Previews: Hellboy Trailer, Pain and Glory, More!

A profusion of films in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Hellboy trailer, Pain and Glory, Mid90s and more…

Hellboy Trailer

Above is the brand new Hellboy trailer. The film is set in England, where the title character has to take on an ancient sorceress. Hellboy stars David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Daniel Dae Kim, and Sasha Lane. The film hits UK screens on 11th April 2019.

Pain and Glory Trailer

Pain and Glory is the latest film from Pedro Almodóvar. The veteran filmmaker’s latest is about a film director in decline as he experiences a number of encounters from his past. With a cast that includes Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, Pain and Glory will be released in UK cinemas on 23rd August 2019.

Little Trailer

Here is the trailer for Little. The film is a reversal of the Big/13 Going on 30 bodyswap comedy, with the adult being the one who returns to childhood. Little is based on an idea by Marsai Martin, who stars alongside Regina Hall and Issa Rae. The film is directed by Tina Gordon, with a screenplay by Tracy Oliver and Gordon. Little is out at UK cinemas on 12th April 2019.

Rocketman Trailer

Taron Egerton plays Elton John in this new Rocketman trailer. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film is a biopic of the legendary singer. Egerton has recorded some of Elton John’s most famous songs for the film, which counts John among the executive producers. Rocketman will hit UK cinemas in May 2019.

Mid90s Trailer

Here is the trailer for Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s. Hill also wrote the film, which is a coming of age tale about a young boy in 1990s Los Angeles. The film stars Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterston, and Lucas Hedges. Mid90s will be released on UK screens on 12th April 2019.

The Curse of La Llorona Poster

The Curse of La Llorona is a new horror about a weeping woman caught between heaven and hell. The film counts James Wan among its producers, and is the directorial debut of Michael Chaves. The Curse of La Llorona is set for release on 3rd May 2019.

Lords of Chaos Trailer

Lords of Chaos has been getting rave reviews, as well as some notoriety for how graphic it is. The film tells the semi-true story of the birth of Norwegian black metal with the band Mayhem. Starring Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, and Sky Ferreira, Lords of Chaos will hit UK screens on 29th March 2019.

Under the Silver Lake Trailer

Under The Silver Lake is the new film from writer-director David Robert Mitchell (It Follows). The film stars Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough. The film is a neo-noir about a man who discovers a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment complex’s pool. Under the Silver Lake will be released at cinemas and on Mubi from 15th March 2019.

Film Review: Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky is a very entertaining heist comedy. The directing, writing, acting, and overall energy make for a most enjoyable watch.

Having lost his construction job, and with his wealthy ex-wife wanting to relocate with his daughter, Jimmy Logan is down on his luck. His brother Clyde believes in a family curse, but Jimmy wants to prove everyone wrong with an audacious heist…

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Rebecca Blunt (believed to be an alias for the real writer), Logan Lucky is a crowd pleaser of a film. The caper is littered with amusing set ups, characters, and dialogue.

The central plot of Logan Lucky is not particularly original. There are definite parallels with Soderbergh’s earlier Ocean’s Eleven. Although there are some smart manoeuvres, these are never groundbreaking. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the overall enjoyment, as Soderbergh’s latest has so much going for it. The characters are well drawn; the protagonists are very quickly established without laboursome character development. Supporting characters are amusing, and go well beyond serving their narrative purposes.

Soderbergh’s film is set in the South West of the United States, and this setting plays a prominent role. Along with a notable soundtrack song, the film depicts a region not often portrayed in Hollywood films. Soderbergh strikes a good balance between creating a fun tone and having characters which appear authentic. The film’s working class protagonists are certainly ones to root for, even if their actions fall foul of the law.

Channing Tatum delivers a convincing performance as Jimmy. He is ably assisted by Adam Driver’s Clyde. Daniel Craig seems to be having a lot of fun as Joe Bang, whilst Riley Keough is great as Mellie. Farrah Mackenzie shines as young Sadie.

Logan Lucky is just the sort of fun caper that the Summer season needs. A welcome return for Steven Soderbergh.

Film Review: American Honey

American Honey

American Honey is a new American road movie. Andrea Arnold proves once more why she is such an exciting director.

Hoping to escape her less than ideal life, teenager Star joins a travelling magazine sales crew. As they travel across the Midwest, Star gets caught up in the partying and the nomadic lifestyle…

Writer-director Andrea Arnold’s American Honey combines aspects of a traditional road movie with a contemporary outlook. The film marries a throwback style with an unappealing reality. Star is a protagonist that viewers will get behind, even if some of her choices are questionable.

Opening on an average day for Star, the film immediately paints a less than ideal picture. This is not the story of a girl wanting an escape from her mundane existence. American Honey is darker than this; a theme that pervades the entire film. Viewers will sympathise with Star, and later will likely feel tense at the situations she gets herself into.

As the film progresses, the lifestyle of the characters becomes repetitive. Arnold is making a point here; it is not a envious lifestyle of these young adults, but it is better than where they have come from. The interactions seem natural, particularly the camaraderie on the road. Arnold depicts a range of characters, without delving to far beyond the main players. Nevertheless, she offers enough for viewers to feel familiar with the group. Krystal is also a strong character – a Fagin of sorts who both looks after and exploits her charges. Jake is a wildcard, likeable in his demeanour yet unreliable in his motives.

A very telling aspect of American Honey is the scenes in which the main characters talk about dreams. Their fantasies are so simple, yet not so attainable. This exemplifies the new American dream; not a life of riches and comfort but simply a space to live a normal life. Arnold captures this shift perfectly.

American Honey has one of the best soundtracks of the year. The camera work is both intimate and energetic. The handheld camera, in the van in particular, gives a strong sense of the lifestyle. Sasha Lane is very believable as Star. Riley Keough is also good as Krystal. Shia LeBoeuf brings a manic energy to Jake that viewers will have seen before. This suits the role, however.

American Honey is in its own way thought-provoking, sweet, and disturbing. A worthwhile watch.

American Honey is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2016.

BFI London Film Festival 2016 Launch

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.

Headline Galas

The Birth of a Nation

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, Arrival and 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

The Handmaiden

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.

Official Competition

My Life As A Courgette

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.

Strands

The Salesman

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.

I Am Not A Serial Killer

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.