Stuff To Look At

Plenty of cinematic delights, including the last Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer, the latest X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer, Maleficent, Noah and more!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Above is the final The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer. Spider-Man is basically fighting everyone. Everyone. He really needs his Amazing Friends. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane De Haan and Jamie Foxx, The Amazing Spider-man 2 hits UK screens on 18th April 2014.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Here is the latest trailer for sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film features characters from the original X-Men series as well as the younger versions from X-Men: First Class, taking place over two time periods. X-Men: Days of Future Past is released in the UK on 22nd May 2014.

Maleficent

The latest trailer for Maleficent suggests the film will be much more action packed than the standard fairy tale. Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent looks deliciously wicked, yet the trailer indicates that the film will show another side to the iconic character. Maleficent is released in UK cinemas on 30th May 2014.

Noah

I’m sure there are more than two of some of these animals in the latest clip from Noah. Just how big is this ark going to be to fit them all in, with sufficient provisions so they don’t start eating each other? I guess we will find out when Noah hits UK screens on 4th April 2014.

Pioneer

Well this looks tense and interesting. Based on true events, Pioneer is the story of a team of divers going to lay a pipeline in the North Sea. Reportedly due for a Hollywood remakePioneer is released in UK cinemas on 11th April 2014.

Snoopy and Charlie Bown: A Peanuts Movie

With Postman Pat and Paddington Bear getting big-screen features, it is not really a surprise that Snoopy is following suit. This teaser does not reveal too, much other than Snoopy is as cheeky as ever. Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie is due for release in 2015.

The Maze Runner

THe latest film to be based on a best-selling young adult movel that I haven’t read, The Maze Runner is an action thriller set in a dystopian world. I like the look of the maze in this film, but with my sense of direction I wouldn’t last too long. Starring Dylan O’Brien and Will Poulter, The Maze Runner is out in UK cinemas on 24th October 2014.

Rio 2

‘It’s a Jungle Out Here’ is one of the songs from the upcoming Rio 2. The animated sequel sees the return of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann and Jamie Foxx. Rio 2 hits UK screens on 4th April 2014.

Stuff To Look At

A brand new clip from The Wolf of Wall Street, Muppets Most Wanted and plenty more…

The Wolf of Wall Street

After the excitement for the trailer, here is a new clip from The Wolf of Wall Street. Jonah Hill’s character looks like he could be a lot of fun. Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street is out in UK cinemas on 17th January 2013.

Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted poster

Following the release of the trailer, here is the poster for Muppets Most Wanted. The film has a lot to live up to, after the success of The Muppets. Muppets Most Wanted is set for release on 28th March 2014.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Here is a clip from the upcoming sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Will Ferrell and his co-stars have done a lot of publicity for the movie, and there is a weight of expectation given that the original has become such a favourite. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues hits UK screens on 18th December 2013.

American Hustle

AMERICAN HUSTLE poster

This poster is just everything. The Hair. The Costumes. The Hair. With an all-star cast, American Hustle is released in the West End on 20th December 2013 and in the rest of the UK on 1st January 2014.

Robocop

I watched the director’s cut of the original Robocop again recently and it really does hold up well (bar a few dated special effects). What this remake has going for it is an impressive cast (Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton). RoboCop is released in UK cinemas on 7th February 2014.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of

After the fantastic posters, here is a new image of Michael Fassbender from X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film blends its predecessor with the previous series of X-Men films, by the casting at least. X-Men: Days of Future Past is scheduled for a May 2014 release.

Maleficent

This teaser trailer for Disney’s Maleficent reveals little bar the title character. After the success of the musical Wicked and Oz The Great and Powerful, there seems to be a trend for revisiting fairy tales to show the other side. Maleficent is due for release in the UK in Spring 2014.

Film Review: Looper

LooperRian Johnson’s Looper is entertaining dystopian science fiction. It is not entirely satisfying, but does the trick overall.

In 2044, Joe is a Looper, ready to assassinate anyone who the mob of 2077 send back in time. When hired guns like Joe have their contract terminated, they find out by having their future bodies sent back to 2044 to be exterminated. When Joe’s future self gets sent back it triggers a momentous chain of events…

On the surface, Looper is very much like a cross between The Terminator and X-Men. Strong elements of these earlier science fiction movies are overt in Rian Johnson’s film. Johnson paints the future with the kind of dystopic imagery often seen in films of this genre from the 1980s.The film does make overt an overt reference to the styling, which perhaps acts as a metaphor for the narrative itself.

There is a distinct split in Looper from when Joe reaches the farmhouse. Prior to this, the film runs in the Terminator vein. With the change in scenery however, Looper appears to ape X-Men. The first half of the film is stronger than the second. The futuristic depiction and pacing in the first half makes the second half less satisfying.

With its allusions to the 1% and a corruption-led future, Looper feels very contemporary. Despite the bleak vision of the future, Johnson’s film is ultimately positive. The ending points to more traditional values, despite all that has preceded it.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt put in a solid performance as Joe, despite some distracting prosthetics. Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt offer good support. Pierce Gagnon is excellently cast as Cid, bringing the right sense of unnerving to the character.

Like some other time-travel movies, Looper throws up questions over plotting. However, the film is never dull. Looper is a enjoyable addition to the genre.

Looper is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from 28th January 2013.

Stuff To Look At

A bumper edition this week, with plenty of releases for 2013…

Man of Steel

I have always been more of a Batman child than a Superman one, but I did love the Christopher Reeve movies (maybe not the last one). After 2006’s underwhelming Superman Returns, this new version looks more appealing. Henry Cavil stars as the title character in the first full trailer for Man of Steel, due for release in June 2013.

Oblivion

Ageless Tom Cruise has been getting action-heavy recently, with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher and now Oblivion. This futuristic thriller sees Cruise’s character Jack Harper battle to save mankind. Also starring Andrea Riseborough, Oblivion will be released in UK cinemas on 12 April 2013.

The Wolverine

The follow-up to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine is due for release in July 2013. The film sees Hugh Jackman reprise his role from the X-Men franchise. This adventure is set in Japan, as the above poster suggests. I’m sure a trailer for The Wolverine will be released shortly.

The Lone Ranger

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter together again, but not in a Tim Burton film? The emphasis in the above trailer is on the fact that it is the same team behind Pirates of the Caribbean. If executed correctly, The Lone Ranger should be a lot of fun, like the first film of that earlier franchise. The Lone Ranger is due for release next year.

The Croods

The latest animation from DreamWorks is The Croods, a prehistoric adventure film. The Croods features the voices of Nicholas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone. From the above trailer, I am liking the monkey. The Croods will be released in UK cinemas on 22nd March 2013.

Broken City

Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in Broken City, a crime thriller set in New York. My first thought on viewing this was ‘Russell Crowe’s weave!’. That aside, this tale of corruption could be quite good. Broken City is out on 1st March 2013.

The Last Stand

What is The Last Stand, you ask? Well it is Arnold Schwarzengger’s return to lead roles on the big screen. Schwarzenegger plays the sheriff of a small town where a notorious drug baron is trying to make his escape. The Last Stand, which also stars Forest Whitaker and Rodrigo Santoro, is out on 24th January 2012.

Hitchcock

Everyone loves a bit of Alfred Hitchcock, don’t they? The eagerly anticipated Hitchcock tells the story behind the making of Psycho. Anthony Hopkins stars as Alfred Hitchcock in the film which also features Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson. Hitchcock is released in UK cinemas on 8th February 2013.

Chronicle Trailer

Well this is intriguing. Above is the trailer for Chronicle, a film I know nothing about. From this stance, the trailer captures the attention. It seems to be a sci-fi/horror, using the handheld camera format. Shades of I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Blair Witch Project become apparent, as well as abilities that can be likened to X-Men. I’m sure we will find out more about this mysterious film closer to its release on 2nd March 2012.

Film Review: X-Men: First Class

After X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there did not seem to be much life left in the X-Men franchise. X-Men: First Class has changed that; it is an unexpectedly good prequel that should do great business at the box office.

In 1944, two young boys with very different backgrounds discover that they have special powers. Years later (in the 1960s), the two meet as adults after the CIA discovers the presence of mutants among the human population. Charles Xavier wants to find other mutants in order to train and help them, but Erik Lehnsherr has his mind set on revenge…

Continuing with the superhero theme after last year’s Kick-Ass, director Matthew Vaughn steers X-Men: First Class with some aplomb. It is tricky to keep a prequel engaging, as the audience is all too aware of what is to come. Vaughn does an excellent job of keeping the audience entertained throughout.

The writing team adds sufficient humour to the film, balancing more dramatic scenes with lighter moments in others. The brief cameos are inspired; a nod to those familiar with the X-Men franchise. The inclusion and omission of characters strikes the right balance. Familiar characters anchor the film; it is after all the back story of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. However, the screenwriters are wise not to saturate the film with too many well-known characters, choosing instead to introduce a young group that would mostly be familiar to fans of the comics.

Set in the 1960s, X-Men: First Class links the fantasy aspects present with real-life events. This is a masterstroke, as it secures the film firmly in the real world, despite the fantastical forces that appear. The film creates an imagined history from real events, twisting the Cuban missile crisis so that it included the mutants. Throughout the film, references are made to this period and these events; the group are shown watching Kennedy on a black and white television set, for example.

Performances are solid all round, but it is Michael Fassbender who steals the show as Erik. Playing a character so identified with another actor seems like a difficult task, but Fassbender inhabits the role, bringing great presence to the film. James McAvoy is good as Charles, while Rose Byrne is very believable as Moira.

The art direction of X-Men: First Class is great, as is the sound. The only gripes with the film are very minor. The film slackens in momentum once or twice, but recovers quickly. Similarly there are one or two artificial-looking CGI effects, but overall the film is visually pleasing.

X-Men: First Class is the best blockbuster of the year so far. It has set a bar that the upcoming summer blockbusters will have to match.