pitch Perfect 3 Poster, Detroit, More!

This week’s preview of coming attractions includes the latest Pitch Perfect 3 poster, Battle of the Sexes, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Detroit, and more…

Pitch Perfect 3 Poster

 

The Bellas are back in this latest Pitch Perfect 3 poster. The film sees the return of Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the rest of the gang for one last hurrah. Expect more a cappella tunes as made popular by the first film. The trailer for Pitch Perfect 3 will launch on 25th June, and the film is due for release at Christmas this year.

Battle of the Sexes Trailer

Here is the new Battle of the Sexes trailer. The film is based on the real-life match between women’s number one Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and former men’s champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) in 1973. The film also stars Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, and Bill Pullman. Battle of the Sexes is set for release in UK cinemas on 20th October 2017.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Poster

Here is the first poster for sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Not much is know about the film yet, but the film sees the return of Jeff Goldblum as Dr Ian Malcolm from the first series (hence his famous quote being appropriated for the tagline). This sequel to Jurassic World also sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprising their roles. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is scheduled for release in June 2018.

Annabelle: Creation Trailer

One of cinema’s creepiest dolls is back for another instalment. Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle, and tells the origins story of the doll. The film is produced by James Wan and directed by David F. Sandberg, who helmed last year’s Lights Out. Annabelle: Creation hits UK screens on 11th August 2017.

Daddy’s Home 2 Trailer

The sequel to 2015’s Daddy’s Home features even more dads. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reunite for Daddy’s Home 2, and are joined by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson playing their respective dads. This film is set at Christmas, when the two families decide to spend the holidays together. Daddy’s Home 2 is set for release later this year.

Home Again Trailer

Home Again is a new romantic comedy from producer Nancy Meyers. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as a separated mother of two, who decides to take in three young filmmakers. The film also stars Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, and Candice Bergen. Home Again will be released in UK cinemas on 29th September 2017.

Detroit Trailer

Detroit is about the civil unrest that rocked the city in the summer of 1967. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, and Jack Reynor. Detroit will hit UK screens on 25th August 2017.

Stuff To Look At

A myriad of trailers this week, including Far From The Madding CrowdCinderellaAloha, and more…

Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding Crowd was one of the few books I remember reading at high school. How the names Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak take me back. This adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel comes with good pedigree; it is directed by Thomas Vinterberg and stars Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Michael Sheen. Far From The Madding Crowd is released in UK cinemas on 1st May 2015.

Aloha

Cameron Crowe’s latest Aloha features a stellar cast, including Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, and Rachel McAdams. Bradley Cooper stars as a military contractor who is given the opportunity to return to the site of his greatest triumphs in Hawaii. Aloha is scheduled for release in September 2015.

Cinderella

From the above trailer, it looks as if Cate Blanchett will really shine in Cinderella. As well as, of course, that magnificent-looking slipper. Kenneth Branagh’s update of the classic fairy tale, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, hits UK screens on 27th March 2015.

The Age of Adeline

The premise of The Age of Adeline hinges on an interesting aspect; its protagonist stops ageing at 29 years old. If only that could happen in real life, although granted, it would be a bit odd. Starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford, The Age of Adeline is released on 8th May 2015.

Mommy

Xavier Dolan’s latest offering is receiving a lot of critical praise. Mommy stars Anne Dorval as a widowed mother tasked with the full-time custody of her son, who has ADHD. Mommy is released in UK cinemas on 20th March 2015.

Trainwreck

Here is the first trailer for Trainwreck. Directed by Judd Apatow and written by and starring Amy Schumer, Trainwreck is about a young woman who doesn’t think monogamy is possible. The comedy will be released on UK screens on 28th August 2015.

Hot Pursuit

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara are the unlikely double act in Anne Fletcher’s action comedy Hot Pursuit. Straight-laced cop Witherspoon is tasked with protecting Mafia witness Vergara. Hot Pursuit speeds into UK cinemas on 8th May 2015.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Here is the trailer for Guy Ritchie’s update on 1960s television show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Set against a Cold War backdrop, the film focuses on a CIA agent forced to team up with a KGB operative. Starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is set for release on 14th August 2015.

Focus

Upcoming thriller Focus stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Rodrigo Santoro. Veteran con man Nicky takes on novice Jess and teaches her the tricks of the trade. Focus hits UK screens on 27th February 2015.

Stuff To Look At

A plethora of movie trailers and clips on Oscar nomination day, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Blackhat and Cake

Avengers: Age of Ultron

It all looks very, very bad in sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. Where are jokes of Loki? From the above trailer, it looks like this Marvel instalment will have a more serious tone. Not that this is a bad thing, as last year’s superlative Captain America: The Winter Soldier can attest to. Avengers: Age of Ultron hits UK cinemas on 24th April 2015.

Selma

So Selma may have been snubbed for several awards, but at least it has received a Best Picture nod from the Academy. Starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., Selma tells the story of his struggle to secure voting rights for African Americans. The film is released in the UK on 6th February 2015.

Cake

Jennifer Aniston may have been snubbed for a Best Actress nomination at this year’s Oscars, but Cake still seems worth a look. A dark comedy, the film focuses on Aniston’s character and dubious relationship with a widower. Cake will be released in UK cinemas on 20th February 2015.

Blackhat

Director Michael Mann delves into the world of global cybercrime with his latest thriller Blackhat. Starring Chis Hemsworth and Viola Davis, the film concentrates on convicted hacker who is helping the government tackle a network of criminals. Blackhat hits UK screens on 20th February 2015.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Following yesterday’s world premiere of Kingsman: The Secret Service, here is a clip from the film. Following the success of Kick-Ass, screenwriter Jane Goldman and writer-director Matthew Vaughan team up again for another adaptation of a comic book. Kingsman: The Secret Service is released on 29th January 2015.

Run All Night

Here is the trailer for action thriller Run All Night. The film is about a prolific hit man played by Liam Neeson. Also starring Ed Harris and Joel Kinnamen, Run All Night is set for release in the UK on 1st May 2015.

Inherent Vice

This clip from Inherent Vice sees Joaquin Phoenix reunited with his Walk The Line co-star Reese Witherspoon. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and with a stellar cast, Inherent Vice hits UK screens on 30th January 2015.

Stuff To Look At

This week we have plenty of clips and trailers for next year’s releases, including Inherent Vice, Jupiter Ascending and A Little Chaos

A Little Chaos

Period drama A Little Chaos is about the unlikely landscape architect of the Palace of Versailles. Directed, co-writtend and starring Alan Rickman, the film focuses on Kate Winslet’s Madame Sabine de Barra. A Little Chaos is out in cinemas on 17th April 2015.

Inherent Vice

Here is a brief clip from the upcoming Inherent Vice. Paul Thomas Anderson’s film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, and Reese Witherspoon among others. Inherent Vice is released in UK cinemas on 30th January 2015.

Mad Max: Fury Road

This Mad Max: Fury Road trailer caused quite a storm when it was unleashed last week. From the trailer at least, the film is striking on a visual level. Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult, Mad Max: Fury Road hits the big screen on 15th May 2015.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke return for time-travelling comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2. After the success of the first film, the group venture into the future, as well as the distant past in this instalment. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is released in UK cinemas on 10th April 2015.

Jupiter Ascending

Here is an extended V spot for upcoming science fiction blockbuster Jupiter Ascending. I can’t get over Channing Tatum’s ears. Also starring Mila Kunis and Eddie Redmayne, Jupiter Ascending hits UK screens on 6th February 2015.

The Last Five Years

Based on the theatre show, The Last Five Years is a musical which tells the story of a five-year relationship. Anna Kendrick once again shows off her vocal skills, following Pitch Perfect and the upcoming Into The Woods. The Last Five Years is scheduled for release in Spring 2015.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the cast from the first film reunited, along with newcomer Richard Gere. This follow-up sees Dev Patel’s Sonny open a second hotel. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is set for release on 26th February 2015.

Film Review: This Means War

As an undemanding popcorn flick, This Means War does the job entertaining its audience. Viewers expecting anything more than this will likely be disappointed.

After bumping into an ex-boyfriend and his new fiancee, Lauren decides that she really needs to get back into the dating game. On the same night that she meets online date Tuck, Lauren bumps into FDR, who asks her out. Unbeknownst to her, Tuck and FDR are best friends and CIA agents who work together…

This Means War attempts to combine a romantic comedy with an action movie, presumably to appeal to both male and female viewers. The film is successful in its simple intention to entertain. Although some trimming would have made the film pacier, This Means War is never boring.

The film is amusing throughout. The comedy in This Means War is sometimes crass, although this does not detract too much from the amusement. A joke about being British is likely to fall flat or provoke a very negative reaction from audiences in the UK. Otherwise, the humour sustains the film throughout the duration. More serious moments do not work as well as the comedic ones.

The real downside of This Means War is that it relies on stereotypes to populate the film. This is most apparent in the gender archetypes used by screenwriters Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg. FDR is portrayed as the suave testosterone-fuelled male, while Tuck is the more sensitive guy, despite his build. Meanwhile, Lauren is the stereotypical female, wrought with indecision and needing to be rescued. Trish fills the role of the typical female best friend; raucous but caring. It is a shame that This Means War does not move beyond these obvious character types.

What piques the interest is the casting of the two male leads. Given the roles they need to fulfill, the actor Chris Pine seems more suited to Tuck than FDR. Likewise for Tom Hardy, who plays Tuck. It is interesting that the two were cast in the opposite role to what would be expected, however they both deliver suitable performances. Much rests on the likeability of Reese Witherspoon as the female caught between two men. Witherspoon does not disappoint in making her character amiable for the most part.

This Means War is typical of a McG film in that it is brash and glossy in style. Audiences familiar with the director’s work should know what to expect.

This Means War Trailer

This Means War stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as two CIA agents who fall for the same girl, in the shape of Reese Witherspoon. It is a rather silly premise, but the action comedy could be fun. The film is relying heavily on the star power of Witherspoon, as well as co-stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy to reel in viewers. All three stars are likeable (if not downright attractive to some) so the film should at least garner suitable interest. This Means War is out on 17th February 2012.

Film Review: Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants is an entertaining movie that should satisfy its target audience. The splendour of the setting is however betrayed by the flatness of the narrative.

Jacob is studying for his veterinary examinations when his parents are killed in accident. With no remaining family or home, he leaves his hometown. Jumping on a train, Jacob stumbles into the world of the travelling circus…

Based on Sara Gruen’s novel, Water for Elephants is at times a very sappy affair. Nevertheless, the violence can be startling; bring proceedings sharply back into focus. The drama retains the audience’s attention, even if it is not particularly original. Director Francis Lawrence tells the story in an appropriate fashion. The pacing is good; the film does not feel its two-hour length.

Although the backdrop of the circus is a little different, Water for Elephants is a standard romantic drama. As such, the characters are fairly archetypal for this genre. Given its period setting, female protagonist Marlena is confined by the restrictions of her gender. This allows her to rely upon a man to protect her, Marlena’s dependence being a condition of the era. Similarly, Jacob is a fairly typical hero. He shows no real flaws, and is the antithesis to circus-owner August. The protagonist is offered very little development; it is unclear what motivates him. It is also difficult to see why Marlena would fall for Jacob, besides the very obvious contrast with August. The protagonist has little spark, and pales in comparison to the great showman.

Water for Elephants appears engineered to generate a feeling of nostalgia. This is cemented by the 8mm footage, which attempts to look like real home movie footage. This adds very little to the film, and could have easily been omitted. Elsewhere, the imagery takes on a fantasy-like appearance. The circus seems overly pristine, but the costumes are wonderful. The editing is good, and combines very well with the sound in the more violent sequences. Effects in the climax are also good, but there is some inauthentic-looking CGI earlier in the film.

Robert Pattinson is adequate as Jacob, but shows little spark. This is partly due to lack of character development, but there also seems to be a lack of vigour in Pattinson’s performance. It does not help that he is shown up by Rosie the elephant and her wonderful tricks. Reese Witherspoon inhabits the character of Marlena well, but it is Christoph Waltz who steals the show as August.

Water for Elephants will entertain but there is nothing particularly special about the movie. The sense of spectacle of the circus is not replicated by the film itself.