Out Now – 2nd December 2011

The Thing
A prequel (not a remake) to the 1982 classic, we see just what went on in the Norwegian camp before it became the charred, bloody mess we saw in the original. Worth seeing for a bit of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and deciding whether CGI can match extreme puppetry.

Happy Feet Two
The original was an all-singing, all-dancing penguin adventure turned environmental message film. While Mumble struggled to sing and started a dancing craze amongst the penguins, his son struggles to dance. This plot reversal reminds me of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. Not that I’ve seen it. Obviously.

Hugo
“Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.” I’m not sure either but this marks Scorsese’s debut into the world of 3D children’s films and has a message of preserving films. Curious.

The Big Year (limited release)
Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are rival bird watchers in this comedy we should already start trying to forget.

Romantics Anonymous (limited release)
Two highly emotional and pathologically timid French people fall in love in this quirky romantic comedy. Plenty of chocolate is involved. Amélie meets Chocolat.

Ghett’a Life (limited release)
“An “against the odds” action drama set in a politically turbulent inner city community of Kingston. Derrick, a determined inner city teenager realizes his dream of becoming a champion boxer despite a country, community and family conflicted by divisive political system.” Not another Cool Runnings then?

The Last Waltz (limited release)
Scorsese goes for a double with a re-release of this late-seventies documentary about the last concert of The Band.

We Have a Pope (limited release)
Italian comedy-drama in which a newly elected pope struggles to deal with the unexpected situation of being the pontiff with the help of his therapist.

Las Acacias (limited release)
This Spanish-language film has a synopsis on IMDb which I completely failed to understand. Summarise it for me and I’ll buy you a Curly Wurly.

Camp Hell (limited release)
Advertised as starring Jesse Eisenberg when in reality he only has a brief cameo, presumably filmed before he became famous. Eisenberg wants so little to do with this film he is suing the distributors.

Surviving Life (limited release)
Czech comedy mixing live action with cut-out animation using photographs, about a man living a double life in his dream. Like Goodnight Sweetheart but not nearly so bad.

Margaret (limited release)
Set for release over four years ago this film must have given up hope by now. Anna Paquin stars as a teenage girl worried she may have caused a bus accident. A cast including Matt Damon, Kieran Culkin, Allison Janney, Mark Ruffalo and Jean Reno make you wonder what held this film back for so long.

The Thing – Trailer Dissection

The new red-band (aka violent and/or sexy) trailer for The Thing, prequel to The Thing, is receiving a bit of criticism for giving too much away. Apparently people don’t want to find out exactly who dies (everyone) or see the monster before the film itself. Considering that in The Thing (the 1982 film) there are no survivors this may be a bit of an over-reaction. Have a look at the trailer and judge for yourself:

If you feel like you haven’t been spoiled enough then read on as we have a look at all the images of The Thing from the trailer. Fair warning, it isn’t pretty: Continue reading

Your Week in Promo Materials

We’ve probably talked about this before but every time an exciting new trailer or poster is released we find ourselves in a state of panic deciding whether to bother posting it. The world of film blogging is saturated with every single poster and teaser trailer that rolls along and we don’t want to bury our valuable Harry Potter charts in a sea of weak posters.

As a result here is an incomplete run-down of recent trailers and posters. We’ve removed anything not worthy of comment. Anybody else underwhelmed by the latest Sherlock Holmes posters?

Posters
Big buzz builders so far this week were posters for The Thing and The Dark Knight Rises.

While pretty, the poster for The Dark Knight Rises reveals nothing and is as unexciting as anything related to Christopher Nolan can be, which still leaves plenty of room for excitement. The poster for The Thing is more my type of thing. It looks different to most horror films, no monochrome pictures of horrific images/small children/torture devices/all the above and gives a tantalising glimpse of the thing itself transforming from/into a human. Can’t wait for The Thing to let me down.

Continue reading

The Best is Yet to Come: 2011

Today we’re looking ahead at out most anticipated releases of 2011… and there’s a lot. A few glaring omissions perhaps but we have no interest in giant robots fighting.

So what can top 127 Hours and The King’s Speech?

Friday 14 January 2011
Blue Valentine
Made the headlines by getting its rating reduced in America as they claimed the sex scene wasn’t obscene just realistic. If that doesn’t tempt you how about a realistic portrayal of a marriage and career best performances?

Friday 21 January 2011
Black Swan
It’s great, powerful stuff and yet is another with more coverage of a single sex scene that the rest of the film. Portman is at her prime and Kunis ain’t too shabby either.

Friday 11 February 2011
Never Let Me Go
True Grit

A small British sci-fi with a beautifully subtle plot and the Coen brothers’ latest acclaimed production. Good Friday.

Monday 14 February 2011
Paul
For some reason sneaking out on a Monday, Pegg and Frost’s latest is funny if not up to the standard of an Edgar Wright collaboration. We saw it, reviewed it and got asked to take it down.

Friday 18 February 2011
Chalet Girl
A hopefully above average romantic comedy starring our own Felicity Jones and the slimy one from Gossip Girl.

Friday 25 February 2011
No Strings Attached
Waste Land

Natalie Portman tries her hand at a comedy about two friends trying out casual sex before Mila Kunis gets the chance. And on the same day we have one of our favourites from the London Film Festival, though most likely only at three cinemas.

Friday 4 March 2011
Rango
The Tempest

Animated comedy starring Johnny Depp as a lizard that is set to offer something better than the average animated film accompanied by the apparently less than perfect Shakespeare film featuring… Felicity Jones!

Friday 18 March 2011
Submarine
A film everyone should see as Richard Ayoade makes a strong directorial debut with a near perfect tale of young love and awkwardness.

Friday 1 April 2011
Sucker Punch
Zack Snyder kicks you in the face with amazing visuals, sexy crazy girls and general madness.

Friday 8 April 2011
Attack The Block
Joe Cornish made a film with a slightly bad sounding premise. Can Cornballs make a bad synopsis into a great film?

Friday 15 April 2011
Scream 4
Winnie the Pooh
Your Highness

A triple whammy in mid-April. First the fourth in the Scream series starring the cast of the entire TV alongside the usual faces. Then we have a hand animated Disney film about everyone’s favourite bear and a medieval comedy starring future Mrs Mild Concern, Zooey Deschanel and with her third film in four months, Natalie Portman.

Friday 22 April 2011
Source Code
Duncan Jones tries to top Moon with sci-fi action thriller involving confusing time travel in which Jake Gyllenhaal consistently fails to find the bomber on a train.

Friday 29 April 2011
Thor
Michael Gambon directing a comic book movie? Surely worth a look. Oh, hello Natalie Portman.

Wednesday 18 May 2011
Pirates Of The Caribbean 4
They’ve promised to keep it simple this time and have lost the less interesting characters, we’re excited.

Friday 15 July 2011
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II
Because Part I was so good this can only be the peak of the Potter series.

Friday 29 July 2011
Captain America: The First Avenger
It might be terrible but is the lead-in to The Avengers which might also be terrible. Wait, it could be good too!

Friday 5 August 2011
Rise Of The Apes
John Lithgow and James Franco! And monkeys!

Friday 19 August 2011
The Inbetweeners
Super 8

The spin-off from E4’s best output and J.J. Abrams top secret new film. Funny and surprising… and deeply shameful.

Friday 26 August 2011
Final Destination 5
Guilty pleasure alert… I like to see people die in ridiculous ways…

Friday 2 September 2011
Friends With Benefits
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Mila Kunis gets to do the friends having sex comedy to see if she can top Portman. Portman doesn’t care after having so many other films out.

Friday 7 October 2011
Johnny English 2
“It’s only a bit of poo.” Heh.

Friday 14 October 2011
Footloose
The Thing

A musical remake of a personal favourite and a prequel starring Ramona Flowers. It could be a glorious pair or a double disaster.

Friday 21 October 2011
Paranormal Activity 3
With no new Saw film this is all we have for Halloween. Boo!

Wednesday 26 October 2011
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
Because the best British writers all seem to have had a hand in the writing of this particular film. Wright, Moffat and Cornish? Wow.

Winstead in The Thing

Some make call it a remake but, from what I have read, the soon to be shot The Thing is a prequel to the 1982 film The Thing which was a remake of the 1951 film The Thing from Another World. Confused yet?

The 1982 film opens with a Norwegian helicopter and the upcoming film involves both a helicopter pilot and a Norwegian scientist, surely one leads on from the other? Universal definitely know what is going on as filming begins next month in Toronto and casting was announced yesterday.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead has won the lead role as a graduate student working with a research team in Antarctica, the very research team that will inevitably unearth The Thing and presumably set of the events of the previous films. Winstead is one of my actresses to watch despite having a pretty awful CV up until recently. With fairly major roles in movies such as Sky High, Death Proof, Final Destination 3, Black Christmas, Live Free or Die Hard and Make it Happen, she has managed to show real rpomise despite less than perfect scripts. Soon to be every geek’s fantasy in this year’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Winstead should soon be getting more big roles in better films, I hope The Thing is one of them.