Prometheus Trailer

December 22, 2011 by  
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We’ve been spoilt for choice these past two weeks with some great trailers from The Dark Knight Rises, The Raid, The Hobbit and Wrath Of The Titans. Well, this is just the final dusting of icing before Christmas, the trailer for Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, Prometheus.

There’s still much unanswered as the trailer doesn’t give much away. What we can say is that it looks amazing. Happy Christmas everyone!

War Horse Review: Knackered

December 22, 2011 by  
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WAR HORSE (12A): On General Release Friday 13th January

Steven Spielberg is hardly a director who lacks experience when it comes to the portrayal of war. Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List and Band Of Brothers all featured the horrors of battle but were crucially emotionally grounded.

War Horse, Spielberg’s adaptation of the feted stage play of the same name takes place during the First World War but rather than evincing genuine emotion like his other war films, it’s an overly sentimental, archly manipulative, sickeningly saccharine tale; desperately earnest but terribly misjudged.

It begins in the sanitised rural countryside, a sparklingly clean fairytale land which looks like something straight out of a Ladybird storybook; a veritable bucolic paradise that represents alcoholism as merely a regrettable personality quirk and exists in perpetual pastoral splendour complete with comedy honking geese.

We meet the Narracots, played by Peter Mullan and Emily Watson. They’re honest-to-goodness farming types who are in danger of being pushed off their land by their unsympathetic landlord (David Thewlis).  Help arrives in the shape of their young son Arthur (Jeremy Irvine) who forges a bond with a spirited thoroughbred horse deemed unsuitable for farm work.

Nevertheless, Arthur is able to tame the beast and convinces it not only to take a ploughshare harness but to plough a rocky field.  But it’s not enough for him to merely plough the field; Spielberg has it contrived as a triumphant miracle – the ploughshare cuts through a stone boulder while John Williams’ score ramps up the schmaltz to hitherto unparalleled degrees. Read more

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Review: Written On The Body

December 21, 2011 by  
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THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (18): On General Release Monday 26th December

The opening title sequence to David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo could be an outtake from a James Bond movie.  The liquid black effigies of Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara melt together in an oily dance, oozing not just a suggestive sexuality but a slick expense that 2009’s Swedish language version couldn’t have hoped to emulate. 

It’s a reminder of Fincher’s past as a director of music videos and as openings go, it’s one of this year’s best, but it soon settles down into the well-trodden path of a locked-room mystery.

Daniel Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a recently disgraced investigative journalist who’s just been sued into the ground after a well-publicised libel case.  He’s contacted by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), the head of the wealthy and powerful industrial family with a Nazi past to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriet nearly 40 years ago who he believes was murdered.

Craig downplays his role – unshaven, wearing flannel pyjama bottom, glasses and a cardigan, he’s about as far from Bond as you can imagine and although there are shades of 007’s musculature which shine through, he’s an effective everyman.  That’s a reflection of Fincher’s restraint as any overstatement could have tipped Drag Tats into the realms of the ridiculous. Read more

Twilight’s Scribe Becomes Highest-Grossing Female Screenplay Writer

December 21, 2011 by  
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With The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One continuing its stomp through the box office (grossing $647.3 million and counting) Twilight screenplay writer Melissa Rosenberg has become the highest grossing female screenplay writer with more than $2.56 billion in worldwide revenue.

She surpassed Alice In Wonderland writer Linda Woolverton’s previous total record of $2.39 billion. Woolverton’s take on Alice grossed just over a billion dollars in 2010 making it the ninth-highest grossing film of all time. The other substantial money-maker for Woolverton is The Lion King which she co-wrote in 1994 but thanks to a recent 3D rereleas has now grossed in excess of $945.6 million worldwide.

Adjusted for inflation though Woolverton’s earlier efforts would have brought her total up to $800m higher, not to mention that she’s uncredited for writing parts of Mulan which made $304.3 million in 1998.

There’s also the looming cloud of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast which is expected to receive a full theatrical re-release next year. If that does as well as The Lion King, Woolverton will be ahead again. But let’s not get too hasty, Breaking Dawn Part 1 hasn’t finished its theatrical run and the follow up will likely gross a similar amount, once again putting Rosenberg ahead.

But by scrying into the not-too-distant future we can see that Woolverton has a sequel to Alice lined up as well as the Sleeping Beauty spin off Maleficent both for Disney which are likely to reap rewards at the box office. Rosenberg meanwhile has young sci-fi drama Earthseed in the pipeline.

Either way, this contest is far from over.

The Raid Trailer

December 21, 2011 by  
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It’s about time that we had some brutal kick ass action and The Raid delivers that in spades.

It takes place in the slums of Jakarta where an elite police unit is tasked with storming a supposedly impenetrable safe house for the world’s most dangerous criminals. But when they have their cover blown, the lights are cut off and all the exits are blocked up. Stranded on the 6th floor, they have no choice but to fight their way to freedom.

It’s interesting in that it showcases the Indonesian martial art of Pencak Silat (which incidentally I’m a practitioner of – see for more info) and features unflinching violence. Take note everyone, Silat’s for killing people, not for sport. The soundtrack’s by Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park) and composer Joseph Trapanese.

Anyway, it goes without saying that I can’t wait for this. It’ll have a US release sometime in 2012, so hopefully it’ll hit UK screens around the same time.

UPDATE: Momentum will be distributing for a “Spring 2012″ release date (via director Gareth Evans @ghuwevans)

Please note, this is a redband trailer and is therefore extremely violent (read: awesome).

We’ve also been alerted to the existence of the Indonesian trailer which features some extra scenes near the end. More power-slamming that bone breaking though. Music this time is by Fajar Yuskemal and Aria Prayogi, who scored the movie. Equally good methinks.

Which do you prefer? Let us know.

Follow Jez Sands on Twitter.

Star Trek 2 Will Be In 3D

December 21, 2011 by  
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JJ Abrams is to boldly go where no Star Trek movie has gone before with a 3D treatment for Star Trek 2. Worryingly it won’t be shot in 3D but will be a post-converstion job. That’s a bit of blow to those of us that are still scarred by Clash Of The Titans eight-legged horses…

Abrams, speaking to MTV, was quick to assuage doubts by saying, “”e’ll do a good high-end conversion like the ‘Harry Potter’ movie and all that. Luckily, with our release date now we have the months needed to do it right because if you rush it, it never looks good.”

He then went on to extoll his love of IMAX “We were talking about [shooting in IMAX] and I would love to do it. IMAX is my favorite format; I’m a huge fan,” so that also looks quite likely.

He’s keeping schtum about all plot details at the moment and won’t reveal a villain but did say that the writers – Damon Lindelof, Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman – “wrote the most amazing script, and I’m thrilled to get a chance to direct it. It’s totally mine to screw up, so if you don’t like it, it’s completely on me. Our sets are almost done, so we’re going to go back and start shooting next month.”

Vin Diesel Confirms Fast & Furious 7

December 21, 2011 by  
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One movie is just not enough to contain Vin Diesel and The Rock.  Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Vin mentioned that Fast & Furious 7 is already a go and that’s before cameras have even started rolling on the sixth.

“With the success of this last one, and the inclusion of so many characters, and the broadening of scope, when we were sitting down to figure out what would fit into the real estate of number six, we didn’t have enough space,”  he said.

“We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages. The studio said, ‘You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’”

Fast & Furious 5 was one of the biggest surprises of this year so more automobile/violent action will be welcome if it keeps up the same standard.

Well, what’s the secret of their success.  Star of FF5 Paul Walker believes “It’s not about the action and the cars, which initially appealed to me when I was 25 years old because if that’s all it was, it would have fallen off a long time ago.”  Hmm, we’re not so sure…but there’s certainly something about the last movie which makes it rock.

Fast & Furious 6 starts film next year (after Diesel wraps Riddick 3) with a pencilled release date of May 27, 2013.  There’s still no cofirmation on whether everyone’s favourite scowling baldy bonce Jason Statham will make an appearance


The Hobbit Trailer

December 21, 2011 by  
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It’s shaping up to be a happy Christmas for trailers indeed withThe Dark Knight Rises, The Expendables 2 and Wrath Of The Titans all putting in some excellent work. Well, here’s the one trailer to rule them all… the trailer for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.

It all kicks off with Ian Holm as Bilbo reminiscing about old times and telling Frodo that he might not have told him the whole story…

Flashback to when Bilbo was Martin Freeman and the time Gandalf approached him with a quest to join 13 dwarves (who are given little snapshots in the trailer) led by Thorin Oakenshield. Like The Fellowship Of The Ring it starts off nice and friendly but takes a turn for the sinister…

After a lovely little choral chant about The Misty Mountains, we’re given some beautful wide shots of Middle Earth, a shot of Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), dwarves vs. troll, Sting being flourished for the first time and, most notably of all, Gollum and the One Ring…

Only 358 days to go…

Like that? Then you might like this: 15 Harry Potter Characters That Never Made The Movies

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Review: New Dog, Old Tricks

December 20, 2011 by  
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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL (12A): On General Release Monday 26th December

By the time the fourth movie in a series rolls around, the law of diminishing returns usually means that it’s time to call it a day.  That’s a trend that’s been bucked in 2011 with not the fourth but the fifth instalments from Final Destination and The Fast and Furious franchises actually being rather good.  Can Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol make it a 2011 hat trick?

The director this time around is Brad Bird, who brought not just spectacle but real heart to films like Ratatouille, The Iron Giant and The Incredibles.  So there are big hopes then that he could elevate MI4 to more than just whizz-bang special effects and jaw-dropping stunts.

Unfortunately that’s not the case as character and plot once again take a backseat to action and daredevil skyscraper climbing.  That’s not to say that MI4 is bad: far from it, in fact fans of the series will love its superlative stunts and refreshingly direct approach but it doesn’t have quite the depth that Bird’s presence might imply.

We catch up with IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) incarcerated in a Russian jail.  Before you can say “The Great Escape”, Hunt breaks out of prison, teams up with his associates – technical genius Simon Pegg, gruffly spoken Jeremy Renner and newbie Paula Patton - and is hot on the trail of rogue Russian nuclear strategist (Michael Nyquist) who dreams of causing the apocalypse. Read more

The London Critics’ Circle Award Nominations

December 20, 2011 by  
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It might not have quite the glitz and glam of The Oscars or The Golden Globes but for credibility notice has to be taken of The London Critics’ Circle Awards. This year’s awards, which are voted for by over 120 UK film critics, broadcasters and writers are led by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Drive who each nabbed six award nominations.

Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and Golden Bear winner A Separation were close behind with five nominations.

It was also great to see Shame being praised with four nominations including Actor Of The Year For Michael Fassbender, Olivia Colman picking up a justly deserved Actress Of The Year nomination for Tyrannosaur and The Artist getting some love with four nominations.

The Awards will presented at a ceremony on Thursday 19 January at BFI Southbank.


The Attenborough Award:





The Virgin Atlantic Award:

  • Richard Ayoade – Submarine
  • Paddy Considine – Tyrannosaur
  • Joe Cornish – Attack the Block
  • Andrew Haigh – Weekend
  • John Michael McDonagh – The Guard






The Moët & Chandon Award:


  • John Boyega – Attack the Block
  • Jeremy Irvine – War Horse
  • Yasmin Paige – Submarine
  • Craig Roberts – Submarine
  • Saoirse Ronan – Hanna

The Sky 3D Award:

The Dilys Powell Award:

  • Nicolas Roeg

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