Preview of Coming Attractions: Films in 2019

With an abundance of movie releases slated for next year, it can be hard to identify the gems. After all, there is a glut of Disney live-action remakes (Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King), as well as the straight up unappealing (Downton Abbey film, anyone). Here are some must-see films in 2019…

The Favourite

Begin the New Year with Yorgos Lanthimos’ brilliant The Favourite. Starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone, the film is Lanthimos’ most enjoyable to date. Boasting a superb script and wonderful performances, The Favourite is hilarious, consuming, and at times touching. Read full review here.

The Favourite will be released in UK cinemas on 1st January 2019.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Director Barry Jenkins has done it again with the powerful and beguiling If Beale Street Could Talk. There is so much to be in awe of in If Beale Street Could Talk. Jenkins’ attention to detail is superb. His storytelling is absolutely enchanting. Read full review here.

If Beale Street Could Talk will be released in UK cinemas on 8th February 2019.

The Lady Eve

Not a new release for the upcoming year, nevertheless the 1941 classic gets a re-release in 2019. Directed by Preston Sturges and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda, the screwball comedy stands the test of time. For first time viewers, The Lady Eve will be one of the best films in 2019.

The Lady Eve will be released at the BFI Southbank and at selected cinemas nationwide from 15th February 2019. It will be screened as part of the Barbara Stanwyck season in February 2019. For more details see here.

Us

Jordan Peele’s Us is one of the most anticipated films in 2019. Following the success of 2017’s Get Out, director and writer Peele returns with another striking-looking horror. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss, the film is about a family trip that takes a dark turn.

Us will be released in UK cinemas on 15th March 2019.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film has the potential to be explosive. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set during the Manson Family reign of terror, focusing on a television star and his stunt double. With a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is sure to get people talking.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be released in UK cinemas on 26th July 2019.

The Irishman

Martin Scorsese’s latest project is a thrilling proposition. Focusing on a mob hitman and his possible involvement in the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa, the film sees Scorsese reunite with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and a host of Boardwalk Empire stars (Stephen Graham, Bobby Cannavale, Jack Huston). The Irishman also sees Scorsese direct Al Pacino for the first time. The film is expected to have a cinema release as well as being available to stream on Netflix.

Sunset

László Nemes’ Sunset is a captivating watch. The director’s sophomore feature (after Son of Saul) is an entrancing mystery drama. Part of the film’s beauty is that it maintains this mystery throughout the duration. Set in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the eve of World War I, Sunset‘s sense of unease is enthralling. The film is set to be released in early 2019.

The Nightingale

After the success of 2014’s The Babadook, all eyes are on director Jennifer Kent for her next picture. The Nightingale is about a young Irish convict woman who chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness in the early nineteenth century. Starring Sam Claflin and Aisling Franciosi, the film premiered at Venice Film Festival and is due to be released in 2019.

Greed

Michael Winterbottom’s Greed is sure to be a lot of fun. The satire is about a fictional retail billionaire and the build up to his star-studded 60th birthday party on a Greek island. Greed stars Steve Coogan, Isla Fisher, and David Mitchell. Although the protagonist is fictional, the parallels are all too clear. Greed is due to be released in UK cinemas in late 2019.

Sequels

Like 2018, next year will see many sequels. Here are some of the more anticipated follow-up films in 2019. 2014’s The LEGO Movie gets a sequel, with the main voice cast returning, as well as Phil Lord and Chris Miller as producers. The LEGO Movie 2 will be released in UK cinemas on 8th February 2019.

Later in the year, Avengers: Endgame sees the finale of the cycle of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which began with 2008’s Iron Man. The film will hit UK screens on 26th April 2019.  Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to 2017’s superb Spider-Man: Homecoming. Jake Gyllenhaal joins the returning cast for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will be released on 5th July 2019. Later this year, Zombieland gets a belated sequel. The original cast return for Zombieland 2, which will be released in UK cinemas on 11th October 2019.

Previews: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Trailer, More!

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer, Fahrenheit 11/9, and more…

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Trailer

Here is the latest Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer. The film is produced by The LEGO Movie‘s Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, and features a mix of computer-generated and hand-drawn animation. The cast includes Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is set for release in UK cinemas on 12th December, with previews on the 8th and 9th December 2018.

Fahrenheit 11/9 Trailer

Michael Moore returns with a political documentary on the 2016 US presidential election. Fahrenheit 11/9 sets its sights on the Trump era, with filmmaker Moore asking how America got to this point. Fahrenheit 11/9 will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival, and will be released in UK cinemas on 19th October 2018.

On The Basis Of Sex Trailer

Above is the trailer for On The Basis Of Sex. The film is based on the true story of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who led the fight against gender discrimination. It stars Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer, and is directed by Mimi Leder. On The Basis Of Sex will be released soon.

Sorry To Bother You Trailer

Sorry To Bother You finally has a UK distributor and release date. The film, directed by Boots Riley, the film is about a telemarketer who discovers a magical key which leads to material glory. Starring Lakeith Stansfield and Tessa Thompson, Sorry To Bother You will be screening at the BFI London Film Festival and hits UK screens on 7th December 2018.

Rocket Man Trailer

Here is the first look at Rocket Man, the story of Elton John’s early years. The film stars Taron Egerton as the musician, as well as Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film count Elton John among its executive producers. Rocket Man is set for release in May 2019.

Film Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

The LEGO Batman Movie is a lot of fun. The film strikes a nice balance between the Batman in-jokes and a wider-appealing comedy and narrative.

Batman has an enviable life on the surface. Yet Alfred, his butler, suggests that he lives a solitary life. Bruce Wayne must look after the orphan he has adopted, as well as dealing with Gotham’s criminals…

Following the success of 2014’s The LEGO Movie, it was almost inevitable that a spin-off would appear. Especially so, given that Batman was one of the film’s most memorable and entertaining characters.  The LEGO Batman Movie does not seek to do a retread of the superhero origin story. Instead the film concentrates on the protagonist’s relationship with those around him.

The first quarter of The LEGO Batman Movie, is very, very funny. This section will thrill fans of the Batman franchise (in its various guises), and entertain those with just a passing interest. Director Chris McKay gently ribs previous incarnations of the character, but this is always done with affection. This reference to the comic book characters continues throughout, although not quite to the same degree.

After the fizz of the first segment, the film settles to a slower pace of movement and comedy. Jokes later in the film do not match the rapid-fire nature of the first quarter. Nevertheless, they usually hit the mark. The middle section of the film is more thoughtful, concentrating on Batman’s relationship with those he is closest to. Although this works as a narrative strand overall, at times it does feel a little over-egged.

A big part of the film’s appeal is its inclusion of many well-known characters. Like The LEGO Movie, these are depicted with a healthy dose of amusement. The LEGO Batman Movie goes beyond the Batman universe to include other DC characters and even those from other Warner Bros films. These appearances are very welcome, and are just long enough not to detract from the central character.

Animation in the film is excellent. The soundtrack, with its original songs, is fantastic in its ability to set the tone. Will Arnett reprises his role as the voice of Batman with alomb. He has good support from Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, and Michael Cera. Batman fans will raise a wry smile at Billy Dee Williams’ inclusion.

The LEGO Batman Movie does not quite encapsulate the same level of fun and energy as its progenitor, but it comes close. A very entertaining watch.

2016 Hollywood Trends

Cafe Society

2016 has been a remarkable year in current affairs, and a sad one for the untimely deaths of so many beloved celebrities. But let us turn our attention to something more comforting – film. As the year draws to a close, it’s time to review the 2016 Hollywood trends. Rather than a countdown of the best films, this article looks at the key trends in mainstream cinema of the year. It has been a year that harks back to Golden Age-Hollywood, whilst superheroes met head to head. Disney have dominated once again, whilst the Summer was lacklustre blockbuster season…

2016 Hollywood Trends: Superheroes Assemble

Captain America: Civil War

Although big superheroes appearing together in the same film is not a new phenomenon (2012’s Avengers Assemble and even 2014’s The LEGO Movie attest to this), in 2016 it became a noticeable trend. whilst February’s Deadpool only featured lesser-known X-Men with the title character, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice brought together three of DC’s biggest heroes in one film (paving the way for 2017’s Justice League). Released in  April, Captain America: Civil War functioned like ‘Avengers 3’ with the inclusion of Iron Man, Ant-Man and other secondary Avengers. Pivotally, the film boasted the addition of Spider-Man (who had previously appeared only in Sony films). In August, the hotly-anticipated Suicide Squad hit the big screen. The film featured many of Batman’s nemeses together, including the Joker, and Harley Quinn in her first live-action film appearance.

2016 Hollywood Trends: Golden-Age Revival

La La Land

2016 has been the year for Golden-Age Hollywood nostalgia. The Coen Brother’s comedy Hail, Caesar! focussed on the day in the life of a studio fixer in 1950s Hollywood. As well as all the backstage activity Mannix has to keep under wraps, the film features some great musical sequences harking back to classic Hollywood features. Albeit, with tongue firmly in cheek. Woody Allen’s Café Society focuses on the assistant to a Hollywood producer working in the 1930s. With the action taking place between Hollywood and New York, the film offers wonderful costumes and a salubrious soundtrack. Although it is set in contemporary Los Angeles, La La Land (opening at UK cinemas on 12th January 2017) is brimming with Golden Age nostalgia. The opening sequence, and indeed others later in the musical, are reminiscent of the best technicolor musicals of the 1950s. Continuing this trend, Warren Beatty’s 1950s Hollywood-set Rules Don’t Apply arrives on UK screens in March 2017.

2016 Hollywood Trends: Disney Dominance

FINDING DORY

Disney sitting on top of worldwide box office grosses is not a surprise considering the properties the company owns (Marvel, Pixar, LucasFilm). In 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was crowned box office champ, pulling in almost $400 million more than nearest competitor Jurassic World. Nevertheless, this year Disney have completely dominated worldwide box office grosses, with four films (Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory, Zootropolis, and The Jungle Book) each grossing more than any other studio’s production. And this is while Rogue One: A Star Wars Story currently rides high at the box office across the world.

2016 Hollywood Trends: Starring Michael Shannon

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS - Michael Shannon

It may not be immediately obvious when looking back at 2016 films, but Michael Shannon has appeared in a plethora of films this year. The actor has no fewer than ten credits for 2016. These range from leading roles in films such as Midnight Special and Frank & Lola, to a supporting role in Loving (released in UK cinemas on 3rd February 2017), and even in a brief flashback in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Shannon delivered a scene-stealing performance in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, released in November. Expect to see more of Shannon next year, with Wener Herzog’s Salt and Fire, among others.

2016 Hollywood Trends: Lacklustre Summer Blockbusters

THE LEGEND OF TARZANThere were plenty of Summer blockbusters in 2016 (as has been the case for years), but this year’s tentpoles seemed to lack something. July’s The Legend of Tarzan may have delivered somewhat decent worldwide box office grosses, but reviews were less than sparkling. Ghostbustersdomestic gross did not get near its reported production budget, and Independence Day: Resurgence received poor reviews. Meanwhile, Star Trek Beyond, Jason Bourne, and Suicide Squad failed to make the impacted expected at the box office. At the tale-end of the Summer, sword and sandals epic Ben-Hur flopped at the box office. If 2016 is anything to go by, 2017’s Summer blockbusters will need to beat family animation and Spring superhero films to take the crown.

Previews: Denial trailer, Hacksaw Ridge and More!

Plenty of trailers, images, and features this week, including the Denial trailer, Hacksaw Ridge, Wonder Woman and more…

Denial Trailer

Here is the new Denial trailer. The film is based on the legal battle over Holocaust denial. Rachel Weisz plays Deborah E. Lipstadt who is accused of libel by David Irving (Timothy Spall). Also starring Tom Wilkinson, Denial is set for release on 27th January 2017.

Fences Poster

Fences Quad Poster

Here is the latest poster for Denzel Washington’s Fences. Washington directs and stars in the film, based on August Wilson’s play. Wilson also writes the screenplay for the film. Also starring Viola Davis, Fences is out in UK cinemas in early 2017.

Hacksaw Ridge Clip

This is a clip from the upcoming Hacksaw Ridge. Directed by Mel Gibson, the film is based on the true story of Desmond Doss, who saved many soldiers without firing a weapon in a World War II battle. Starring Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, and Teresa Palmer, Hacksaw Ridge will be released on 27th January 2017.

Darkest Hour Image

Darkest Hour Image

The first image from Darkest Hour is striking to say the least. Gary Oldman has form as a chameleon, and proves his transformation skills once again playing Winston Churchill. Director Joe Wright’s film is about the tense time the former British Prime Minister faces trying to negotiate a peace treaty with Nazi Germany. Darkest Hour is scheduled for release on 29th December 2017.

The LEGO Batman Movie Trailer

A spin-off from the wonderful The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie focuses on one of the best characters from the original film. This trailer reveals more about the plot, as well as the range of franchise characters we can expect. Featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, and Michael Cera, The LEGO Batman Movie will hit UK screens on 10th February 2017.

Passengers Poster

Passengers Poster

Here is the latest poster for Passengers. Starring America’s current sweethearts Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, the film is about to passengers on a spacecraft transporting them to a different planet. Also starring Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne, Passengers is out in UK cinemas on 21st December 2016.

Wonder Woman Trailer

The second trailer for Wonder Woman reveals more about the narrative and the main characters. Set during World War II, the film tells the story behind the photograph seen in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, and Connie Nielsen, Wonder Woman hits UK screens on 2nd June 2017.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson Poster

Sully Poster

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson tells the story of the pilot who landed a passenger plane on the Hudson River. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, focuses on the heroic act and the investigation that followed. Sully: Miracle on the Hudson jets onto UK screens on 2nd December 2016.

Previews: Pete’s Dragon Trailer, The Accountant and More!

Lots to see in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the new Pete’s Dragon trailer, The Accountant, Wonder Woman and more…

Pete’s Dragon Trailer

Here is the new Pete’s Dragon trailer. The film is a live-action remake of the animated classic. Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, and Wes Bentley are joined by Oakes Fegley as the title character. Pete’s Dragon will be released in UK cinemas on 12th August 2016.

The Accountant Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for The Accountant. The film stars Ben Affleck as a maths savant who works on the books for criminal organisations. Also starring Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons, The Accountant is out in the UK on 4th November 2016.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Featurette

Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson and others discuss the upcoming Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Directed by Tim Burton, Jane Goldman wrote the screenplay, based on the novel by Ransom Riggs. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children hits UK screens on 30th September 2016.

Office Christmas Party Trailer

Office Christmas Party is a new comedy from Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the directors of The Switch and Blades of Glory. The film is about staff who host an epic Christmas party to impress a potential client. With an ensemble cast that includes  Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, and Courtney B. Vance, Office Christmas Party makes its way onto UK screens on 9th December 2016.

Ben-Hur Trailer

Here is the second trailer for Ben-Hur. The film is an adaptation of the 1880 Christian novel, like the three film versions that have come before. This version stars Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, and Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur hits UK screens on 7th September 2016.

T2 Teaser Trailer

This feels like it has come from nowhere. A belated sequel to Trainspotting, T2 reunites director Danny Boyle with the original cast, including Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller. T2 is set for release on 27th January 2016.

Blair Witch Trailer

Another unexpected sequel to a 1990s film. Horror movie The Woods was revealed to be Blair Witch, a sequel to The Blair Witch Project. Blair Witch is directed by Adam Winged, who has had recent successes with You’re Next and The Guest. Blair Witch hits UK screens on 16th September 2016.

Nerve Clip

Nerve seems to the correct name for this film, is the above clip is anything to go by. The film is directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who rose to fame through their film Catfish. Starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, Nerve is out in UK cinemas on 11th August 2016.

Kong: Skull Island Poster

Kong: Skull Island Poster

Kong: Skull Island is a reimagining of the cinema stalwart King Kong. The film has a more contemporary setting than the last version of the monster movie. Kong: Skull Island stars Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and John Goodman. The film is set for release in 2017.

Wonder Woman Trailer

The film many comic book fans have been waiting decades for is almost here. After her appearance in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman finally gets her own film. Gal Gadot is joined by Chris Pine, Connie Nielson, and Robin Wright. Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman will hit cinemas 2nd June 2017.

The LEGO Batman Movie Trailer

After the character was such a big hit in The LEGO Movie, it is no surprise that Batman gets his own film. The LEGO Batman Movie looks like it will be as amusing as its predecessor, if the trailer is anything to go by. With the voices of Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Cera and Rosario Dawson, The LEGO Batman Movie launches on to UK screens in February 2017.

Suicide Squad Video

This Suicide Squad video concentrates on Harley Quinn from the upcoming movie. The film features a roster of villains who are tasked with completing a mission for a US agent. Starring Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis, Suicide Squad hits UK cinemas on 5th August 2016.

Film Review: The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie

With its home entertainment release, The LEGO Movie might just be the most fun film of the year. It is certainly a paragon of movies based on toy lines.

Emmet is just an ordinary construction worker. When he is thought to be the prophesied ‘Special’, Emmet is recruited to a quest to stop an evil tyrant from destroying the LEGO universe…

The LEGO Movie at first did not appear too appealing a proposition. The legacy of films based on toy lines has been less than prestigious. Nevertheless, The LEGO Movie goes some way in turning the tide, with its gregarious fun factor.

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller choose to focus on Emmet, a character so ordinary that there are plenty of jokes to be made of this. There are a host of amusing supporting characters, but the protagonist is rooted for precisely for his underdog status.

The LEGO Movie is incredibly successful at garnering laughs from its audience. The humour in the film is superb, with visual and verbal gags on both on point. There are a lot of pop culture references in the film, underlined by the presence of some well-known characters (albeit the LEGO versions).

The message at the heart of The LEGO Movie is one that most will applaud. For all the jokes, the film’s narrative is one that will have resonance. The pacing in the film is excellent, with action moving along steadily and no real decline in momentum.

Animation in The LEGO Movie is great. Attention to detail in the film is really strong; those that played with LEGO as children will certainly recognise an element or two. The film’s main song is wonderful in its simplicity and humorous employment.

The LEGO Movie will be enjoyed by children and adults alike; a genuinely funny and constantly entertaining family film.

The LEGO Movie is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday 21st July 2014.