Thursday, 30 June 2011

Upcoming Releases - July '11

Here is a selection of films due out in UK cinemas next month.

Larry Crowne - 1st July
Comedy | Drama | Romance
99 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sarah Mahoney, Bryan Cranston
Director: Tom Hanks

'Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he's worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his suddenly free days, Larry heads to his local college to start over. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot (Roberts), who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband.'

Official site:

The Conspirator - 1st July
122 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline, Danny Huston
Director: Robert Redford

'Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life.'

Official site:

Super - 8th July
Action | Comedy | Drama
96 mins
18 certificate
Main cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon
Director: James Gunn

'After his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer, an everyday guy transforms himself into Crimson Bolt, a superhero with the best intentions, though he lacks for heroic skills.'

Official site:

Trust - 8th July
Drama | Thriller
106 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Jason Clarke, Viola Davis
Director: David Schwimmer

'A suburban family is torn apart when fourteen-year-old Annie meets her first boyfriend online. After months of communicating via online chat and phone, Annie discovers her friend is not who he originally claimed to be. Shocked into disbelief, her parents are shattered by their daughter's actions and struggle to support her as she comes to terms with what has happened to her once innocent life.'

Official site:

Holy Rollers - 8th July
Crime | Drama
89 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A. Abeckaser
Director: Kevin Asch

'In Brooklyn, a youth from an Orthodox Jewish community is lured into becoming an Ecstasy dealer by his pal who has ties to an Israel drug cartel.'

Official site:

Hobo With A Shotgun - 15th July
Action | Crime | Thriller
86 mins
18 certificate
Main cast: Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi, Robb Wells
Director: Jason Eisener

'A vigilante homeless man pulls into a new city and finds himself trapped in urban chaos, a city where crime rules and where the city's crime boss reigns. Seeing an urban landscape filled with armed robbers, corrupt cops, abused prostitutes and even a pedophile Santa, the Hobo goes about bringing justice to the city the best way he knows how - with a 20-gauge shotgun. Mayhem ensues when he tries to make things better for the future generation. Street justice will indeed prevail.'

Official site:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - 15th July
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
130 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes
Director: David Yates

'The end begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione go back to Hogwarts to find and destroy Voldemorts final horcruxes, but when Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.'

Official site:

Cars 2 - 22nd July
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
112 mins
U certificate
Main cast: Owen Wilson, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard
Directors: John Lasseter, Brad Lewis

'Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.'

Official site:

Horrible Bosses - 22nd July
98 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey
Director: Seth Gordon

'Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.'

Official site:

Captain America: The First Avenger - 29th July
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Running time and certificate: TBC
Main cast: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Natalie Dormer, Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones
Director: Joe Johnston

'After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals.'

Official site:

Information obtained from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes,, and the films' official websites.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Run Lola Run's Three Act Structure

The German film Run Lola Run, directed by Tom Tykwer, is made up of three separate acts. I have examined the similarities and differences between them in my article - Run Lola Run: Three Films in One. These then led me to question whether Lola learns from the previous acts and develops through the course of the film. I analyse this question in another article - Run Lola Run: Does She Learn From Her Mistakes? Check them out, but watch the film first as they go into some detail about the story and the events that take place.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Lately I've been distracted by... NES-style movie stills, a Captain Kirk arm wrestle, hand-drawn movie posters, and more!

More articles, photos, videos, and shiny things that have distracted me while I probably should have been dong something more important:

Andy Helms has some great 8bit artwork on his tumblr:
Here's one for Inception:

Empire brings us the most awesome training montages in cinema history:

This Zombies, Robots and Aliens venn diagram shows you where you stand with them:

Great video essay on viewing modes and mise en scene:

Total Film lists the 50 coolest Brit flicks:

William Shatner and Chris Pine take part in an epic Captain Kirk arm wrestling match:

Total Film shows off 30 of the best hand-drawn movie posters:

Nerdoh has a new t-shirt inspired by The Fifth Element, which references Bruce Willis' character Korben Dallas and his job as a driver for Zorg's cab company:

Monday, 20 June 2011

Wilhelm Scream article

The Wilhelm Scream is one of the most famous and recognisable stock sound effects used in cinema. I wrote an article about the history of the scream for New Empress magazine called Sheb Wooley: King of Screams

"A Stormtrooper is shot by Luke Skywalker and falls into the depths of the Death Star. Buzz Lightyear is knocked out of a bedroom window. Indiana Jones crashes into a band in a nightclub. Legolas climbs a Mumakil and throws one of its riders to the ground. Chances are you’ve viewed all of these popular movie moments more than once but did you recognise their common denominator? A high-pitched, drawn-out, comedic scream that unites over 200 films, TV shows and video games over the past 60 years including numerous Hollywood blockbusters."

You can read the full article here. Also, check out this awesome YouTube montage of clips featuring the scream:

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Review: Direct Contact

Mike Riggins is an American ex-special forces officer, locked up in a prison in The Balkans for smuggling weapons. Clive Connelly (Michael ParĂ©) offers him his freedom and $200,000 if he rescues a captured American woman called Ana Gale (Gina May). Connelly claims to work for the American embassy and says the woman has been kidnapped and held against her will. However, when Riggins gets to her, she doesn’t want to leave. It turns out that Connelly lied about the kidnapping and it was a ruse just to get Riggins to break her out.

It is revealed that Ana is the daughter of a billionaire oil tycoon who has died recently and left the company to her. Her uncle has sent Connelly and his men after her to make her sign the share transfer deeds so he can gain control of the business. Riggins tries to protect her and deliver her safely to the American embassy, as they are hunted across the country.

Dolph Lundgren plays Mike Riggins, and the 53-year-old Swede still looks in control of a leading action-hero role. However, over the years he has often fallen into the predictable direct-to-DVD action films with the generic titles that seem to have been randomly generated. Direct Contact is mired by a formulaic script and a low budget. Mike Riggins goes on the run, fights lots of men, saves the day and sleeps with the girl. Ana is a stereotypical woman in an action film who spends most of the time screaming, needing to be rescued and falling for the leading man.

There are shootouts, fights, explosions and car chases. The chase scenes feature swirling cameras and speeded up footage, and they didn’t seem thought through and planned well enough, as if the camera techniques were used to disguise the lack of choreography and focus, and the many chases are just padding out the film.

It also seems to take short-cuts rather than developing the characters and the plot. The General and his men who work for Connelly are presented to the audience as obviously evil because they constantly shoot nearly every poor, unarmed civilian in their way. There is no explanation for this, they just seem unnecessarily horrible.

The director and producer, Danny Lerner, is an Israeli-born filmmaker who has produced over 80 films including The Mechanic (2011) and Conan the Barbarian (2011). In 2003 he founded Tosca Pictures with his long-time friend and collaborator Les Weldon, who co-wrote Direct Contact with Lerner and is credited with the screenplay.

This film is uninspiring and generic, and at times it feels like you’ve seen it all before (some of the scenes feature stock library footage that has been edited in from other films). The cast seem uninterested and the direction is flat, with no sense of excitement. The film is loaded with action but fans of Dolph Lundgren’s films, and action films in general, are likely to be disappointed with Direct Contact’s lack of energy and enthusiasm. 

[DVD screener provided by flickfeast. Review originally posted here]

Monday, 13 June 2011

Project Imagin8ion: Inspire a Short Film Directed by Ron Howard

Project Imagin8ion, a photography contest promoted by Canon, invites people to submit their imaginative photos for the chance to inspire a Hollywood short film by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard.

The eight winning photos will be used to shape different aspects of the movie: setting, time, character, mood, relationship, goal, obstacle and the unknown. Contestants can submit a maximum of five photos for each of these categories. They can be uploaded from your computer or selected from your Facebook or Flickr photos. Finalists will be selected by the Project Imagin8ion community (via online voting) and Canon experts, with the Grand Prize for each category chosen by Ron Howard.

A one-minute TV commercial to promote the contest has been created. “Parade” features a city street full of visual effects as an astronaut, a little girl riding a huge diamond dog, a mermaid, firefighters, and a winged knight fighting a giant snake, all pass by Ron Howard’s apartment. He is seemingly unaware, as he gazes at a selection of photographs in search of inspiration. You can watch the ad below:

Project Imagin8ion
[via The Inspiration Room]

[Written for PSFK. Article originally posted here]

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Alt movie poster #4

Alternative movie posters pay homage to film as well as showcase artistic talent and creativity. Some are minimalist, some complex, some include in-jokes for those who have seen the movie. This feature celebrates the work of fans, artists and designers whose love of film is clear to see.

Created by: Ridge Rooms

Have you seen any alternative movie posters you'd like to share, or created your own and would like it featured? Get in touch!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Crowdsourcing Platform Helps to Find and Identify Lost Films

Lost Films is a new online project that collects and documents film titles believed to be missing. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Association, it is a collaborative effort by film societies in Germany, France, Poland, New Zealand and other countries. The archive currently contains over 3500 lost films. By using this portal, it is hoped that many films can be identified by the public through crowdsourcing. Members can submit film titles, video clips and images from unknown movies, or add and update information to ones already uploaded.

The site estimates that between 80 and 90% of all silent films, as well as a number of sound films, are irretrievably lost. Those that have been found or identified are listed to show the good work and positive contributions of the Lost Films members. So far, 56 films have been found and 72 have been identified.

[Written for PSFK. Article originally posted here]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...