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Newsreel (W/e 18 August 2013)

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Mel Gibson & Antonio Banderas join the cast of The Expendables 3.

 

Now You See Me 2 is now in development.

 

Joel Edgerton in talks to be Ramses for Ridley Scott’s Exodus.

 

Darren Aronofsky may adapt Jason Matthews’s novel Red Sparrow as his next film.

 

Vin Diesel will star in the sci-fi, Soldiers of the Sun.

 

Seth MacFarlane confirms that Ted 2 is set for an April 2015 release.

 

The Butler serves at the top of the U.S. box-office.

The Lone Ranger *****

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Run Time: 149 mins Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: Tonto (Depp) remembers his days with John Reid (Hammer) and how the sole survivor of a massacre of Texas Rangers by the notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) and his gang became the masked man bringing justice in the Old West.

 

The makers of the Pirates of the Caribbean series return with a classic high octane adventure, that studios used to release in days gone by.

 

Firstly forgot everything that has been highlighted in the media. The movie may have cost $215 million to make and delayed by two years, but like World War Z it is no where near the disaster that many critics have made this out to be.

 

The story initially written by Pirates writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, with a second take conducted by Revolutionary Road’s Justin Haythe have made an interesting take on an origin story taken from the sidekicks point of view. Tonto with his broken English and madcap ranting is very much the brains of the outfit. While Reid is not the brave and dashing vigilante but a bumbling fool with a hatred of guns although he is still a loner. Even the actual episodic structure feels a refreshing change in a summer blockbuster.

 

Depp and Hammer make a fantastic double act, both reacting with each other in perfect timing. The relationship between the two leads plays out like a wacky western Odd Couple. It may play for laughs, but it does not feel too ridiculous, rather more engaging than distracting.

 

While classic character actor William Fichtner plays the heart eating villain Butch Cavendish, with such venom that every moment he chews the scenery, he steals every scene that he is in. Luther’s Ruth Wilson gives the role of unconventional adventurous damsel emotional gravitas. While Tom Wilkinson’s character feels slightly underdeveloped.

 

Gore Verbinski has made a stunning looking film with spectacular mind blowing action scenes. All the money spent is clearly on screen. Not since the John Ford westerns has Monument Valley looked so beautiful.

 

The movie is flawed. There are far too many characters. Wilkinson’s character needed to be more empathetic and the middle act seems to drag slightly and could almost certainly have cut the overlong running time down.

 

But this is definitely the most enjoyable and fun movie of the summer. Audiences will find it difficult to stay still in their seats once Rossini’s William Tell Overture finally erupts during the finale.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

Newsreel (W/e 11 August 2013)

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A spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s The Penguins of Madagascar is set to star Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich.

 

Sam Rockwell in talks to star in the Poltergeist reboot.

 

Christopher McQuarrie set to direct Mission: Impossible 5.

 

Steven Spielberg is no longer directing the biopic, American Sniper.

 

Jobs’ Josh Gad is to play comedian Sam Kinison in the biopic Brother Kinison, directed by Borat’s Larry Charles.

 

Meryl Streep & Robert De Niro are to star in the adaptation of best-selling novel The Good House.

 

Harrison Ford has joined The Expendables 3 while original star Bruce Willis will not be returning.

 

Leonardo DiCaprio is set to produce and possibly star in King Harald, a historical biopic about Harald Hardrada, 11th century Viking king.

 

A TV version of The Exorcist is in the works.

 

Arcade Fire to provide the soundtrack for Spike Jonze’s new movie Her.

 

Hugh Grant joins the cast of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

 

A Paranormal Activity spin-off to be released in January, then another sequel in October 2014.

 

Elysium tops the U.S. box-office.

Newsreel (W/e 4 August 2013)

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Disney & Harvey Weinstein set to make the film adaptation of Artemis Fowl with Robert De Niro & Jane Rosenthal executive producing.

 

A John McAfee biopic is in development at Warner Bros with Ed Wood screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski to script.

 

Kevin Smith is planning to make a horror movie based on a Gumtree listing about a Walrus, the film is titled Tusk.

 

Denis Leary & Vanessa Hudgens in talks to star in The Kitchen Sink, a horror comedy about a vampire & zombie teaming up when aliens invade.

 

The Inbetweeners Movie 2 is to be released in August 2014.

 

Warner Bros & Jaume Collet-Serra are trying to get the live action Akira remake back on track.

 

Samuel L Jackson has joined the cast of The Secret Service as the villain.

 

Director James Cameron has confirmed that he will make three sequels to Avatar, with the first sequel set to be released in 2016.

 

Denzel Washington turned down a role in Fast & Furious 7.

 

House of Flying Daggers director Zhang Yimou is in talks to helm Warner Bros’ Quasimodo starring Josh Brolin.

 

Billy Bob Thornton is to star in the forthcoming TV series based on the Coen brothers’Fargo.

 

Ellen DeGeneres is to host the 86th annual Academy Awards.

 

2 Guns fires at the top of the U.S. box-office.

 

R.I.P. Eileen Brennan (Aka Capt Lewis from Private Benjamin).

Newsreel (W/e 28 July 2013)

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Adrien Brody & Brian Blessed is set to star in the Kenneth Grahame biopic Banking on Mr Toad.

 

Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out of the planned Freddie Mercury biopic due to creative differences with the remaining members of Queen.

 

Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys is to become a TV series.

 

Christopher Walken set to star in director Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys.

 

A feature film version of the video game series Gran Turismo is on the way from Sony Pictures.

 

Paul Greengrass is set to direct Aaron Sorkin-scripted The Trial of the Chicago Seven.

 

Danny McBride set to join Bradley Cooper & Emma Stone for Cameron Crowe’s next untitled movie.

 

Rocky spinoff Creed is set to star Michael B Jordan & Sylvester Stallone.

 

V For Vendetta director James McTeigue has signed on to direct a Bloodsport while Kickboxer remake is to be directed by Stephen Fung.

 

Ewan McGregor & Gwyneth Paltrow are in talks to join Johnny Depp in director David Koepp’s Mortdecai.

 

Zombieland’s Abigail Breslin joins Arnold Schwarzengger for Zombie movie Maggie.

 

Ryan Gosling & Zac Efron rumoured to be in the running for Star Wars Episode VII.

 

Soap star MacKenzie Mauzy has been cast as Rapunzel in Disney’s Into The Woods.

 

Rosamund Pike will play the lead in David Fincher’s Gone Girl.

 

Melissa McCarthy to retrain with director Paul Feig for a female-driven spy comedy, Susan Cooper.

 

Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Aniston, Will Forte, Austin Pendleton, Cybil Sheppard & Owen Wilson cast in Peter Bogdanovich’s Squirrels to the Nuts.

 

Paramount Pictures & Eddie Murphy set to bring back Axl Foley after the failed TV series attempt with a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie.

 

A Dolphin’s Tale 2 is now in development.

 

The Wolverine scratches it’s way to the top of the U.S. box-office.

 

R.I.P. Dennis Farina

World War Z ***

 

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Run Time: 116 mins         Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: Former UN employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) attempts to save the world from zombies in Marc Forster’s latest horror film.

 

At the beginning of the film Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his wife Karin (Mirielle Enos) are taking their two daughters to school when Philadelphia is attacked by people who appear to have a lethal virus. As those around them are killed and the city is destroyed, the family escape in a camper van and hide in a block of flats. As they wait for a helicopter to rescue them, they are joined by a young boy named Tommy whose parents have succumbed to the virus. Following this, they are taken to a US Navy Vessel where Gerry is persuaded to help find the source of the virus in exchange for keeping his family safe.

 

The film follows the team of soldiers to locations all over the world including South Korea, Israel and South Wales. As they travel around attempting to identify where the virus has come from, the team accompanying Gerry are gradually killed leaving only Gerry and a woman named Segen (Daniella Kertesz) whom he has saved from death by removing her hand. Despite almost being killed themselves, the pair finally identify the source of the virus and find a way of preventing it.

 

“World War Z” is nicely shot and the 3D is excellent. There are some spectacular shots of cities from above that show the true advantages of 3D. The scenes in which the infected people morph and attack also benefit from this as it gives the impression the audience could walk into the screen.

 

The film is let down by a story that starts well but loses its way in the third act. It is fairly obvious the film has been edited a lot and the acts have been thrown together. This results in “World War Z” feeling somewhat like two separate movies. The ending is also disappointing and feels a bit too perfect.

 

Although it features good performances from Pitt, Enos and the supporting cast, the characters in the movie are not particularly memorable. Again their development may have suffered due to the excessive editing that has taken place throughout its lifetime but it would have been nice to see characters with more depth and “human like” features to complement a story that is predominantly driven by events.

 

Overall, the film has its strong points, particularly during the first two acts. However the lack of structure in the third act, lack of character development and cliched ending let it down.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

The World’s End ****

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Run Time: 109mins Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: Gary King (Simon Pegg), decides to track down his estranged friends and complete the Golden Mile, an infamous pub crawl encompassing 12 pubs in their hometown of Newton Haven. The group attempted the crawl as teenagers, but failed to reach the final pub, the World’s End..

 

Director Edgar Wright and co return to finish the last part of their “Cornetto” trilogy. After the rom zom com of Shaun of the Dead and comedy action thriller Hot Fuzz, Frost Pegg and Wright have gone for an apocalyptic sci fi comedy for the finale, with a satirical razor sharp wit that audiences have come to expect from the Spaced team.

 

The story focuses on the theme of growing up, while showing Britain as a dull place full of franchise chain pubs and superimposed high streets. Not to mention the usual mix of barroom brawls, movie references and a funky musical soundtrack. However the tone of the piece seems disjointed as the first half is solely a comedy, while the second part is more drama and action driven.

 

Usually it would be Frost that plays the annoying joker of the pack, but in a refreshing take Pegg is now this archetypal character and dials it up to 11. In doing this Frost shows his acting skills by the straight man for once. While the rest of the cast including Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan are equally as good supporting the two leads. Unfortunately
Rosamund Pike’s Sam is memorable, but underused. This may be to do with the fact that it is a boys to men story.

 

Wright brings his trademark flashy direction and jump cut editing that have graced the other two parts. After tackling the fantastic, but under performing Scott Pilgrim, many would have expected the director to pick a small project to follow up on. If anything this seems bigger especially in effects, but probably cost half of what it took to make the comic book adaptation.

 

Not the best of the trilogy, but The World’s End has enough laughs, surprise cameos and clever twists to make this a successful finale. Hopefully the team will decide to make more flavours.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

The Conjuring ****

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<Run Time: 112mins Cert: 15

Synopsis: Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), along with their five daughters, move to a secluded farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Soon, a dark presence starts to terrorise the family. They seek help from world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga). Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most horrifying case of their lives.

 

Based on true events, James Wan’s 2013 horror movie tells the story of a family that finds their house tormented by evil spirits.

 

The sound is excellent, particularly the creaking and banging sounds made by the spirits at regular intervals throughout the film. Combined with the use of a handheld camera that follows the characters through the house, this creates a scary atmosphere that will have the audience holding onto their seats.

 

“The Conjuring” has well developed characters and relationships between the Warren and Perron families feature heavily throughout the movie. This adds a level of depth that is rarely seen in horror films.

 

In terms of acting, Lili Taylor stands out in her role as a mother possessed by demons Wilson and Farmiga also give great performances as the couple who arrive to investigate while Joey King is enjoyable to watch as Christine, the child who is most affected by the spirits’ presence.

 

With its old school scary movie theme, real life basis and top class cinematography, “The Conjuring” is a must see for any horror fan.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

Newsreel (W/e 21 July 2013)

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Kevin Costner is in talks to star in the Guillermo del Toro produced movie Midnight Delivery.

 

Mackenzie Foy & John Lithgow join the cast of Christopher Nolan’s science fiction movie, Interstellar.

 

Margot Robbie & Will Smith will star in Focus, a con artist tale from writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

 

Peter Dinklage confirmed to play creator of the Sentinels Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

 

Dustin Hoffman & Bobby Cannavale have both joined the cast of Jon Favreau’s indie comedy Chef.

 

Edge of Tomorrow is the new name for Tom Cruise’s All You Need is Kill.

 

The Conjuring 2 is now in development.

 

Dan Brown’s Inferno is heading to the big screen on December 18, 2015 with Ron Howard & Tom Hanks returning.

 

“Under the Dome” actress Britt Robertson to join the cast of Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland.

 

Warner Bros. has revealed plans for a Man of Steel sequel that will feature none other than Batman. The studio is also planning a Flash film for 2016 & a Justice League film for 2017.

 

Avengers 2 is now titled as The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

 

The Conjuring scares the U.S. box-office.

 

R.I.P. Mel Smith

Newsreel (W/e 14 July 2013)

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Charlie Kaufman will write the new Slaughterhouse-Five adaptation.

 

Disney is working on a new live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

 

Johnny Depp is talks to star in David Koepp’s Mortdecai, an adaptation of “The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery” by Kyril Bonfiglioli.

 

Sam Mendes returns to direct Bond 24.

 

Ben Affleck is in talks to board director David Fincher’s adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl.

 

Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow writing & possibly directing Marvel’s X-Force for Fox.

 

Johnny Depp is in talks to return for James Bobbin’s Alice in Wonderland sequel, Through the Looking Glass.

 

Minions reign as Despicable Me 2 stays on top of the U.S. box-office.