For the latest in my ‘trailer park’ series I wish to draw your attention to a couple of films that look like they’re going to kick ass and entertain in equal measure. Shane Black, last seen as writer-director of Iron Man 3 brings us a cop caper with an unlikely – but brilliant looking, at least in the trailer – pair of misfits. And Natalie Portman makes a welcome return after a few years of misfiring duds (bar the Thor films) in a rather sumptous looking Western.
The Nice Guys
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe might sound an unlikely duo on paper, but from the trailer their chemistry looks evident and this looks a genuinely funny prospect.
Jane Got A Gun
Natalie Portman is due a return to form I’d say, and here she might have it, in a Western which sees her team up with Joel Edgerton to thwart an evil Ewan McGregor.
Start small and go large. That’s the name of the game. Trailer wise the BFG could be that ‘small’ film, but I doubt it. So forget what I’ve said and check out this lot.
(out July 2016)
In order to do a story like this Roald Dahl 1982 classic justice you need someone who can do wonder and character and, generally, is one of the world’s best storytellers. Step forward Steven Spielberg. This should be quite a treat.
Captain America: Civil War
(out April/May 2016)
Hard to say how much of Mark Millar’s graphic novel this latest Marvel Studios film will mine, but pitting Tony Stark against Steve Rodgers seems like a great idea on paper. This may be the last outing for some of the existing team, so let’s hope it’s a good one.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
(out March 2016)
What Marvel can do, DC can do better (or differently at least). Here they’ve betted the house by facing off their two biggest properties. It looks good though, dark, gritty and really rather an exciting movie for the first half of next year.
Continuing my run of ‘trailer park’ blogs, here’s another. This one focusing on sci-fi, fantasy, adventure and action. ‘Tis the season to fight monsters, tra la la la laa.
The Jungle Book
(out April 2016)
Picking up (in a way) where Life of Pi left off, this film takes the technology further in what looks to be a frankly awe-inspiring version of this classic story. With a strong cast expect to be dazzled and delighted.
(out May 2016)
Upping the ante, that’s what superhero films are all about. For the latest in this franchise the gang face Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse, the first mutant, and immensely powerful to boot. This has promise.
(out June 2016)
Aiming to be perhaps the first director to create a successful film based on a computer game, Duncan Jones could well pull this off. It’s not holding back either, with an epic trailer promising spectacle and character in spades.
Next up for the ‘trailer park’ we have an odd mix: a comedy focused on the zeitgeist-y hot topic of magic, the cinematic event that’s a Tarantino release and the remake of a ’90s cult classic (to some at least).
Now You See Me 2
(out June 2016)
A surprise hit a few years ago, this ensemble cast gelled well and were a treat to watch. From the trailer you’ll see it’s more of the same, but with a few additions including Lizzy Caplan and – in an inspired touch – Daniel Radcliffe.
The Hateful Eight
(out Dec 2015/Jan 2016)
Tarantino threw his toys out the pram a few times during the evolution of this film due to script leaks but thankfully he manned up and made it. It will be interesting to see how this fits into his legendary filmography, as it has lashings of Reservoir Dogs and touches of Django about it.
(out Dec 2015/Jan 2016)
Kathryn Bigelow made her name directing this 1991 action flick with Keanu Reeves as a young, dumb cop chasing Patrick Swayze’s thrill-seeking criminal. Originally Gerard Butler was set to play Brodie but pulled out, so they’ve got a lookalike. And in Keanu’s role they’ve got a hybrid of Paul Walker and Heath Ledger, so we’ll see how it pans out.
Good tidings we bring to you and your, er, fellow cinema fans. Here’s my latest ‘trailer park’ entry, highlighting a few that have caught my eye for films coming up soon.
Seemingly stealing the style straight from Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock films, here we have James McAvoy’s Dr Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe’s Igor in a sort of irreverent buddy movie – with monsters. And Andrew Scott, naturally.
David O. Russell reunites the dream team of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) once again for this hugely obvious Oscar grab. That said, it looks really good, and Lawrence looks to be on fine form.
In this film DiCaprio plays a fur trapper left for dead by his hunting party and then hunts them down seeking revenge. With credible Oscar talk this could be DiCaprio’s time to win one. And with Tom Hardy as the bad guy and Alejandro G. Iñárritu directing this promises to be an epic Western survival yarn.
First things first, let’s get the big guns out of the way. As far as new trailers go, the latest Bond film gets top billing. There’s also one from Jake Gyllenhaal – who’s in a bit of a purple patch – and some spy thingy set in London and starring ‘fit Kit’ Harington (him off Game of Thrones).
Bond is back baby, oh yes. Tying up the Skyfall and Quantum of Solace storylines nicely, this sees the return of his biggest foe, evil network SPECTRE. Mr White is back looking harrowed, Bond calm and collected, and, the thing that’s going to get most fanboys excited, Christoph Waltz as the big baddie. With Sam Mendes again directing and new additions Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux joining the cast expect another triumph.
My top film of last year was Nightcrawler, with Gyllenhaal putting in a phenomenally chameleonic performance. Physically he changes tack here to beef up for this tale of a boxer out to do right by his little girl and return to the ring. Interestingly, the UK’s very own Rita Ora plays a drug addict in it too.
Spooks: The Greater Good
It’s impossible to mention this film’s title without bringing to mind a certain scene in Hot Fuzz. That aside, it’s nice to see the Game of Thrones lot branch out. We’ve recently had Richard Madden (Rob Stark) in Cinderella, and now here’s Kit Harington (Jon Snow) tearing around London as an MI5 agent trying to uncover a conspiracy, doing what we can hope is a darn better job than Jack Bauer did in the last season of 24.
To butcher Led Zeppelin lyrics a little, there’s a whole lotta love out there for a whole lotta films coming out in the next few months. Too many to go through in much depth, but here’s a few I’d like to briefly pick out for your consideration.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ok, not everyone is a fan of this current glut of superhero films, yet this one really does look impressive. And so it should, given the budget, cast and studio muscle. At one point or another it’s all going to implode, it has to. But for now, I’m on board.
This film started life as a theme park ride and whether it turns out to be a franchise behemoth a la Pirates of the Caribbean remains to be seen. What we do know is that Clooney is attached, and he rarely joins doomed projects, so it could be a blast.
It’s high time Guillermo del Toro got back to what he does best… inhibiting a niche genre perhaps only rivalled by Tim Burton. But where Burton comes at his stories from more of an oddball outsider perspective, del Toro opts for horror and macabre fantasy.
Ah, the sweet and observant writer-director Cameron Crowe, who doesn’t love his films? His last beautiful little story was We Bought a Zoo in 2011, so he’s been out the game a while. This looks like a good return to form with a cracking cast to boot.
As 2014 draws to a close I thought a quick look ahead to three rather exciting films out next year wouldn’t be amiss. (Obviously, there’s lots more, but for these little trailer park breakdowns, three is the magic number.)
Focus (In cinemas February 2015)
Will Smith and Margot Robbie (her from The Wolf of Wall Street) star in this rom-com-con, as it’s a film about a con artist who falls for his hot protégé. Based on the trailer, Robbie looks to be giving Amber Heard a run for her money in the old school Hollywood glamour stakes.
Ex Machina (In cinemas April 2015)
Written and directed by Alex Garland (making his debut as a director) this films tells the story of a computer coder (Domhnall Gleeson) who thinks he’s won a chance to stay at the house of his CEO for a week, but is actually participating in an experiment involving artificial intelligence (namely, Alicia Vikander’s character).
Mad Max: Fury Road (In cinemas May 2015)
Make no mistake, this film is part of a franchise. And there’s been a gap of 30 years between the last film and this one. Originally starring Mel Gibson, we now have Hollywood’s go-to guy for intensity as the lead, Tom Hardy. Charlize Theron is also thrown in for good measure, as the fantastically named Imperator Furiosa.
Let’s be honest, J.J. Abrams would have had to monumentally and catastrophically mess up the new Star Wars teaser trailer for the fans to descend upon him, venting their wrath.
That said, there’s some intriguing imagery and things to consider. Whilst the internet is ablaze with speculation as to what these visual clues could mean, they could simply just be tasty shots of the upcoming film. Ever considered that?
What we DO know is: there will be stormtroopers (or at least a character played by John Boyega dressed as one for a brief moment in the trailer); there will be Sith (or at least one Sith with a light sabre shaped like a greatsword); there will be X-Wing fighter jets; there will be… the Millenium Falcon.
And there will be a girl in desert robes (Daisy Ridley) who appears to be on Tatooine, but we don’t know for sure.
That’s about all you can say.
The release date of the film is a year away, so there’s bound to be more clues, but to go overboard now seems premature. Save your excitement I say. At least until the next trailer comes out and we have a bit more to go on.
One thing I WILL say, from the scant scenes shown in this teaser, Abrams looks to have the nailed the tone. It looks exciting. Modern, fresh, slightly dark and gritty, yet light and adventurous. Exactly what you’d have hoped he would bring to this franchise. However, we all interpret things differently.
So, judge for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Time for a quick look ahead at the trailers of some films coming up. If you’re unfamiliar, I do these little ‘trailer park’ blogs from time to time of upcoming films that I’d like to see.
For this one, I’m focusing on one out now and two out soon: a gritty historical action tale, an alternative type of sci-fi and a tongue-in-cheek action flick.
’71 (out now)
Out in cinemas now, this tale is set in Northern Ireland and follows a young British soldier (Jack O’Connell) after he becomes separated from his unit during a riot. His performance has already impressed the critics and this looks like one to see before its cinema run ends.
Monsters: Dark Continent (UK release 28 October)
The follow up to Gareth Edwards’ 2010 original – this time directed by up-and-coming chap Tom Green – sees a soldier searching for his comrade in the desert. This looks to follow the nuanced and stylish aesthetic of the original and build on it in a promising way.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (UK release 12 Feb, US release 13 Feb)
Has director Matthew Vaughn been in the wilderness for the last few years? Perhaps he has, however this looks like him back to his best in this action spy flick, based on a Mark Millar graphic novel and starring Colin Firth as you’ve never seen him before.