Release date: 15 April 2016 Certification: PG Running time: 105 min Director: Jon Favreau Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o.
The latest in a slew of re-imagined Disney classics, The Jungle Book has a bigger weight of expectation than Maleficent or Cinderella. Favreau has cannily decided to keep some of the elements that made the 1967 interpretation so memorable, including the songs, but has taken a U-turn in terms of atmosphere to give the jungle a more sinister edge. It would be easy to lump this is in with the whole ‘darker, grittier’ mantra which has dominated many more recent remakes, but to do so here would be a disservice to what is a quite remarkable piece of filmmaking.
Release date:20 March 2015 Certification:15 Running time:115 min Director:Pierre Morel Starring:Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba
In the first 15 minutes or so of The Gunman, white humanitarians and military types are seen doing dangerous work in the heart of the Congo; the seriousness of the issue heightened by newsreel footage overlayed with muffled screams and gunfire. You might be forgiven for thinking that this will be a political thriller a la John Le Carre’s The Constant Gardener; this does feature such members of Hollywood’s liberal elite as Sean Penn and Javier Bardem after all. However any promise of this is dashed after the opening, which is revealed to be nothing more than an attempt to justify and contextualise the murderous rampage of an increasingly unhinged middle-aged man.
….Tread Lightly. Yes, Walter White is back. After what felt like forever, this week finally saw the return of Breaking Bad, in both the US and the UK thanks to Netflix (more on that later). While Breaking Bad’s return is arguably the biggest thing to happen this week, there’s also a ton more. Although there was no new information about Star Wars, this years D23 from the Official Disney Fan Club did produce an overload of news and tidbits from the world of Disney. Also from this week, we can look forward to a Bret MacKenzie penned musical akin to Labyrinth as well as a potential role in The Inbetweeners sequel for Idris Elba. Yes, you read that right. All this and a whole lot more cool stuff that happened this past week. Here’s the links for your persual!
Release Date: 12th July 2013 Certification: 12A Director: Guillermo Del Toro Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman
In a summer filled with sequels, superheroes and franchise re-boots, it’s a relief to finally see Hollywood put their faith in some original ideas. Del Toro’s first feature film since 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim has all the right ingredients to make geeks across the world shit their pants: 250ft tall mechs, gigantic monsters, a cool director and a slightly obscure-but-geek-friendly cast. On the flip side, Hollywood will also most likely be soiling themselves while they frantically try to figure out how to market a movie that has no stars and cost upwards of $150 million to make. The end result is hardly original in the sense that it’s an emalgation of hundreds of other films before it (Top Gun, Starship Troopers and obviously Godzilla spring to mind), but it really is one hell of a ride. Essentially a two hour long live action anime; dialogue, story and characters are secondary to bombast and spectacle.