Following last week’s news of J J Abrams’ latest hype-fest, Super 8, sneaking its way onto screens Brit director Christopher Nolan is hot on his heels with a new trailer for Inception. The third trailer shows a little bit more of what to expect from Nolan’s upcoming, super-secret, super-complex thriller. With cast and crew still tight-lipped about the film, despite the upcoming July release, it’s probably best to make the most of this video and start throwing wild theories about what is going on across the internet in the hope that you might just land on something eventually. Despite the confusion though, this looks absolutely stunning and comparisons are already being drawn to the first Matrix film in relation to the technical accomplishments of Inception. There’s a little bit more on the narrative here as well, with shots of what we can assume is mind thief Leonardo Di Caprio’s wife and a few scenes with Michael Caine looking cool.
Check out the trailer here and, please, if you have any idea what is happening, let me know.
Mind melting producer/writer J J Abrams is back – or so it would seem at least. According to HitFlix the trailer for a new project he is currently working on is set to be unleashed in cinemas across America this Thursday.
The project, being called Super 8 by the website, is rumoured to be connected to Abrams’ bizarre monster-mash Cloverfield in some way or another – although exactly how remains characteristicly unclear.
Writers over at Vulture seem convinced from an insider that the trailer shows a group of youngsters making a film on an old Super 8 camera. When they develop the footage however they see an alien in the picture. Rumours are also abound that the trailer will be set in the 70s and is shot as a prequel of sorts to Cloverfield rather than a sequel.
The only thing that seems to be set in stone is that Abrams himself won’t be directing, and is likely to take a producer credit on the project as he did with Cloverfield and Lost.
The trailer is due to be shown alongside screenings of Iron Man 2 and will be unleashed onto the internet shortly afterwards for the world to see.
In other mind-bashing news Warner Bros have released a synopsis for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming future-heist-no-one-has-any-idea-what-the-hell-it’s-about, Inception.
Up until now cast and cre have remained tight lipped about the film, refusing to confirm even the name of the film unless they were 100ft underground, in a sealed plastic room swept for bugs on a second by second basis.
Word from the bosses is thus:
“Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable.
“Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but, it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption.
“One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible — inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime.
“But, no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.”
In a late entry for the weirdest film news of the day award, word has reached the debris-strewn shores of Chad Cinema that Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau has signed up Moon’s Sam Rockwell to star in his upcoming western-meets-sci-fi-invasion flick, Cowboys and Aliens.
The news comes alongside last week’s release of the superhero sequel and will see Rockwell lining up alongside Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde in the film – which sees Apaches and cowboys uniting forces to fend of an invasion of alien attackers in the wild west, obviously.
Rockwell is set to star as Doc, a saloon owner who gives up flogging the sauce to fend off the otherworldly invaders. Rumour has it that the role was originally written for a heavyset beefcake but Favreau amended the part to suit the actor after they got to know each other on the Iron Man 2 set.
Coming tomorrow: Danny De Vito signs in Jolly Green Giant biopic and News of an Orson Welles screenplay for ‘Robin Hood – Zombie Fighter’
There’s a new trailer for Tron Legacy. It is awesome.
I found it hard to stay calm after the first batch of concept footage leaked its way onto the internet some time back, mainly because it featured a wonderfully unsubtle blend of everything I find face-achingly cool – light bikes, crazy glass cityscapes, weird future engine noises, near death collisions,Jeff Bridges, it had it all.
And now there’s an official trailer, and it definitely does not disappoint. In contrast to the promo footage this gives more of an idea of the narrative behind the film – as well as a glimpse into the real-world side of the film, which looks only slightly less awesome than Tron land.
The film is due to be finished for December, but with mountains of post-production still to be ladled on to a film that has been being tweaked and honed for some time that’s a big ask. Hopefully it will be done in time, but while I’m waiting I’m going to figure out a way to burn this onto my retinas for easy access.
So here we are, another year. The little gold men have spoken and this year’s big winner is undoubtably, and deservedly, Kathryn Bigelow’s bomb disposal drama Hurt Locker.
The Jeremy Renner-led war flick raked in an impressive six awards at last night’s event, hammering main rival Avatar into a lowly runner-up position – in spite of the $280-odd-million dollar budget gap between the two films.
Overall the film walked away with Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing and Best Director for Bigelow – making her the first female in history to have walked away with the accolade.
Performance-wise the awards ran as expected, with Jeff Bridges picking up Best Actor for Crazy Heart, Sandra Bullock taking Best Actress for The Blind Side and Christoph Waltz and Mo’nique taking home Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Inglourious Basterds and Precious respectively.
Elsewhere Pixar’s Up unsurprisingly walked away with the Best Animated Feature award, with The Cove taking Best Documentary and Avatar having to settle with a Best Visual Effects and other such mumbo jumbo..
Unless you, quite wrongly, assumed Avatar was the best film in the running this year there really weren’t that many upsets at this year’s ceremony. The only exception being The Secret of Their Eyes, which whipped the Best Foreign Language Award away from favourites A Prophet and The White Ribbon.
The awards may not have come as a massive shock, but it was reassuring to see that the judges weren’t too swayed by Avatar’s all-conquering box-office boasts and elected to reward Hurt Locker – which was clearly a better, and in many ways more important, film.
The winners in full are:
Ignoring the fact that, realistically, people should be spending January preventing everyone they know from paying to see Did You Hear About the Morgan’s, the real one to watch here are Pixar’s 3D rejigging of Toy Story 2 and French crime flick A Prophet. Admittedly, the pair won’t sit hand in hand (unless you have a particular urge to dispel the saccharine happiness of Pixar’s sequel with a brutal, unsettling account of modern French criminality) but general opinion of A Prophet is that it is the first film to really contend with La Haine in terms of modern French cinema, and for the other count everyone loves Woody.
Also in cinemas will be Martin Campbell’s Edge of Darkness, starring Mel Gibson in the Casino Royale’s directors latest action thriller as a renegade police man who’s daughter is murdered in what appears to be an attempt on his life. But all is not what it seems for our blue-eyed hero, as he uncovers his daughter’s involvement in a complex government conspiracy. If you like your action films with less though the Wachowski brothers’ Ninja Assassin will also be nunchuk-ing it’s way into a cinema near you, based on the popular comic book series of a masterless ninja.
Disney’s first old school 2D fairytale film in donkey’s years, The Princess and the Frog, comes out this month with the hope of harking back to a simpler, less computer-driven time. I’ve got high hopes for the film seeing as it is, after all, how the company made its name and it would be tragic for the classic style of animation to die a death completely. Disney are also patting themselves on the back for the fact that this will be their first film since the company was created to feature a black protagonist – although all that sounds like a piece of news a good 60 years late in coming to me.
Also worth a mention are The Wolfman, because it’s got Benico Del Toro in it, and children’s adventure saga Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief, because you’ll be sick of seeing it franchised in every way imaginable by March.
Tim Burton’s latest foray into the depths of his utterly messed up head arrives in the form of Alice in Wonderland, which will also be the directors first film to utilise 3D. Inevitably this will be a runaway box office success and with Depp and Bonham-Carter getting their teeth into the big roles there’s no shortage of talent on offer to back up the Director’s superbly dark and manic vision.
Hack and slash actioner Clash of the Titans will also be on the big screens, starring Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson in this Jason and the Argonauts style big budget revamp. Also out this month will be Scorsese sppok-a-thon Shutter Island and Matt Damon Bourne-a-like Green Zone, which should be well worth a look.
ApriloProving that there’s still some cash to be bled out of the comic book movie cash-in, Iron Man 2 ka-pows its way onto screens. Hopefully better than the slightly overlong first film, Robert Downey Jr returns as the cocky Tony Stark, this time taking on a new secretary in Maggie Gylenhaal and a new enemy in Mickey Rourke.
Also look out for Kick Ass, which could be the Shoot Em Up of 2010 and features children who brutally murder people and swear lots.
Blockbuster season get’s underway early as Sex and the City 2, Prince of Persia and Robin Hood all square up to rake in on the early summer market. Elsewhere Nightmare on Elm Street looks set to ruin everything that was good about one of cinema’s most pivotal and entertaining horror films, while Rec 2 sneaks into cinemas to in the hope of building on the success of the truly fantastic Spanish horror film that came before it.
Will Smith produced high-kicking remake The Karate Kid gets set to upset an awful lot of people by recreating the heartfelt tale of a young boy forced into painting fences for an old man with a badass moustache. The downside here is that it stars Smith’s son, the plus side is that it’s also got Jackie Chan .
The biggest hitter for July will undoubtably be the third installment of the New Moon saga, Eclipse, but with the release of Toy Story 3 at the same time this could be one of the closest fought battles for the year’s box office receipts.
A good month for action, August sees the release of Christopher Nolan’s enigmatic Inception, starring Leonardo Di Caprio in a film which claims to involve a crime in the depths of a man’s mind. Special effects and head scratching will be mandatory.
Also on screen will be Angelina Jolie led spy thriller Salt and testosterone fuelled super action film The Expendables, starring every action star ever to have run away from something blowing up in slow motion.
apparently no films will be released next September, so you should probably go for a walk or communicate with another human or something.
Animated film Despicable Me, starring Steve Carrell, is set to break new ground through using pioneering digital technology to create a feature length film using only computer generated characters voiced by popular actors of the day. If you ask me, it will never take off…
Harry Potter returns to the big screens for the first part of the final book in J.K Rowling’s hokum pokum series, Deathly Hallows. If that doesn’t float your boat and you fancy something more high brow Jackass will also be available in 3D from 5th November.
Christmas blockbuster season returns with a vengeance as Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, comic book adaptation The Green Hornet and the incredible looking Tron: Legacy all arrive in time to get away from your family.
It has been trapped in development hell for years – mainly due to an intricate casting system which seemed to involve getting into a punch-up with anyone and everyone who may have been unfortunate enough to have auditioned – but the first glimpse of Ridley Scott’s Robin hood has finally arrived on the internet.
Set for release in 2010 (providing you will believe absolutely anything you are told), the Russel Crowe led biopic claims to set our the ‘true’ story of the infamous outlaw and his rise to notoriety.
Now seemingly settled on the title of Robin Hood after seemingly trying out every possible combination of words in the English language, the film also stars Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian and the not-at-all-menacing-looking Matthew Macfayden as The Sheriff of Nottingham.
To be honest, the trailer looks like a more British version of the opening battle scenes of Gladiator, but then that is probably not all bad. Crowe gets to husky grumble a bit in his trademark style, although it’s have any idea if he is attempting an accent having upped the gruff-factor to 11. Clearly Crowe feels Christian Bale needs a run for his money following the last two Batman films.
The trailer looks much darker than I think most people were anticipating, and it certainly shows all the hallmarks of the historical action epic exhibited in Gladiator, Braveheart et al, but I’m reserving judgement until we get more than a minute and a half of moody looking shots in the dark.
You can watch the trailer over at comingsoon.net here.
The jury is out on whether or not this Dylan-esque ditty will be included in the update:
George A. Romero was the first man to put flesh eating hordes of the undead onto celluloid in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. Since then the pasty looking ones have taken on a life of their own (sic), with an endless army of the great exhumed hitting the big screen for our enjoyment and delectation.
Romero set the trend for the super low budget style of the zombie films we know and love today, creating the film on a budget of $114,000 and using a simple narrative, snappy writing, smart camera tricks and clever design and make-up to work with the constraints of his budget rather than against it. The end result was a film that took in a total of $30million worldwide.
Obviously, this seemed like the perfect amateur money making formula. But what the thousands of copy-cats failed to notice was that it was the immaculately constructed script and mythology that went into making Night of the Living Dead such an iconic, subversive piece of cinema, not just gratuitous brain-munching.
And so a new genre was born, the ultra-low budget, mainly god awful and predominantly straight-to-video zombie film. Here lies one of the greatest creations in cinema history, a place where you can enjoy a good 80 minutes of attention grabbing, nonsensical, cinematic bliss – with the most sublimely absurd titles known to man.
For the uninformed, here are some of my favourites:
- Space Zombie Bingo!!! (Three explanation marks, three!)
- Zombie Holocaust (simple, concise, effective)
- Zombie Strippers (for raising the bar of absurdity)
- Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! (a personal favourite and proof repetition gets you noticed)
- Zombie Honeymoon (never a good way to start married life)
- The Zombie Diaries (criminally undermined in the Bridget Jones series)
- Stubbs the Zombie in ‘Rebel Without a Pulse’ (no more explanation needed)
- Wu long tian shi zhao ji gui AKA Kung-Fu Zombie (because we all dreamed that, one day, someone would)
- Gay Zombie (because zombies swing both ways)
- Z: A Zombie Musical (who says the undead can’t sing and dance?)
- Zombie Vegetarians (representing team veggie)
- Get Along Little Zombie (a heartwarming tale of flesh eating youngsters)
- No. My Other Possessed-Zombie Girlfriend. (if there’s a better title out there, I sure as hell don’t know it)
And finally… A few more top zombie facts, zombie-fact-fans:
Although Romero was first to put flesh eating zombies to screen, the first big screen appearance of the zombie was in the 1932 film White Zombie, starring man-god Bela Lugosi as the wonderfully named voodoo master, Murder Legendre.
In writing Night of the Living Dead, Romero openly’ admits to ripping off Richard Matheson’s superb 1954 book, I Am Legend, which everyone should have read.
Despite having no end of trouble finding a distributor for the film (many of whom wanted a re-shot ‘Happy’ ending), Romero refused to change the original print or make cuts to get his film into cinemas and insisted it should be shown in its entirety.
The cause of the zombie outbreak is never explained throughout the film’s duration. This might be obvious to some but it’s a subtlety that lots of people miss – another reason why it is so great. The closest we get to an explanation is offered by a scientist citing radiation from a space probe – another nod to militant cold war tactics in the film.
The film was made using chocolate sauce for blood and cooked ham as a substitute for human flesh, with mortician’s wax as make up for the zombies.
There are nine characters named ‘Zombie-with-gun’ in sequel, Day of the Dead.
It has been remade twice, made 3d and treated in 2004 to produce a colour version of the original. All of these are rubbish.
Everyone can do a good zombie impression, with sound effects. But mine is best.
Modern horror films are rubbish. There I’ve said it, it’s a fact.
The problem is, as with so much of Hollywood these days, a lack of imagination. Horror films in their giddy, slash-filled glory days were gloriously damaging; long, controlled lessons in building tension and fear to such a point that you would willing stave your own face in on the chair in front just to save yourself from the thundering, inevitable crescendo.
Horror films fell out of favour in the 80s and 90s but have always been much of a hit and miss genre. But when they are done well there’s few other films that can affect you as much as a horror good enough to leave you checking the door three times and leaving the lights on ‘just to be sure’.
The point is that the time for peering at a film through iron clasped fingers has been and gone, so much so that it is now a cliche used in awful adverts for awful horror films which show the ‘terrified audience’ throwing their popcorn into the air whilst watching scenes far too startling to show on your whimpering, cowardly television.
Don’t get me wrong, I love horror films. But the reason I love them is the way they can get into your head like no other type of film. Modern horror has increasingly drifted away from this idea and opted to run away with shocking an audience rather than scaring them. Films like the never-ending Saw saga and the two Hostel films are uncomfortable to watch, but not because they make your mind play tricks on you and terrify you into imagining what could be there. These films are all about the sharp sudden shock of watching the face jolt up behind the window, or watching some squawking damsel lose an arm with a fountain of haemoglobin.
Now this is all well and good, but I can get a sudden shock by slamming my foot in a door. And I get tired of that quickly too.
So this Halloween, rather than going to watch Saw VI or Rob Zombie’s horrendous looking Halloween II, why not hunt down one of these classic horror films.
The classic as good as everyone says it is:
Alfred Hitchcock’s old school horror can still throw it’s weight around today. Rather than going for outright scares and violence, Hitchcock eeks out the suspense and keeps you guessing at what the hell is actually happening right up until the finalé. It’s easy to snub a film like this by today’s break-neck standards, but I dare you to go back to this monochrome gem and dive in without preconceptions or an adequate source of lighting. Steer clear of Gus Van Saints’ god awful 1998 remake mind, for christ’s sake…
The one that crossed the genres best:
Ridley Scott’s space horror brought a new lease of life to both horror films and sci-fi. It basically reinvented a dying genre by turning it into a new style of horror, where a fear of the vast unknown and utter, utter isolation could be utilised to scare the living crap out of you. The first film of the franchise, Alien took a slow, meticulously controlled pace from start to finish and re-set the benchmark for horror.
The one you might not have heard of:
À l’intérieur (Inside)
This magnificently monstrous French horror from 2007 centres on a heavily pregnant mother-to-be who is involved a horrific car crash which kills her husband, leaving only her and her unborn child alive. The film picks up four months later at when, alone in her home at christmas, the woman receives a knock at the door from an utter, utter, nutcase of a woman who attempts to steal her unborn child and kills anyone and everyone that might be able to offer help to our rotund protagonist. Relatively unknown, this is a magnificent piece of horror film-making and, at best, brutally unforgiving.
The one to make you lose your appetite:
Night of the living dead
George A Romero’s first film of his ongoing saga and the zombie film that fathered all zombie films. Romero’s iconic film is another masterclass in misdirection and suspense, distracting you from the real message of the film which only hammers home in the final sequence. Buckets of offal and chocolate sauce were used to create the eerily realistic effects on Romero’s super-tight budget, and it still makes for uneasy viewing today.
The British Benchmark:
The Wicker Man
Worth watching alone for Christopher Lee’s mightiest of performances, this post-Hammer horror Brit production is still one of the greatest and most unsettling horror films ever made. Robin Hardy’s trick here is the way he effortlessly eases the audience in to Edward Woodward’s shoes as Sgt Howie, gradually unveiling the unsettling reality of Howie’s predicament into the iconic final sequence.
Edit: Alternatively you could watch this, indefinitely.