Sunday, 30 April 2017

New one sheet for The Lost City Of Z arrives online

StudioCanal have just released their latest one sheet for James Gray's (We Own the Night) The Lost City Of Z.





Adapted from David Grann's nonfiction tome, The Lost City Of Z follows Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who headed into the Amazon on a mapping quest in 1925. There, suffering from a nasty case of malaria, he claimed to have discovered a mythical city he called the Lost City of Z. When his adventurer peers roundly mocked the idea as a fantasy or fraud, Fawcett gathered up his son and some other companions and headed back into the jungle to prove his point. And that is the last anyone saw of the party...

Edward Ashley (In The Heart Of The Sea) is Arthur Manley, a young corporal who accompanied Fawcett on his apparently doomed expedition. Robert Pattinson (Remember Me) is Henry Costin, another bored corporal who answered Fawcett's advertisement to become his aide-de-camp. Tom Holland (The Impossible) plays Fawcett's son Jack, while Sienna Miller (Stardust) is Fawcett's supportive wife, Nina. The trailer points to the adventure being a truly risky one, full of dangerous encounters with fauna and arrows.

The Lost City Of Z is out in cinemas now.

New quad poster for Colossal arrives onlline

Neon Pictures have just released their latest quad poster for Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes) Colossal.





Directed by Timecrimes (2007) and Open Windows (2014) helmer Nacho Vigalondo, Colossal finds him putting his unique spin on the genre once again with a much more personal and humorous spin.

The film stars Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) as Gloria, a woman whose life is falling to pieces thanks to a series of poor life choices and a bit too much boozing. When she loses her job and gets kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, Gloria has to relocate to her hometown, where she reunites with a childhood friend (Jason Sudeikis) and finds herself slipping back into her destructive patterns in no time. At the same time, a giant Kaiju starts pops up in South Korea destroying everything in its path, and Gloria starts to realise that she shares a psychic connection with the monster and her reckless behaviour threatens to destroy more than just her relationships.

With Dan Stevens (The Guest) and Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) also in the cast, Colossal is out in the US now and will arrive in UK cinemas on 19 May.

New one sheet for Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets arrives online

Lionsgate have just released their latest one sheet for Luc Besson's (Léon: The Professional) science fiction epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.





French filmmaker Luc Besson has dabbled in action movies in recent years – Taken, Lucy, to name but two high concept disyllabic franchises – but he is now heading back to the colourful science fiction territory of his cult favourite The Fifth Element (1997) with Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

Based on the French graphic novel series Valérian and Laureline, this idiosyncratic space opera finds the titular Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as special operatives for the human territories who are part of the force maintaining order in the galaxy. They are dispatched by Commander Filitt (Clive Owen) to head to the enormous city of Alpha, a sprawling, ever evolving city that is home to thousands of species from all parts of the universe. And though it seems to be a peaceful utopia working for the good of all its inhabitants, dark forces are lurking under the surface, and the entire human race might be in danger.

With Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), Rihanna (Battleship), Herbie Hancock (Hitters) and John Goodman (Argo) also aboard, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets promises to be his Besson's largest film yet.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets will arrive in cinemas on 21 July.

New one sheet for The Promise arrives online

Entertainment One have just released their latest one sheet for Terry George's (Hotel Rwanda) The Promise.





After debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, we were hopeful that The Promise would soon find a UK distributor. Finally that has now happened.

The Promise is a romantic love triangle of sorts, set against the turbulent backdrop of the Armenian genocide as War World I began. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises) plays an American photojournalist who travels to the area with his Armenian girlfriend, played by Charlotte Le Bon (The Walk).

There, they meet Armenian apothecary Mikael (Oscar Isaac), and naturally sparks fly. Internal conflicts meet external conflicts as the Ottoman Empire turns violently against its own people just as war breaks out.

Despite a capable cast and a tragic historical backstory, The Promise never made it to general release in time for Oscar consideration last year, but depending on how it has turned out, it may yet be in the conversation, depending on whether this early 2017 slot counts against it in the short memories of awards voters. The film will be out in the UK on 28 April.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

New batch of character one sheets for Rough Night arrive online

Sony Pictures have just released their latest batch of character one sheets for Lucia Aniello's (Broad City) Rough Night.

















With Bridesmaids (2011) and Bad Moms (2016) finding success at the box office, it is good to see more female led comedies hitting screens. The latest, launched with a silly, riotous, red band trailer finds Scarlett Johansson (Lucy) having a Rough Night.

Formerly under the title Rock That Body, Rough Night stars Johansson as Jess, a bride-to-be heading with her college friends for a wild bachelorette trip. Joining her on the trip are Zoë Kravitz's (Mad Max: Fury Road) Blair, Jillian Bell's (22 Jump Street) Alice, Kate McKinnon's (Ghostbusters) Pippa and Ilana Glazer's (The Night Before) Frankie, intending to drink, party and otherwise have a good time. But events take a darker turn when the male stripper they hire for some entertainment accidentally dies... And then the question becomes whether they cover up the death or admit what happened.

Coming across as movies such as the aforementioned Bad Moms, The Hangover (2009) and Very Bad Things (1998), blended together in a cocktail shaker, Rough Night is directed by Broad City veteran Lucia Aniello, who also wrote the script alongside fellow City writer Paul W. Downs, who appears in the movie.

Rough Night will arrive in cinemas 16 June.

New banners for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 arrive onlne

Marvel Studios have just released a set of banners for James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.











Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 finds the Guardians gelling a little more as a unit after their rough early days, but still more ramshackle than, say, the Avengers. They are also not exactly top notch when it comes to helping others, and an early screw up means they face the wrath of Elizabeth Debicki's (The Man From U.N.C.L.E) alien Ayesha. Plus they have to somehow team up with Michael Rooker's Yondu after his Ravagers betray him.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 will see the return of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Karen Gillan, alongside new faces Kurt Russell (Death Proof), Nathan Fillion (Slither) and Sylvester Stallone (The Expendables).

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is out in the UK now and will arrive in the US on 5 May.

Two new banners for King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword arrives online

Warner Bros have just released two new banners for Guy Ritchie's (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword.








Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) stars as the titular head of the Round Table, with Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Guinevere, Eric Bana (Lone Survivor) as Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, while Ritchie's old Sherlock Holmes collaborator Jude Law is the villainous Vortigern and Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) as Sir Bedivere, one of Uther's old comrades who takes Arthur under his wing.

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) producer Joby Harold has written a script that finds a young Arthur as a streetwise type running the back alleys of Londonium, unaware of his royal destiny. Until, that is, he somehow grasps hold of the sword Excalibur, and finds himself challenged by its power. He joins forces with the resistance, meets Guinevere and has to learn to master the sword while battling his demons as well as the tyrannical Vortigern. Can he avenge his murdered parents and claim his rightful place on the throne? If the film is a success, Harold and Ritchie have plans for a six-film franchise spun from the stories of Arthur and co.

With Aidan Gillen (Game Of Thrones) and Mikael Persbrandt (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) also aboard, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword will arrive in cinemas 12 May.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

New one sheet for Baywatch arrives online

Paramount Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Seth Gordon's (Horrible Bosses) Baywatch.





Promising to inject more comedy into the sun soaked drama series concept, Baywatch finds Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas) as committed lifeguard Mitch Buchanan, who has to deal with the challenges of caring for the beach the people who use it. But when his boss, Captain Thorpe (Rob Heubel) hires hotshot Matt Brody (Efron), the pair initially butts heads.

But when a serious threat rears its head, the team springs into action – even if the local law enforcement officers aren't too thrilled.

Also in the cast are Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Kelly Rohrbach (The PET Squad Files), Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions) and Jon Bass, with former Miss World Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), who didn't get to join the line-up fun here, as the villainous Victoria Leeds. We can also expect a cameo from one David Hasselhoff, because it wouldn't be Baywatch otherwise.

Baywatch will surf into our cinemas on 12 May.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Paul Thomas Anderson adds Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps to his latest

It was announced last year that Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood) were set to reunite for a new film. Now news arrives that the untitled movie is currently shooting and has added Lesley Manville (Maleficent) and Vicky Krieps (A Most Wanted Man).





Focus Features have announced that Anderson recently started production here in the UK on his latest film, which is a drama set in the couture world of 1950s London. And the story is specifically that of an uncompromising dressmaker whose clients include royalty and others in high society. Nothing else has been released about the film, but then it is Paul Thomas Anderson, so frankly we are happy to wait. The director has recruited several of his regular collaborators, including composer Jonny Greenwood and costume designer Mark Bridges.

Focus is handling the movie in the US and is aiming have it in cinemas later this year, with Universal Pictures taking international distribution.

Guy Pearce joins The Catcher Was A Spy

With Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) snagging the lead in the film, baseball based espionage drama The Catcher Was A Spy is bulking up its cast. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Guy Pearce (The Hurt Locker) has signed on to co-star.





Ben Lewin (The Sessions) is directing a script written by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan). Here, he adapts Nicholas Dawidoff's 1994 non-fiction bestseller about Moe Berg, an accomplished college graduate who spoke nine languages and spent 15 years as a player on baseball teams including the Chicago White Sox. What his teammates didn't know was that his sports career was a cover for his life as a top secret spy for America's pre-CIA intelligence agency the OSS, and he helped America win the arms race against Germany.

Rudd is on as Berg, while Pearce's role has yet to be revealed – though there is a chance he might be one of Rudd's colleagues. Or we could see him as his OSS handler.

Pearce has recently worked on TV mini-series When We Rise and is set to cameo as Peter Weyland in  Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) follow-up Alien: Covenant, due in cinemas 19 May. There is no word yet on when The Catcher Was A Spy will be released.

New one sheet for Baywatch arrives online

Paramount Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Seth Gordon's (Horrible Bosses) Baywatch.





Promising to inject more comedy into the sun soaked drama series concept, Baywatch finds Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas) as committed lifeguard Mitch Buchanan, who has to deal with the challenges of caring for the beach the people who use it. But when his boss, Captain Thorpe (Rob Heubel) hires hotshot Matt Brody (Efron), the pair initially butts heads.

But when a serious threat rears its head, the team springs into action – even if the local law enforcement officers aren't too thrilled.

Also in the cast are Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Kelly Rohrbach (The PET Squad Files), Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions) and Jon Bass, with former Miss World Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), who didn't get to join the line-up fun here, as the villainous Victoria Leeds. We can also expect a cameo from one David Hasselhoff, because it wouldn't be Baywatch otherwise.

Baywatch will surf into our cinemas on 12 May.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Billie Piper and Samantha Morton join Two For Joy

Dramas about family issues often tackle complex, difficult subjects. And Two For Joy appears set to join their ranks. Now news arrive via Screen International that Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful) and Samantha Morton (Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them) are attached to star in the film.





Tom Beard, who has come up through photography and music videos, is making his feature writing and directorial debut with the film, which will chart the challenging relationship between a teenage daughter, her bed-ridden mother (Samantha Morton) and her wayward younger brother. Screen International's story doesn't mention what role Piper will play.

"Two For Joy encompasses my professional development over the last six years. In that time I have worked closely with young people who have been through the care system with the drama therapy charity The Big House," says Beard. "This has given me a unique perspective on issues affecting them, issues that I hope to offer up an unbiased and profound representation of in this film." The film has Sadie Frost, Emma Comley and Andrew Green (Set The Thames On Fire) on board to produce via their Blonde To Black Pictures company, and should be shooting this summer.

Piper can currently be seen in London based noir City Of Tiny Lights, while Morton is part of the voice cast for animated fantasy Magik, due next year.

Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn set to star in police thriller Dragged Across Concrete

As police policy and incidents of brutality continue to be hot topics, particularly in the US, news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Bone Tomahawk (2015) director S. Craig Zahler is using the subject matter to fuel a new thriller, with Mel Gibson and his Hacksaw Ridge cast member Vince Vaughn set reunite for Dragged Across Concrete.





Craig Zahler – who recently worked with Vaughn on Brawl In Cell Block 99 – is in the director's chair, and wrote the script. The story finds two police officers (Gibson as the old timer and Vaughn as his volatile younger partner) who are suspended when a video of their overly violent tactics is plastered across the internet and on news channels.

With their income suspended and funds running low, they double down on the bad behaviour and head for the criminal underworld. But there, they find far more than they wanted...

Vaughn has recently worked on Roland Joffé's (The Mission) The Forgiven, while Gibson has been shooting The Professor And The Madman.

Leonardo DiCaprio set for crime thriller The Black Hand

A man who seemingly never found a book he didn't want to adapt, Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) is attached to star in yet another movie drawn from a tome. News arrives via Deadline that he is set to star and produce crime thriller The Black Hand.





Stephan Talty's book chronicles the real life story of Joe Petrosino, a driven New York cop who made it his life's mission to go after the dangerous gang spreading a kidnapping ring from Italy to America in the late 1890s.

Known as The Black Hand, the gang were ruthless and inspired fear among the local Italian immigrant population, but Petrosino won the citizens' trust and created a network of informers. He sent many of the gang back to Italy or locked them up, but was finally lured to his death, leaving behind a wife and children.

DiCaprio is working with The Gotham Group and Paramount Pictures to bring the story to the screen, and he is currently on the hunt for a writer to do Petrosino's life justice.

Denis Villeneuve confirmed as director of Dune remake

In was announced back in November that Legendary Entertainment – the studio Pacific Rim (2013) and Godzilla (2014) – had snapped up the rights to Dune, Frank Herbert's sprawling, complex series of science fiction novels. Not long after that, we heard rumblings that they wanted French Canadian wunderkind Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) to direct the new film. Now it looks as though it is official.





Frank's son Brian Herbert tweeted recently that Legendary "has signed the very talented Denis Villeneuve to direct the exciting new DUNE series film project". Intriguingly, the tweet suggests a franchise is planned rather than a single film – an ambitious scheme for ambitious material.


Much like the rise of the Atreides, Dune's cinematic history is legendarily chaotic. It languished in development limbo for most of the 1970s. Alejandro Jodorosky (El Topo) tried and failed to produce it, though his aborted efforts became a superb documentary in its own right. David Lynch eventually directed – and quickly disowned – the first completed adaptation in 1984, which starred Kyle MacLachlan, Max Von Sydow, and Sting.

Paramount Pictures were trying to get a new Dune off the ground for years, with names like Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) and Pierre Morel (Taken) attached to direct before moving on again. Paramount's Dune rights lapsed back in 2011, and Legendary Pictures were finally confirmed as the new rights owners late last year.

The curse of Dune could yet topple Villeneuve's efforts. But with the director shepherding another beloved science fiction project, Blade Runner 2049, into cinemas this year, we would wager he is certainly a safe pair of hands – and with a pedigree that includes bold, challenging, grown-up material like Sicario (2015) and Arrival (2016), this could be finally the adaptation that Herbert deserves. We will keep our ears close to the sand on this one.

New one sheet for Ghost In The Shell arrives online

Paramount Pictures have recently released a stunning new one sheet for Rupert Sanders' (Snow White And The Huntsman) Ghost In The Shell.





Adapted from Masamune Shirow's original 1989 manga, Ghost In The Shell sees Scarlett Johansson (Lucy) as a special ops cyborg at the head of an elite task force known as Section 9. The team, working for Hanka Robotics, is in charge of stopping dangerous criminals and extremists, and their prime target is Kuze (Michael Pitt), a terrorist dedicated to wiping out all of Hanka's cyber technology.

Johansson's Lucy (2014) co-star Pilou Asbæk is aboard to play Batou, the second best fighter in the section and her trusted lieutenant, with Juliette Binoche (Cosmopolis), 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi), Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths) and Kaori Momoi (Memoirs Of A Geisha) also appearing. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han (The Dark knight), Danusia Samal (Tyrant), Lasarus Ratuere (The Mule), Yutaka Izumihara (Unbroken) and Tuwanda Manyimo (The Rover).

With a script by Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton), Ghost In The Shell is out in cinemas now. For more on Ghost In The Shell, check out our Ghost In The Shell crash course guide.

"Yeah, I'm thinkin' I'm back!"




- John Wick (Keanu Reeves) John Wick (2014)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

"London... Abu Dhabi... Cuba. Our paths have crossed before, Dom. You just didn't know it."

The Fast and the Furious franchise is nothing if not adaptive. Beginning life in 2001 as a nitrous injected B-movie set in the subculture of Los Angeles' underground street racers, it morphed into an explosive heist movie for the fifth instalment and by the seventh outing, the action packed crime series was now ransacking superhero territory with its skydiving cars, leaps between skyscrapers and Vin Diesel and Jason Statham smacking seven bells out of each other with gigantic wrenches as concrete collapsed around them.





But how do you adapt to the loss of Paul Walker? Playing fan favourite Brian O'Conner in all but the third instalment The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), the hugely likeable star died, off set, in a single vehicle collision in November 2013.

As all who contributed to Furious 7 (2015) will know, that film made it to the finish line by drafting in Walker's brothers, Cody and Caleb, for a few final shots, and by re-writing the script to award O'Conner a fond farewell. Trouble being, so elegantly and sincerely did it deal with Walker's passing, it felt like a natural endpoint to a franchise that had long made 'family' its key theme.

Well, Fast & Furious 8 – a more mundane moniker over here, changed from the appropriately overblown The Fate Of The Furious in the US – doesn't so much adapt as erupt, doing the unthinkable by turning Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), a man so dependably loyal he makes guide dogs look callous, against the very family he extols with such frequency it should be a drinking game (and probably is).

The architect of his about face is cyber terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who persuades Dom to first steal an electromagnetic pulse device in Berlin, and then some nuclear launch codes in New York – both strategic steps en route to an explosive endgame that takes place in the frozen wastelands of Russia (but was filmed in Iceland).

Just what Cipher has on Dom shall not be revealed here, but safe to say her Machiavellian machinations link back to previous Fast and Furious movies, with old names and faces coming into play. What can be said is that the Dom versus family set pieces are huge, with new to the franchise director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) proving he really can handle car carnage after his backfiring remake of The Italian Job (2003). Keeping his camera close to the flying fists and colliding cars, he seeks maximum impact while repeating the series' knack of each time supersizing the action.

At one point a giant wrecking ball plays skittles with a fleet of speeding vehicles, while another sequence sees hundreds of cars electronically hacked in Manhattan and remote controlled to charge down a motorcade, even raining off the rooftop of a multi-storey car park.

All, however, are small fry compared to the kamikaze finale involving muscle cars, tanks, snowmobiles, jets and the submarine first spotted in the trailer. If there was ever any doubt that Dom, Hobbs, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tey (Ludacris), Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are the Avengers with power cars instead of superpowers, the proof here smacks us full in the face. "Man up and save the entire goddamn world," growls Hobbs – yes, the stakes really are that high, the tone that ludicrous.

Truth be told, what is missing here is Walker's Zen calm to bring a breath of fresh air to all this hyperventilation. Although just when it seems he has been too readily forgotten by the Fast and Furious family, a lovely grace note honours his memory.

Anyone requiring even a shred of authenticity or gravitas, meanwhile, will have to make do with the faint real world chimes sounded by a plot that involves hacking, Russia and the shadow of World War 3 – add it to the ethnically diverse cast that has always been the franchise's engine and you might even argue it is a blockbuster for the Trump era.

But that is clearly stretching it. Better to buckle up and enjoy the ride for what it is – an OMG, OTT, WTF action movie that ricochets fast and furiously with banter and put downs. "I'm gonna knock your teeth so far down your throat you're gonna stick a toothbrush right up your ass to brush them," spits Hobbs. At least they will be fixed in a grin.

Fast And Furious 8 is a movie to which the brake pedal is but a rumour. If you are not a Fast franchise fan, you will be furious, everyone else though will have a nitrous oxide blast.





New one sheet for Baywatch arrives online

Paramount Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Seth Gordon's (Horrible Bosses) Baywatch.





Promising to inject more comedy into the sun soaked drama series concept, Baywatch finds Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas) as committed lifeguard Mitch Buchanan, who has to deal with the challenges of caring for the beach the people who use it. But when his boss, Captain Thorpe (Rob Heubel) hires hotshot Matt Brody (Efron), the pair initially butts heads.

But when a serious threat rears its head, the team springs into action – even if the local law enforcement officers aren't too thrilled.

Also in the cast are Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Kelly Rohrbach (The PET Squad Files), Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions) and Jon Bass, with former Miss World Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), who didn't get to join the line-up fun here, as the villainous Victoria Leeds. We can also expect a cameo from one David Hasselhoff, because it wouldn't be Baywatch otherwise.

Baywatch will surf into our cinemas on 12 May.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

"It's truth time."

StudioCanal have just released their first trailer and quad poster for Sean Foley's  Mindhorn.




Action movies are generally set in New York. Maybe Los Angeles or Miami. Sometimes London or Paris. But rarely the Isle of Man (population: 85,000), the small British dependency off the coast of the Lake District. That inauspicious locale is exactly where new action comedy Mindhorn is set, from the pens of Mighty Boosh alumni Julian Barrett and Simon Farnaby. 

Barrett stars as Richard Thorncroft, a washed-up actor who pines for the past glories of his former career starring as MI5 Special Operative Bruce Mindhorn, a TV detective with an bionic lie detecting eye that allows him to quite literally "see the truth".

Decades after his prime time success, Thorncroft is wearing a toupée and desperate for work – so when a crazed criminal on the Isle of Man requests to speak to Mindhorn, he is back on the case – this time, in real life.

Sean Foley has directed the comedy, which premiered at last year's London Film Festival to a rapturous reception. Essie Davis (The Babadook), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) and Harriet Walter (Babel) also star.




Mindhorn is out in the UK on May 5.

New one sheet for Colossal arrives online

Neon Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes) Colossal.





Directed by Timecrimes (2007) and Open Windows (2014) helmer Nacho Vigalondo, Colossal finds him putting his unique spin on the genre once again with a much more personal and humorous spin.

The film stars Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) as Gloria, a woman whose life is falling to pieces thanks to a series of poor life choices and a bit too much boozing. When she loses her job and gets kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, Gloria has to relocate to her hometown, where she reunites with a childhood friend (Jason Sudeikis) and finds herself slipping back into her destructive patterns in no time. At the same time, a giant Kaiju starts pops up in South Korea destroying everything in its path, and Gloria starts to realise that she shares a psychic connection with the monster and her reckless behaviour threatens to destroy more than just her relationships.

With Dan Stevens (The Guest) and Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) also in the cast, Colossal is out in the US now and will arrive in UK cinemas on 19 May.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

New one sheet for The Fate Of The Furious arrives online

Universal Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for F. Gary Gray's (Straight Outta Compton) The Fate Of The Furious.





Going by the much less unusual title Fast & Furious 8 here in the UK, the eighth movie finds the crew seemingly in a relaxed place. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, and the rest of the crew are enjoying a chaos free existence. But that is before a mysterious woman known as Cipher (Charlize Theron) somehow entices Dom back into a world of crime – and has him shockingly betray the others. And there are also struggles ahead for Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), who finds himself behind bars with Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw...

Soon, the team is splintering and facing trials that will test them like never before. And these are people who have driven cars out of planes and between skyscrapers...

Hopping between Cuba, New York and the icy plains near the arctic Barents Sea, the race is on to stop an anarchist and somehow bring home the man who made them into an unlikely family.

F. Gary Gray is in the director's chair with Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious 6) once again on script duties as the stunt team do ever madder things with assorted vehicles.

With franchise regulars Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel and Kurt Russell all returning, alongside new recruits Scott Eastwood (Fury), Kristofer Hivju (Game Of Thrones) and Helen Mirren (The Queen), Fate Of The Furious is out in cinemas now.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Creating Star Wars: George Lucas in his own words

On the first day of this years Star Wars Celebration, held in Orlando, Florida, George Lucas took to the stage. There he was greeted by thundrous applause and the image of thousands of lightsabers lighting up among the crowd, beautifully encapsulating the impact he has had on millions of fans around the world.





He was interviewed by Warwick Davis, who had been cast – at the age of just eleven – as the Ewok Wicket in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi (1983). The first question on Davis' mind was the original conception of Star Wars, and what follows is Lucas' own reflection of what motivated him to create the concept in the first place.

"There was a moment [of creation], but it was like an idea, and the idea was I would like to make an action movie which is more like a Saturday matinee serial that I enjoyed as a kid, but imbue it with mythological psychological motifs, because we don't have any of those today. And so I said, 'Well, I want to take these two things and put them together.'

A few years later I ended up making a deal with United Artists. They said 'What other movies do you have?' I was making a deal for American Graffiti (1973); I said 'I have this sort of space opera thing.' They said, 'Okay, we'll do a deal for that.' The one thing you've got to learn about studios is that if you get your break and you say, 'I've got a script,' they'll say, 'We'll do that, but we want to own you. We want to do all the films you'll ever make in the world.' And you say, 'Well, that's fantastic,' until you get to the next level, and suddenly you realize you've signed away your life.

[But] I was mainly thinking about American Graffiti, that was the movie I was making. Then, what really happened was after American Graffiti, the studio considered it to be so bad they wouldn't release it. So, I was out of a job. I'd made one movie – THX 1138 (1971), which was a cult favorite, which I liked but nobody else did. And I did this other rock 'n roll film which wasn't even good enough to be released.

There's this other side of all this, which is, I say they want to own you for life. Well, if you have two films that aren't successful, they don't want to see... they don't even have lunch with you... they don't want to do anything. They don't even know who you are. But in American Graffiti, in an effort to get people to get behind it, we had all these screenings and at one of the screenings, the head of 20th Century Fox came – Alan Ladd, Jr. – and he just came up to me afterwards and said, 'I love this movie. I think this is the greatest movie of all time. I want to do your next movie. I don't know what it is, but you're a talented guy and I want to make the movie.'

I said, 'Well, I got this movie... it's sort of a space opera thing we have... I think dogs driving spaceships...' And he said, 'Okay, I'll do it.' And he followed me all the way through, even though the Board Of Directors said, 'What in the world is this?' Right up until the very end. And he fought for it, and he helped me make it, and that's when I began to own the idea.

I was still writing scripts, and any of you that read the books, you know I took an idea and I was looking for a story, or I was looking to make it be something. And so I went through a lot of different versions of it until I finally got to the one... and even when I was shooting in Tunisia, I was still re-writing. The idea was simply to do a high adventure film that I loved when I was a kid with meaningful psychological themes. I don't know what I felt. It was like a brilliant, cockamamie idea.

It's hard for people to realize – and I'm not supposed to say this, and I wasn't supposed to say it then – but it's a film for twelve year olds. It was designed to be a film, like, mythology. This is what we stand for; you're about to enter the real world. You're twelve-years-old, you're going to go on into the big world; you're moving away from your parents being the center focus; you're probably scared; you don't know what's going to happen; and here's a little idea of some of the things you kids should pay attention to.

Friendships, honesty, and trust, and doing the right thing; living on the light side; avoiding the dark side. Those are things that it was meant to do, and obviously, the real thrill was when I'd see some of those little fans. When we were in Spain shooting Padme's palace, there were ten thousand people right there, watching. They were all little, tiny kids. They were reaching through this set; it was a metal house... it was like the White House; it was a natural landmark, that palace. And they were all linked, their hands are – even little, tiny ones. They had no idea who I was, but all they wanted to do was touch my hand. And I said, 'You know, this is what I did it for. Everything... none of it makes any difference except this...'

In the real world, the critics... certain fan things... they're not very kind. But when you see all these little kids... when you see the look on their faces, what it means to them, it forgives everything."

New one sheet for Justice League arrives online

Warner Bros have just released their latest one sheet for Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) follow-up Justice League.





With Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot's Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, aware of the alien threat posed by the forces of Darkseid and Steppenwolf, it is time to start gathering a team to fight back. The age of heroes will return with the likes of the Flash, also known as Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Arthur 'Aquaman' Curry (Jason Momoa) and Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), whose lifesaving technological enhancement turn him into Cyborg.

Not pictured here of course Henry Cavill's Superman. Is he really dead? The answer is almost definitely no, so we are assuming they keeping something back for the actual movie.

With the likes of Amy Adams' Lois Lane, Joe Morton's Silas, Billy Crudup (The Watchmen) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) also in the cast, Justice League arrives in UK and US cinemas on 17 November.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

"They created me. But they can not control me."

Back in 1995, Japanese director Mamoru Oshii released a manga adapting anime which asked searching questions about what makes us human while serving up astonishingly slick and inventive hi-tech action sequences. Ghost In The Shell was a deserved crossover phenomenon, earning its comparisons with the likes of Blade Runner (1982) and paving the way for the Wachowskis' The Matrix (1999).

That it took over 20 years for Hollywood to reskin it for live action isn't that surprising – after all, weren't there already enough science fiction movies out there that shared its neon tinged hardwiring? Perhaps it has been long enough for an audience to glide over the advertisement dominated, cityscapes of the latest Ghost In The Shell and not feel like it is just Blade Runner re-scanned. Or that the Major's psychic tussle to recover the truth of her life before she became a hard bodied, crime fighting, walking weapon is just another version of Murphy's struggle in RoboCop (1987). But if you are a longstanding fan of this genre, then the original's deep, abiding influence on Hollywood makes its remake feel derivative of so many movies other than its source material.





Of course, familiarity can often encourage nostalgia, and that is not hurt by the fact that Ghost In The Shell is a cogently constructed entertainment. Director Rupert Sanders is clearly an adept world builder and visualist, as proven by his debut Snow White & The Huntsman (2012).

From run down neon lit streets to gleaming corridors and floating holographic advertising, the stereoscopy boosts the immersion in the tangible environments. His reconstruction of the original's key set pieces too – including the urban lagoon showdown with an invisible Major, and the climactic fight with a Spider Tank – are equally as impressive.

He has also cast the film appropriately. For all the accusations of 'whitewashing', there is diversity here, with the Danish Pilou Asbæk  (Lucy) as the lens eyed Batou, Singaporean Chin Han (The Dark knight) as mulletted cop Han, and Japanese cinematic legend 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi), in only his third American film, as the sly Chief Daisuke Aramaki. As for Johansson in the lead role, the film's concept is that her body is an artificially produced construct – it would have been a welcome and progressive move to put an Asian actor in the role, but Johansson fits it well in the sense that the Major's 'shell' (i.e. body) is conceived in this script as something that isn't a natural fit for the character, or rather the character's 'ghost' (i.e. soul).

In the pre-credits opening, as Major's body is created (one of many visual cues directly invoking the anime), she is surrounded by a phalanx of medical technicians kitted out with vital sign measuring holographic visors. Her thermo optical camouflage skin suit here providing Johansson with a little more modesty than the anime's fully nude Major.

There is definitely something off about Johansson's Major – a disconnect between her physical form and her true self. She has been here before as an actor. There are close parallels to her performance in Under The Skin (2013), where she played a predatory alien in a human form of limited functionality, and also shades of the super enhanced Lucy (2014), not to mention Black Widow from the Marvel movies (though there she was a different kind of programmed killing machine). But here she adopts an altogether different physicality – hunched and heavy-footed, as if every movement is a heavy burden. There is a faint hint of Frankenstein's Monster in her surly stride.

That said, by necessity of the plot, Major remains a mostly blank slate throughout. It is a controlled performance by Johansson, who captures the character's uncanny emptiness, even if the result is that she is not the easiest central character to root for, even as flashes (or ghosts) of her previous life start appearing before her eyes. As such, the film lacks an emotional anchor, and some of the reveals lack the emotional punch that they should. It is more a problem with the film than Johansson herself. A case, if you will, of it being so preoccupied with the shell, it forgot to bring enough ghost.

So heavily derivative it doesn't feel like anything new, and there is little depth beneath that slick surface. But it is solid and attractive, at least, with a retro appeal to its cyberpunk stylings.





New one sheet for King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword arrives online

Warner Bros have just released their latest one sheet for Guy Ritchie's (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword.





Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) stars as the titular head of the Round Table, with Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Guinevere, Eric Bana (Lone Survivor) as Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, while Ritchie's old Sherlock Holmes collaborator Jude Law is the villainous Vortigern and Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) as Sir Bedivere, one of Uther's old comrades who takes Arthur under his wing.

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) producer Joby Harold has written a script that finds a young Arthur as a streetwise type running the back alleys of Londonium, unaware of his royal destiny. Until, that is, he somehow grasps hold of the sword Excalibur, and finds himself challenged by its power. He joins forces with the resistance, meets Guinevere and has to learn to master the sword while battling his demons as well as the tyrannical Vortigern. Can he avenge his murdered parents and claim his rightful place on the throne? If the film is a success, Harold and Ritchie have plans for a six-film franchise spun from the stories of Arthur and co.

With Aidan Gillen (Game Of Thrones) and Mikael Persbrandt (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) also aboard, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword will arrive in cinemas 12 May.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

New one sheet for Mindhorn arrives online

StudioCanal have just released their latest one sheet for Sean Foley's  Mindhorn.





Action movies are generally set in New York. Maybe Los Angeles or Miami. Sometimes London or Paris. But rarely the Isle of Man (population: 85,000), the small British dependency off the coast of the Lake District. That inauspicious locale is exactly where new action comedy Mindhorn is set, from the pens of Mighty Boosh alumni Julian Barrett and Simon Farnaby.

Barrett stars as Richard Thorncroft, a washed-up actor who pines for the past glories of his former career starring as MI5 Special Operative Bruce Mindhorn, a TV detective with an bionic lie detecting eye that allows him to quite literally "see the truth".

Decades after his prime time success, Thorncroft is wearing a toupée and desperate for work – so when a crazed criminal on the Isle of Man requests to speak to Mindhorn, he is back on the case – this time, in real life.

Sean Foley has directed the comedy, which premiered at last year's London Film Festival to a rapturous reception. Essie Davis (The Babadook), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) and Harriet Walter (Babel) also star.

Mindhorn is out in the UK on May 5.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

New one sheets for The Void arrive online

Signature Entertainment have just released a new batch of one sheets for Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie's The Void.










"There is a hell. This is worse." So reads the delightfully pithy tagline for The Void, a mysterious indie horror with apparent lashings of science fiction and heavy dollops of practical effects gore.

The Void comes from writing and directing team Steven Kostanski and and Jeremy Gillespie, veterans of design and special effects in high profile productions like Pacific Rim (2013), RoboCop (2014) and the Hannibal TV series, now branching out on their own path.

The pair are "committed to introducing audiences to a unique horror-mythology" with The Void, which they claim will "combine the aesthetic attitude of modern horror cinema as it emerged in the 1970s with the splatter and sophisticated practical special effects that ruled the creature features of the 1980s and early '90s." It has already generated solid buzz in horror circles, with comparisons made to John Carpenter (The Thing). There can be no higher praise, really.

The Void is out in cinemas now.

New character one sheets for Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales arrive online

Walt Disney Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning's (Kon-Tiki) Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

















The fifth and latest Pirates Of The Caribbean film has undergone something of a subtitle change for UK audiences – what is called Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales elsewhere is now known as Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge here.

We suppose the new title makes sense, focusing as it does on Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), a ghostly former cohort of Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow. Freshly escaped from the Devil's Triangle, Salazar and his spectral crew are killing all the living pirates, and Jack is their primary target.

Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong sailor in the Royal Navy. The teaser features no Jack, but instead finds Bardem's ghostly, but surprisingly polite sort demanding that Henry finds Jack for him.

Kon-Tiki's (2012) Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning are at the helm for this one, which Walt Disney Pictures will be hoping can keep the successful money tsunami going and generate some better reviews than the last outing.

We will find out if that is the case when Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge docks into UK cinemas on 26 May.

Monday, 10 April 2017

New one sheet for Kong: Skull Island arrives online

Warner Bros have recently released their latest one sheet for Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings Of Summer) Kong: Skull Island.





Kong: Skull Island finds a group of explorers – including Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World), Brie Larson (The Spectacular Now), Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained), John Goodman (Argo) and John C. Reilly (Savages) – heading to the mysterious, misty island and encountering the titular giant ape.

With a script that has seen work by Max Borenstein (Godzilla), John Gatins (Real Steel), Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) and Derek Connolly (Jurassic World), Kong: Skull Island will arrive in cinemas 10 March.

New one sheet for Alien: Covenant arrives online

20th Century Fox have just released their latest one sheet for Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) follow-up Alien: Covenant.





Alien: Covenant finds director Ridley Scott heading back to the Alien universe after Prometheus, and following a colony ship called the Covenant headed for a remote planet, a place that the crew initially thinks is an uncharted paradise but turns out to be dark and full of terrors. And the only inhabitant is synthetic life form David (Michael Fassbender), who claims to be the lone survivor of the Prometheus mission.

Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Amy Seimetz (You're Next), Carmen Ejogo (Selma), Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills), Billy Crudup (Watchmen) and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) make up the ship's crew, and it appears we will catch up with Noomi Rapace's Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. Plus we will be getting a double dose of Fassbender, as he is also playing another synthetic, this one named Walter.

Alien: Covenant, which was originally scheduled for 4 August, now seems scheduled for 19 May, which should be day and date both here and in the US.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Justin Kurzel set to direct post-World War II drama Ruin

He may not have struck box office gold with Assassin's Creed (2016), but that doesn't appear to have affected director Justin Kurzel's ambitions. News arrives via The Tracking Board that he is heading back into drama for a script called Ruin that already has several studios interested.





Ryan and Matt Firpo have written the speculative screenplay and it is generating plenty of heat. The story follows a former Nazi captain who anonymously travels the ruins of post-World War II Germany and seeks to atone for his crimes by hunting down the members of the SS Death Squad that once worked under him.

It certainly sounds like something Kurzel's previous collaborator Michael Fassbender could do – he has already had Nazi hunting experience from Inglourious Basterds (2009) and his time as X-Men's Magneto. But casting decisions are a ways off yet, as first this script has to find a home.

Armie Hammer set for Ben Wheatley's Freakshift

We recently brought the news that Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) had entered talks to join Ben Wheatley's (High-Rise) next film, Freakshift. Now news arrives via Deadline that she is officially aboard and now Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger), currently on screens in the director's Free Fire, is joining her in the cast.




Wheatley wrote Freakshift a few years ago with Amy Jump (High-Rise) and has now got the movie in a position to start rolling in August. The film's high concept involves a world where creatures rise up at night and terrorise decent citizens. That leads to the creation of the Freakshift themselves, a government organised band of thrill seeking hunters who are happy to go out killing at night "for duty, sport and money."

Vikander will play the main protagonist with Hammer as her love interest in this world of underground monsters. Andrew Starke (Free Fire), Wheatley's producing partner in Rook Films, will help to shepherd this one to screens.

A mentioned above, Hammer is on UK screens now in Free Fire, which arrives in the US on 21 April. He will also be seen in Final Portrait, Call Me By Your Name and has a voice in the latest Pixar Animation outing Cars 3, due on 14 July.

New one sheet for The Mummy arrives online

Universal Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Alex Kurtzman's (People Like Us) The Mummy.




As Universal Pictures prepares to breath new life into their classic monster creature features while combining them into the current hot trend for shared cinematic universes, The Mummy represents one of the big main shots at launching this linked set of stories.

With Tom Cruise (Edge Of Tomorrow) as soldier Nick Morton and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) playing the title character, Ahmanet, the stage is set for a sandstorm of new action and chases as the supernatural threat re-emerges. It is just the latest take on a story that has been told many times on screen, though this one will mean another new start, ignoring the more recent Stephen Sommers movies. Cruise has a brush with death and Russell Crowe's (Man Of Steel) Dr. Jekyll welcomes him to a world of gods and monsters.

Alex Kurtzman directs from a script that has been work from Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) and Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher), and The Mummy will be out on 9 June.

New one sheet for Book Of Henry arrives online

Universal Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Colin Trevorrow's (Jurassic World) Book Of Henry.





In between the behemoths Jurassic World (2015) and Star Wars: Episode IX, director Colin Trevorrow has squeezed in a return to the sort of smaller scale fare that landed him his bigger projects.

Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) plays the titular Henry Carpenter, an 11-year-old prodigy who is wise beyond his years and spends time helping his single mother Susan (Naomi Watts) balance the household budget, at least when he is not coming up with Rube Goldberg contraptions to delight younger brother Peter (Jacob Tremblay).

But when he learns that classmate and next door neighbour Christina (Maddie Ziegler) is hiding a dark secret and that her stepfather Glenn (Dean Norris) is likely responsible, Henry hatches a complicated plan to help her. But he will need his mother and brother to carry it out...

Written by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X), this one comes across as a blend of precious child quirky comedy and conspiracy thriller, but we know that Trevorrow can handle more offbeat stories. With Lee Pace (Guardians Of The Galaxy), Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live) and Sarah Silverman (Take This Waltz) in the cast, The Book Of Henry will be out on 23 June.