Before Snow White

Fairytale characters have never looked so lovely. Following on from 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, there’s just a whole bunch of gorgeousness coming our way with The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Not only do we get the return of Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth (he really should try and copyright that half-turn to camera, “wet” hair look – he’d make a bloody fortune!) and Charlize Theron (nice to see her hair grew back after all those Mad Max antics), we also get the equally beautific Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain (who’s probably had enough of the sci-fi thing for a while).

Here’s a trailer just to prove how eye-wateringly good looking they all are:

As if that weren’t enough, here’s some character posters to gaze upon:

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is released today, April 4th.

Thank you for reading 🙂

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Deepwater Horizon trailer

Peter Berg is an accomplished film maker, bringing us such gems as Hancock, Friday Night Lights and Lone Survivor (he also directed Battleship, but that’s 131 minutes of my life I’m never getting back). His latest offering, Deepwater Horizon, is a depiction of the oil rig disaster that took place in April 2010. Not the most pleasant of subject matters, but with a cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich one that will probably be well worth watching. Here’s a trailer:

And here’s a poster:

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Deepwater Horizon is released in the UK on 30th September.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2

While AMC’s spin-off of the incredibly popular Walking Dead posted some serious ratings numbers for its debut season, the reviews weren’t exactly glowing. With an imdb rating of 7.4/10 from nearly 47,00 users (to date), the general “review” consensus was one of apathy towards its “slow-burn” nature and irritation towards some of the characters. I think they were missing the point.

Fear the Walking Dead is the perfect foil to The Walking Dead. We – the audience – knew/ know what’s coming. We’re in a privileged position, which affords us the opportunity of hindsight. We are also afforded the opportunity of experiencing the downfall of society from the get-go, rather than be dropped into the zombie outbreak weeks down the line, which is the starting point for The Walking Dead pilot. Watching these characters develop an understanding of their situation and react accordingly was/ is a new experience for Walking Dead fans. That this is an entirely new avenue of original storytelling for Robert Kirkman and his team, rather than adapting existing material, is an exciting prospect.

So, with the new season of Fear the Walking Dead almost upon us, here’s a very nice poster to get us in the mood.

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Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1 airs in the US on 10th April and here in the UK on the AMC Global channel (only available to BTSports subscribers) on 11th April.

Thank you for reading 🙂

I Like Kevin Costner!

Here’s a trailer I saw before BvS:DoJ that piqued my interest. Despite Mr Costner seeming to go all “Christian-Bale-Batman-gravelly-voice-thing” this looks decent, especially with that cast. Take a look:

And here’s some nice looking one sheets – character posters and all!

Nice! Criminal will be released in the US and reach these shores on 15th April 2016.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Admirable

There’s a lot of hate out there for Zack Synder and I’m a bit mystified to be honest. Apart from the misstep that was Sucker Punch, I think his body of work to date has been of good quality. Maybe it’s because the first film he helmed was a darling with the horror fashionistas and remaking a “classic” where the zombies can run really fast put their noses out of joint. While some may point to Romero’s Dawn of the Dead as a fascinating treatise on modern society – the zombification of the masses so-to-speak – I’ve watched it again recently and would describe it as “of its time”. The difference between the original and the remake? The remake is a lot more fun.

Batman Vs Superman Worlds Finest

Anyway, he started off on the wrong foot as far as the “geek brigade” were concerned and never recovered. An admirable adaptation of Watchmen was equally derided, so the perceived foundations of a director who adapts established material and produces sub-standard fayre was set.

Which brings us to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by way of Man of Steel. I loved Mr Synder’s Man of Steel and love this follow up. Henry Cavill is perfect in the role of Kal-El, while casting Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/ Batman seemed somewhat left-field, but is a triumph. Words such as “boring” or “failure” or even just plain “bad” have been bandied about but BvS:DoJ is none of those things. And let’s not get into the Marvel vs DC argument – that would be like comparing apples with oranges.

Warner/DC are clearly trying to tap into the level of gravitas lent to the superhero world by way of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, in an attempt to distance themselves from the nudge-nudge-wink-wink world of Marvel – and that’s not a dig either. I’m as much of a Marvel fan as I am DC. The accountability issue of such heroes fighting for the greater good but causing so much collateral damage is clearly valid and one which will also be addressed by Captain America: Civil War – but with more superheroes involved. Substitute Toy Stark and his “team” for Holly Hunter’s Senator Finch and her oversight committee and parallels can surely be drawn.

But this isn’t about “my Dad’s better than your Dad“. Like I said, apples and oranges. Where Marvel got to test the waters with The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man – arguably two lesser characters on a roster of more well known and established offerings – Warner/DC are creating a DC cinematic universe with their two heavy hitters, so there’s a lot more at stake with the fan base. For me, it all worked. Any film which has to deal with giving enough time to a lot of important characters will need to jump around a bit to “please the most people” and BvS handles this with dexterity. I liked the use of musical cues as well – the Man of Steel refrain being a personal highlight – and if I were being ultra-critical I’d have liked to see more of Superman, but once again that’s just a personal thing.

Jessie Eisenberg seems to the relish the role of Lex Luthor Jr., playing him with a nice unhinged edge, while Gal Gadot establishes a good starting point for Wonder Woman and sets us up nicely to look forward to a standalone film in the “near” future (23 June 2017 to be precise). Jeremy Irons lends a sardonic tone to his Alfred Pennyworth – a servant to the Wayne family and “father figure” to Bruce Wayne – and is as close to a moral compass as Batman will encounter in a world of polemics. With Lois Lane getting down-and-dirty, Amy Adams’ diminutive stature belies stoical character traits that just as easily support Clark Kent/ Superman as he does the entire world. This ensemble cast of great talent – including Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane – provide genuine portrayals, ingraining the narrative progression with believability and genuine warmth to the characters they inhabit.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice provides us with the foundations on which this new DC Comics Extended Universe will be built. The jumping-off point for cinematic outings for the likes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman (27th June 2018) and The Flash (16th March 2018), together with a full-blown Justice League film (17th November 2017), we are well on the way to enjoying a superhero universe to (hopefully) rival Marvel’s high quality and well established output. In addition, the prospect of a Ben Affleck directed Batman film, with him in the title role is a mouth-watering one. Don’t be put of by the mainly negative press. This film delivers on a number of levels and is another quality production from Zack Synder, with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill working admirably at the centre of it all.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Gerard Butler will save us all!

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed Olympus Has Fallen. Gerard Butler brutally dispatching terrorists, usually with a short-bladed knife to the cranium – an original way to “end” someone – while saving the “leader of the free world”. It came out around the same time as White House Down (which was equally as enjoyable) and faired quite well at the box office, taking $161m worldwide while having an estimated production budget of $70m (numbers courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo).

So now we brace ourselves for the inevitable follow-up – London Has Fallen. Here’s the trailer.

Yep, pretty much more of the same, but with knobs on, laying waste to an entire city, blowing up every iconic landmark they can think of. All that history dispatched to the ether. It’ll cost a bloody fortune to rebuild! Anyway, I’m not really complaining. It looks like a blast (pardon the pun). I like Mr Butler. I also like Aaron Eckhart. And who doesn’t like Morgan Freeman?!? If that’s you, then you need to give yourself a stern talking-to!

So bring it on, I say. Here’s some suitably patriotic posters to round out the marketing campaign.

London Has Fallen drops on March 3rd here in the UK and March 4th Stateside.

Thank you for reading 🙂

High-Rise posters

I first came across Ben Wheatley when my wife kindly gave me the Kill List blu-ray as a surprise present (she’s very nice like that). I’d never heard of it and was intrigued. The subsequent viewing left me somewhat baffled as to what I’d just watched, but in a good way. Suffice to say, I’ve been a Mr Wheatley fan ever since.

The subsequent years have given us the excellent Sightseers and A Field in England as well as two very good Doctor Who episodes.

Now we High-Rise to look forward to, with a March 18th release date here in the UK, while the US will have to wait until April 28th for it to be available online. To keep you going, here’s some nice one-sheets to look at, as well as some delightful character posters.

 

Thank you for reading 🙂