Tuesday, 28 February 2017

New one sheet for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter arrives online

Sony Pictures have recently released latest one sheet for Paul W.S. Anderson's final Resident Evil instalment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

For what is being touted as the last entry – at least from Paul W.S. Anderson, the man who has produced all and directed almost all the movies so far – the latest Resident Evil outing promises to bring the evil home. And indeed we see Milla Jovovich's Alice, having survived the conflict in Washington, heading back to Raccoon City to confront the terror of the Umbrella Corporation once and for all.

With Iain Glen returning as Dr. Alexander Isaacs, alongside Shawn Roberts' Albert Wesker and Ali Larter's Claire, plus new saga arrival Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black) who plays a woman named Abigail, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has Jovovich looking to outdo her previous action moments as she prepares to hang up her guns.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is out in cinemas now.

New character one sheets for Hidden Figures arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released a striking new batch of character one sheets for Theodore Melfi's (St. Vincent) Hidden Figures, which tells the untold story of the little heralded female figures who played a crucial role in America's early days in orbit.

Hidden Figures chronicles Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), the brilliant African-American mathematician who worked with Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) as three of the main brains behind John Glenn's first trip into space and back again in 1962. People remember his being the first orbit of the Earth, now we will properly learn who helped get him there. And despite their clear brain power, the women still have to battle racist and sexist attitudes and an institution still largely run by white men.

Theodore Melfi is behind the camera for this one, working from a script he co-wrote with Allison Schroeder based on Margot Lee Shetterly's eponymous book.

Henson, Spencer and Monáe head up a cast that includes Kevin Costner (Man Of Steel), Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton) and Mahershala Ali (House Of Cards).

Hidden Figures is out in cinemas now.

New one sheet for La La Land arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their IMAX one sheet for Damien Chazelle's (Whiplash) La La Land.

Having brought us the tempo-obsessed J.K. Simmons and browbeaten Miles Teller in Whiplash (2014), Damien Chazelle's next film, La La Land promises to be a more warmly romantic dip into musical territory.

La La Land, as the title might suggest, is set in Los Angeles and finds Ryan Gosling (Drive) as Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, and Emma Stone (The Help) as Mia, an aspiring actress who are struggling to make ends meet as they pursue their dreams. They make a love connection, but their relationship is tested by the pitfalls of their chosen careers.

We are certainly intrigued by the look, sound and feel of this one, and happy to see that Chazelle is keeping up the tradition of J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) berating people.

With John Legend (Soul Men), Rosemarie DeWitt (Cinderella Man), Finn Wittrock (Unbroken) and Callie Hernandez (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) also in the cast, La La Land is out in cinemas now and you can read our review right here.

First one sheet for The Belko Experiment arrives online

BH Tilt have recently released their first one sheet for Greg McLean's (Wolf Creek) The Belko Experiment.

James Gunn might be busy putting the finishing touches to his Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) sequel, but he still managed to find time to dust off and polish a script he wrote a few years ago, and hand it to Wolf Creek's (2005) Greg McLean to direct. The result is The Belko Experiment.

Set at a facility of the non-profit Belko company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees ordered to either kill each other or be killed themselves thanks to explosive charges implanted in their heads. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belko employee. John C. McGinley (Scrubs) is socially awkward executive Wendell Dukes, a man who prefers to socialise with friends such as Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) and doesn't really enjoy being around his employees. Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) plays Dany Wilkins, the new girl at the facility who is arguably about to experience the worst employee orientation of all time. And of course, there is a spot for Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy), here as maintenance man Bud Melks.

With John Gallagher Jr., Mikaela Hoover and Abraham Benrubi also in the cast, The Belko Experiment will hit US screens on 17 March but has yet to secure a UK release.

"You're an addict. So be addicted, just be addicted to something else. Choose the ones you love. Choose your future. Choose life."

"Hello Mark," says Jonny Lee Miller's Simon 'Sick Boy' Williamson to Ewan McGregor's Renton near the start of T2 Trainspotting. "So what have you been up to... for twenty years?" It is a question that for a long time felt like it would never get an answer. Danny Boyle's era-defining 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh's 1993 novel became the movie avatar of Cool Britannia, a cultural movement born out of the ashes and anger of a Thatcher government, hopped up on the sweaty, squalid optimism of dance culture. Yet a middling follow-up novel (Porno), well documented director and star complications, and the fear of botching up a beloved original have kept it from multiplexes. Until now.

In a disjointed start, we learn their fates. Two decades on Renton has swapped running from shop security guards to running on treadmills, yet he can't outrun the treachery of his past. A health scare – and worse – drag him back home to a Leith of steep decline and slow regeneration. Sick Boy is running an extortion business filming the well-off with his prostitute and business partner Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova). Spud (Ewen Bremner) is still a junkie with the soul of a poet and now estranged from his wife (Shirley Henderson) and son. And then there is Begbie (Robert Carlyle), locked up inside but with a stomach churning way of getting out of prison, before revisiting his wife and son (who in a stroke of genius is doing a degree in hotel management) while still holding a grudge against Renton.

How this all builds and plays out won't be spoiled here. McGregor and Miller play the shifting dynamics between friends well – especially one who double crossed the other – and their relationship is the driving engine of the story. Their mutual attraction to Veronika also adds intrigue and Nedyalkova makes her skimpy role seem rounded and likeable. Best of all though is Carlyle's Begbie, still a terrifying hardman – he is arguably cinema's greatest C-bomber – but especially in later scenes finds vulnerabilities that make you genuinely feel for him. Bremner's Spud is perhaps the least served – bizarrely he becomes the group's stenographer but isn't given much more to round out his likeable idiot routine.

Pointedly, during Renton's updating of his Choose Life monologue, he utters "Choose watching history repeat itself". It is a mantra that pervades T2 Trainspotting. If the film is like any sequel it is like Back To The Future Part II (1989), using the second film to investigate the first, through flashback, music and subtle nods. If the first film is really about the joy of being young – the hedonism, the mistakes, the camaraderie – T2 Trainspotting is about the disappointments of growing old – the limitations, the regrets, the need for reconnection. The shared past of these friends is inextricably intertwined in their present and this is where the poignancy of the film lives. Bravely Boyle has made a mostly sombre film about how fortysomething lives work out and it is well observed and well acted. But is this what you want from a Trainspotting film?

For 20 years, T2 Trainspotting was the elephant in the room, the madman laughing in the corner – the gang perhaps mindful of Sick Boy's dictum: "You've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever." But Boyle, for one, has never lost it, and every frame of this film means something to him, and those who were there the first time. Dizzyingly meta, maddeningly broad, then oddly moving, T2 takes some getting your head round, even for the faithful. Indeed, new viewers may wonder what has been slipped in their drinks.

There is a ten-minute section in the middle, where Renton and Sick Boy have to improvise a song about The Battle Of The Boyne in a pro Protestant club followed by a tribute to George Best scored to John Barry's 007 theme, that captures some of the old zest and energy. There is also a fantastic split screen scene in a toilet cubicle. Stylistically Boyle still trades in the original's mixture of hard-nosed realism and flights of fantasy.

Once more, Boyle's direction is the star here. Frenetic with verbs and spiky with life, the film fizzes along to a fantastic soundtrack of new friends (Young Fathers) and remixed favourites (Born Slippy). But it is also slightly diffuse – without Renton's acid voiceover, the narrative loses that monomaniacal focus, swapping the purity of the original high for a cocktail of different uppers and downers.

Trainspotting was never about the drugs, or the money. It was about youth, about escape. Twenty years on, with middle age encroaching and all hopes of escape long evaporated, T2 isn't about the drugs, or the money either. It is about chasing the old highs, realising you can't reach them and then, if you are lucky, finding new ones.

Wiser, sadder but very much alive and kicking, T2 Trainspotting is a film that knows you can't compete with the ghosts of the past. But at least you can dance with them.

Monday, 27 February 2017

"And the Academy Award goes to..."

Last night saw the 89th Annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, with Barry Jenkins' coming of age drama Moonlight taking home the top prize of Best Picture. But in perhaps the most extraordinary end to any Oscars in living memory, it very nearly didn't. In an apparent envelope mix-up, the presenters of the award, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, initially read out La La Land, somehow having been given the envelope for Best Actress (which went to Emma Stone).

The La La Land team promptly took to the stage, supposedly victorious, and had already begun making their speeches when Academy producers suddenly interrupted and demanded to see the winning envelopes. When the error became clear, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz announced to gasps: "This is not a joke. Moonlight won Best Picture".

It was a stunning end to a ceremony which up until that point had gone more or less without a hitch. Damien Chazelle's musical ultimately won six awards, not quite sweeping its record equalling 14 nominations but still the biggest winner overall, taking top categories like Best Director and Best Actress.

Elsewhere, Moonlight also won Best Adapted Screenplay, Casey Affleck kept Denzel Washington at bay to win Best Actor, and Viola Davis took Best Supporting Actress in an emotional speech. There was also something of a political edge to the evening, with many winners and presenters choosing to use their platform to speak out against recent immigration laws in the US – the director of the Best Foreign Language Film, Asgar Farhardi, chose not to attend in a political protest.

In the end though, it was ultimately overshadowed by the Best Picture fiasco, which saw the unbelievable sight of Academy Award winners handing over the Oscars they thought they had won to the actual winners. Not to mention the sight of a visibly shaken Warren Beatty attempt to explain to the audience what the hell had just happened.

Hats off though to La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz, who stepped in and broke the news, declaring "There's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke, come up here."

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are responsible for safeguarding both the ballots and the winners' envelopes, officially took responsibility, issuing the following statement: "We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation."

The teams behind La La Land and Moonlight will be forced to enjoy arguably the strangest, most bittersweet celebrations in Academy Awards history, and Hollywood will have to collectively attempt to pick its jaw up from the floor.

The full list of nominees and winners are below.

Best Picture
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea

Best Director
La La Land - Damien Chazelle
Arrival - Denis Villeneuve
Hacksaw Ridge - Mel Gibson
Manchester By The Sea - Kenneth Lonergan
Moonlight - Barry Jenkins

Best Actress
Emma Stone - La La Land
Isabelle Huppert - Elle
Ruth Negga - Loving
Natalie Portman - Jackie
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis - Fences
Naomie Harris - Moonlight
Nicole Kidman - Lion
Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams - Manchester By The Sea

Best Actor
Casey Affleck - Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington - Fences

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Jeff Bridges - Hell Or High Water
Lucas Hedges - Manchester By The Sea
Dev Patel - Lion
Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals

Best Animated Feature
Kubo And The Two Strings
My Life As A Zucchini
The Red Turtle

Best Cinematography
La La Land

Best Costume Design
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

Best Documentary
O.J.: Made In America
Fire At Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated

Best Documentary Short
The White Helmets
4.1 Miles
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland

Best Film Editing
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
La La Land

Best Foreign Language Film
The Salesman
Land Of Mine
A Man Called Ove
Toni Erdmann

Best Makeup And Hair
Suicide Squad
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Best Original Score
La La Land - Justin Hurwitz
Jackie - Mica Levi
Lion - Dustin O'Halloran And Hauschka
Moonlight - Nicholas Britell
Passengers - Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
City Of Stars - La La Land
Audition (The Fools Who Dream) - La La Land
Can't Stop The Feeling - Trolls
The Empty Chair - Jim: The James Foley Story
How Far I'll Go - Moana

Best Production Design
La La Land
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Hail, Caesar!

Best Animated Short Film
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider And Cigarettes

Best Live Action Short
Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme Et Le Tgv
Silent Nights

Best Sound Editing
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Best Sound Mixing
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

Best Visual Effects
The Jungle Book
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Kubo And The Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Adapted Screenplay
Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay
Manchester By The Sea
Hell Or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
20th Century Women

Bill Paxton: Actor and director dies aged 61

Bill Paxton, the much loved actor, director and producer, a scene stealer able to play both moral and terrible characters with a raw charm, has died at the age of 61.

Paxton had reportedly suffered from complications following surgery.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955, Paxton frequently attended movies and other cultural events with his father and siblings from a young age. His interest in film and filmmaking started early too, studying in the UK at Richmond College where he met two friends and began making Super 8 movies upon their return to Texas.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to break into the industry, and got his first job as a production assistant on an industrial film for the Encyclopedia Britannica. From there, he found work as a set dresser for Roger Corman's New World Pictures on movies such as Big Bad Mama (1974) and Eat My Dust (1976). He scored his first role, uncredited, on Jonathan Demme's Crazy Mama (1975) and decided to focus more on acting.

At 21, Paxton headed to New York to study acting with the famous Stella Adler, but though he was impressed with her methods, he dropped out after two years. Upon his return to LA, he made short film Fish Heads (1980) which debuted on Saturday Night Live, and began to land small roles while still working for Corman on movies such as Galaxy Of Terror (1981). He impressed James Cameron when they worked together on Corman films, and scored a small part as a punk who attempts to rob Arnold Schwarzenegger' killer cyborg in The Terminator (1984). The pair would go on to enjoy a fruitful collaboration (and deep friendship), with Paxton appearing in True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997) and, in possibly his most memorable and quotable role, as Private Hudson in Aliens (1986).

He enjoyed a varied career, and fans have loved his work on any number of movies including Weird Science (1985), Near Dark (1987), Predator 2 (1990), One False Move (1992), Tombstone (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), The Last Supper (1995), Twister (1996), A Simple Plan (1998), Haywire (2011), 2 Guns (2013) and Edge Of Tomorrow (2014).

Turning his hand to more work behind the camera, Paxton directed (and appeared in) the excellent thriller Frailty (2001), about a father driven to murder by what he claimed were visions. He also made golf drama The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) and had been developing a new film.

On the small screen, the actor made his mark with shows such as Big Love, Hatfields & McCoys, Miami Vice, and, more recently, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., in which he impressed as the villainous John Garrett. He was currently working on the TV version of Training Day and will be seen in technology thriller The Circle.

Jamie Lee Curtis, who co-starred with Paxton in True Lies, tweeted her sadness, writing: "Nooooo. Bill Paxton is gone. Such a funny, talented, loving human."

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who acted alongside him in Terminator and True Lies, said: "Bill Paxton could play any role, but he was best at being Bill - a great human being with a huge heart. My thoughts are with his family."

Tom Hanks, who starred alongside Paxton in Apollo 13 and the forthcoming film The Circle, said: "Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man."

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer said: "I am devastated at the passing of my friend Bill Paxton. He was a tremendously talented actor and a wonderful man."

Paxton's family said in a statement: "A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker.

"Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family's wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father."

Director James Cameron emailed a statement to Vanity Fair remembering the actor, whose creative endeavors with him evolved into a 36-year friendship.

"I've been reeling from this for the past half hour, trying to wrap my mind and heart around it. Bill leaves such a void. He and I were close friends for 36 years, since we met on the set of a Roger Corman ultra-low budget movie. He came in to work on set, and I slapped a paint brush in his hand and pointed to a wall, saying "Paint that!" We quickly recognized the creative spark in each other and became fast friends. What followed was 36 years of making films together, helping develop each others' projects, going on scuba diving trips together, watching each others kids growing up, even diving the Titanic wreck together in Russian subs. It was a friendship of laughter, adventure, love of cinema, and mutual respect. Bill wrote beautiful heartfelt and thoughtful letters, an anachronism in this age of digital shorthand. He took good care of his relationships with people, always caring and present for others. He was a good man, a great actor, and a creative dynamo. I hope that amid the gaudy din of Oscar night, people will take a moment to remember this wonderful man, not just for all the hours of joy he brought to us with his vivid screen presence, but for the great human that he was. The world is a lesser place for his passing, and I will profoundly miss him."

Paxton was married to Louise Newbury and is survived by his two children, James and Lydia Paxton.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family.


Sunday, 26 February 2017

First one sheet for All Nighter arrives online

Good Deed Entertainment have recently released their first one sheet for Gavin Wiesen's (The Art Of Getting By) All Nighter.

Written by Seth W. Owen (Morgan), All Nighter finds J. K. Simmons (Whiplash) as a globe trotting, workaholic father trying to visit his daughter (Kristen Schaal) on a last minute layover in Los Angeles. On arrival he discovers that she has disappeared and forces her awkward, nervous ex-boyfriend (Emile Hirsch) –  still nursing a broken heart – to help him find her over the course of one increasingly crazy night.

All Nighter will arrive in US cinemas on 17 March, before being released through video on demand on 24 March. There is no date for UK release as yet.

New one sheet for Wolverine solo movie Logan arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest one sheet for James Mangold's (The Wolverine) latest Wolverine solo outing, which is now officially called Logan.

Hugh Jackman is set to appear for the very last time as arguably the most iconic member of the X-Men for the third Wolverine solo movie, and so we are expecting big things from his swan song in the role. The new movie, written by David James Kelly, is being kept mostly quiet, though most reports have pegged a futuristic Old Man Logan inspiration.

Patrick Stewart returns as the older Professor Xavier, while Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl), is the main villain, Richard E. Grant (Dom Hemingway) plays a mad scientist and Stephen Merchant (I Give It A Year), Eriq La Salle (ER), Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Fear The Walking Dead) are also on board.

Logan will arrive in UK cinemas on 3 March.

New quad poster for Trespass Against Us arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Adam Smith's feature debut Trespass Against Us.

British crime drama Trespass Against Us has been around for a while now but it is finally getting a release following its Toronto International Film Festival premiere.

The film follows three generations of outlaws who delight in illegal hunting, ram-raiding stately homes and defying the police. One, though, Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender), has grown sick of the criminal life and wants to find a path to the straight and narrow. Naturally, his father (Brendan Gleeson) is not best pleased.

Expect hare coursing, car chases and robbery as Fassbender's wannabe law abider tries to get out but keeps finding himself pulled back in.

With a score from electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers, and Sean Harris (Prometheus), Lyndsey Marshal (The Hours), Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) and Killian Scott (Calvary) rounding out the cast, Trespass Against Us will arrive in UK cinemas 3 March.

New character one sheets for Patriots Day arrive online

Lionsgate have recently released a batch of character one sheets for Peter Berg's (Lone Survivor) Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day.

Following their collaboration on Lone Survivor (2013) and Deepwater Horizon (2016), director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg are steadily building a reputation for working together on truth based dramas.

The film blends reality and cinematic invention to chronicle the events surrounding the bombing that happened at the finish line of the Boston race on 15 April 2013. Investigators eventually narrowed down suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and a huge manhunt followed, with Tamerlan killed in a firefight with officers and Dzhokhar found guilty of all his charges and sentenced to death.

Wahlberg is playing Sergeant Tommy Saunders, a composite of various Boston Police Department officers who were central to the case, with J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), John Goodman (Argo), Melissa Benoist (Whiplash), Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) and Kevin Bacon (Mystic River) also in the cast.

Matt Charman (Bridge Of Spies) wrote the script for the film, which is out in cinemas now.

New trailer for The City Of Tiny Lights arrives online

Icon Film Distribution have recently released their first trailer for Pete Travis' (Dredd) The City Of Tiny Lights.

To the ranks of on screen private eyes, we can now add Riz Ahmed's (Nightcrawler) Tommy Aktar, a man on a mission with a cynical eye but a well calibrated moral compass.

City Of Tiny Lights has been co-written by author Patrick Neate, adapting his eponymous novel set in the shadier streets of West London. Ahmed's Tommy is a cricket fan and the devoted son to his ailing father (Roshan Seth). His business isn't exactly healthy by any means, but then he is asked for help by prostitute Melody (Cush Jumbo), and launched into a case that could really do him and those he loves some damage. Particularly Shelley (Billie Piper) who comes back into his life...

Promising some gritty London noir, City Of Tiny Lights will be out in the UK on 7 April.

"The answer to what is happening to you is here. You five are the Power Rangers."

Lionsgate have recently released their latest trailer for Dean Israelite's (Project Almanac) Power Rangers.

Power Rangers, for the uninitiated, originated in Japan as the tokusatsu television series Super Sentai, and was adapted into Power Rangers for American audiences in the early 1990s, ultimately morphing into a giant franchise of its own.

This is the third big screen outing for the team, with director Dean Israelite giving the franchise a breath of modern fresh air and a (moderately) more grounded tone than the campy earlier versions

Power Rangers finds Becky G (House Of Sin) as Yellow Ranger Trini, Ludi Lin (Monster Hunt) as Black Ranger Zack, Dacre Montgomery as Red Ranger Jason, Naomi Scott (The Martian) as Pink Ranger Kimberly, and RJ Cyler (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl) as Blue Ranger Billy, who are recruited to suit up to save the world from evil.

The big threat this time comes from Power Rangers villain stalwart Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). And then there is Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), a veteran of voicing baddies in the original 1993 series, who this time will be stepping in as Zordon, the guardian and mentor to the team.

Power Rangers will arrive in cinemas on 24 March.

"She's like you. Very much like you."

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for James Mangold's (The Wolverine) Logan.

When the first Logan trailer debuted last year, set to that haunting Johnny Cash cover of Hurt, it presented us with a very different breed of Woverine movie. This time out the trailer focuses on Dafne Keen's (The Refugees) Laura, finally divulging the secret that we all knew that Laura is, in fact, the mutant known as X-23. We see some superb scenes of Laura in action, literally carving her way through Donald Pierce's (Boyd Holbrook) hired goons, plus a tantalising glimpse of an X-Men comic, showing that the mutant team's exploits have been recorded (and slightly exaggerated) for posterity.

Hugh Jackman is set to appear for the very last time as arguably the most iconic member of the X-Men for the third Wolverine solo movie, and so we are expecting big things from his swan song in the role. Also returning for potentially the final time is Patrick Stewart's now nonagenarian Professor X.

Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl) is the main villain, while Richard E. Grant (Dom Hemingway) plays a mad scientist and Stephen Merchant (I Give It A Year), Eriq La Salle (ER), Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Fear The Walking Dead) are also on board.

Logan will arrive in UK cinemas on 3 March.

New clip for John Wick: Chapter 2 arrives online

Warner Bros have recently released a new clip for Chad Stahelski's John Wick (2014) sequel John Wick: Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 finds Keanu Reeves' Wick forced fully back out of retirement when a former associate plots to seize control of the shadowy international assassins' guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome, but soon learns there is a price on his head and must square off against some of the world's deadliest killers.

Ian McShane and Lance Reddick are back for this one, and the cast also includes Common (Now You See Me), Laurence Fishburne (Contagion), John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!) and Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black).

John Wick: Chapter 2 is out in cinemas now.

New trailer for The Belko Experiment arrives online

BH Tilt have recently released their latest trailer for Greg McLean's (Wolf Creek) The Belko Experiment.

James Gunn might be busy putting the finishing touches to his Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) sequel, but he still managed to find time to dust off and polish a script he wrote a few years ago, and hand it to Wolf Creek's (2005) Greg McLean to direct. The result is The Belko Experiment.

Set at a facility of the non-profit Belko company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees ordered to either kill each other or be killed themselves thanks to explosive charges implanted in their heads. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belko employee. John C. McGinley (Scrubs) is socially awkward executive Wendell Dukes, a man who prefers to socialise with friends such as Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) and doesn't really enjoy being around his employees. Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) plays Dany Wilkins, the new girl at the facility who is arguably about to experience the worst employee orientation of all time. And of course, there is a spot for Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy), here as maintenance man Bud Melks.

With John Gallagher Jr., Mikaela Hoover and Abraham Benrubi also in the cast, The Belko Experiment will hit US screens on 17 March but has yet to secure a UK release.

"People are going to just keep killing themselves."

Netflix have recently released their first trailer for Charlie McDowell's The Discovery.

Bought by Netflix after the film was completed, moody science fiction drama The Discovery is on its way to us thanks to the streaming service.

The film, co-written by Charlie McDowell and Justin Lader (The One I Love), is set in a world where the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proven. Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) plays Will, the son of Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) who made the astonishing discovery in the first place, and he falls in love with Rooney Mara's (The Social Network) Isla, a woman whose past is tinged with tragedy.

A year after the big announcement is made, people everywhere are offing themselves to reach what they figure will be eternal bliss, though the answer might not be quite that simple. And how do you go about living in a world where so many others are intent on dying?

With Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Jesse Plemons (Black Mass) also in the cast, The Discovery will hit Netflix on 31 March.

First trailer for Lady Macbeth arrives online

Altitude Films have recently released their first trailer for William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth.

Arriving on a buzzy tide of festival praise and awards, William Oldroyd's directorial debut Lady Macbeth seems certain to draw more attention when it arrives on our screens.

Loosely based by scriptwriter Alice Birch on Nikolai Leskov's 19th century novella Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk District, the story focuses on Katherine (Florence Pugh), a young woman dealing with a tough life in rural England in 1865.

Essentially sold into loveless marriage to Alexander (Paul Hilton) – a bitter and paranoid man twice her age – she suffers through humiliation and discomfort from both her lacklustre hubby and cruel father-in-law Boris (Christopher Fairbank). Her one release is an passionate affair with groomsman James (Cosmo Jarvis), though its Katherine who is the driving force behind the illicit relationship.

Promising a great central performance by Pugh and an impressive leap from theatre to film work from Oldroyd, Lady Macbeth will be out on 28 April.

New one sheet for Gold arrives online

Studio Canal have recently released their one sheet for Stephen Gaghan's (Syriana) based on truth tale Gold.

Stephen Gaghan's latest film, which has a script from Patrick Massett and John Zinman (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), tells the story of the 1993 Bre-X Corporation mining scandal. The plot follows ambitious prospector Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) who stumbles upon one of the largest gold mines in the world in the Indonesian jungle.

Wells is seemingly made for life, but his haul soon attracts attention, and things spiral into a mess involving Wall Street, the FBI and the Indonesian military.

Names have been changed for this one, but the story still promises to be a ripe one. Gold also features Édgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Toby Kebbell (War Horse) and Corey Stoll (Ant-Man).

Gold is out in cinemas now.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

First trailer and one sheet for CHiPs arrives online

Warner Bros have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Dax Shepard's (Hit And Run) CHiPs.

Turning late 1970's cop show CHiPs into a movie might have seemed like a risky stab at re-inventing something today's younger audiences might not know much about beyond some Ponch related pop culture references. But nostalgia remains a driving force, so here is Dax Shepard and Michael Peña (The Martian) squeezing into the brown motorcycle duds for an R-rated comedy adaption.

Shepard (who also wrote and directed the movie) plays Jon Baker, an injury prone pro motorcyclist looking to fix his broken marriage (if not some of his broken bones) by joining up with the California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles. He is partnered with Frank 'Ponch' Poncherello (Peña), who has his own reasons for signing up – Ponch is actually an undercover Federal agent looking to take down a suspected gang of crooked cops who may be pulling off heists.

Can this unlikely duo put their clear differences aside and work as a unit? Our guess is eventually, but as the trailer shows, the film wants to mine a lot of comedy from their approaches to the law and bikes.

With Kristen Bell* (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Adam Brody (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and Vincent D'Onofrio (Jurassic World) also in the cast, CHiPs – or CHIPS as the movie appears to prefer – will screech into UK cinemas on 24 March.

*Kristen Bell is also the wife of Dax Shepard

New red band trailer for Raw arrives online

Universal Pictures have recently released their first trailer for Julia Ducournau's feature debut Raw, including a rather bloody red band version, which can find below.

The indie French horror finds young Justine (Garance Marillier) arriving at veterinary school to carry on the family tradition. Everyone in her family cares for animals and are devout vegetarians. But being away from home for the first time is a chance to experiment. Especially when you are looking to fit in whatever the cost.

During a brutal hazing ritual for the new students, she eats raw meet and starts to discover a new craving... one rooted in cannibalism. A metaphor for sexual awakening and growing up, Raw has more on its mind than simple shock value, though it doesn't skimp on the body horror.

Raw will be out in cinemas on 7 April.

"If all of this stopped, even if I were dead, I'd miss it, and I'd miss you."

Lionsgate have recently released their first trailer for Lone Scherfig's (Riot Club) Their Finest.

For her latest look at British life, Lone Scherfig is in World War II territory, following a young woman (Gemma Arterton) struggling to find her voice as she helps with propaganda films in London.

Adapted from Lissa Evans' novel Their Finest Hour And A Half, the new film has been a while in the making, first touted back in 2014. Arterton here takes over for Lily James (Cinderella) as Catrin, who is recruited to help with the creation of a film in 1940 to lift the flagging nation's spirits and inspire America to enter the conflict.

But while she sees it as a chance, she faces the fact that she is mostly there to handle what the male writers term "the slop" – or female characters' dialogue. Soon, though, Catrin is proving her ability to likes of fellow writer Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) and fading matinee idol Ambrose Hillard (Bill Nighy) as they try to create something that will provide a ray of hope in a time of darkness.

Gaby Chiappe was on script duty for this one, with Eddie Marsan (The World's End), Helen McCrory (Skyfall), Jack Huston (American Hustle) and Richard E. Grant (Dom Hemingway) also in the cast.

Their Finest will arrive on 21 April.

"I'm coming for you, Storm."

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios' have recently released their latest trailer for storyboard artist Brian Fee's directorial debut Cars 3.

They may not enjoy the same critical, and indeed commercial reputation as some of their Pixar stablemates on purely theatrical terms, but there is no denying that the Cars films bring in serious dollars when it comes to toys and other spin-offs. But the Emeryville team doesn't just think of that aspect, and the story for Cars 3 seems to be headed down a slightly darker path.

Darker, of course, is relative, but this is a series of films that hasn't strayed from oddly dark themes – witness a car being tortured in the James Bond riffing Cars 2 (2011). This time around, the film is focusing on Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), once the young hotshot of the track, now an older veteran struggling to keep up with the competition. He is especially challenged by newcomer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) and will need a little help from technician Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) if he is to match up.

Cars 3 will be out in the UK on 14 July, following a 16 June debut in the US.

"There's a wolf in the hen house, we let him in!"

StudioCanal have recently released their latest trailer for John Lee Hancock's (Saving Mr. Banks) The Founder.

Michael Keaton has certainly been choosing some interesting work of late, and seeing real results including an Academy Award® for Birdman (2014) and acclaim for his role in Spotlight (2016), which itself took the Academy Award® last year. He has followed that with The Founder, another based on truth tale, of canny salesman Ray Kroc (Keaton), who saw a golden opportunity and launched one of the world's largest brands.

The Founder looks at the creation of McDonald's, and sees Kroc as the Illinois businessman who saw something in the small restaurant owned and operated by brothers Richard 'Dick' McDonald (Nick Offerman) and Maurice 'Mac' McDonald (John Carroll Lynch) in the 1950s. He subtly manoeuvred himself into a position to take over the company, buying up the burgeoning chain for $2.7 million in 1961 and turning into the fast food behemoth we know today.

With a script by Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler), The Founder also stars Laura Dern (Wild), Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring) and Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age Of Ultron).

The Founder is out in cinemas now.

The Justice League assembles for a new image

Warner Bros have recently released their latest still from Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) follow-up Justice League.

Notably missing from this lineup, of course, is Henry Cavill's Superman, and we can only assume this comes from a part of the film where he is still presumed dead, his noble sacrifice spurring Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne to assemble the team to battle a dangerous, powerful new intergalactic threat.

Justice League finds Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot's Diana Prince, also known as Wonder Woman, recruiting other primary members of the Justice League, including The Flash, better known as Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Arthur 'Aquaman' Curry (Jason Momoa) and Victor Stone, augmented to become Cyborg (Ray Fisher).

Our heroes will have to face off against the danger of Steppenwolf and has already demonstrated that it will try to inject a little more genuine fun into the story. With Zack Snyder once more directing, Justice League itself will be out on 17 November this year, following its 10 November release in the US. Before that though will be the Wonder Woman standalone movie, which will hit UK cinemas 2 June.

Two new trailers for Baywatch arrive online

Paramount Pictures have recently released two new trailers 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.

New trailer and one sheet for Don't Knock Twice arrives online

Red & Black Films have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Caradog W. James' (The Machine) British chiller Don't Knock Twice.

Still best known as Battlestar Galactica's Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace, Katee Sackhoff is beginning to carve herself a bit of a niche in the horror genre. Following Oculus (2013) and The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia (2013), she is now front and centre in Don't Knock Twice.

Initially pitched as in the vein of Candyman (1992) and The Ring (2002), Don't Knock Twice also turns out to be tapping into the cycle of mother and child horrors seen in the recent likes of The Babadook (2014), Goodnight Mommy (2014) and Prevenge. Revolving around a "psychologically terrifying urban legend", the plot sees a guilt ridden Sackhoff trying to save her estranged daughter from the apparent curse of a vengeful witch.

With Lucy Boynton (Sing Street) and Nick Moran (Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels) also in the cast, Don't Knock Twice is out in the UK on 31 March.

"If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?"

If you need a deeply thoughtful and impressive new take on a familiar old genre (and in this era of identikit sequels, we clearly do), then Denis Villeneuve is your man. The French-Canadian director gave the drug war thriller a violent shake-up with the morally murky Sicario (2015), and before that he turned the kidnap drama on its head with Prisoners (2013). Now we get his take on alien visitation. Arrival is Villeneuve's Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977), yet somehow makes it true to the tropes while also feeling like something new.

It helps that Villeneuve and his creative team have made their extrasolar visitors as truly alien as possible, and thereby ensure this first contact narrative is inventively, fiendishly and realistically problematic. The alien craft, or 'shells', are immense, lens shaped, black rock obelisks which levitate noiselessly several metres above the Earth's surface, never actually touching terra firma. Every 18 hours a hatch opens in the shell's lower tip, admitting a delegation of humans into the gravity bending interior. The human visitors, carrying an achingly symbolic canary in a cage, arrive at a rectangular audience chamber in which they are separated from a sea of ominous white mist by a transparent wall. And from the swirling fog they emerge – eerie, graceful heptapods, resembling a hybrid of squid, spider, whale and mangrove. The tips of their gnarled, finger-like limbs, it transpires, peel open into starfish-like appendages which ejaculate ink that flows into lazily floating symbolic rings. This is the aliens' language. It is way beyond Klingon or even Close Encounters' five-note salutation.

They have something to say, and the race to figure exactly what gives the film both its tight structure and pulsing momentum. Without a single planetary leader to be taken to on our divided world, the heptapods have suspended themselves over a dozen points around its surface. But why 12, exactly? And why those specific locations? The mysteries layer up, though despite all the heavy portent, Eric Heisserer's (Lights Out) script isn't without levity – at one point theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) correlates that all the arrival sites are in places where Sheena Easton had a hit in 1980.

While the Chinese and Russians get somewhat twitchy, the Americans put linguist Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) on the case. Like all good movie intellects, she is both intelligent and able to distill her science down into digestible soundbites for the sceptical military, represented by Forest Whitaker's (The Last King Of Scotland) weary Colonel and Michael Stuhlbarg's (A Serious Man) shady CIA operative. She also comes with some outsize emotional baggage, following the heartbreaking death of her daughter.

But before you roll your eyes over the cliché of the grieving hero, be reassured this particular emotional thread is ingeniously connected with the macro-trauma playing out around her. Also, in finding an actress to sell it convincingly, Villeneuve could have done no better than Adams, who negotiates and balances Louise's frustrations with the army wonks, her bewilderment and awe at meeting the extraterrestrial visitors, and her personal tribulations with subtlety and absorbing naturalism.

On the exterior, Louise is the calm, albeit shaky, eye of this interplanetary storm. On the interior rages a silent storm of her own, a fugue of memory fragments that comes to twist and bend like a psychic cyclone as she begins to decode the visitors' inky vernacular. Adams is the film's quiet, luminous heart, and Villeneuve spends more time focusing on her face than he does the aliens or their mysterious vessels – we are not even allowed to see the first shell properly until Louise herself witnesses it, and quite rightly so.

Banks summing up the difficulty in getting the aliens to understand one simple sentence is a delight. How do you clarify the distinction between a weapon and a tool with a species that talks in shapes?

Director of Photography Bradford Young (stepping in for Villeneuve regular cinematographer Roger Deakins) elegantly captures the scale of the visiting craft and the claustrophobic corridors of the military basecamp at which Banks and Donnelly are stationed. Sparely used flashbacks have a haunting quality, and are given further heft by Jóhann Jóhannsson's painfully poignant score.

Arrival is a beautifully polished puzzle box of a story whose emotional and cerebral heft should enable it to withstand critical scrutiny. And like all the best science fiction, it has something pertinent to say about today's society – particularly about the importance of communication, and how we need to transcend cultural divides and misconceptions if we are to survive as a species. An ideal that shouldn't need any translation.

The Earth may be standing still again, but Arrival is a fresh take on the extraterrestrial encounter movie that grips you with the strength of its ideas and the quality of its execution, then burrows deep thanks to its resonant themes and emotional richness.

The seven types of movie stars and how to spot them

Obviously there are more than seven movie stars. There are even more than seven movie stars in some families. What we are talking about here is archetypes.

Since cinema began, each generation has returned to the same seven types of movie star – and the closer a star fits the archetype, the more success they will have. And by success we mean the brutal Hollywood criterion of massive ticket sales. If, having achieved success, they then deviate from type, they will generally have less success until they go back to what they are good at.  This isn't remotely a new theory, by the way. There are loads more character archetypes out there – the Wizard and the Orphan for example – but these are the ones that ultimately get the all-important bums on the seats.

If a star can straddle more than one type – Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) being two good examples – they are pretty much guaranteed megastardom for at least a decade. And if they can really act too, then, well, they are set for life.

So here are the seven archetypes and some of the actors who have worn the mantle over the years.

The Rogue

Good looking – or at least magnetic – he is motivated broadly by self-interest and isn't someone you would want to settle down with. He can play both a charismatic anti-hero and the alluring villain.

Classic: Jack Nicholson (The Departed). You wouldn't trust him with your pin number, but he is certainly the guy to take the fight to The Man.

Now: Having brilliantly transitioned from The Boy Next Door, Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf Of Wall Street) is the current archetypal rogue front runner, with Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) coming up hard on the outside.

The Girl Next Door

Fresh-faced and adorable, she will find lots of things funny but lacks complicated emotions. Not intentionally sexy, but unignorably attractive.

Classic: Meg Ryan (Sleepless In Seattle), Renée Zellweger (Bridget Jones's Diary).

Now: While Jennifer Lawrence can do it, Emma Stone (The Help) is certainly the one. We are surprised she doesn't actually live next door.

The Invulnerable Machine

A one-man army, he is the guy you send in to get the job done, especially if it involves mass killings. Emotions would get in the way of his weaponry. Bullets don't do any lasting harm to him and he never dies.

Classic: Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry), John Wayne (The Searchers), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator).

Now: Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas), picking up the reins from Bruce Willis (Die Hard) and Will Smith (I Am Legend). But we're pretty sure Chris Pratt could do it too.

The Sex Bomb

The female equivalent of The Rogue – her motives are mysterious but she smoulders like a fuse. The fuse of a bomb that would shower you with sex – if you can get within 20 yards of her in the first place.

Classic: Lauren Bacall (The Big Sleep), Angelina Jolie (Maleficent).

Now: Scarlett Johannson (Lucy), Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street). But Jennifer Lawrence can do it too – albeit reluctantly.

The Boy Scout

A likeable, basically sexless everyman who you could enjoy sharing a beer with. When they get into scrapes, it is their moral strength that sees them through.

Then: James Stewart (Rear Window).

Now: Still Tom Hanks (The Da Vinci Code), amazingly, though Matt Damon (The Martian) has got it too and, yes, Chris Pratt did it in Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014), where he was The Boy Next Door pretending to be The Rogue.

The Clown

The only category that can apply to either sex. The Clown has to be more than just a comedian, because any of the other categories can be funny (except maybe The Sex Bomb). He or she uses physical comedy to express a kind of barely contained anarchy.

Classic: Jerry Lewis (The Nutty Professor), Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop), Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), Mike Myers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me).

Now: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along). But Chris Pratt can do it too.

The Perfect Gent

Also known as vanilla fantasy guy. Looks good in a tux, doesn't do bad things. Quick witted. Has a youthful variant in The Pretty Boy, but people pay to see The Pretty Boy in magazines rather than the cinema.

Classic: Cary Grant (North By Northwest)

Now: George Clooney (Ocean's Eleven), giving way to Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager). Ryan Gosling (Drive) could own this category too.

And finally...

The Complex Female Action Hero

As the 21st century continues apace, we are seeing a new category emerge – The Complex Female Action Hero. Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) are the pioneers here, though it looks like Scarlett Johansson really wants to fight her natural Sex Bomb to take this category too.