The blog of Amon Warmann: Film journalist.

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Film Trailer | Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers; Age of Ultron

There is a great disparity between the posters and the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In the build-up to today’s big reveal Marvel had released a number of bland and lazy character posters featuring each of our principal heroes in a standard hero pose set against a boring backdrop filled with Ultron drones. There’s also a one-sheet with all the Avengers that’s spent far too many hours in Adobe Photoshop:

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-Poster1-680x1007

Thankfully the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron have been anything but bland and lazy, and the third and supposedly (but probably not) final clip that was unveiled earlier today is no different.

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Interview | Maika Monroe talks It Follows

maika-monroe-it-follows-portraits-at-cannes-film-festival_3

When I sat down with Maika Monroe at a London hotel earlier last month, it quickly struck me that her demeanour was one I wasn’t used to seeing on her – specifically, she was relaxed.

This isn’t to say that Monroe is never like this of course – by all accounts she’s a charming, laid-back individual – but for the characters she plays in 2014 sleeper hit The Guest and new horror flick It Follows, relaxation is not a feeling that’s expressed too often.

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Interview | Writer-Director David Robert Mitchell talks It Follows

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Horror film It Follows centres around nineteen-year-old Jay (The Guest’s Maika Monroe) who after a sexual encounter with her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary) finds herself plagued by a mysterious, malevolent entity which relentlessly follows her.

I got the chance to sit down with the film’s writer-director David Robert Mitchell ahead of the film’s UK release, and here he tells me about avoiding the jump scares found in horror films today, how the film’s subtext originated, and much more. Have a read below.

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Film Review | Focus

Focus 2

★★★☆☆

Like the character he plays in Focus – the latest film from writer-director duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa , of Crazy, Stupid, Love fame – Will Smith is in need of a big score. Disappointing films such as After Earth and A New York Winter’s Tale failed to make the best use of his talents and yielded poor critical and box office results in the process. Thankfully, though it only half succeeds in the tricky balancing act between the con and the romance, Focus at least clears the low bar of being better than Smith’s recent fare.

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Film Review | Project Almanac

Project Almanac

★★★½☆

Cinema has seen plenty of found footage and time travel films, but rarely have the two concepts been combined. Enter Project Almanac; Produced by Michael Bay and directed by Dean Israelite, it works well as an entertaining teen movie without doing anything revolutionary with the aforementioned narrative devices.

Project Almanac centers on David Raskin (Jonny Weston), a 17-year-old science whiz who is desperate to get into MIT. The answer may lie in his deceased father’s old belongings, as David discovers an old video clip of his seventh birthday party which unexplainably features glimpses of his current self, along with blueprints for a time travel device his father was working on. Together with fellow classmates Quinn (Sam Lerner), Allen (Adam Le), his sister Christina (an underused Virginia Gardner) and high school hottie Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia), the group construct the device and begin putting it to use but it doesn’t take long before their actions in the past start producing dangerous consequences in the present.

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Film Review | Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending

★★☆☆☆

“From the creators of The Matrix” is a quote that has accompanied the Wachowskis in each of the trailers and posters for their subsequent films, and with good reason. The 1999 sci-fi is still one of the best of the genre, and having struggled since then a case could be made that the sibling directors peaked too soon. Indeed, Jupiter Ascending does little to change that notion, as it can best be described as a beautiful failure.

Mila Kunis plays the titular Jupiter, a lowly cleaner who lives with her Russian family and dreams of escaping her mundane life. Unbeknownst to Jupiter, her genetic code means she’s next in line for ownership of a number of planets, including Earth. Naturally there are other interested parties who want Jupiter out of the way, and when an attempt on her life is thwarted by half-man half-wolf warrior Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), she’s introduced to a new world.

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Film Review | Selma

Selma

★★★★★

In some ways, the absence of “I Have a Dream” from Selma, incredibly only the first feature film to give the biopic treatment to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, is symbolic of the film as a whole. It’s the four words the civil right leader is most known for, but director Ava DuVernay is interested in far more than just compelling oratory.

Selma focuses its gaze on a three-month period in 1965 when King (David Oyelowo) led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights for African-American citizens. The first act sets up the shrewd tactics necessary to induce change; Having campaigned in Albany for nine months with no results, it’s decided that Selma is the place to stage the protest, the county already a fervent breeding ground of racial inequality and therefore more likely to garner media attention. While the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) work diligently to force President Lyndon B. Johnson (an effective Tom Wilkinson) into action, the film also offers up an examination of how the civil rights movement affected its leader, both at home and as a man.

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