Category: Movie Trailers
Dreams çome true at night.
A glamorous Parisian cop investigates a death in remote northern Scandinavia in this intriguing series opener. Plus: Mystery of the Man on the Moor.
Here’s an A-level physics question. A middle-aged Frenchman is tied to the rotor blade of a helicopter, head facing out, away from the axis. Actually, it’s not important that he’s French or middle-aged, but it adds colour. Anyway, the helicopter is started up, and the rotor begins to rotate, accelerating at an angular rate of x rad/sec. Given that the ultimate tensile strength of middle-aged French neck is y MPa, how long before Pierre literally loses his head?
It has been a while since I did physics A-level; some extra data may be required – thickness of neck, mass of head, distance from axis of rotation. And does Coriolis force come into it? A fascinating problem, though, I think you’ll agree. The answer appears to be about about 35 seconds, according to Midnight Sun (Sky Atlantic).
It certainly makes for an arresting/memorable/horrible opening sequence. We – the helicopter, Pierre, his now scattered head – are in the far north of Sweden. What is this smartly dressed, wealthy French chap doing here, and what has he done to deserve this grim demise?
That’s what jaded local prosecutor Rutger (Peter Stormare) has to find out. With help from his timid, dithering sidekick, Anders (Gustaf Hammarsten), and glamorous Parisian cop Kahina (Leïla Bekhti). The investigation, and the series, is a Swedish-French collaboration, The Killing meets Spiral, Abba covers Je t’aime, köttbullar au vin. It’s a promising flavour combination, gory and gothic, even if the meat may be a little underdone for some palates.
The Swedes are reassuringly straight-talking, stoic, gloomy and pale; Kahina combines ridiculous north African beauty with comedy shruggy-chic Gallic cool, pffff. Everyone has the requisite personal complications – relationships, families, ghosts, miseries. A little humanness to add to the beastliness.
There’s stuff going on underground in Kiruna as well, rumblings and cracks opening up. Because of the mine. Mother, the locals call her. She produces enough iron ore every day to make six Eiffel Towers. I hope it’s just a mine, and that Midnight Sun isn’t going to go all otherworldly Fortitude nonsense.
And because of the latitude and the fact that it’s midsummer, everyone’s a little mad. Kahina can’t sleep; there’s something of Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia about it. Perhaps the handsome helicopter pilot will help her…
Hello, who’s this, though, naked and chained to a rock? Prometheus? Not quite the right part of the world, it’s probably something to do with Thor. And it’s not an eagle that visits, but wolves, a pack of them. Aaarwwwooo! Shoo! Noo! Oww! The man is missing a foot … well, that’s better than a head I guess, but he’s got wounds all over, cuts, he’s lost loads of blood. He manages to get one word out: järv. Which means not wolf, but wolverine. Intriguing…
Mystery of the Man on the Moor (Channel 4) tells another story of a body found in a wild, remote place. Only this time it’s not fiction. There are no wolverines – or wolves – on Saddleworth Moor in the Peak District, but there was strychnine in the body, and that’s not something Oldham CID comes across every day.
You’ll remember it: the man, inappropriately dressed for the outdoors, with no identification, who, after months and months of police work, was found to be David Lytton, former London Underground driver, who had recently spent time in Pakistan. This documentary follows that painstaking investigation. And it’s both totally engrossing and ultimately a bit disappointing.
Engrossing because of the extraordinary nature of the case, the enigma of David and his death. The film has access to his brother, Jeremy, and to his former girlfriend Maureen, who contribute something to who David was and to the human side of the story. But it’s disappointing because in the end I didn’t learn very much that I hadn’t already read.
I realise this was the story of the investigation and it wasn’t going to find answers to the fundamental questions the police and the inquest hadn’t. Such as: why had he come to the Pennines? And was it really suicide?
But a documentary, and what you want from it, isn’t always the same as an investigation. There was one area in particular I feel should have been explored further: Pakistan.
We got a tiny tantalising glimpse of David’s life in Lahore, on some footage of his flat the man from the National Crime Agency brought back. That was it, though. The crew didn’t go there, didn’t track down his new girlfriend, or the man who helped David buy a house there.
Maybe, as his brother says: “The fact that it didn’t make sense makes perfect sense.” But I wanted to know what the hell a Jewish Londoner who hated the heat was doing living in Lahore for 10 years. And it would have been a better film if it made more effort to find out.
The first official trailer for Fifty Shades Darker has been viewed online 114 million times in the past 24 hours, according to Universal.
The spot debuted on Sep. 14 at 8 a.m. PT, and racked up its multimillion view count across all digital platforms — YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc. Within the first hour of the trailer’s debut, the trailer received more than 2.5 million views on Fifty Shades domestic Facebook page alone.
Darker was viewed 39.4 million times in North America but the majority of online views came from over 32 international markets like the U.K., Mexico and France, where the spot received 74.6 million official views.
Previously the highest performing full-length trailer was the preview for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which racked up 112 million views online in 24 hours.
The Force Awakens broke the record set by its own teaser trailer, the second to debut for the movie, which screened in April 2015 at Star Wars Celebration and amassed 88 million views in the first 24 hours.
Darker will see the return of Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the adaptation of the second installment in E.L. James’ best-selling book series. The first film in the series, Fifty Shades of Grey, grossed over $571 million at the global box office.
The latest adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ colonialist story proves it cannot be given a modern overhaul, writes critic Sam Adams.
The Legend of Tarzan, the latest big-screen version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ vine-swinging he-man, is a sincere and well-intentioned attempt to wrestle with the legacy of European colonialism in Africa. It is also a movie in which a man punches a gorilla. You could say it’s at war with itself, but it’s a war involving soldiers who are never quite sure who they’re fighting, and who are as likely to slip in the mud and break their own necks as they are to get off a clean shot.
Directed by David Yates and written by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, Legend would more accurately, if less economically, be called The Legend of the Legend of Tarzan. When we pick up the story in the late 19th Century, John Clayton (Alexander Skarsgård) is already an international folk hero, an English nobleman raised by apes and returned to his native land. As George Williams (Samuel L Jackson), an American soldier of fortune who’s come to persuade John to return to the Belgian Congo, puts it, he is “Africa’s favorite son”.
The irony of that epithet being bestowed by a black Civil War veteran is not lost on The Legend of Tarzan. And indeed, for a time, it seems as if Yates and company have a handle on how to reshape Edgar Rice Burroughs imperialist fantasy for the modern age. The opening sequence, in which a fastidious Belgian commander leads his soldiers through the jungle mists, is full of redolent images: the bodies of dead troops hung on makeshift crosses, their own rifles used as crossbars; an African tribesman starring indomitably into the lens, a colonist’s white linen hat perched incongruously atop his head.
King of nothing
Unfortunately, the imperative to produce a viable box-office entertainment trumps The Legend of Tarzan’s noble intentions at every turn. We’re cued to hiss at Rom (Christoph Waltz), the Belgian commander, whose first onscreen act is to rip an African flower from its stem, and who, in an especially rococo touch, uses a spider-silk rosary as an offensive weapon. But when tribal soldiers spring from the water beneath his feet, in the variable-speed slow motion that Yates abuses throughout, the effect makes them seem both more and less than human.
We meet kinder Africans later, the cheerful villagers who take John in after his battered body is discovered in the jungle. But it’s Jane (Margot Robbie), the white daughter of an American missionary, who nurses him back to health, and who later becomes his wife. It’s a story inextricably entwined with Europe’s relationship to ‘the dark continent’, and yet actual Africans keep getting pushed to the side.
The Legend of Tarzan has other problems, like its inability to decide whether it wants John Clayton to be James Bond or Aquaman – although it’s best when he’s Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone. This Tarzan doesn’t just speak to the animals: he commands them – the word “conquer” is used without apparent irony – eventually mustering an army of incompatible species to fend off an influx of Rom’s troops that would effectively make the entirety of the Belgian Congo a slave state.
One waits in vain for the revelation that Rom’s real surname is Blofeld. The movie’s initial feints at gritty relevance seem disingenuous, if not downright foolish, once John starts swinging from vines and conversing with crocodiles. At one point, the camera lingers on a boxcar full of elephant tusks, and later, we see another train carrying African men in chains. But then it’s on to another perfunctory chase scene, or a confrontation between Waltz’ moustachioed villain and Robbie’s defiant hostage. (Of course he takes her hostage: for all its contemporary touches, Legend’s plot could have been lifted from a silent melodrama.) These images of unfathomable atrocity are newspaper stuffed in the movie’s cracks, fresh filigree on a dull and worn garment.
At times, Yates seems desperate to jazz up the action, shooting one conversation between John and George in a series of whirlpooling shots that add nothing to the scene but a mild feeling of motion sickness. Perhaps it’s a way of compensating in advance for the movie’s action scenes, a lackluster jumble of weightless CGI and chiseled abs. (Yes, Skarskård’s sculpted torso is impressive, but it’s an unlikely physique for a man in the 1890s.) Major studio movies increasingly feel like acts of brand maintenance first and stories second, and Legend is the latest link in that worn-out chain. It’s a Tarzan movie because there have always been Tarzan movies, not because there was any compelling reason to add one more to the list.
At its core it’s the story of a white European who asserts his dominion, however benevolently, over wild African creatures: like Kipling’s The Jungle Book, it can be tinkered with, but its heart doesn’t change. Humans need stories, but the stories we need change, and sometimes old ones die out because the needs they addressed or the ideas they encompassed no longer apply. It might be time to let Tarzan vanish back into the jungle.
The first leg of the USS Enterprise’s five year mission takes them into uncharted territory. There the Enterprise is nearly destroyed and strands Kirk and his crew on a remote planet with no means of communication. Kirk must then work with the elements to reunite his crew and get back to Earth.
Star Trek Beyond is an American science fiction film directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, based on the series of the same name created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series after Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock, with Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin reprising their roles from the previous films, and Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella joining them. Principal photography began on June 25, 2015, in Vancouver with the film scheduled for a July 22, 2016, release.
Minimum wage, minimum cammitment.
TEMPS is an indie romantic comedy that follows Jefferson, a loveable ski-bum temp worker, whose singular joy comes from an annual excursion to the slopes with fellow vagabond Curtis. But when Jefferson falls for fellow temp worker, Stephanie, an ambitious go-getter, he is forced to re-evaluate his priorities.
Jefferson (Grant Rosenmeyer) is a lovable ski-bum temp worker whose singular joy comes from an annual excursion to the slopes with fellow vagabond / best friend, Curtis (Reid Ewing). When Jefferson falls for fellow temp worker, Stephanie (Lindsey Shaw), an ambitious go-getter, he is forced to re-evaluate his minimum wage, minimum commitment lifestyle.
Eden Sher (The Middle) plays Stephanie’s witty best friend while Chris Bauer (True Blood) plays Jefferson’s slacker dad in this funny, heartfelt, workplace-romance from award winning director Ryan Sage (A Big Love Story), writer Tim Bennett-Huxtable and producer Jason Duplissea.
Film Review: Temps
If nothing else, Ryan Sage’s romantic comedy Temps illustrates how dating standards have changed over the years. In the past, things had gotten serious when people had sex, or decided to live together. Now the most important barometer is updating your “relationship status” on Facebook.
Unfortunately, despite such timely insights and the appealing performances of its two leads, Temps lives up to its name by disappearing from your memory moments after viewing. It depicts in all-too-familiar style the romance between temp workers Jefferson (Grant Rosenmeyer) and Stephanie (Lindsey Shaw), who, as one character in the film puts it, are “running the bases backwards” — in other words, getting to know each other and doing traditional “couple” things after already having had sex.
And as the pic make clear, they do have sex, and lots of it, with their infatuation depicted in a series of soft-core lovemaking scenes that, if nothing else, effectively convey the unbridled physical passion that often accompanies a new relationship. The performers go through their frequently athletic paces, often with comic gusto, making the segments refreshingly fun as compared to the coyness of so many rom-com sexual encounters.
But, as is often true of sex, the couplings eventually prove repetitive, and the story that surrounds them doesn’t add up to much. Jefferson is revealed as the sort of standard immature male commitment-phobe who freaks out when Stephanie makes the aforementioned change to her Facebook profile. Cue the inevitable relationship problems, which lead to the inevitable break-up, which lead to his inevitable breakdown (he acts out at the office and gets himself fired), which lead to his inevitable efforts to win her back to … well, you get the idea.
Tim Bennett-Huxtable’s screenplay uses such characters for comic relief as Curtis (Reid Ewing) Jefferson’s wacky roommate who dreams of being a dancer, and Lorelai (Alexa Giuffre), his obnoxiously needy co-worker at the sex shop where he begins working after losing his job. There’s also an attempt at drama in the form of Jefferson’s contentious relationship with his slacker father (Chris Bauer), who’s content to do nothing and live on a friend’s boat.
Most of the humor is of the predictable or ribald variety, such as when Stephanie begs off providing oral services because she has “lockjaw.” More problematically, her character is developed less than Jefferson’s, with the resulting imbalance proving detrimental to the film. It’s particularly noticeable since Shaw emerges as a funny, sexy comedienne whose character is far more appealing than her male counterpart, who sizes up potential mates by their opinion on Godzilla versus King Kong.
Directed by: Ryan Sage
Starring: Grant Rosenmeyer, Lindsey Shaw, Reid Ewing, Eden Sher, Chris Bauer, Alexa Giuffre, Corinne Chooey, Celia Finkelstein
Screenplay by: Timothy A. Bennett
Production Design by: Kerri Parker
Cinematography by: Stephen Sheridan
Film Editing by: Ryan Sage
Music by: John DeBorde
MPAA Rating: None.
Release Date: April 8, 2016
Lili Elbe defied convention and pushed the boundaries of medical science to become the first transgendered woman. But at what cost?
Einar Wegener would kill himself in the spring. He had chosen a date – May 1, 1930 – after a year spent in torment. The cause of his suffering was quite simple: he was sure he was a woman, born into the wrong body. Or perhaps it was more complicated: sometimes Wegener, whose life is soon to be portrayed on film by the Oscar-winning British actor Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl, felt he was two people in the same body, each fighting for supremacy.
One was a Danish landscape painter, a steadfast man who, in his own words, “could withstand storms”. He was married to a woman whose strength and talent matched, or perhaps even surpassed, his own: Gerda Wegener, a successful Art Deco illustrator who produced portraits of fashionable women for magazines such as Vogue and La Vie Parisienne.
The other shared none of these qualities. Lili Elbe was, as she set down in letters and notes for an autobiography, a “thoughtless, flighty, very superficially-minded woman”, prone to fits of weeping and barely able to speak in front of powerful men. But despite her womanly defects, by February 1930 she was becoming too powerful for Wegener to resist. “I am finished,” he wrote at the time. “Lili has known this for a long time. That’s how matters stand. And consequently she rebels more vigorously every day.”
Dissatisfied with the state of her career covering low-profile stories, television journalist Kim Baker (Tina Fey) agrees to take a short assignment as a war correspondent in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, to the disappointment of her boyfriend Chris (Josh Charles), who also spends a lot of time traveling. Assigned low-budget living quarters with other international journalists, she begins friendships with noted Australian correspondent Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie) and openly lecherous Scottish freelance photographer Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman).
After a period of adjustment aided by her Afghan “fixer” Fahim Ahmadzai (Christopher Abbott), she begins taking well to the assignment, eliciting frank remarks on camera from soldiers questioning the value of their assignment there, and putting herself in harm’s way to capture combat incidents on video. American Marines commander General Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton) takes a dim view of her, as an inexperienced nuisance.
Despite the danger, Kim stays in Afghanistan for months, then years beyond her original assignment. She catches Chris unprepared with a middle-of-the-night video call, and finds him with another woman, ending their relationship. Against her better judgment, she begins a sexual relationship with Iain, which over time also develops into a more personal one.
Although her status as a woman presents challenges in a society which places restrictive roles on women, she also uses it to her advantage, gaining access to women in a village who explain that they’ve been sabotaging the US-built well because they welcome the daily walk to the river away from the men, and recklessly carrying a camera under a burqa to record a religious demonstration.
She also walks a tightrope, taking advantage of the thinly-veiled sexual interest of Afghan government figure Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina) to use him as a source. Fahim – who treated opium addicts before the war – cautions her, pointing out that danger can be like a drug.
Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Starring: Margot Robbie, Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina, Ava Del Cielo, Evan Jonigkeit, Julianne Medina
Screenplay by: Robert Carlock
Production Design by: Beth Mickle
Cinematography by: Xavier Grobet
Film Editing by: Jan Kovac
Costume Design by: Lisa Lovaas
Set Decoration by: Lisa K. Sessions
Art Direction by: Derek Jensen
Music by: Nick Urata
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: March 4, 2016
It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life in London as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane Porter (Margot Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the corrupt Belgian Captain Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz).
The Legend of Tarzan is an upcoming American action adventure film drawn upon the fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, scheduled for release in 2016. Directed by David Yates and written by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, its cast comprises Alexander Skarsgård in the title role, and Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou and Christoph Waltz.
Principal photography began on June 30, 2014, at Warner Bros. Leavesden Studios in the UK, and wrapped four months later on October 3. Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures in Cooperation with Dark Horse Entertainment and Jerry Weintraub Productions are co-producing the film. It is scheduled for release on July 1, 2016 in 2D, 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D. The film will be dedicated to Weintraub, who died on July 6, 2015.
The legend of Tarzan
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Margot Robbie, Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, John Hurt, Ella Purnell, Lasco Atkins
Screenplay by: Adam Cozad, Craig Brewer
Production Design by: Stuart Craig
Cinematography by: Henry Braham
Film Editing by: Mark Day
Costume Design by: Ruth Myers
Set Decoration by: Anna Pinnock
Music by: Mario Grigorov
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Related Link: View the Full Production Notes for The Legend of Tarzan
All you need is love.
At once gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, Revolution Studios’ Across the Universe is a groundbreaking movie musical, springing from the imagination of renowned writer director Julie Taymor, and and writers Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais, that brings together an original story and 33 revolutionary songs – including “Hey Jude,” “I Am the Walrus,” and “All You Need is Love” – that defined a generation. Taymor says, “The idea was to create an original musical using only the songs of the Beatles.”
A love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock ‘n roll, the film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam.
The star-crossed lovers, Jude (Jim Sturgess) and Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with “Dr. Robert” (Bono) and “Mr. Kite” (Eddie Izzard) as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy – against all odds – to find their own way back to each other.
Across the Universe
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Max Carrigan, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther, T.V. Carpio
Directed by: Julie Taymor
Screenplay by: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence.
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: September 21, 2007
The film opens with a sexually charged, flirtatious online chat between two people with the screen names Thonggrrrl14 and Lensman319. Lensman319 is a photographer who admits to “fantasizing” about Thonggrrrl14. Thonggrrrl14 entices Lensman319 to meet at a café to “hook up”. At the café, Thonggrrrl14 – Hayley Stark – meets Lensman319 – Jeff Kohlver. Hayley makes several references to her age (14 years old), yet succeeds in convincing Jeff to take her to his house. After showing her around, Hayley makes them both screwdrivers and asks him to take photographs. Before he can, Jeff gets dizzy, his vision blurs, and he falls to the floor unconscious.
When Jeff wakes, he is bound to a chair. Hayley explains she has been tracking him and drugged him because she knows he is a pedophile, child rapist, and murderer. Jeff denies these allegations, claiming he had innocent intentions. Hayley searches Jeff’s house for evidence of sexually deviant crimes. She finds Jeff’s gun and safe. In the safe, Hayley finds “sick” pictures and a photo of Donna Mauer, a local girl who had been kidnapped and remains missing. Jeff denies involvement in Mauer’s disappearance and succeeds in reaching his gun, but when he (still bound to the chair) attacks Hayley, she renders him unconscious by asphyxiating him with plastic wrap.
When Jeff wakes, he finds himself bound to a steel table with a plastic bag of ice on his genitals. Hayley explains she will castrate Jeff. To dissuade Hayley, Jeff uses threats, an attempt at a bribe, other negotiations, and in a final, desperate plea for sympathy, he tells her his own story of abuse.
Following the operation, Hayley leaves the kitchen, claiming to take a shower. Jeff struggles and frees himself. When he reluctantly checks the site of the operation, he realizes he is actually unharmed, and Hayley has elaborately faked his castration. He storms off in a rage to get Hayley in the bathroom, where the shower is running. Scalpel in hand, he attacks, only to find the shower empty. Hayley counterattacks him from behind, and as they struggle, Hayley incapacitates him with a stun gun.
Hayley poses as a police officer and asks Jeff’s ex-girlfriend, Janelle, to come immediately to Jeff’s house. Jeff regains consciousness to find that Hayley has bound his wrists and hoisted him to stand on a chair in his kitchen with a noose around his neck. Hayley makes Jeff an offer: if he commits suicide, she promises to erase the evidence of his crimes, but if he refuses, she promises to expose his secrets.
The conversation is interrupted when a neighbor knocks on the front door, selling Girl Scout cookies. Hayley tells the neighbor that she is Jeff’s niece; the neighbor leaves shortly afterwards. When Hayley returns, Jeff breaks free from his bindings and pursues her, eventually finding her on the roof of his house, where she has lured him. Hayley has brought her rope from the kitchen and fashioned it into a noose secured to the chimney. Hayley keeps Jeff at bay with his own gun.
Related Link: Read full production notes for Hard Candy