Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Ad Astra poster, The Current War, Pain And Glory, and more…
Ad Astra Poster
Here is the brand new Ad Astra poster. The film, directed by James Gray, is about an astronaut who travels to the edge of the solar system to find his missing father. Brad Pitt heads the cast, and is joined by Tommy Lee Jones and Ruth Negga. Ad Astra launches onto UK screens on 18th September 2019.
The Current War Trailer
Above is the trailer for the forthcoming The Current War. Set in the late 19th century, the film is about the rivalry between Thomas Edison and entrepreneur George Westinghouse. The enviable cast includes Michael Shannon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Katherine Waterston, Nicholas Hoult, and Tom Holland. Counting Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, The Current War hits UK cinemas on 26th July 2019.
Pain And Glory Trailer
Here is the latest trailer for Pain And Glory. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar (The Skin I Live In, I’m So Excited), the film is about an ageing film director and a series of re-encounters. The film, which stars Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, will be released in UK cinemas on 23rd August 2019.
21 Bridges Poster
21 Bridges is an upcoming thriller with quite a cast. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch, Stephan James, and J.K. Simmons. 21 Bridges is a thriller about a New York detective involved in a city-wide manhunt for a pair of cop killers. The film is set for release in UK cinemas on 27th September 2019.
BFI August Season
There is plenty to look forward to at the BFI Southbank this August, leading with a season of Cary Grant films. Classics such as The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, and Notorious will be screened in August. Other highlights include a preview of Pain And Glory and a Q&A with Pedro Almodóvar, and a preview of Netflix’s upcoming The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance television series. More details of the full programme can be found here.
Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Mother! poster, Wind River, IT and more…
Here is the latest Mother! poster. The upcoming horror movie is written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Michelle Pfeiffer. A teaser trailer can be viewed here. Mother! will be screened at Venice Film Festival, and will hit UK cinemas on 15th September 2017.
Above is the first full trailer for the upcoming adaptation of IT. The footage gives us a proper look at Pennywise. Based of Stephen King’s best-selling novel, the film is directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama). The story follows a group of children in a town called Derry, where children have been disappearing. IT will be released on UK screens on 8th September 2017.
Wind River Poster
Wind River is about a U.S. fish and wildlife agent who joins a rookie FBI agent to solve a murder on an Indian reservation. The film stars Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, and Jon Bernthal. Wind River will be released in UK cinemas on 8th September 2017.
Here is the new trailer for Flatliners. The film seems to be a part remake, part sequel to the 1990 film. This new version stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna, and Nina Dobrev. The film is about a group of medical students who decide to trigger near-death experiences. Flatliners will hit UK cinemas on 29th September 2017.
American Assassin Poster
Here is the latest poster for upcoming action thriller American Assassin. The film is about a Black ops recruit under the instruction of a Cold War veteran. The pair are asked to investigate a wave of attacks. The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, and Taylor Kitsch. American Assassin will be released on UK screens on 14th September 2017.
Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Darkest Hour trailer, Dunkirk, American Assassin, and more…
Darkest Hour Trailer
Gary Oldman once again proves his chameleon credentials in this new Darkest Hour trailer. Oldman stars as Winston Churchill as he becomes prime minister days before Britain enters World War II. The film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James, and is directed by Joe Wright (Pan, Hanna). Darkest Hour is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on 12th January 2018.
Dunkirk World Premiere Highlights
Here are the highlights from last night’s world premiere of Dunkirk in London’s Leicester Square. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film stars Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy. Dunkirk will be released in both 70mm and standard presentation on 21st July 2017.
American Assassin Trailer
Here is the second trailer for American Assassin. The presence of Michael Keaton just makes everything better. The film is about a CIA black ops recruit under the training of a Cold War veteran. Keaton is joined by Dylan O’Brien, Taylor Kitsch, and Sanaa Lathan. American Assassin hits UK screens on 15th September 2017.
Atomic Blonde Featurette
This featurette focuses on Atomic Blonde‘s stunt coordination, and Charlize Theron considerable skill in this department. Theron stars as a lethal assassin sent to deliver a priceless dossier in 1980s Berlin. Also starring James McAvoy and John Goodman, Atomic Blonde is out in UK cinemas on 9th August 2017.
Here is the poster for Maudie. Based on a true story, the film is about an unlikely romance between a folk artist and a reclusive fish peddler. The film stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, and is directed by Aisling Walsh. Maudie will be released in UK cinemas on 4th August 2017.
Above is the latest look at Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. If nothing else, the film will be a visual feast. Directed by Luc Besson, the film stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. Valerian will hit UK screens on 2nd August 2017.
Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the latest The Beguiled trailer, Baywatch, Alien: Covenant, and more…
The Beguiled Trailer
Here is the latest The Beguiled trailer. The film is from writer-director Sofia Coppola, and is based on the novel of the same name. The novel was made into a film starring Clint Eastwood in 1971. Coppola’s version stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning. The Beguiled will be released in UK cinemas on 14th July 2017.
Alien: Covenant Crew Message
The marketing team behind Alien: Covenant are being astute at feeding viewers information before the film is released. Like the earlier clip of the crew socialising, this video reveals a bit more about one of the personalities in advance of the film’s release. Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien: Covenant hits UK screens on 12th May 2017.
Here is the latest Baywatch poster. Based on the beloved nineties television series, the action-comedy stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, and Alexandra Daddario. If the original theme isn’t featured heavily in the film, the filmmakers are missing a hell of a trick. Baywatch launches onto UK screens on 29th May 2017.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle Quick Peek
Here is a super speedy look at Kingsman: The Golden Circle. The film is a sequel to the 2015 hit Kingsman: The Secret Service, and sees the return of Taron Egerton and Colin Firth. They are joined by Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and Channing Tatum. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is scheduled for release in UK cinemas in September 2017.
American Assassin Trailer
Here is the first trailer for American Assassin. The film is based on the best-selling book of the same name, the film is about a CIA Black Ops recruit. It stars Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, and Taylor Kitsch. American Assassin hits UK cinemas on 15th September 2017.
The Red Turtle Trailer
The Red Turtle is the latest Studio Ghibli film. The animated film tells the story of a man shipwrecked on an island inhabited by turtles. The film is the feature debut of director Michael Dudok de WitMichael Dudok de Wit, who is known for his animated shorts. The Red Turtle will be released in cinemas on 26th May 2016.
With the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron last week, superhero movie season has just begun.Back in the late 1970-mid-1990s era, audiences were lucky to get one big comic book adaptation a year. Now, this is the tentpole genre, with several new superhero movies being released each year. Both Marvel and DC Movies have revealed a busy slate for the coming years. The reality is, however, that the new superhero hero movies are unlikely to be ‘new’ at all, with the plethora of remakes, spin-offs and reboots that are due to come out in the next few years.
New Superhero Movies
There are in fact some new superhero movies set for release – that is to say films that feature characters or concepts that have not been depicted on the big screen before. These include…
Marvel’s next cinematic release is Ant-Man, which hits the big screen on 17th July 2015. Despite not being one of Marvel’s better-known superheroes, Ant-Man first appeared in comics in the early 1960s. Not carrying the same exposure in other media as some other Marvel title characters, it will be interesting to see how Ant-Man fairs with audiences. Nevertheless, Guardians of the Galaxywas not harmed by a lack of mainstream audience consciousness.
Director David Ayer has been teasing fans will glimpses of the film on his Twitter account. Although some of the characters have appeared in feature films before (notably the Joker and Lex Luthor), Suicide Squad is classed as one of the new superhero movies because the story of this group has not previously been depicted on the big screen.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the lead role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The sorcerer first appeared in marvel comics in 1963. The film, which is set for release on 28th October 2016 in the UK, appears to be an origins story. Which is just as well, given that the superhero is not one of Marvel’s most popular characters.
Although there has been a television film (aired in 1974), as well as the famous television series, Wonder Woman has never starred in her own feature film. Perhaps the most iconic of all female superheroes, Wonder Woman will finally take centre stage in her own cinematic release on 23rd June 2017.
This category occupies the majority of forthcoming releases in the comic book adaptation genre. Many of the new superhero movies are sequels to films released in the last few years, including…
Ryan Reynolds reprises his role (from 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as the Marvel antihero in Deadpool. It is unclear how much of a crossover there will be with the X-Men series of films. But with the star power of Reynolds and the lure of a R-rating in the US, Deadpool is sure to bring in audiences when it is released on 12th February 2016.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
One of the most anticipated movies of 2016, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel and seemingly a precursor to DC’s forthcoming The Justice League Part 1 and 2. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will offer viewers their first look at Ben Affleck as Batman when it is released on 25th March 2016.
Captain America: Civil War
2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of the best Marvel films thus far, so expectations are high for its sequel. The film will feature a host of Avengers’ characters, including Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye. It seems to be the closest fix to an Avengers movie until 2018, when Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is released. Captain America: Civil War will hit the big screen on 29th April 2016.
The follow-up to 201’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse sees the return of director Bryan Singer. The film reintroduces a number of characters viewers of the first film series will be familiar with. This time they appear as younger versions, including Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler (pictured above). X-Men: Apocalypse will be released on 19th May 2016.
Another off-shoot of the X-Men franchise, the character is the subject of his own film when Gambit is released on 7th October 2016. This time around, the character is played by Channing Tatum, following Taylor Kitsch’s turn in the role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It has been reported this week that the character may not make an appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse, making it unclear whether Gambit is a sequel that relates to this world, or is a reboot of the character from the 2009 film.
The third-standalone Wolverine film is set for release on 2nd March 2017. Star Hugh Jackman indicated on his Instagram account that this would be the last time he would play the role. Little is known about the plot of the film; it does not yet have an official title. Perhaps the three X-Men film released before Wolverine 3 will have some impact in shaping the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
A cinematic adaption one of Marvel’s less-popular franchises, 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge worldwide hit. The sequel, when it is released on 28th April 2017, has a lot to live up to. At the moment, it is unclear whether there’ll be any crossover with the Avengers universe, although one of Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘s stars hopes this will be the case.
There are two clear superhero reboots scheduled for release in the next two years, although some of the above films may fall into this category. Audiences can look forward to seeing new versions of…
The 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel were hardly great fan favourites, so there does not seem to be a great deal of upset at the reboot of the Marvel franchise. What is promising about this new version is the cast, which includes Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. With a 2017 sequel already planned, Fantastic Four hits the big screen on 6th August 2015.
Yes a Spider-Man reboot has already been done, with the sequel to that reboot only being released last year. However a new reboot is scheduled for release in 2017, with a number of actors being discussed for the lead role. Although not much is known about this new film at the moment, Spider-Man will appear in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
This is not the last of this swath of new superhero movies, with both Marvel and DC planning a slate that will continue until at least 2020. These include standalone films for Aquaman and Black Panther, sequels for Thor and others, and reboots such as Green Lantern. After Marvel’s recent dominance of the superhero genre, it will be interesting to see whether DC can regain some of their earlier magic. Despite the apocalyptic action depicted in the films, this is where the real battle lies.
Peter Berg’s rendition of a true story is brutally violent. Lone Survivor is a surprising survival story, but not a wholly compelling one.
Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal, is part of a small team on a mission to capture al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd. When they encounter an unexpected obstacle, the team are left to fight for their lives…
There is no escaping the fact that Lone Survivor is an incredibly military heavy film. Peter Berg’s latest is in the same vein as the director’s last film Battleship. Lone Survivor is littered with military language, that presumably intends to convey a sense of realism.
The film concentrates on the mission of four soldiers and the outcome that ensues when they are forced to make a pivotal decision. Viewers are not given much to get their teeth into in terms of the antagonist they are attempting to capture. Instead, Lone Survivor concentrates on what happens to these soldiers, with Marcus Luttrell at the centre of the action. The film would have felt more rounded if they audience were offered some background on his helpers later in the film, rather than a brief mention prior to the end credits.
This is just one aspect that makes Lone Survivor unequivocally pro-American military. Berg’s film has a similar feel to Act of Valour. There is no real space for alternative interpretation; Lone Survivor lacks the nuance to question US army actions, eschewing a balanced approach in favour of a categorical endorsement of the American military. The sequence of images before the end credits feel like a cynical ploy to draw emotion rather than the sincere tribute it should have been. This segment would have been more effective if it was shorter.
The handheld camera works well in the action sequences, but feels unnecessary in early scenes. The sound in Lone Survivor is used to great effect. Mark Wahlberg offers a competent performance as Luttrell, but it is the type of performance he has delivered before. Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster provide good support.
Lone Survivor will appeal to those who enjoy depictions of contemporary military combat. Other viewers may not be quite so enthralled.
Oliver Stone’s Savages does not feel like an Oliver Stone film. That is not to say that it is a bad film, but merely that it feels like a departure from the director’s best known work.
Best friends Ben and Chon live in Laguna Beach with their girlfriend O, and are known for growing a potent strain of marijuana. When a Mexican cartel wants to move into their territory, the pair are not keen to a make a deal. Ben and Chon are forced into a perilous position when the cartel threatens the thing they both love…
Savages is a crime thriller that remains light for the most part. The film never gives the impression that it is taking itself too seriously. And because of this, it is an enjoyable watch. The pacing of the film accelerates appropriately, although the running time could have been trimmed.
The most striking element of Savages is that it bears little resemblance to earlier Oliver Stone films. Based on Don Winslow’s novel, Stone is also one of the screenplay writers. Yet it feels almost whimsical; a far cry from the weighty drama of JFK or the socio-economic commentary of Wall Street. It is as if Oliver Stone has taken a holiday, brushing aside more serious concerns for a thriller with a tongue-in-cheek attitude.
Much of the lightness is garnered from the dialogue. Savages is narrated by O, whose delivery is inconsequential. Given her age, background and location, this is not surprising. Nevertheless, the dialogue negates any illusions of Savages being a serious crime thriller. At times the film feels more Sweet Valley High than anything else. This is not really a bad thing.
There is some commentary to be found in Savages, regarding the legalisation of marijuana. This takes on an overt appearance, rather than being subtly hinted at. However, this message is delivered concisely, leaving the rest of the film to get on with its purpose of entertaining the viewer.
The villains in Savages are portrayed in a caricature manner, which makes them most enjoyable to watch. Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro appear to revel in their roles, offering amusingly over the top characters. Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch meanwhile are well cast in their straight roles.
Savages may not be to everyone’s taste, but those prepared for the lightness should be entertained. Fans of Stone’s more hard-hitting work may be bemused.
This week’s pick of trailers include horror movie Silent House, the George Lucas-produced Red Tails and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted.
Savages combines a number of enticing elements. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film is based on Don Winslow’s best-selling crime novel. Savages boasts a stellar ensemble cast that includes Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Blake Lively and Taylor Kitsch, who has very much been on the radar in 2012. The action thriller is due for release on 28th September 2012, in the UK.
Red Tails is based on the true story of World War II’s first African American fighter squadron. The first thing that struck me about the publicity for the film was the hot 80s-esque type font. Produced by George Lucas, Red Tails is directed by Anthony Hemingway (who has a solid career in television, including The Wire). Red Tails is released on 6th June 2012.
Just like the trailer suggests, as a child I always wanted my teddies to come alive. Actually, as an adult, I still wish for this. Ted is a new comedy from Family Guy-creator Seth MacFarlane. Written, directed and voiced by MacFarlane, the film is sure to offer the same brand of close-to-the-bone humour. Ted, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, is released on 3rd August 2012.
Silent House is a horror film that takes place in real time and in one continuous take. I recently watched Rope again, which truly mastered the long take in the late 1940s. It will be interesting to see how Silent House compares. The film is a remake of Uruguayan film La Casa Muda. Silent House, which stars Elizabeth Olsen, opens on 4th May 2012 in the UK.
I went to see Battleship yesterday evening, and I am still mulling over what I watched. Many may be surprised that Peter Berg’s film inspires such meditation, but it truly does. After some deliberation, I have narrowed the possibilities down to three: Battleship is either a silly blockbuster, an uneven farce, or a sly spoof. Below, I shall elaborate on this (spoilers ahead)…
At face value, Battleship seems to be exactly this. A thread-bare plot, with more emphasis being placed on the set pieces than anything else. Peter Berg’s film perhaps illustrates the worst aspects of the modern blockbuster; scant attention paid to the script, a lack of characterisation and not even a decent high-concept premise. Instead, the film is filled with explosions, gunfire and hot young stars (Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna and Alexander Skarsgård). Well that’s all a blockbuster aficionado requires, right?
Perhaps Peter Berg intended Battleship to be a farce. Straight-faced characters deal with the most implausible of events, and keep striving no matter how absurd the situation becomes. Despite knowing nothing about the aliens and armed with only one gun, Samantha and co decide to ram into the satellite station, which is swarming with invaders. The navy vetrans’ involvement. This is surely the stuff of farce. The reason it is uneven is because these events are not consistently funny, almost as if they had not been written for laughs. Although reflecting on them, Battleship would probably be even more amusing if viewed solely as a farce.
Battleship could be a spoof of the Michael Bay blockbuster packaged as a straightforward blockbuster for mass consumption. After all, the elements are all there. The poor dialogue of the Michael Bay blockbuster is elevated to ludicrous levels in Battleship. Berg’s film goes beyond Transformers by basing his film on a toy that does not even have a semblance of a plot, or actual characters. Even the volume and the level of implausibility are pushed to the limit. As a comment on the Michael Bay blockbuster (and, in fairness, a number of other directors), Battleship spoofs the lack of originality present. If the film does good business, then Battleship would have proved how audiences lap up even the most tenuous of films. At this stage, it is too premature to say ‘well played, Mr Berg’.
Battleship is out in cinemas now. Perhaps someone could let me know exactly what the film is.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when only trashy Hollywood nonsense will do. When that moment arrives, Battleship is the perfect watch.
Alex Hopper is going nowhere fast when his older brother signs him up to join the US Navy. Alex’s temper shows during an international naval games competition, and he fears for his future in the navy. Before his outcome is decided, an attack occurs during the war games exercise…
Peter Berg’s Battleship has several parallel’s with Michael Bay’s Transformers movies. Viewers could be mistaken into thinking they are watching a Michael Bay film, but for the lack of a slow-motion shot of the American flag. Battleship is also based on a Hasbro game, although it does not have quite the same animation heritage to draw from as Transformers did.
The plot of Battleship is slight to say the least. There is a little character development before the action commences, but this does little to make the main characters appear more three-dimensional. Instead, the audience is offered a handful of characters to root for, in order to humanise the action.
Dialogue is truly something in Battleship. There are some amusing lines during the course of the film. However, hilarity often ensues from the lines that presumably are meant to be serious. This adds to the overall enjoyment of the Battleship viewing experience.
Production values are pretty much faultless. Effects and production design are good, working effectively in the big set pieces. Some of the shots look as if they were meant to be filmed in 3D, with sharp angles pointing in the direction of the audience. As it stands though, Battleship is a 2D film. The sound is bombastic, as expected from a blockbuster of this kind.
Kudos to the cast, who manage to remain straight-faced throughout proceedings. Taylor Kitsch is a better actor than the film betrays, as is Alexander Skarsgård. Rihanna actually does a suitable job in her acting debut.
Battleship is entertaining enough if it is not taken seriously. Those expecting anything more should give the film a wide berth.