With Fast Five (2011), director Justin Lin – with a little help from Dwayne Johnson’s likeable Agent Hobbs – managed to reinvigorate the then-ailing Fast & Furious franchise. Racing to $626 million at the global box office, it’s no surprise that everyone is back for another round of vehicular warfare. Offering more of the high-octane action that the series is famous for, Lin’s Fast & Furious 6 (2013) is easily the most ridiculous blockbuster of 2013 thus far; and also one of the most enjoyable.
Bringing up Bobby gets its DVD release in the UK this week, and it marks the directorial debut of former Bond villain Famke Janssen. On behalf of What Culture, I had a chat with the beautiful Dutch actress to discuss the film, what it was like being behind the camera, and much more.
You can read all about it here.
Having picked up the 2008 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar with The Counterfeiters, Austrian filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky now makes his English-language debut with Deadfall (2012). Penned by screenwriter Zach Dean, this neo-noir thriller heads into UK cinemas under the radar despite the star-studded cast. Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde play Addison and Liza, devoted siblings on the run after a successful casino heist. When a car accident leaves their driver dead, the pair decide to split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the middle of a blizzard – a stylishly-shot opening sequence that immediately gets you hooked.
J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot was a surprise hit back in 2009, satisfying diehard fans as well as being accessible to newcomers. Four years on, the follow-up Star Trek into Darkness is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Thankfully, the sequel takes everything that was great about its predecessor and amplifies it, in doing so producing an entertaining thrill-ride of a movie that is one of 2013’s must-see blockbusters.
The UK release of J.J. Abrams eagerly anticipated Star Trek Into Darkness is only seven days away. Ahead of this evening’s London premiere, the cast, director and writers gathered in City Hall for a press conference where there was talk of the challenges of making a bigger and better sequel, Scottish accents, and hairstyles.
To read the rest of this article at Yin & Yang, click here.
The American Academy recently awarded genre-hopping director Ang Lee the Best Director prize for Life of Pi (2012), and it was well-deserved; Yann Martel’s prize-winning novel, long-thought unfilmable, has been brought to life superbly in a visual masterpiece that won’t soon be outdone. The tale begins with an avid writer (Rafe Spall) whom, upon hearing of a story so incredible it will “make him believe in God”, travels to Montreal to talk with Piscine Molitor ‘Pi’ Patel (Irrfan Khan). Beginning with his upbringing in Pondicherry, India, Pi recounts his days grappling with different religions and meeting the girl of his dreams.
Much like Tony Stark, Marvel Studios have been tinkering with Iron Man for over five years now, striving to upgrade and improve upon the previous model. In some ways, the success rate of the franchise mirrors Stark’s own cinematic journey. The first Iron Man (2008) was an unexpected hit, delighting cinemagoers whilst sowing the seeds for Marvel’s ‘Phase One’. Iron Man 2 (2010) saw both protag and film succumb to expectation, whilst Avengers Assemble (2012) took the character’s popularity to new heights. Enter Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 (2013) - a fun, action-packed superhero yarn that’s arguably Marvel’s best solo instalment to date.
Last week, I had the immense pleasure of chatting with Drew Pearce, who co-wrote this week’s big release Iron Man 3 (that’s him on the left next to Robert Downey Jr.).
You can read the interview at What Culture by clicking here.
With Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 released in UK cinemas nationwide from this Thursday (my full review can be read at Cine-Vue here), now seems the perfect time for Marvel to drop the first trailer for their second Phase Two feature, Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World (2013). Due for release on this side of the pond in late October, we pick the story up with Chris Hemsworth’s thunder god back in Asgard after the events of Avengers Assemble. However, it’s not long before Thor’s beloved Earth – and plucky human love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) – to come under threat from a new intergalactic force, led by the vengeful Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston).
Director Gus Van Sant reunites with Good Will Hunting star Matt Damon for Promised Land (2012), which finally makes its way into UK cinemas this week. Whilst enjoyable and thought-provoking in parts, a third act revelation is more frustrating than shocking, leaving us to rue what might have been. Damon plays Steve Butler, a farm boy-turned-smooth-talking corporate salesman who’s rapidly rising up the ranks of his gas company. His latest, biggest assignment sees him and sales partner Sue Thomason (an entertaining Frances McDormand) dispatched to the rural town of McKinley to acquire the drilling rights to their properties.
The UK release of Marvel’s Iron Man 3 may be just around the corner and The Wolverine has been steadily building anticipation after the release of its first teaser, but for many, DC Comics’ Man of Steel is still the biggest superhero film of 2013. Small titbits of information for Superman’s eagerly-awaited return to the big screen have been making their way to us via online and magazines in the past few weeks, but fans have been baying for some new, substantial footage. That has finally come in the form of a third full-length trailer, and what it reveals will no doubt get people even more excited to see just what Zack Snyder (Watchmen) and Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy) have done with comic book history’s most iconic character.
The first of two films this year to use the White House as its setting, Olympus Has Fallen (2013) is the latest film to adopt the time-honoured one man army vs. terrorists plot-line, and it accomplishes its task in entertaining fashion. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), it sees former presidential head of security Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) infiltrate the famed building when the White House – dubbed ‘Olympus’ – is captured by a group of highly trained terrorists. Out-manned and out-gunned, Banning must use his extensive training and detailed knowledge of the residence to rescue the President (Aaron Eckhart).
Summer blockbuster season is almost upon us, and as usual there is an exciting assortment of big budget films heading our way. From post-apocalyptic sci-fi’s After Earth and Oblivion, to eagerly anticipated superhero flicks Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel, the slate for the next 3 months is enticing.
I’ve included all the above and more blockbusters in a 3 minute montage below for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy and comment!
South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp won critical and commercial acclaim in 2009 with his debut feature, District 9. It’s taken the director four years, but his eagerly awaited sophomore effort – entitled Elysium (2013) - is now mere months away. Earlier this week, we saw the first poster for the futuristic sci-fi, and now a full-length trailer has been revealed. In the year 2154, two classes of people exist; the impoverished struggle on the Earth’s ruined surface, whilst the wealthy reside in ‘Elysium’, a man-made space station that orbits the planet. In need of medical care only available on Elysium, Max (Matt Damon) takes on a dangerous mission that pits him against Elysium Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster).
Hello readers! Hope we had – or for some people, are still having – a great Easter break. You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet on http://www.amonymousblog.com of late, but there are a couple of big announcements coming up in the next few days! To tide you over until then though, you can watch me talking about Penny Woolcock’s award-winning documentary One Mile Away on CinePolitics by clicking here.
Of all the big summer releases of 2013, James Mangold’s The Wolverine has strangely been the least marketed. That all changed last Sunday, however, when the first poster for the next chapter in the fan-favourite anti-hero’s saga was thrust onto the web. This was followed by more one-sheets and, as is now customary for big blockbusters, short teasers for the full-length trailer. Today, the full two-and-a bit minutes have been officially released, and the early indications corroborate what Mangold and star Hugh Jackman have been saying since The Wolverine began production; this is the Wolverine film fans have been waiting for, inspired by Frank Miller and Chris Claremont’s much-loved comic book series.
Last Friday night (22 March), on behalf of CineVue I was invited to Google’s swanky London headquarters for the Jameson Empire Done in 60 Seconds Awards. The idea has evolved quite considerably in the five years since its inception, now inspiring amateur filmmakers around the world to test their talents. This year, the judges featured some of the most knowledgeable and respected names in the entertainment industry including Sky Movies presenter Alex Zane, broadcaster Edith Bowman, Downton Abbey actress Joanne Frogatt, Empire Magazine Editor-in-Chief Mark Dinning, Bauer CEO Paul Keenan. The panel was rounded of by British star Tom Hiddleston, best-known for his role as Loki in Thor/Avengers Assemble.
As the annual summer blockbuster season draws ever nearer, more and more previously confidential information on some of this year’s biggest releases are now beginning to be revealed. The latest to get in on the act is J. J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel Star Trek into Darkness (2013). It seems more than likely that Abrams, who will now also be directing Star Wars: Episode VII, won’t be returning for any future Star Trek sequels, such is the competition between the two rival franchises. However, everything we have seen thus far suggests that he’ll be leaving this current franchise on a high, and a mouth-watering second full-length trailer released online today gives further credence to the early impressions.
My thoughts on this week’s big UK release, Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, can be read on What Culture here.
My Brother the Devil (2012), the debut feature from writer-director Sally El Hosaini, has won a host of awards since its release last year – and with good reason. Newcomer El Hosaini has managed to breathe new life into an increasingly clichéd genre with substantial skill and sensitive insight. Focusing upon a Muslim Egyptian family who live on a run-down estate in Hackney, the film follows the divergent journeys of Mo (newcomer Fady Elsayed) and his charismatic older brother Rashid (James Floyd). Mo idolises his elder sibling – a dealer who is part of the local ‘drugs, money and guns’ gang – and is eager to follow in his footsteps.
With Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and The Wolverine all scheduled for release in the coming months, the summer of 2013 is stacked with eagerly anticipated superhero movies for global audiences’ viewing pleasure. If the aforementioned blockbusters aren’t quite what you’re looking for, however, Jeff Wadlow’s Kick-Ass 2 (2013) - the sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s outrageously popular original, Kick-Ass (2010) - is set to offer an alternative to the spandex-clad genre with another helping of ultra-violent superhero satire. Today, Universal Pictures officially unveiled an official poster to go along with a US red band trailer, and you can check out all the foul-mouthed goodness at the bottom of this post.
After a five-year hiatus, Paul Thomas Anderson follows up his Oscar-winning There Will be Blood (2007) with The Master (2012), an overly complex tale which is nonetheless magnificently acted and shot. The film begins and ends with Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a WWII veteran who is having difficulty adjusting to life after war. Mentally and emotionally disturbed, Freddie bounces around from one job to another, unable to find peace due to his violent outbursts and alcoholism. One night, Freddie sneaks his way onto a yacht belonging to Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), the founder of a radical new movement called ‘The Cause’.
Hello readers! My latest review for What Culture is now online! Have a read of my thoughts on Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great and Powerful here.
Winner of the Best Film award at last year’s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), theatre director Rufus Norris’ debut feature Broken (2013) finally gets its UK release this week, courtesy of StudioCanal. An adaptation of Daniel Clay’s novel of the same name, Broken is jam-packed with ideas, almost all of which are well-executed. The narrative centres around 11-year-old tomboy Skunk (magnificent newcomer Eloise Laurence), a type 1 diabetic who lives in a suburban cul-de-sac with her older brother Jed (Bill Milner) and single father Archie (Tim Roth). Through Skunk’s eyes, we see the troubled lives of those around her unfold.