Thursday, 31 May 2012

Upcoming Releases - June '12

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


Prometheus - 1st June

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
124 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce
Director: Ridley Scott

'A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.'

Official site: http://www.projectprometheus.com/



A Fantastic Fear of Everything - 8th June
Comedy
100 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Simon Pegg, Paul Freeman, Amara Karan, Clare Higgins
Director: Crispian Mills, Chris Hopewell

'Jack is a children's author turned crime novelist whose detailed research into the lives of Victorian serial killers has turned him into a paranoid wreck, persecuted by the irrational fear of being murdered. When Jack is thrown a life-line by his long-suffering agent and a mysterious Hollywood executive takes a sudden and inexplicable interest in his script, what should be his big break rapidly turns into his big breakdown, as Jack is forced to confront his worst demons; among them his love life, his laundry and the origin of all fear.'


Casa de mi Padre - 8th June

Comedy
84 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez
Director: Matt Piedmont

'Armando Alvarez has lived and worked on his father's ranch in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch encounters financial difficulties, Armando's younger brother Raul, shows up with his new fiance, Sonia. It seems that Raul's success as an international businessman means the ranch's troubles are over as he pledges to settle all debts his father has incurred. But when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul's business dealings turn out to be less than legit, all hell breaks loose as they find themselves in a war with Mexico's most feared drug lord.'



Red Lights - 15th June
Thriller
113 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Olsen
Director: Rodrigo Cortes

'Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.'


Cosmopolis - 15th June

Drama
108 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Robert Pattinson, Samantha Morton, Jay Baruchel, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Durand
Director: David Cronenberg

'Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.'

Official site: http://cosmopolisthefilm.com/en



Rock of Ages - 15th June
Comedy | Drama | Musical
123 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston, Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti
Director: Adam Shankman

'Set in 1987 Los Angeles, Drew and Sherrie are two young people chasing their dreams in the big city. When they meet, it's love at first sight, though their romance will face a series of challenges.'

Official site: http://rockofagesmovie.warnerbros.com/


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - 20th June

Action | Fantasy | Horror
Running time and certificate: TBA
Main cast: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Alan Tudyk
Director: Timur Bekmambetov

'Explores the secret life of the America's greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, and the untold story that shaped their nation. The president discovers blood-thirsty vampires are planning to take over the United States. Lincoln makes it his mission to eliminate them, becoming history's greatest hunter of the undead.'



The Five-Year Engagement - 22nd June
Comedy | Romance
124 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt
Director: Nicholas Stoller

'Exactly one year after Tom Solomon meets Violet Barnes, he surprises her with a ring. By all accounts, Tom and Violet are destined for their happily ever after. However, this engaged couple just keep getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle.'

Official site: http://www.thefiveyearengagementmovie.com/


Lay the Favorite - 22nd June

Comedy
94 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson
Director: Stephen Frears

'A dramedy centered on a thirtysomething woman who becomes involved with a group of geeky fiftyish men who have found a way to work the sportsbook system in Las Vegas to their advantage.'



King of Devil's Island - 29th June
Drama | Action
120 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Stellan Skarsgard, Benjamin Helstad, Kristoffer Joner
Director: Marius Holst

'On the island of Bastoy, located in the Oslo fjord, live a group of delinquent young boys aged 11 to 18. Their daily, sadistic regime is run by the guards and the principal who bestow both mental and physical abuse on them. A new boy plots to escape from the island and leads the others into a violent uprising.'

Official site: http://www.bastoy.no/



Information obtained from IMDb, http://www.filmdates.co.uk/, and the films' official websites.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Chronicle

Chronicle is a found-footage superhero movie that explores what happens after a group of high school students gain amazing abilities. It starts out like a teen drama, with a shy young guy called Andrew buying a video camera to film his daily events. Through this, we are given a glimpse into his difficult home-life with his drunk, abusive father and bedridden mother. We are also shown his school-life, where he gets picked on and is often seen sitting by himself.

His cousin Matt takes him along to a party but he inevitably ends up sitting alone outside in the dark. Steve, a popular kid running for school president, finds him and asks him to bring his camera so they can investigate something strange nearby. Andrew, Matt and Steve venture down into a mysterious hole in the ground, where they discover an unexplained glowing (and possibly alien) entity. The three students soon find they have gained special powers like being able to move objects with their mind (telekinesis) and fly.

Instead of using their abilities to fight crime, like the superheroes we usually see on screen, they use them to have fun and do things high school boys like to do. They play pranks in a store by levitating toys, covertly lift girls' skirts up with a leaf blower, and move people’s cars to different parking spaces. However, these harmless pranks start to get out of hand as they grow stronger and develop their powers.


Andrew uses his abilities at the school talent show and becomes popular with everyone for the first time. But this turns out to be only temporary, and after a run-in with his dad, he spirals out of control and starts using his powers recklessly. His loneliness and anger cause him to resent those without superpowers (who he sees as inferior), and he becomes unwilling to follow anyone else’s rules and limit the use of his powerful abilities. He is clearly very troubled emotionally, after years of being an outcast and feeling unwanted both at home and at school. This detachment and his newfound powers cause him to think that he is above everyone else (he describes himself as an “apex predator”), which ultimately leads up to a dark and explosive climax for the film. 

Chronicle marks the directorial debut of Josh Trank and is the first feature length screenplay by Max Landis (son of John, director of The Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London). The film is a great accomplishment by these newcomers, with its intriguing premise and exploration of an effective origin story. It gives viewers a fresh take on both the found-footage film and the superhero genre, with special abilities that feel more believable than usual. It raises the question of what to do when given great power and shows why you need to use it responsibly, not misuse it.


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

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Roman Polanski directs fashion film for Prada


A Prada-produced short film by Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski premiered at Cannes this week, prior to the screening of a restored version of his 1979 classic Tess. The new film, A Therapy stars Ben Kingsley as a therapist and Helena Bonham Carter as his client, who talks about her problems while he quietly slips away to try on her fur coat. The three and a half minute film features costumes exclusively designed by Miuccia Prada, which will not be commercialized. Polanski said:
"When I was asked to shoot a short movie for Prada, I did not think that I could really be myself, but the reality is that in the total freedom I was given, I had the opportunity to reunite my favorite group of people on set and just have fun. The chance to dwell on what the fashion world represents nowadays and the fact that it is accompanied by so many stereotypes is fascinating and at the same time a bit upsetting, but you definitely cannot ignore it. It’s very refreshing to know that there are still places open to irony and wit and, for sure, Prada is one of them."


[Written for PSFK. Article originally posted here]

Monday, 28 May 2012

Trailers: Skyfall, Abe Lincoln, Anchorman 2, Great Gatsby & The Master


Teaser trailer for Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench. Release date: October 26th


Red band trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, directed by Timur Bekmambetov and starring Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Alan Tudyk. Release date: June 20th


Teaser trailer for Anchorman 2, directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. Release date: TBA


The first trailer for The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Tobey Maguire. Release date: December 26th


The first trailer for The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Laura Dern. Release date: TBA


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Posters & Pics: Skyfall, Anchorman 2, The Dark Knight Rises...

First official poster for Skyfall, which stars Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench and Naomie Harris. Release date: October 26th


New poster for Ridley Scott's Prometheus, which stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce. Release date: June 1st


New image from Total Recall, featuring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale. Release date: August 22nd


Teaser poster for Anchorman 2, which stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. Release date: TBA 2013


New poster for King of Devil's Island, which stars Stellan Skarsgard, Benjamin Helstad and Kristoffer Joner. Release date: June 29th


New poster for The Dark Knight Rises, which stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard. Release date: July 20th

Monday, 21 May 2012

Watch Alan Rickman make a cup of tea


Tea-making isn't usually all that interesting but when Alan Rickman does it, it becomes epic. This super-slow-motion video shows him sitting making a cup of tea, before dramatically throwing it and pushing his table over. It was created by the artist David Michalek for his series Portraits in Dramatic Time.


[via Huffington Post]

Friday, 18 May 2012

Review: Haywire

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Gina Carano takes the lead in the action thriller Haywire, which features a starry cast including Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas and Channing Tatum in support.

Haywire follows Mallory Kane (Carano), a black ops specialist often hired for covert missions around the world. At the start of the film, she meets with fellow operative Aaron (Tatum) in a diner, before fighting with him, and escaping with a stranger who helps her out. As she drives away with him, she explains what has led to her current situation. The film, which uses a non-linear narrative structure, shows these prior events in flashbacks.

Her handler Kenneth (McGregor) hired her for a job in Barcelona, where she worked alongside Aaron to free a Chinese hostage called Jiang. After this mission she had planned to take a break, but Kenneth asked her to go to Dublin at short notice, to work with MI6 agent Paul (Fassbender). Kane finds Jiang dead in Dublin and then Paul tries to kill her when they go back to their hotel room. She is pursued across the city, with chase scenes through the streets, buildings, and across the rooftops, before she escapes to New York, where we found her in the film’s opening scenes.

Realising she has been double-crossed and there are few people she can trust, she then flees to New Mexico to see her ex-marine father (Paxton).  She knows that those hunting her will look for her there and attempts to catch them off guard and ultimately exact her revenge on the people who betrayed her.


Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Contagion, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven), Haywire was written by Lem Dobbs, who wrote the 1999 crime drama The Limey, which was also directed by Soderbergh. Another of his collaborators, David Holmes (who was the composer on the Ocean’s trilogy), provides the score for the film.

Haywire has some great action set pieces, with fight scenes that feel authentic due to Carano’s obvious skills, which make her character seem like the real deal. She was hand-picked for the lead role by Soderbergh, who was impressed by her physical power and fighting skills, and she did almost all of her own stunts in the film. Mallory Kane is a tough female character who definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. As her handler says in the film: “Don’t think of her as a woman, that would be a mistake.” The no-frills fight scenes are unhurried and enjoyable. They are free of music and sound effects, instead using the natural sounds of kicks and punches, which enhances the action. Although the story isn’t wholly engaging and satisfying, the fights and chases should hold the viewer’s attention. The strong ensemble cast includes several A-list actors, whose appearances throughout the film also provide an extra boost.


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Check out man-of-the-moment Michael Fassbender's back catalogue on LOVEFiLM.com where you can watch movies online as well as renting blu-rays, DVDs and games.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Movie marketing: Bat signals (Batman Begins)

200 stickers were placed on lighted footpaths in Auckland, New Zealand for the television premiere of Batman Begins. At night, when they were turned on, beams of light shone upwards creating lots of mini Bat Signals.


[via BuzzFeed]

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Trailers: Lawless, Expendables 2, The Campaign & End of Watch


The first trailer for Lawless, directed by John Hillcoat and starring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain. Release date: August 31st


The full-length trailer for The Expendables 2, directed by Simon West and starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Liam Hemsworth, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Release date: August 17th


Political ad trailer for The Campaign, directed by Jay Roach and starring Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Brian Cox and John Lithgow. Release date: September 28th


The first trailer for End of Watch, directed by David Ayer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera. Release date: September 28th

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Mondo character posters for Avengers Assemble

Mondo recently released a series of character posters for Marvel’s all-star superhero movie Avengers Assemble, each one designed by a talented artist. Check out the posters for Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow below:

Thor by Martin Ansin


Iron Man by Kevin Tong


Captain America by Phantom City Creative


Hulk by Ken Taylor


Hawkeye by Tom Whalen


Black Widow by Olly Moss


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