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.

Previews: Criminal Trailer, Julieta and More!

A host of film-related goodness in this week’s previews, including the Criminal trailer, Julieta, The Purge: Election Year and more…

Criminal Trailer

Here is the new Criminal trailer. The film features an enviable cast that includes Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones. Criminal revolves around death-row inmate Costner, who is implanted with the memories and skills of CIA operative Reynolds. The film will hot the big screen on 15th April 2016.

Julieta Trailer

Here is the trailer for Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film Julieta. The film centres on Julieta, a 55-year-old teacher who writes a confessional letter to her estranged adult daughter. The films seems to lack the comedy of Almodóvar’s other recent efforts; it seems a more reflective affair. Julieta is set for release in UK cinemas in August 2016.

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates Poster

Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates is the latest Zac Efron comedy. The film stars Efrom and Adam Devine as brothers who are required to bring dates to their sister’s wedding. Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick may look the part, but they are after a free trip to Hawaii. Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates is set for release on 12th August 2016.

Our Kind of Traitor Trailer

Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harries star as a British couple who meet a charismatic Russian money launderer on holiday. Based on the John Le Carré novel, the film also stars Stellan Skarsgård and Damian Lewis. Directed by the acclaimed Susanna White, Our Kind of Traitor will be released in cinemas on 6th May 2016.

The Purge: Election Year Trailer

The third instalment of the franchise, The Purge: Election Year sees the return of Frank Grillo’s character. In this film, he must protect a senator who has publicly spoken about her intention to end the annual purge event. The Purge: Election Year bounds onto UK screens on 15th July 2016.

Stuff To Look At

Here lies the brand new Interstellar trailer, plus Cinderella, Transformers: Age of Extinction, A Million Ways to Die in the West and more…

Interstellar

Here is the latest Interstellar trailer. Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. Interstellar will be released in the UK on 7th November 2014.

Cinderella

Hot on the tails of the upcoming Maleficent, another Disney classic is given the live-action treatment. Starring Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgård and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by Kenneth Branagh, This teaser does not reveal much, except an awfully shiny glass slipper. I always thought glass shoes would be incredibly painful to walk in, yet Cinderella dances the night away in hers. Anyway, Cinderella is set for release on 3rd April 2015.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Here is the latest trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction. The most important thing you will see occurs in the last twenty seconds. Dinobots! Starring Marky Mark, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer, although the humans are decidedly less important than the robots in disguise. Transformers: Age of Extinction hits UK screens on 10th July 2014.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Above is a clip from the upcoming comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West. Without context, the clip seems only to offer a glimpse into the character of Albert, played by Seth MacFarlane, who also directs, produces and co-writes the film. A Million Ways to Die in the West is released in cinemas on 30th May 2014.

22 Jump Street

Here is a new clip from 21 Jump Street sequel 22 Jump Street. The film sees Schmidt and Jenko head to college. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum had good chemistry in the first film, which will hopefully be replicated here. 22 Jump Street hits UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I saw this trailer in Imax a few days ago, and it looks mighty impressive on the big screen. The follow-up to the 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes stars Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke. I am hoping for flashback sequences of baby Cesar, although great action will do just fine. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is released on 17th July 2014.

Summer of Cinema

Here is a compilation of all the big films that are being released this summer, from the Film Distributors’ Association. I didn’t recognise all of them, but there are some exciting films to come this season. If you can’t get enough of trailer compilations, I suggest you check out this blockbuster one by AMONymous.

Film Review: Nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac

Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac is absorbing, amusing and though-provoking cinema. Behind the rodomontade of controversy, Nymphomaniac is an excellent film.

Seligman finds Joe injured on the streets as he returns to his apartment. Inviting her in to recuperate, self-confessed nymphomaniac Joe begins to tell Seligman her story…

Nymphomaniac Volume I and Volume II are engrossing films best viewed in quick succession. The narrative framing device allows for effective storytelling. Both the storyteller Joe and her listener Seligman are interesting characters. Both bring something compelling to proceedings.

Lars von Trier’s writing in Nymphomaniac is superb. The film works as a straightforward recollection of events. In this way, it is both entertaining and reflective. Notwithstanding, with the addition of other elements, von Trier’s film delivers more. Bringing religion, mythology and mathematics in to embellish the tale adds an extra layer of depth. The interruptions of Seligman (surely a reference to the psychologist rather than a coincidence) are both humorous and insightful.

Much has been made of the prurience of this film, stoked to a certain extent by Nymphomaniac‘s memorable marketing. Whilst the film is very explicit, it is not erotic. The draw here is how the story will unfold. Volume I departs with enough of a hook to reel viewers in for the second part.

Lars von Trier makes the most of nature, as he has done in previous films. Familiar preoccupations of the writer-director are also visible here, with no less potency. Direction is thoughtful, whilst references show a level of sophistication. The use of Rammstein in the film’s opening provides a blistering introduction.

Ultimately, Nymphomaniac is an unequivocally feminist piece. That it uses explicit imagery to tell its story does not negate from the importance or strength of overall message. To a certain extent, the film acts as a riposte to criticism of Antichrist.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is most believable as Joe, as is Stacy Martin as her younger counterpart. Stellan Skarsgård is excellent, whilst Christian Slater and Jamie Bell great. Uma Thurman delivers a star turn in a small role. Shia LaBeouf is less convincing with an erratic accent and hesitant performance.

The protagonists in the film are drawn so well that the shift in these characters is subtle and credible. When the cataclysmic finale arises it is paradoxically shocking and cogent.

Nymphomaniac certainly isn’t for everyone. Nevertheless, the film proves to be provocative and entertaining viewing.

Nymphomaniac Volume I and Volume II are being screened back to back in UK cinemas for one evening only, on Saturday 22nd February 2014.

Film Review: King of Devil’s Island

Based on true events, King of Devil’s Island has a slow start. Nevertheless, the film picks up, and the final third is great.

On the island of Bastoy, a home for delinquent boys is run by a strict principal and his staff. The regime is cruel and rigid, with the young boys being forced to work long hours in the cold Norwegian winter. When teenager Erling arrives, he quickly rebels against the rules and dicipline enforced by the staff…

King of Devil’s Island is based on real events. The tale is sad, but an entirely believable one. There is nothing that takes place during the course of the film that appears implausible. Nonetheless, certain scenes are difficult to watch, as they illustrate some awful treatment.

The pacing of Marius Holst’s film is a little off. King of Devil’s Island suffers from a slow start, where it might easily lose viewers. Thankfully, the film recovers from this. The final third is wholly engaging, and makes up for the initial half hour or so. The build to the climax works well to maintain the viewer’s attention. King of Devil’s Island is a slow burner, but one that becomes engrossing.

Holst’s film does well to maintain a bleak atmosphere throughout. There is a sense of coldness and of brutality that engenders the entire film. The cinematography and setting are responsible for a great deal of this tone. The expanse of the landscape is depicted through long shots; viewers are frequently reminded of how isolated the boys are. Moreover, the danger of escape is emphasised by the unforgiving location.

King of Devil’s Island offers good performances from its cast. Benjamin Helstad and Trond Nilssen deliver solid performances respectively as Erling and Olav. Stellan Skarsgård meanwhile is well cast as the principal.

Owing to its bleakness, King of Devil’s Island will not suit every mood. However, the final third makes it well worth viewing.