Stuff To Look At

Plenty of aural-visual delights this week, including The Babadook, Dracula Untold and Serena. And the new trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Here is the official trailer for the first part of the final instalment of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. The trailer reveals a little more about the plot, and shows Katniss in full-on action mode. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is released in UK cinemas on 20th November 2014.

The Babadook

The Babadook poster

I saw a trailer for The Babadook recently, and thought that it looked pretty terrifying. The quotes on this poster for the film appear to cement this opinion. Horror The Babadook hits the big screen on 24th October 2014.

Dracula Untold

Here is a clip from the upcoming Dracula Untold. The film is an origins story of the man who became the legenedary vampire. Starring Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper, Dracula Untold hits the big screen on 3rd October 2014.


Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence reunite in Susanne Bier’s Serena. Cooper and Lawrence star as a newly wed couple in the 1920s who build a timber empire. Serena is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival and is released in cinemas on 24th October 2014.

Effie Gray

Here is a trailer for Effie Gray. Starring Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson. the film tells the story of the marriage between Victorian art critic John Ruskin and his young bride. Effie Gray is out in cinemas on 10th October 2014.

The Judge

Robert Downey Jr. leads an all-star cast in The Judge. The film is about a city lawyer who returns to his hometown where his father, the town judge, is suspected of murder. The Judge is released in UK cinemas on 17th October 2014.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT Nicolas Delort

To celebrate the upcoming release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Paramount commissioned artists across the world to make artworks based on the origins of the turtles called ‘The Legend of the Yokai‘. One of my favourites is the the one by Nicolas Delort. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is released in UK cinemas on 17th October 2014.


I don’t know exactly what this film is about, where the story will go, or why it has been made, but there is a singing volcano! And that is fine by me. Above is a short clip of Pixar’s Lava, which is scheduled for release in the UK in July 2015.

Draft Day

Draft Day is set on, as the title suggests, the day of the NFL draft. Starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, the film is about the manager of an American football team and the decisions he makes on that day. But really, the reason to see this film is that Frank Langella (aka Skeletor) is in it. Draft Day is set for release on 3rd October 2014.

Film Review: In a Better World

Oscar-winner In a Better World finally gets a UK release. The film is an absorbing drama that boasts excellent writing and directing.

Anton is a doctor who works in an African refugee camp, and commutes to his family home in Denmark. Anton and his wife are separated, while son Elias is bullied at school. Elias is befriended by new boy Christian, who has moved from London with his father following his mother’s passing. Elias and Christian bond quickly, but it is clear the latter is troubled by his mother’s death. This leads the boys into very dangerous territory…

Director Susanne Bier has carefully crafted the picture to produce a well-balanced and engaging film. The different narrative strands are developed sufficiently; there does not seem to be a hierarchy here. When some films feature a number of different strands, secondary narratives often are not given the necessary attention, or seem to be included to pad the film out. This is not the case with In a Better World, as each character and story is given due care and shows depth.

The storytelling in the film is superb. There is just the right amount of tension and drama. The intention of In a Better World does not seem to be to shock the audience, though this is can be a consequence of the unfolding drama. There is some catharsis in the actions of certain characters, however this is usually short-lived. The film seems to provoke reflection above any stronger emotion.

Bier’s film deals with some serious issues. Most prominent of these is violence, which appears in the different strands. What is refreshing about In a Better World is the tact that it takes in regards to this issue. The film does not patronise viewers. It does not judge the characters overly, or indicate too strongly about the opinion the audience should take.

In a Better World has a very natural quality to its visuals. There is a strong contrast between the two hospitals depicted in the film. The suggestion here is that these two separate world still have the similar issues despite their different contexts.

The acting in the film is pretty much faultless all round. William Jøhnk Juels Nielsen stands out in particular as Christian. Nielsen shows a remarkable presence for such a young actor. Mikael Persbrandt is also great as Anton.

In a Better World is well-executed film that is likely to stay with viewers even after the credits have rolled.