UK Cinema Releases 26/6

So this week is a super heavy week for film releases here in the UK, with a whole plethora of subjects, styles and varying budgets to accompany each movie.  So here’s a run down of whats hot and whats not.

Hummingbird (Redemption)

This is the buzz film of the week, everywhere you go people are talking about this movie and its receiving a large amount of publicity through local and national radio stations too.  An to be honest this is one of the few reasons that im remotely interested in this  movie, as the main star Jason Statham does absolutely nothing for me in anything that hes been previously.  And maybe this is the reason Lionsgate are selling this as “Statham in a way you’ve never seen him before.”

Now the official synopsis for the film is as follows

Homeless and on the run from a military court martial, a damaged ex-special forces soldier navigating London’s criminal underworld seizes an opportunity to assume another man’s identity — transforming into an avenging angel in the process.

And having seen the trailer i have to say that they may be onto something, it does appear that the regular martial arts and over top action sequences aren’t going to appear here, instead they will be replaced with a sense of real character depth for both the protagonist and all those he encounters. And the cinematography appears to be heavily focused on the more suburban and dilapidated London than we normally see, so this could be a sleeper hit.  Now do i expect it to be great- I’m afraid not (it still stars Statham acting) but i do expect this to be a better film than anything else in his film career thus far.

Despicable Me 2:

I’m going to be honest, i haven’t been this excited for an animated movie since Toy Story3.  I saw the original almost by mistake- about 12months after it was released because there was nothing else to watch when it aired on television. And I’m so glad that i did, i was totally engrossed by the main character Gru, and his horde of little genetically modified minions who seemed to do almost anything that he requested with a huge degree of comedic success.

Now while the sequel has the following synopsis:

Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.

Which admittedly doesn’t give much away, I’m still excited to see Gru and the little Yellow marshmallow like Minions again in all the glory, and the idea that we may see more supervillian goodness than in the first bodes well.  Not too mention more of the adopted children, that I’m glad Gru really grew to love in the original.  If you want a good family movie this weekend, check this out for sure.

This is the End

ImageOfficial synopsis: While attending a party many celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.

Now this is possibly the second biggest star studded movie of the week to be released, see below for the biggest, and the movie than I’m the least sure what to make of.  This stars James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Michale Cera, Emma Watson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse to name a few.  That’s a huge cast of proven comedy stars, and yes I’m included Franco that after his amazing stint in Pineapple Express, and the trailers make this film look great but hers my worry: movie stars parodying themselves!

Now while i have every faith that this movie will be funny, i highly doubt that it will be as funny as I’m hoping given the list of talent.  Plus i fear that the actors playing themselves will lead to a large amount of self deprivation and inclusion of long standing ‘comments’ that have been made about each of them.  Now while this can be funny in short doses, i fear this may become the basis for the movie.  I hold out hope that the movie focuses more on them trying to save themselves from the apocalypse and the journey they take to achieve this, as i believe this would make for a great comedic journey with the personalities involved.

My final take is it will either be comedy gold, or difficult viewing and I’m hoping for the former.

Stand Up Guys

ImageNow this for me is the sleeper hit of the week.  And it may well be because it stars both Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, but the premises for this film sounds like it was made for these two A-list stars to be side by side:

A pair of aging stickup men try to get the old gang back together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment – to kill his comrade.

Now this is billed as crime based comedy, and i have to say anytime you have Christopher Walken in a movie playing a gangster your already on to a good thing.  I can see this being full of laugh out load moments between the two characters, and can see their relationship and its supposed demise providing some very sharp sarcasm delivered brilliantly.  And as with anything starring these two i expect the characters to be fully developed and engrossing, and for me that’s what a movie should do.

The East

ImageOk this is the movie i truly expect the least from this week, its has an odd cast that does star Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard but is fronted by Brit Marling.  The official synopsis for the film reads as follows:

An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations

Now from what Ive seen of this it doesn’t appear to offer a new take on the whole ‘Am i fighting on the right side?’ approach that this will take to telling its story and trying to get the viewer to consider the world as a whole.  It also doesn’t appear to have the star power to deliver a less than average presentation and story and still get people in to seats to view this.  Based on what i have seen and read i would say wait until this arrives on free television and then give it a try- but otherwise their are better movies out there this week.

And that’s it for this week, ill be back with my take on next weeks movies in 7 days.

For a full list and run down of the rest of this weeks  movies please check out the link below

http://www.screenrush.co.uk/films/schedule/

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Marvel movies Phase3

Doctor_Strange_003Marvel is busy currently with their Phase two movies, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers2, not too mention two releases later this year in the form of Captain America : The winter soldier and Thor: The Dark world.

But not content with this Marvel (Disney pictures) have added a third new Phase3 movie to their upcoming release schedule due to hit cinemas on July8 2016.

This joins previously announced release dates of May6 2016 and May5 2017.  Let speculation commence as to what these are- Antman? Dr Strange? Heroes for Hire?

Well…………Latino-Review, which previously reported on a specualted Dr Strange movie that the villains will be Dormammu and Baron Mordo, claims to have seen the script for the origin-driven movie. Check out the report below on the draft by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (the Conan the Barbarian reboot, Sahara) if you’re curious, but be advised that it’s chock full of possible SPOILERS:

“The film will be an origin story and will kick off  with Stephen Strange and his sister Donna in a pond, where Donna gets pulled  under by strange lights and disappears.  Police suggest that Strange is involved  and that he may have blacked out the memory.  The film will then cut to Strange  as an adult, serving as a respected neurosurgeon at Hudson General Hospital.  He  is about to become the head of neurology and acts arrogantly, but when he  operates on a boy with a brain tumor he sees multi-colored lights and loses it,  fleeing and getting into a car crash as he gets electrified.  He finds out that  his motor function is impaired now and goes into a downward spiral.”

Thats all we have for now- but thye are promising more in the near future
What do you think?

ComicBook preview 26/6

A look at this weeks recommended reads

Fatale_15Ok So first up this week is Fatale 15, written by Ed Brubaker and penciled by Sean Phillips which finally reaches a modern-day timeframe. This issue is due to be the start of a new story arc looking at Nicholas Lash and the research he has been carrying out in his prison cell, which promises to bring his enemies into the open while he has nowhere to run.

So far i must admit that, while i have enjoyed all of the previous collaborations between Brubaker and Phillips in the past, this is by far their best work together.  The story is intricately woven, thoroughly engaging and keeps me wanting more.  And Phillips is delivering some amazing artwork on this really capturing the noir feel of the book perfectly.

If i was to recommend one comic book this week this would be it!

all-new-xmen-13-cov

Ok so next up this week we have All New X-men13 written by Brian Bendis, and the artwork is courtesy of Stuart Immonen.  Now this book was one of the  first to be launched under the ‘Marvel Now’ brand, and i have to say after my initial scepticism i have enjoyed the story being told so far.

The entire X-men from the past in the future, may have been done before in one form or another, but Bendis has really amped up the interest and the current state of mutant affairs helps to keep this book relevant.  Watching the X-men of the past- deal with what Cyclops and the rest of the ‘Phoenix Five’ did is exciting.  This is mainly due to the excellent dialog, and the intense turmoil shown between Logan and past Scott.

 But this issue promises to introduce the Uncanny X-men into the fold, and i for one am really looking forward to seeing Havok’s response to past Cyclops.

Wolverine_and_the_X-Men_Vol_1_32_TextlessFinally this week is Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw’s long running and exceptionally exciting Wolverine and the X-men 32. Jason Aaron has done an amazing job on this book, if someone had told me when it started that id be excited to read an ongoing monthly story about Wolverine running a school for mutants- i’d of said “No chance”

Yet that’s exactly whats happened, the book has delivered some really fun stories (X-men as clown folk) while also delivering some really well written villains, and this issue promises to continue the journey towards payoff  of the new Hellfire club that has been building from the beginning of Aaron’s run. The collection of new characters that have been put together in the Hellfire club is brilliant, and they have been brilliantly introduced and fleshed out so as they feel like a legitimate threat to the Jean Grey School. And we have already seen what their capable of producing in previous issues, so the continuation of the Hellfire Saga has me on tender hooks.

If you want a great story and a really fun read- id recommend you pick this up for sure.

New Title:

BM_SM_Cv1_52flzomr7u_This week see’s the first issue of Batman/Superman hitting the stands which promises to show us all the first meeting of these iconic characters within DC’s new 52 continuity. This has the potential to be a really good read being written by Greg Pak, and will almost certainly be one of the best looking books on the stands this week thanks purely to Jae Lee’s work.

For a full list of all other titles out this week, just click below:

http://www.forbidden-planet.co.uk/acatalog/June_26th.html

San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Souvenir Book Cover To Feature Sandman Art By Dave McKean

This year’s San Diego Comic-Con International Souvenir Book features all-new Sandman art, that stunningly depicts Morpheus, by original Sandman series cover artist Dave McKean.

This special book will include an essay by Les Klinger (Annotated Sandman), celebrating the 25th anniversary of Neil Gaiman’s magnum opus and will also include feature coverage on Superman’s 75th anniversary and much more.

Head over to the Comic-Con website for more about the book and how to get one.

And look for Gaiman’s return to The Sandman in his new miniseries to be published by Vertigo this Fall.

cci2013_frontcover

 

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Doctor Sleep teaser

Above is a link to the first teaser of Stephen King’s new novel Doctor Sleep. And while the teaser doesn’t give a lot away, it does make me more excited for the previously announced sequel to ‘The Shining.’

The plot for the book is as follows:

With Doctor Sleep, Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his previous novels, The Shining. The novel features the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the twelve-year-old girl, Abra Stone, that he must save from The True Knot. The True Knot are a group of almost immortal travelers who cross the country feeding on children with the gift of “the shining.” Dan drifted for decades in an attempt to escape his father’s legacy, but eventually settled in a New Hampshire town and works in a nursing home, where his remnant mental abilities provide comfort to the dying. With the aid of a cat that can foresee the future, Dan becomes “Doctor Sleep.” After meeting Abra Stone, an epic war between good and evil ensues.

Lets get this out here now- I’m a huge fan of Stephen King and his work, and have a big love for the Shining, so I’m stoked to see where this goes, and how the haunting influence of Danny’s gift can be used can be utilised to assist others.
Consider me eagerly counting down to Septembers release.

Name of Thrones

Game of Thrones must be truly loved across the Atlantic. As According to research in the United States of America, there has been a 450% increase in new born babies being named ‘Khaleesi’ the character played by Emelia Clarke.
This mean that in the last 12months a total of 146 children have been given the name of the ‘Mother of Dragons’

Weekend Box Office 21/6

So the weekend has arrived, and with it comes the release of more new movies. So heres a run down of each release for the weekend and a trailer to accompany.

World War Z

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.
This film stars Brad Pitt in the lead role and is based upon MaxBrooks book of the same name, so has some strong source material to work with. The trailer looks great showcasing the action beautifully- especially the zombie ladder scene, while managing to help keep focus on the central character and the true human aspect that the film should provide. The score to the trailer truly helps build the anticipation, and provide tension so I’m hoping this is evident in the final cut of the movie too.
With Brads ability at picking box office successes and some really good less mainstream movies in recent years- this would be my pick of the weekend to see for sure.

Snitch

Construction company owner John Matthews learns that his estranged son, Jason, has been arrested for drug trafficking. Facing an unjust prison sentence for a first time offender courtesy of mandatory minimum sentence laws, Jason has nothing to offer for leniency in good conscience. Desperately, John convinces the DEA and the opportunistic DA Joanne Keeghan to let him go undercover to help make arrests big enough to free his son in return. With the unwitting help of an ex-con employee, John enters the narcotics underworld where every move could be his last in an operation that will demand all his resources, wits and courage to survive.
Ok I’m going to get this out here now- the ‘rock’/Dwayne Johnson has a poor run of starring roles in Hollywood. Is it his fault that he started out on the back of his wrestling success as an action star- No. But he has been horribly cast as an action star ever since, until now. This role seems to be asking more of Dwayne Johnson in the acting department and less on the action side, and with a supporting cast that could really help this could be he make or break movie of his career.
The trailer sets the premise out really well, and really shows how this is going to be a slow build to the action scenes and is likely to be a heavy emotion tale of what a father would do to protect their own. I expect this to do well, with Dwayne Johnson attached, but I’m holding out for a on demand release I’m afraid.

Spike Island

This focuses on a rising indie band in England travelling to Spike Island, Cheshire, to see the Stone Roses.
Now this looks to be a classic piece of English music film making- that really hits at the heart of teenage life during this time period, and attempts to showcase how important music really has been to emerging cultures throughout time, and those coming of age during these periods.
Directed by Mat Whitecross, who delivered sex&drugs &rock ‘n’ roll this is sure to be another good look at musics influence on a generation.

Before Midnight

This continues the story of Jesse and Celine nearly 9years on in Greece, while two decades have passed since try met on the train bound for Vienna.
Now having only read reviews of the first two, I’m going to stray away from too much personal opinion- but from what I’ve seen of this it seems to continue the theme of looking at the evolution of the human condition and love throughout the passages of time. And with a cast that stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and a sun dance festival award under its belt I would suggest it’s a safe bet to be a great movie if you really like a solid portrayal of family life and relationships.

So that’s it for this week- with World War Z being my pick of those see. Maybe that’s just due to the Zombies, but who doesn’t like a good zombie movie?!