Previews: X-Men: Apocalypse Clip, The Nice Guys and more

Lots in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including a X-Men: Apocalypse clip, Our Kind of Traitor, The Nice Guys and more…

X-Men: Apocalypse Clip

Here is the latest X-Men: Apocalypse clip. Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique watches Ben Hardy’s Angel take on Kodi Smitt-McPhee’s Nightcrawler in a cage fight. It is unclear where this fits in with the plot, but the 1980s setting looks fun. X-Men: Apocalypse is out in UK cinemas on 18th May 2016.

Our Kind of Traitor Featurette

The cast of Our Kind of Traitor discuss their roles in the film in this short featurette. Directed by Susanna White, the film is based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. Starring Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård, Naomie Harris, and Damian Lewis, Our Kind of Traitor is released on UK screens on 13th May 2016.

The Nice Guys Poster

The Nice Guys poster

Here is one of the new poster’s for Shane Black’s The Nice Guys. The film is set in the 1970s and revolves around a hired enforcer (Russell Crowe) and a private investigator (Ryan Gosling) teaming up to solve a case. Also starring Kim Basinger, The Nice Guys hits the big screen on 3rd June 2016.

The Neon Demon Trailer

The Neon Demon has a UK release date. Nicholas Winding Refn’s latest film will hit cinemas on 8th July 2016. The Neon Demon stars Elle Fanning as an aspiring model who moves to LA. Her youth is noted by a group beauty-obsessed women, desperate for what she has. The Neon Demon also stars Jena Malone, Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Out of the Shadows. A sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this new film features some familiar faces from the popular cartoon series. Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is out in UK cinemas on 30th May 2016.

The Shallows Trailer

Here is the trailer for upcoming thriller The Shallows. The film stars Blake Lively as a young woman who takes a surfing trip to a deserted beach. Only metres from shore, she is obstructed by a great white shark. The Shallows is scheduled for release in cinema in August 2016.

Film Review: The Big Short

The Big Short

Adam McKay’s The Big Short focuses on a very interesting subject matter. Although this may have functioned better as a documentary rather than a fiction film, The Big Short is still entertaining and informative.

Michael Burry, an eccentric hedge fund manager, is first to spot that the US housing market is built on a bubble that will explode. Others, such as jaded Mark Baum are told about the investment opportunity. With the big banks believing that the housing market will never fail,  it is the outsiders who are seen as the naysayers…

Directed and co-written by Adam McKay, The Big Short tells the story of the men who predicted the housing bubble crash and subsequent economic meltdown of 2008. The different narrative strands of the film sometimes entwine, but always head towards the same goal.

The roster of players that feature in the film include the insightful vanguard Michael Burry, the shrewd Jared Vennett, and the paranoid Ben Rickert. The film is an ensemble piece, slotting different elements of the history together. Some of the more prominent characters are given some backstory, but the focus remains on the affairs rather than the personnel.

Adam McKay makes something of a comedy out of what could have been rather dry source material. The tone of the film shifts from amusing to educational at varying points in the film. Although there are plenty of jokes, The Big Short attempts to stick to the condemnation of banking practices. In breaking the fourth wall, various narrators tell the audience that the depictions may not be accurate. Moreover, there are some amusing breaks in which well-known faces explain some of the financial jargon. This adds to the feel of the film lending itself to the documentary style. Christian Bale offers an excellent performance as Burry. Steve Carell is also on good form, and Charlie Geller and Finn Wittrock add enthusiasm in smaller roles. Ryan Gosling does a decent job as the unscrupulous narrator.

The Big Short is a film that will most likely be applauded for making the complicated comprehensible. The fact that it entertains as well is also worthy of praise.

Previews: The Legend of Tarzan trailer, TMNT2 and more!

An abundance of film trailers this week, including The Legend of Tarzan trailer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and more…

The Legend of Tarzan Trailer

The Legend of Tarzan trailer is here. Boasting a cast that includes Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robie, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, the film focuses on Tarzan later in life when he asked to be a trade emissary and travel to the Congo. The Legend of Tarzan bombards its way to cinema screens on 18th July 2016.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Trailer

For where is Krang? That’s what everyone wants to know. The trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is here, and features more of the characters from the much-loved cartoon series of the 1980s-1990s. The follow-up to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is released on 3rd June 2016.

Jane Got A Gun Trailer

Here is the trailer for Western Jane Got a Gun. The film stars Natalie Portman as a mother living on a ranch in New Mexico when her family is threatened by a gang of outlaws. Also starring Joel Edgerton and Ewan McGregor, Jane Got A Gun is set for release in Spring 2016.

The BFG Trailer

The BFG was never my favourite Roald Dahl book (after all, it didn’t revolve round a chocolate factory), but this new film adaptation looks to be a spectacle. Steven Spielberg directs the live-action film, with a cast that includes Mark Rylance, Rebecca Hall and Bill Hader. The BFG stomps its way onto screens on 22nd July 2016.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer

The full-length trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reveals quite a bit about the upcoming superhero movie. We get to see Clark Kent meeting Bruce Wayne, even if it may take some time getting used to seeing Ben Affleck in this role. There is also more of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and an appearance from another of the Justice League. Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released in cinemas in March 2016.

The Nice Guys Trailer

The Nice Guys sees the unlikely pairing of muscle for hire Russell Crowe and private eye Ryan Gosling team up to track down a missing girl. The film’s 1970s setting is instantly recognisable, from the costumes to the soundtrack. Also starring Kim Basinger and Matt Bomer, The Nice Guys will hit the big screen on 3rd June 2016.

Previews: Captain America: Civil War Trailer, Krampus and More!

Plenty to see this week, with the Captain America: Civil War trailer, a Krampus featurette, the latest Pride and Prejudice and Zombies poster and more…

Captain America: Civil War Trailer

Yesterday the Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped. From the looks of it, the film will continue with the tone of the excellent Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With a host of Avengers making an appearance in the new film, it looks continue on from events introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. No sign of Spider-Man yet, so roll on 29th April 2015.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Poster

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Here is the latest poster for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Based on the 2009 parody novel, the film stars Lily James, Sam Riley and Jack Huston. Featuring the characters from Jane Austen’s celebrated novel, the film is a period zombie flick. Pride and Prejudice and Zombie is out in UK cinemas on 12th February 2016.

Krampus Featurette

Krampus looks a bit insane, but a lot of fun. The above featurette explores the legend of Krampus, giving viewers a background to the creature featured in the upcoming film. Starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette, Krampus hits UK screens on 4th December 2015.

The Secret Life of Pets Teaser

Here is a little Christmas teaser for next year’s animated feature The Secret Life of Pets. The film concentrates on the lives of pets when their humans are away. With the voices of Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart, The Secret Life of Pets is set for release on 14th June 2016.

The Big Short Poster

The Big Short

Ooh, look at this cast. The Big Short is based on a true story about four outsiders in the finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the late 2000s. Starring Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, The Big Short is out in cinemas on 22nd January 2016.

The Other Side of the Door Trailer

Well this looks alarming. The Other Side of the Door is about a family who are able to use an ancient ritual to contact their young son who was killed in a tragic accident. The mother’s failure to adhere to the rules has horrifying consequences, as the above trailer demonstrates. The Other Side of the Door hits UK screens on 18th March 2016.

Central Intelligence Trailer

Central Intelligence is a new action comedy about a CIA agent who enlists the help of his high school best friend on a mission. The film certainly plays to the strengths of Dwayne Johnson in a larger-than-life role. Partnered by Kevin Hart, Central Intelligence is scheduled to open in UK cinemas on 1st July 2016.

Film Review: Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives

Nicolas Winding Refn’s revenge thriller Only God Forgives is a masterclass in immersive filmmaking.

Julian runs a boxing club, which is a front for a drug-smuggling operation. When Julian’s brother is killed, Julian is expected to find his killer and exact revenge. The pressure is heightened with the arrival of Julian’s mother, baying for blood…

Only God Forgives is light on both plot and dialogue. This coupled with the emphasis on style and atmospherics makes the film immediately comparable to Winding Refn’s last film Drive. The flimsiness of plot is not a problem, however, as any lack is compensated by the pervasive atmosphere.

There is a sense of tribalism to the whole of Only God Forgives. Themes of revenge and accountability reign supreme. Nicolas Winding Refn does not hand these to the audience on a plate. Exposition is limited in Only God Forgives; viewers are left to come to their own conclusions about characters and their motivations.

Whether intentionally or not, Only God Forgives appears unmistakably Lynchian. The cutting from violence to song and the blurred reality give the film a surreal edge. This is a big part of what makes Only God Forgives so absorbing.

The violence in the film exemplifies the barbarism of the story itself. Some of the most violent scenes are difficult to watch. This will not be a surprise to viewers who have seen Drive.

Only God Forgives is highly stylised. The art direction is fantastic, using a limited palette to offer memorable imagery. The use of red and artificial lighting is key to the whole appearance of the film. Composition is exemplary, and the direction is superb. Sound is also used to great effect, generating an uneasy and burgeoning atmosphere. Cliff Martinez’s score is great.

Performances are in-keeping with the overall style of the film. Ryan Gosling and Vithaya Pansringarm were obviously directed to maintain an expressionless countenance which mirrors the mood of proceedings. Kristin Scott Thomas is marvellous playing the grotesque Crystal.

Only God Forgives may frustrate a minority, but most will find the film engrossing and rewarding.

Trailer Round-Up

Plenty of new trailers this week, including The Call, The Frozen Ground,and Only God Forgives

The Call

Halle Berry plays an emergency call operator in The Call. Also starring Abigail Breslin, film looks like a fast-paced thriller, from the trailer at least. It at least serves as a warning to always keep your phone adequately charged. The Call is out in UK cinemas on 20th September 2013.

The Frozen Ground

Watching this trailer, it’s hard to believe that John Cusack is the same guy who was in Say Anything. The Frozen Ground is based on the true story of the hunt for a serial killer in Alaska. Also starring Nicolas Cage and Vanessa Hudgens, The Frozen Ground hits the big screen on 19th July 2013.

Only God Forgives

Here is the latest trailer for Only God Forgives. Kristin Scott Thomas is barely recognisable. And Nicolas Winding Refn really does seem to like neon. Starring Ryan Gosing, Only God Forgives is out in UK cinemas on 2nd August 2013.

Pacific Rim

Monsters! Robots! Action writ large! Pacific Rim (I can’t with this name) is Guillermo del Toro’s future-set action blockbuster. If gigantic monsters started popping out of the ocean, I think I would just hide under the bed. But perhaps this would not make for a very exciting film. Pacific Rim hits the big screen on 12th July 2013.

Runner Runner

Justin Timberlake plays a college student who pays for his tuition through online gambling in Runner Runner. In fairness, he could be a mature student. The film also stars Gemma Arterton and Ben Affleck,  in his second role since his Argo success. Runner Runner is out on 27th September 2013.

Hawking

Hawking is a new documentary on the life of the most famous living scientist in the world, Stephen Hawking. His fame seems to concentrate on his work as a physicist and his disability, so perhaps this film is an opportune chance to discover more about the renowned scientist. Hawking is released on 20th September 2013.

Stuff To Look At

Posters and trailers for some of the summer’s most anticipated releases here, including Only God Forgives, Elysium, and Kick-Ass 2

Only God Forgives

One of the most anticipated films of the year, Only God Forgives reunites Ryan Gosling with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. Also starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Only God Forgives hits UK screens on 2nd August 2013.

The Counsellor

I think ‘star-studded’ is the correct term with which to describe The Councellor. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Brad Pitt, The Counsellor  is due for release later this year.

Elysium

Here is the latest trailer for future-set blockbuster Elysium. The film, which stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, offers a dytopian vision of Earth, with its inhabits trying to get to a perfect planet. Elysium is released in UK cinemas on 23rd August 2013.

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass 2 has been in the news thanks to Jim Carrey’s recent comments. I don’t think this bit of publicity will hurt the film’s box office chances too much. Kick-Ass 2 hits UK screens on 14th August 2013.

The Conjuring

Here is the latest trailer for horror The Conjuring. I tend to find a lot of recent horror films quite disappointing in their ability to scare. I hope The Conjuring will do the trick. The film is out in UK cinemas on 2nd August 2013.

Rush

Above is a featurette for upcoming biopic Rush. The film focuses on Formula 1 rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Rush is released on 13th September 2013.

Film Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines

Derek Cianfrance’s crime drama The Place Beyond The Pines is utterly compelling.

Luke is a motorcycle stunt driver who performs in a travelling show. When he returns to Schenectady, New York, he aims to reconnect with former lover Romina, who has secretly had his child. Luke’s means of providing for them will have monumental consequences to the lives of several people…

The Place Beyond The Pines ticks all the boxes in terms of being well crafted, well acted, well paced and aesthetically pleasing. Despite a running time that nudges towards two and a half hours, Derek Cianfrance’s film engages the viewer for its entire duration. The narrative progresses in a way which one may not expect, having viewed the trailer. Nonetheless, this is by no means a bad thing. The Place Beyond The Pines covers a significant timeframe, but one that evolves at a suitable pace.

Thematically, The Place Beyond The Pines is circular. The film focuses on the areas of crime, culpability, guilt and pre-destination. This themes are played out in a way which is believable. They are revisited in the film; with a feeling that some of the issues have come full circle. Cianfrance does not depict these themes as black and white, and the film is much stronger for this.

The Place Beyond The Pines is beautifully shot. Frenetic camera work, with lots of movement and a high cutting rate, is combined with slower, pensive shots. The thought that has gone into the look of the film is abundantly clear. The Place Beyond The Pines also boasts an impressive soundtrack. Ryan Gosling offers a convincing performance as Luke. Bradley Cooper is solid as Avery. Eva Mendes and Dane DeHaan are suitably cast in their respective roles.

The Place Beyond The Pines is a fantastic follow-up to Blue Valentine, and highly recommended viewing.

Stuff To Look At

Some trailers, some posters and details on the End of Watch tweet-along…

End of Watch Tweet-Along

To celebrate the release of End of Watch on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday 18th March 2013, a tweet-along event has been organised. Those who buy copies of the film are invited to take part on Twitter, starting the film at 8pm GMT, using the hashtag #WatchYourSix. I have know idea what this refers to (I haven’t seen End of Watch yet) so don’t spoil it for me!

The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines

Oh look, here’s a poster for upcoming crime drama The Place Beyond The Pines. I have heard good things about this film, so I am really looking forward to it. Starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes, The Place Beyond The Pines hits UK screens on 12th April 2013.

A Late Quartet

A Late Quartet

I have seen A Late Quartet and I can report it is a good film (review to follow). With an enviable cast which includes Christopher Walken and Philip Seymour Hoffman, A Late Quartet is a drama about the lives of a string quartet. The film is released in cinemas on 5th April 2013.

The Hangover Part III

For the third and final instalment of The Hangover series, the gang return to where it all started – Las Vegas. I really enjoyed the first film but was not a big fan of the second, so I am hoping this third film will be a return to form. The Hangover Part III is out in UK cinemas on 24th May 2013.

Papadopoulos and Sons

Papadopoulos and Sons is a British comedy drama about two brothers re-opening the fish and chip shop they ran in their youth. This film stars Stephen Dillane and his son Frank Dillane as father and son. Papadopoulos and Sons has a limited UK cinema release from 5th April 2013.

Trailer Round-Up

While the Oscar-nominated films may already be out or due for imminent release, there are plenty of films still to look forward to this year…

Trance

Following 2010’s immensely tense 127 Hours, Danny Boyle returns with Trance. The film is a psychological thriller featuring an art auctioneer, a missing painting, a hypnotherapist and a criminal gang. Starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, Trance is released in UK cinemas on 27th March 2013.

To The Wonder

As the above trailer exhibits, To The Wonder is teeming with the kind of beautiful images we have come to expect from director Terrence Malick. Starring Ben Affleck as a man torn between Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams, To The Wonder is released on 22nd February 2013.

Sammy’s Great Escape

Sammy does not seem to have aged a day! Sammy’s Great Escape appears to be the sequel to A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures. The first film had a definite environmentalist angle, so it will be interesting to see the spin of this new film. Sammy’s Great Escape is in UK cinemas from 15th February 2013.

The Place Beyond The Pines

Ryan Gosling reunites with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance in The Place Beyond The Pines. The crime drama features an all-star cast including Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper and Ray Liotta. The Place Beyond The Pines is released in UK cinemas on 12th April 2013.