FILM NEWS: Fast And Furious 6 Wins Super Bowl

Fast Six PosterOf the eight trailers to debut last night during the American Super Bowl XLVII — among them teasers for J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 and Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger — it was the footage from Justin Lin’s Fast And Furious 6 that seems to have stolen the show.

Following the critical and commercial success of previous instalment Fast Five, Lin has continued to revamp his series as the focus switches from underground racing culture to straight-up action adventure. Reuniting the key players from across the series, including an apparently resurrected Michelle Rodriguez, the film adds planes and tanks to its usual suped-up automobiles in one of the most spectacular displays of high-octane machismo imaginable.

I am not alone in my excitement either, with PR agency Way To Blue putting together an infographic that reveals an impressive 5, 259% increase in Twitter buzz over the previous day, putting it way ahead of the other films featured during the prime-time sporting event. Over on Facebook, meanwhile, Fast And Furious 6 saw an increase of 48, 693 “Likes”, which put it second only to Iron Man 3. The £2.5 million trailer can be seen below.

Fast and Furious 6 is due for UK release on May 24th, 2013, and will once again star Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Dwayne Johnson.



FILM NEWS: Never Say Never When It Comes To Anung Un Rama

Over the last few days, the Internet has been abuzz with the latest AMAZING news and AWESOME rumours to emanate from the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. OMG!

Since Thursday, Marvel have announced their planned “Phase Two” of superhero movies – Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy (which, for my money, looks like a bad cross between John Carter and Green Lantern) and Edgar Wright’s long awaited Ant-Man; Peter Jackson has teased a third Hobbit film, having asked for the funds to film more footage; and Neill Blomkamp’s been busy débuting the first footage from Elysium. Nothing, however, has been quite as exciting as Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman’s supposed change of heart on the topic of Hellboy III.

At the event to promote their upcoming monsters vs. robot movie, Pacific Rim, del Toro and Perlman were asked by Entertainment Weekly if the latter’s recent involvement with Make A Wish Foundation – where he once again donned the prosthetics and costume to meet a young boy battling leukaemia – had changed their minds about pursuing a third film in their Hellboy franchise. Guilermo del Toro was quick to point out that they do not have a greenlight from the studio, and have not yet discussed the film with character creator Mike Mignola (who, understandably, would quite like to tell the story himself first), but Perlman was far from shy when it came to his own reasons for wanting to re-affix the horns.

“The [first] two movies were really set up to have this unbelievable resolve. Everything that was done in both movies was leading up to this destiny, written in stone, of what Hellboy has been summoned to Earth to do. To not do it, particularly in light of the scope that Guillermo is thinking of for the resolve, would be in my mind a little bit of a shame.”

While this is still far from an official announcement, it is certainly a step in the right direction after Perlman spoke publically of his reluctance to return to the make-up chair, and del Toro added another life-time’s worth of projects to his already busy schedule. Indeed, it was beginning to look as though Hellboy II: The Golden Army – superb though it might have been – would mark the premature end of a fantastic franchise. But it seems that they’re now “together in trying that endeavour”, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

FILM NEWS: Summer of Cinema tease the months and movies to come

While the marked improvement in weather and later nights might indeed be some indication, nothing heralds the onset of summer with quite as much occasion as Summer of Cinema’s annual trailer for coming attractions.

True, there are a number of highlights (and, unfortunately, lowlights) that have already been and gone, the likes of The Lucky One, Dark Shadows and Marvel Avengers Assemble still making waves (and humping pies) in cinemas around the country, but for the most part the assorted footage sets out the road ahead for some of the most anticipated movies of the season. And, I suppose, The Dark Knight Rises, too.

With teasers for 51 films condensed into just one super-trailer, Summer of Cinema have effectively planned the next few month’s viewing with glimpses at Men in Black 3, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Amazing Spider-man, Brave, The Bourne Legacy and film to beat Prometheus, to name but a few. As for the trailer itself:

So what are you most looking forward to? As long as it’s not Top Cat – The Movie, feel free to leave your picks in the comments section below.

FILM NEWS: New trailers for everyone!

If your week has been as disastrous as mine, then you might be relieved to note that you have six whole minutes of relatively new footage teasing the many delights of summer, 2012 to perk you right back up in time for the weekend. Over the course of the last seven days, Hollywood has released the third and final trailers for Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-man.

And we’re talking proper, full-length trailers; none of this viral, first five minutes, trailers-for-trailers rubbish we have been drip fed over the last few months. So, with each trailer presented below, feast your eyes on three of the next few months’ most exciting cinematic releases. And The Dark Knight Rises.

So, without further ado…


“Mrs. Vickers, is there an agenda that you’re not telling us about?”

Last Sunday, fans of Channel 4’s utterly beguiling Homeland were treated to the world première of the latest trailerr for Prometheus when it débuted during the show’s first ad-break. Not as beautifully composed and delightfully enigmatic as the first full trailer, a masterclass in Goldilocks marketing, the new footage verged on giving away too much information, without the first’s truly heart-stopping pace.

That said, despite the fact that we know a little more about the overall shape of the narrative, this new trailer does little to jeopardise the near-crippling excitement Ridley Scott’s film has so far managed to generate. With Prometheus‘ ties to the director’s Alien clearer – and apparently stronger – than ever before, this is still the film to beat this year. Even if I’m still not 100% sold on Noomi Rapace’s British accent.

The Dark Knight Rises

“Your punishment must be more severe…”

Following mumble-gate, the clarity-related controversy that met the first trailer’s depiction of a grumbly (even for Christopher Nolan) and near-inaudible Bane, the latest trailer ramps up the sound to near-sarcastic levels. Hinting once more at the class wars threatening to tear Gotham apart, the footage gives off an air of desperation as Batman finally meets his match.

But Bane isn’t the star of this footage, with Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman (or Selina Kyle in a rather unimaginative eye mask) stepping out of the shadows for the first time since the promotional campaign began. Sadly, even this long-overdue reveal isn’t enough to purr some life into Nolan’s increasingly closed-off franchise. Sure, bridges collapse and someone flies a tank (I kid you not; and this is supposed to be the realistic superhero movie), but the director once again fails to give us a reason to care whether these characters live or die.

The Amazing Spider-man

“You’ve found my weakness – it’s small knives”

Up to this point, walking pun-magnet Marc Webb’s reboot of the nary decade-old Spider-man could have been described as darker, maturer, first person-ier, just about everything other than amazing. With its short-snouted Lizard, misconceived Spidey-cam and predominantly mask-less hero, the film had garnered almost as much unease as it had actual excitement.

But hey, at least Spider-man’s got his artificial web-shooters back; and man, does he put them to good use. The trailer is certainly high on spectacle and – reassuringly – smart alecry, and, the first-person gamer scenes aside, we may very well be in for a treat. With a tweaked origin story, bestial villain and, well, Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield in leading roles, The Amazing Spider-man could still deliver in a big way.

FILM NEWS: Killer Joe To Open The 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival

Under new management and with its red carpets and awards back in place after a year away, the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival looks already to be a return to form after 2011’s lacklustre affair.

With Pixar’s Brave locked in for the Closing Gala and twice as many première’s expected compared to the year before, artistic director Chris Fujiwara has now announced the film that has been chosen to open the festival.

William Friedkin thriller Killer Joe will have that particular honour when it débuts at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Wednesday, June 20th, with Friedkin and his star-studded cast in attendance.

According to Fujiwara, “We’re delighted to be opening this year’s Festival with Killer Joe. For my first year as Artistic Director, I intend to deliver a diverse programme that will spotlight filmmaking of real artistic distinction. William Friedkin’s exhilarating, intense, and brilliantly crafted film is absolutely in keeping with this ambition”.

The film follows Emile Hirsch’s Chris Smith, a 22-year old drug dealer who hires the titular killer (Matthew McConaughey) in order to murder his own mother in order to access her $50,000 life insurance policy. With his younger sister (Juno Temple) invested as sexual collateral, Smith’s situation soon becomes desperate as things don’t quite go to plan.

The 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival will run from June 20th to July 1st, and you can find my full coverage over on HeyUGuys once proceedings are underway.

FILM NEWS: Are You Ready For Sabrina The Teenage Superhero?

In a cinematic landscape awash with warring Snow Whites, extraterrestrial turtles and hyper-sexualised children’s toys, you might have thought it impossible to still be surprised when Hollywood chose to violate your childhood.

Not so, it seems, as Sony Pictures seeks to update Nickelodeon-mainstay Sabrina the Teenage Witch for the big screen, if by update you mean beat out of shape and present in near-unrecognisable form. Say hello (or no thank you) to Sabrina the Teenage Superhero. Providing she’s still called Sabrina, obviously. And that she’s still a she.

The character first appeared in Archie Comics in the 1960s, before making the transition to small screens (and weekend marathons) everywhere as a live action sit-com starring Melissa Joan Hart. A regular girl until she inherited the powers passed down from her two aunts, Sabrina Spellman used her magic to help her friends, turn her enemies into goats and woo love interest Harvey, all under the sardonic eye of the family pet: talking cat Salem.

An origin story, the future film will focus on the acquisition of Sabrina’s powers (whatever they may be) and show how she comes to terms with such new abilities. But by changing something so integral to the character, Sony have immediately ostracised her from George Gladir and artist Dan DeCarlo’s world. Aside from innocent tinkering (a new pair of shoes here, a giant flan there), Sabrina wasn’t exactly one for super-heroic feats, nor was she plagued by a pantheon of larger-than-life nemesis’ like Spider-man or Batman. Until now, presumably, as she has to appeal to an audience weaned on pixels and parallax.

When will it end, Hollywood, WHEN WILL IT END?

FILM NEWS: Renfrew Street To Offer Good Vibrations

Cineworld, easily the most newsworthy of the UK cinema chains, having recently rolled out their own IMAX screens and accidentally projected a The Devil Inside trailer to a room-full of terrified children, are once again making headlines with the news that it is to introduce its Glasgow customers to poor, chronically misunderstood 4D.

Before you shrug too nonchalantly, this isn’t the same fourth dimension supposedly embraced by Robert Rodriguez’s Sky Kids 4, who apparently got his dimensions and senses muddled up with promises of “Aromascope”, but a new sense altogether. While customers may not be able to smell precisely what The Rock is cooking in the still showing Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, this new technology might at least enchance his pec pop as it endeavours to introduce vibrations into the cinemagoing experience.

According to Best for Film, the Renfrew Street site in Glasgow city centre will be fitted with 35 of the new seats, each developed by simulator specialists D-Box to enhance films such as Disney’s upcoming John Carter. The developers claim that over 900 films are already compatible with the supposedly innovative technology, which will synchronise the chair’s movements with the action onscreen, presumably akin to instruments like the N64’s Rumble Pack. You know, from 1996.

I can’t be alone in wishing Cineworld’s priorities lay elsewhere. With just about every screening marred by some sort of technical difficulty – whether it’s broken heaters, faulty seating or incompetent projection – would their money not be better spent actually training staff and fixing the seats that they already have? Not that there isn’t of course motivation beyond customer satisfaction. With the 3D backlash well underway, and movie piracy as big a problem as ever, Cineworld will quite naturally be banking an additional £4.50 for every ticket.

Seriously, what’s next? Sprinklers for when it rains?

FILM NEWS: “I Still Believe In Heroes”

For those of you who, like me, struggle to tell one sport from another, this weekend marks America’s Super Bowl. Other than being a massive basketball baseball football event in its own right, the Super Bowl is notable for the time and expense put into the programmed ad breaks.

Along with such other upcoming cinematic heavy-hitters as The Hunger Games, Battleship and John Carter, 2012’s ceremony also featured our most detailed looks yet at Marvel’s hugely anticipated The Avengers, a film which unites four major film franchises in what promises to be the superhero movie to end all superhero movies.

The footage didn’t disappoint. Culminating in a group shot which could pimple Goose-man, the TV spot really is quite something. And it can be viewed below.

Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers will see Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) assemble under the watchful eye of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Joined by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the Avengers must put their many differences aside and work together if they are to stop Thor’s vengeful brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

Now though, back to the court field stadium for some more running…

FILM NEWS: The Ministry Is Interfering At Hogwarts*

I didn’t vote Conservative. Just, you know, FYI. Like many in Scotland, I’d sooner vote one of those Chinese pandas into Parliament than consider entrusting the Torys with so much as a paddock at Edinburgh zoo, let alone the entire United Kingdom.

As I have watched our rubbery PM – the human equivalent of one of Finding Nemo‘s possessive seagulls – squint his way through government, disenfranchising people to the point where they’d happily saw their way out of his jurisdiction with whatever came to hand, my only solace has been that I can take comfort in my local cinema for a few hours of quiet escapism whenever it all got a bit too much. Or at least it was.

Not satisfied with sparking riots among hugged-out hoodies, or his party’s plans to run a train through hundreds of homes and generally prepare Britain for the coming apocalypse by single-arsedly shitting all over it, David Cameron has now got it into his shiny bonnet that British cinema simply isn’t lucrative enough in its current state, priced as it is at only £4 billion. Pauper money.

Seriously, despite such recent successes as Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Chris Morris’ Four Lions and this year’s The King’s Speech (not to mention the unprecedented impact of the Harry Potter franchise), Cameron apparently still feels the need to interfere. Discontent with merely abolishing the UK Film Council, the Prime Minister yesterday made an announcement at Pinewood Studios in advance of Lord Smith’s imminent review.

Our role, and that of the BFI, should be to support the sector in becoming even more dynamic and entrepreneurial, helping UK producers to make commercially successful pictures that rival the quality and impact of the best international productions. Just as the British Film Commission has played a crucial role in attracting the biggest and best international studios to produce their films here, so we must incentivise UK producers to chase new markets both here and overseas.”

Now, let’s skirt past the fact that he is addressing producers as opposed to directors, lest we go mad at the very thought of a British Jerry Bruckheimer, and focus instead on Cameron’s push for “commercially successful pictures that rival the quality and impact of the best international productions”.

Sure his mouth may say quality, but his eyes are clearly marked with bulging pound signs. Of course the British film industry – or whatever’s left of the British industry by the time Cameron’s finished with it (MINE!) – must continue to aim high if it is to sustain itself, but with The Inbetweeners Movie alone making in excess of £45 million at the box office, the British Film Institute is clearly managing fine without interference from the Eton elite.

God, you make a film about a politician and they suddenly think they own the place. I can just see it now: The Inbetw33nersLondon to Birmingham 3DHogwarts Revisited, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here: The Movie and the upcoming Keith Lemon debacle. Morgan Freeman help us.

*I realise that the Harry Potter series was primarily filmed at Leavesden Studios, but there were parts of the final two instalments that were filmed at Pinewood.

FILM NEWS: Talisker®’s Sail-In Cinema Event a Resounding Success.

This weekend marked the world’s first sail-in cinema screening, an event hosted by Talisker Whisky to celebrate the end of the Isle of Wight’s famous Cowes Week regatta.

With hundreds of boats dropping anchor to watch Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – the Russell Crowe vehicle picked by Talisker’s pollers over the similarly oceanic likes of Jaws and The Perfect Storm – the whisky’s own Juliet McInnes echoed the company’s original mission statement in light of the resounding success.

 ‘We were really excited about bringing this unique experience to the world’s most famous sailing event.’

Displayed on a 41ft x 21ft screen, the film drew in everything from luxury yachts to small inflatable rafts. Following the end of the movie, spectators were then treated to an impressive, and slightly more traditional, fireworks display.

It really is great to see Talisker celebrating cinema in such a novel and unique way. Taking movies out of their native cinema screens – in a similar vein to what Volkswagen have been trying to do with their See Film Differently initiative – makes for a far more immersive and memorable experience than is achievable from behind a pair of 3D glasses.

Here’s hoping it’s not too long before a sophomore event takes place in a harbour near you.