IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN.

SUMMER CINEMA is here! Perhaps the best jam-packed time for mainstream explosive cinema is the months of May through to August.

Beginning with Avengers: The Age of Ultron, through to the anticipated return of the Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible and Insidious franchises. Reboots, remakes and rehashing come in the forms of Pan (of Peter Pan lore); Terminator; Mad Max and Fantastic Four.

So dust off your calendars for some conventional but what will undoubtedly be exciting box office hits – here are some of my must see in the next 5 months:

April/May 2015 Releases

Far From The Madding Crowd

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The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching wilfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance. official plot version from foxsearchlight.com

Preggoland

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When Ruth ruins a baby shower with her drunken, juvenile antics, her old high school cronies, who are all mothers now, promptly de-friend her. But when she is later mistakenly thought to be “with child,” she is inexplicably welcomed back into the group. Ruth plans on coming clean, but when her dad has a heart attack and tells her that the only thing keeping him alive is the promise of grandkids, Ruth decides to continue to fake the pregnancy. Things get even more complicated when Ruth falls in love with her new boss, who seems to wants nothing more than to raise her unborn child as his own. Can she get out of this without losing her job, friends, respect of her family, and the new love of her life? official plot version from gravitasventures.com

Mad Max: Fury Road

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Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows. official plot version from warnerbros.com

The film will be set shortly before the events of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The original Mad Max actor Mel Gibson has a cameo role.

 

June 2015 Releases 

Jurassic World

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22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a dinosaur adventure park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. This new park is owned by the Patel Corporation. Owen (Chris Pratt), a member of Jurassic World’s on-site staff, conducts behavioral research on the Velociraptors. Jurassic World’s attendance rates begin to decline and a new attraction, created to re-spark visitor interest, backfires. Spielberg produces.

Minions

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Meet Stuart, Kevin and Bob as they embark on a journey for their new master. The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. After accidentally killing off so many of them—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without a master to serve and fall into a deep depression.
But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.
The trio embarks upon an adventure that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation. official plot version from universalpictures.com

Jul 2015 Releases 

Ant-Man

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Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. official plot version from marvel.com

Mission: Impossible – Rogue…

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Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF. Ethan Hunt’s highly effective but destructive Impossible Mission Force (IMF) has been disbanded by vengeful Washington bureaucrats such as the CIA chief (played by Alec Baldwin). But Hunt pulls his team together (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and newcomer Rebecca Ferguson) to battle the shadowy force known as “The Syndicate” and its elusive leader (Sean Harris). paraphrased plot formulation from paramount.com

August 2015 Releases

The Fantastic Four 

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Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. official plot version from foxmovies.com

Diary of a Teenager

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Like most teenage girls, Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the world. Minnie begins a complex love affair with her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend, “the handsomest man in the world,” Monroe Rutherford (Alexander Skarsgård). What follows is an account of one girl’s sexual awakening, without judgment. official plot version from sonyclassics.com

The Man From U.N.C.L.E

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Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe. official plot version from warnerbros.com

Straight Outta Compton

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In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war.

all info sourced from the guys at http://www.movieinsider.com

 

 

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH


Director: James Kent Screenwriter: Juliette Towhidi Starring: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton, Miranda Richardson, Dominic West, Emily Watson, Joanna Scanlan, Colin Morgan, Hayley Atwell, Jonathan Bailey, Anna Chancellor, Alexandra Roach. 

Nationwide release January 14th Certificate TBC Running time: 129 min.

‘Testament of Youth’  is an adaptation of Vera Brittain’s revered memoir of the same name. Directed by established British producer and film and television director, James Kent (The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister) the film stars Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair) as Vera, the smart, opinionated, persevering young woman living in a time of war and heartbreaking uncertainty. 

Idealistic and rebellious Vera is determined not to settle into the path her parents (Emily Watson and Dominic West) would have her follow, pianos and marriage at the beginning of the film do more than bore her – she’s furious. Angling for a life as a writer, in the beginning she finds herself battling to join her adoring younger brother Edward (Taron Egerton) in escaping the rolling hills of the English countryside and all it’s frivolities, in favour sitting an entrance exam and attending Oxford. Sure enough her tenacity and unwavering passion to make it happen wins her a place at the prestigious university – a trait that is constant throughout the movie. However there are somethings young Vera has little control over, her heart and the intentions of others to win hers, and a war against Germany. 

 Within 20 minutes of the film Vera is declaring that she has no plans to marry – 30 minutes in and she has two handsome young men stealing longing gazes at her and sliding poems under her door. It’s  Roland (Kit Harington), an affable young man with ambitions to write also who steals her heart, but no sooner than they’re courting is World War I declared. When the war calls for the young men to sign up they do so willingly – Edward, having encouraged his father to let Vera apply for Oxford, is returned the favour when she pleads on Edward’s behalf to join the army. Soon Roland is joining the fray, and later her dear friend and admirer Victor (beautiful, nuanced delivery by Colin Morgan).

 Left behind like many women, be it wives, sisters, mothers and daughters were during the war – no amount of studying appeases her guilt and restlessness for letting them all go. Vera defers her studies, much to the incredulity of her course master (an endearing guest appearance from Miranda Richardson) and takes up a position serving  as a voluntary aid nurse during the four year horror, stationed at different points of the war – ebbing closer and closer to the frontline as her inevitable  heartbreak, pain and growing pacifism will allow.

The films boasts breathtaking scenery from the quaint beauty of the English countryside to the foggy train station platforms. The breaking of the fourth wall during sentimental moments, sometimes in Vera’s memory sometimes for visual and emotive reasons, is reminiscent of a Stephen Poliakoff drama, one of the techniques that makes his works so symbolic of nostalgia is employed in Kents film. The costumes are stunning, never overbearing or in your face, but the attention to detail is truly noteworthy  every stitch, palette and fabric comes together effortlessly. The true star however is Vikander, the native Swede is remarkable. Beautiful and defiant in the titular role. To look at her you may be forgiven for believing that such a well known, seminal and important story is too much for her petite shoulders – but she pulls it off, and in the midst of an impressive cast of established and exceedingly talented rising British talent, she more than holds her own and the entire film.

 

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death (12A)

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death

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UK National release:January 1st  Rating:(12A)Runtime: 98 mins

Director:Tom Harper Writer:Jon Croker Cast:Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory, Adrian Rawlins, Leanne Best, Ned  Dennehy, Oaklee Pendergast.

Admittedly this second chapter in the Hammer Horror series of The Woman in Black, loses some of its appeal without the draw of Daniel Radcliffe, but as far from being a disappointing sequel of a lacklustre first installment  Angel of Death story is similarly mediocre. This isn’t a criticism of the actors, director or even the final film itself; it’s an observation that since the first – there really wasn’t much more to say about the gruesome Woman and her penchant for offing off young souls.  Continue reading

The Theory of Everything (12A)

The Theory of Everything.

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 UK National release:January 1st  Rating:(PG)Runtime: 118 mins

Director:James Marsh Screenplay:Anthony McCarten
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, Tom Prior, Charlie Cox and Maxine Peake.

The Theory of Everything, directed by James Marsh, is not quite  the biopic of the theoretical physicist  that some may first think. Neither is it an adaptation of how he came to write his groundbreaking bestseller, ‘A Brief History of Time';  this film centers predominantly on Hawking’s early years as a Cambridge fellow, upon meeting his first wife Jane, and the magnificent beginnings of both Hawking’s notoriety as a theorist and his equally unique story of being diagnosed with a form of Motor Neuron Disease (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)  and surviving well past the maximum two years he was expected to live.    Continue reading

INSIDE OUT TRAILER

Last week I posted the teaser for Pixar and Disney’s new film Inside Out. The animation Gods and Kings have bestowed a more lengthy trailer , released in June next year, and it’s looking like a great comical adventure centred on how our emotions come to play.

Disgust, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Joy – basic human emotions that Pixar can manipulate into a nice little package – but common sense tells me it will go beyond the smooth running of control desks and button pushing. People are more complex than that and Pixar are so good at conveying those complexities onscreen (almost too good) that I’m sure something major happens that throws these little creatures into disarray.

The central character is Riley, a child, so it’s safe to say there’ll be plenty of material to work through on that side of things. Commonly at a young and impressionable age we’re overwhelmed with choices and grapple to make sense of how we feel and why feel the way we do – it’s a formative period, so the raging emotions will probably get her into all sorts of scenarios. Looking forward to it.