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Matthew Vaughn returns to direct the sequel to the high-octane British spy film starring Taron Egerton and Colin Firth, featuring a lot of well-known new comers.
Based on the graphic novel by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, Kingsman: The Secret Service was the only action blockbuster to make it to my list of the best films of 2015. It was the british spy movie with a twist, it was unexpectedly funny, fast-paced and expertly crafted all around. RADA trained Taron Egerton shone in his breakthrough leading role as ‘Eggsy’, a rough and ready Londoner who chances upon a well mannered English gentleman (Colin Firth) who welcomes him into a secret band of spies. As with any movie that makes almost half a billion dollars in the box office, they are doing a sequel.
Matthew Vaughn, director of the first film, whose past credits include Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, is back on board which is a good sign. The trailer, which features a whole load of tuxedos and bizarre action sequences that we have come to expect set to a classic big band tune, promises to build on the elements that made the first film a success. However, the trailer shows the English manor used as the Secret Service’s head quarters, as well as the now infamous tailor shop have both been blown up, and with these two locations housing the bulk of the first film, we will be entering new and unchartered territory. Also, as has been seen with the recent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and essentially British film that encounters a series of sequels, always winds up enduring some sort of injection of American culture. In order to save the world, the Kingsman band up with an allied US spy organisation.
Back from the first film are Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Edward Holcroft, and joining the franchise (I think it’s safe to call it that now) are Narcos‘ Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges and Halle Berry. And not featured in the trailer but apparently making a cameo is Elton John.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is due out September. You can watch the first trailer below.
Channing Tatum in Kingsman: The Golden Circle
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The first trailer for 'Looper' director's Star Wars instalment provides a sample of the spectacle and scale you'd expect, with a brief glimpse of Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Carrie Fisher in her final performance as the famed Princess Leia....
Currently trending at #1 on YouTube, the highly anticipated first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on Daisy Ridley as Rey, on a remote island where she met an aged, disheveled Luke Skywalker at the end of the last instalment. The first part of the trailer focuses on Ridley getting a training bootcamp from Mark Hamill in a reprisal of his iconic role with little dialogue interrupting John Williams‘ glorious music. The rest of the trailer offers little more than a sample of the spectacle you’d expect from the franchise done with ever more impressive technique and scale. That is, except to provide a brief glimpse of the key players from The Force Awakens – Oscar Isaac running in tow with BB-8, John Boyega and surprisingly Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, who was thought to have been killed in the previous film. There is also a veiled glimpse Carrie Fisher in her final performance as Princess Leia before her untimely death late last year.
Domhnall Gleeson is returning, and joining the cast are Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and a stormtrooper rumoured to be played by Tom Hardy. This marks the first Star Wars film for director Rian Johnson, whose most well-known film on his three-feature belt is 2012’s futuristic action Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It may be Johnson’s first venture into the famous intergalactic world, but a return of most of the crew from previous films ensures a seamless transition in design et al, because after all, staying true to the nostalgia of the long living franchise while subtly updating it to the digital era is what pushed The Force Awakens to surpass box-office records.
The trailer ends with a hooded Luke Skywalker announcing in silhouette from a cave “It’s time for the Jedi to end”. I’m not familiar enough with the franchise to know exactly what they means, but we will have to wait until December to find out, two years after the release of the first of the modern reboots. You can watch the trailer below.
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson gets his kit off in a telephone box as he struggles to get changed into his Deadpool costume in a spoof of the classic Superman movies.
The sequel to the critically acclaimed and box office smash hit Deadpool hasn’t even begun shooting, but there is already an appropriately tongue in cheek teaser out to keep the buzz rolling. The little short film sees Ryan Reynolds as Wade wandering through an atmospheric street, covered in graffiti with smoke and litter flying through the air when he comes across an old man getting mugged in an alley way. Reynolds promptly gets into the telephone booth and gets fully nude as he struggles to get changed into his Deadpool outfit while the Superman theme song plays in the background. He also tells Stan Lee to “zip it” in a little cameo.
The teaser, titled ‘No Good Deed’, which is currently playing in theatres before Twentieth Century Fox’s other prominent comic book blockbuster Logan and was released online by Reynolds. Deadpool and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine did meet briefly in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. As a firm hater of both super hero movies and Ryan Reynolds, it comes as a huge surprise to myself to be so eagerly awaiting the next Deadpool. The high octane romp directed by Tim Miller off a script written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick proved to be one of the most entertaining pieces of cinema of last year. And Reynold’s energetic, attention deficit hit-man come anti-hero is the role he was perhaps born to play.
The teaser short was directed by David Leitch, who is currently also billed to direct the sequel. Long time stunt coordinator on dozens of big-name action flicks, this will be the second feature as director for Leitch, following Atomic Blonde, an action / mystery starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy and John Goodman set to be released later this year.
Deadpool 2 isn’t scheduled to be released until 2018 so you’ll just have to watch the teaser below in the meantime. If you don’t want to see Ryan Reynolds nude in a telephone box, perhaps down scroll any further down.
Ryan Reynolds getting changed in a telephone box in a teaser for Deadpool 2
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There is more of Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller in the new trailer for James Gray's story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) who, in 1925, disappeared with his son Jack (Tom Holland) in the Amazon while looking for an ancient fabled civilisation, which looks to be a tense action thriller in addition to being a historical biographical...
Amazon Studios have released a new extended look at James Gray‘s film adaptation of the best selling non-fiction book The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by American author David Grann. The film tells the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) who, in 1925, disappeared with his son Jack (Tom Holland) in the Amazon while looking for an ancient fabled civilisation. As many as 100 explorers and scientists have faced the same fate while trying to find evidence of Fawcett’s party and the lost city. The trailer delves further than the first very short teaser trailer released in December for the film, which looks to be a tense action thriller in addition to being a historical biographical adventure. We see more of Sienna Miller giving a transformative and true performance as Nina Fawcett, Jack’s wife. The new trailer features very a little snippet of Robert Pattinson who plays fellow explorer Henry Costing casting doubt over Fawcett’s mission to find the Amazonian tribe. There is still very little of Tom Holland in the trailer. The cast also includes Angus Macfadyen as biologist and explorer James Murray.
This will be the first time in 15 years Joaquin Phoenix won’t star in one of Gray’s films, whose work includes 2013’s The Immigrant with Marion Cotillard and 2008’s Two Lovers with Gwyneth Paltrow. The trailer features Charlie Hunnam speaking in his very confusing natural accent and giving his usual unnecessary yelling-acting, but on the whole could be set to deliver a more meaningful performance than we are used to from the British Sons of Anarchy star. The large scale action sequences and front runner Hunnam provide the box office bankability, however, knowing the projects that Pattinson and Miller tend to attach themselves to, we can be sure to expect a certain caliber and high quality, marking perhaps the perfect combination big scale blockbuster and independent sensibility. It is an odd phenomenon seeing Pattinson go from the leading man to supporting roles. The actor, often underestimated due to his involvement in a certain young adult franchise, is such a gifted actor that he completely transforms into his diverse roles – even for his smaller parts – creating a totally believable performance, often outweighing his main character counterparts. This was the case in last year’s The Childhood of a Leader, and may be the case in this film.
The Lost City of Z, produced by Brad Pitt, is set to be released theatrically on March 24th in the UK. You can watch the first trailer below.
Robert Pattinson in The Lost City of Z
Sienna Miller in The Lost City of Z
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The epic drama stars Hera Hilmar as Lillie, a strong-willed American woman who sets off to the Ottoman Empire with doctor Jude (Hartnett), but falls for her perceived enemy - a Turkish soldier (Huisman).
The epic drama stars Hera Hilmar as Lillie, a strong-willed American woman who decides to leave the United States after meeting Jude (Josh Hartnett), an American doctor who runs a hospital within the Ottoman Empire at the brink of the first World War. It is there where she betrays the spark with the American doctor and falls for her perceived enemy – a Turkish soldier (played by Game of Thrones‘ Michiel Huisman). A love triangle set against a dangerous backdrop, leaves all involved open to making fatal mistakes. The key cast is completed by Ben Kingsley.
The director – native New Yorker Joseph Ruben – has brought us a number of thrillers the likes of The Forgotten (2004) starring Julianne Moore and – aptly – Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) starring Julia Roberts. The Ottoman Lieutenant marks a distinct shift in genre for the director away from more horror/thrillers towards a romance/drama. With it’s beautiful production design, sweeping cinematography and the massive scale of it’s story, the war drama has the potential to achieve greatness. Hartnett, since famously renouncing all involvement with big Hollywood productions – has developed an eye for weeding out the better quality projects the likes of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, so there must have been something in the screenplay that attracted the actor to this war drama.
The Ottoman Lieutenant is set to be released March 10th. You can watch the trailer below.
Josh Hartnett in The Ottoman Lieutenant
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The new trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders' live action film adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series offers a more detailed look at the surreal imagery and a veiled glimpse at Michael Pitt as the mysterious robotic...
The new trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders’ live action film adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series offers a more detailed look at the surreal imagery and a veiled glimpse at Michael Pitt as Kuze. Ghost in the Shell is set in a fictional Japanese city in a dystopian future where it is entirely common for people to get their biological organs replaced with computerised parts. Most people’s brains are fitted with ‘cybernetic’ parts, allowing them to be downloaded and ‘backed up’ on a hard drive much like an iPhone. The main character, Major Motoko Kusanagi (played by Scarlett Johansson), having had a fatal accident befall her has a child, was given a fully prosthetic body to house her ‘cyberbrain’, enabling her to continue living as a ‘cyborg’. In layman’s terms – she’s a robot with a half human, half computerised brain. The danger with her life saving procedure is that it has left her brain vulnerable to hackers who may bend her whims and use her superhuman strengths to their own benefit.
In previous trailers, the appearance of Pitt’s character has been kept very brief, hidden in silhouette with only his croaky voice getting a prominent and ominous feature, strongly resembling Heath Ledger and Jared Leto’s Jokers. This is apt, as his character Kuze is also referred to as ‘The Laughing Man’. You may know Michael Pitt from the likes of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire or Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (2007). From playing blatant psychopaths to gentle scientists, his talents displayed in his immense and varied body of work make him one of the industry’s most underrated actors. He also seems to have a talent for attaching himself to high quality projects, which should vouch even further for this film. Perhaps his involvement with this high-profile production will thrust him into popular culture and there will be much more of him to be seen.
I’m not expecting an Academy Award worthy screenplay or film, but I am expecting a visual spectacle and massive scale entertainment, a cut above most blockbusters in the multi-million dollar budget bracket. The new trailer also reveals more shots of the overpopulated, technologically advanced ‘New Port City’ – as it is known – which are brilliantly realised, setting up a nightmarish world reminiscent of the work of Chris Cunningham and the likes of Blade Runner (1982) and The Fifth Element (1997). It is this finely detailed world which sets Sanders up as somewhat of a visual auteur and makes Ghost in the Shell something to look forward to.
Johansson has had an oddly varied career, spanning from highly experimental independent arthouse films to cashed up comic book blockbusters. Coincidentally, this is the third time she had played some form of synthetic human – appearing in Lucy (2014) and the critically acclaimed Under the Skin (2013) – and her second visit to Japan since Lost in Translation (2003), giving this film an eerie sense of familiarity. The cast is completed by Juliette Binoche and Michael Wincott. Ghost in the Shell is set to be released worldwide on March 31st. You can watch the trailer below.
Michael Pitt in Ghost in the Shell
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