Ever since seeing this first teaser trailer all those months ago, Bennett Miller’sFoxcatcher has been the film I’ve been most eager to see. Already achieving a huge amount of critical praise through the festival circuit, including Cannes in which Miller won the Best Director accolade, it will finally be released to the general public in early 2015. Based on a true story in which schizophrenic, millionaire John Du Pont (played by an almost unrecognizable Steve Carell) forms an obsession with wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) winning an Olympic Gold and becomes his coach which leads down some dark roads which I won’t give away to anyone unfamiliar with the real life case. The atmosphere of the trailer is chilling, dark and intense and with Miller’s impressive oeuvre including Capote and Moneyball we can expect a dramatic thriller that will ask some real questions about the story in which it is based.
David Koepp and Johnny Depp reunite for a second time (Secret Window being the first) to bring us a the idiosyncratic Mordecai. It’s based on the 1970’s series of mystery, cult novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli in which the title character becomes entangled in such plots as an assassination attempt upon the Queen of England and hunting a rapist in Jersey. In this version, Depp’s eponymous art dealer must recover a stolen painting that will lead him to Nazi Gold. Judging from the trailer Depp is perfectly cast as the eccentric Charlie Mordecai and with a stellar cast around him including Paul Bettany, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor this looks like it’ll deliver on the laughs and the quirkiness.
The trailer to American Sniper is about as intense and dramatic as they come and would you expect anything less from the legendary Clint Eastwood? Bradley Cooper stars in his second film in two years with the prefix American as Chris Kyle from whom the source material comes from. Based on his autobiography of the same name, American Sniper charts Kyle’s tour of Iraq, his pinpoint shooting and the harrowing, quick decisions he must make with his weapon. The film looks smart and will ask questions of the audience they will probably be thinking about for a long time. What would you do in his situation? It will garner Oscar nominations (most likely for Cooper and Eastwood) and I’m very confident the movie will be a precise and interesting commentary on modern warfare.
Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The trailer itself looks like a masterpiece and Michael Keaton is an early tip for the best actor Academy Award. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, a director with a terrific awards pedigree with 21 Grams and Babel, tells the story of Riggan, an actor who’s best days, playing the superhero character Birdman, are well and truly behind him. Instead of continuing with the Birdman franchise he decides to expand his horizons onto Broadway whilst juggling his homelife and numerous other issues. Keaton is obviously perfect for this type of role considering the downward trajectory his career took after playing Batman in both of Tim Burton’s contributions to the franchise. He is a fine actor and hopefully this will motivate a career resurgence and at least an Oscar nomination. The script sounds sharp and the cast is excellent with a truly original story. If the numerous and positive festival reviews are anything to go by then the film itself could be in with a chance of winning Best Picture.
Whatever you think of The Matrix sequels, and their directorial efforts since, you cannot deny that the return of The Wachowski Siblings to the genre in which they changed forever is an event. Although expected in July of this year, Jupiter Ascending was delayed until February 2015 so thousands of special effects shots could be completed. The plot revolves around Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) who is revealed to be the heir to the House of Abrasax which is the most powerful alien dynasty in the universe. However, there are three more potential heirs to contend with, including Eddie Redmayne’s Balem, who looks like he is loving every second of playing his character in the trailer. The whole thing looks epic and in every way a blockbuster. It’s asking a lot for The Wachowski’s to repeat what they did with The Matrix, maybe they will, but this looks like a very enjoyable and action packed movie nonetheless.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Dir. Bryan Singer)
This week has seen an explosion of excitement and extreme anticipation with the release of the first X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer. Part sequel to X Men First Class, part return to the universe for director Bryan Singer, all awesome. With X Men sequels and origin stories coming at us every couple of months it is possible that we could be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of mutant films we watch. However, as Singer comes back to the franchise he started after the disappointing Superman Returns and the passable Jack the Giant Slayer there is a real buzz about the film. The trailer looks great with cast new and old combining and as the epic but overused Surface of the Sun soundtrack by John Murphy starts we really know this is going to be something special. DOFP is one of the most famous storylines of the original comics and the narrative that skips between past, present and future is ripe for cinema. The trailer looks gripping, intense and is set to be probably the biggest film of next year, so, be sure to put May 23rd into your diaries and prepare for an absolute treat.
Man of Steel (Dir. Zack Snyder)
We have been bombarded with trailers for the new Superman movie, Man of Steel. Yesterday saw the final one, presented by Nokia, before the film is released over here, in the U.K, on the 14th of this month. Apparently the movie has already made its money back on commercial deals and it stands to make a whole load more with a worldwide release. It’s a surefire comic book hit as Watchmen’s Snyder and Dark Knight’s Christopher Nolan unite to tell the Superman story from a new world point of view.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Dirs.Phil Lord & Chris Miller), Monsters University (Dir.Dan Scanlon), Despicable Me 2 (Dir.Pierre Coffin &Chris Renaud), Planes (Dir.Klay Hall)
Today I’ve decided to take a look at some of the upcoming films of the kids favourite genre, the computer animated film. These trailers have been coming thick and fast in time for their summer releases as they all vie to get to the top of the box office and garner plenty of repeat viewings from the kids. All of them are sequels or prequels of some description (if you count Planes as a part of the Cars franchise) and so don’t have the advantage of originality, although they have their audiences already pretty much made. Each though has a tough act to follow after Wreck It Ralph really impressed earlier in the year.
Released in 2009, the first Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs surprised everyone, coming out of nowhere and achieving a large amount of critical praise. Its innocence and humour gave it a uniqueness that lots of other Pixar copycats were having little joy with. The new film follows the events of the first, seeing the characters going back to the island now inundated with food from the original. Hopefully, this will be as sweet and funny as the first. If the trailer is anything to go by then it all looks very encouraging.
A couple of days ago, the new trailer was released of Monster’s University (above) that gives us more of an idea of the plot following Mike and Sully’s time at university. Although Pixar always tend to deliver, although their recent lack of original ideas has been worrying with a vairety of sequels and 3D re-releases. With the trailer looking somewhat predictable I think it will take a lot of great Pixar style jokes and something special to make this work.
Despicable Me was never my favourite animated film. Once you get past the initial joke of Gru as a character and who voices who there is not much going on. Like the Ice Age films use Scrat as a mascot when they run out of good ideas, here Despicable Me uses the minions to distract the audience from the lack of a solid script. However, it did have its moments and I hold out hope there will be a lot more going for this one.
Cars is probably the least loved of all the Pixar canon. Cars 2 was also pretty low on praise from critics and audiences who have loved all the previous studios’ films. This is obviously the film John Lassater wanted to make and he did, fair play to him. Planes is the same idea though given to a different vehicle and alternative studio with Disney picking up where Pixar left off. Although this teaser looks pretty interesting, despite the ever irritating Dane Cook leading the vocal talent there really needs to be some substance here that Cars missed.
So that’s my round up of the animated films coming soon. If these aren’t too your tastes there will be plenty more of these movies throughout the year including the impressive looking Epic and Dreamworks’ Turbo starring Ryan Reynolds as the world’s fastest snail. Thanks for reading and I hope to have lots more updates and opinions soon.
Jurassic Park 3D (Dir. Steven Spielberg)
My coming soon for this week is not exactly a new film, in fact it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. However, seeing the 3D Trailer for Jurassic Park has just send a shockwave of excitement throughout my being. It should be with us here in the U.K late August.
Being one of my favourite films of all time the idea of being able to see it on the big screen in three dimensions has sent me into nostalgic wonder. Not only does this have me anticipating this film, but, also Jurassic Park IV, the long awaited sequel which has finally got a release date of June 13th 2014 and a director in Colin Trevorrow, the young director of Safety Not Guaranteed. The forth in the series is also pinned as being a 3D release, which adds to the excitement. Hopefully we’ll start hearing more news from Trevorrow, Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy as the year goes on and fingers crossed we can get pumped for a great cast and story that matches the original.
Promised Land (Dir. Gus Van Sant)
This is a section where I just note down all the films that are coming up that have really got me excited and interested. These are U.K release dates I’m working with so forgive me if I’m being late to the party in terms of US releases. The first film to make the Coming Soon list is Promised Land. Coming out in the middle of April here in Britain, Promised Land is Gus Van Sant’s latest picture about the changes that the new gas extraction phenomenon called ‘Fracking’ causes on a small town in the US.
After watching the trailer, what made this more enticing was the fact that it was written by co-stars John Krasinski and Matt Damon based on the story by Dave Eggers. The fact that it was written by the two actors reciting the dialogue on screen makes this an interesting prospect, especially since Damon had formally won an Oscar for his screenplay with Ben Affleck on Good Will Hunting (Also directed by Van Sant). With a solid cast, a competent director and some very relevant subject matter for the modern world, I very much look forward to seeing Promised Land.