Bird Box – Brand New Trailer!

Dystopian thrillers have been on the rise and now we’ve got Bird Box.

Based on the best-seller by Josh Malerman, and starring Sandra Bullock, the film revolves around an entity that kills you as soon as you see it and revolves around one families attempt at survival.

Looking a bit like The Happening crossed with A Quiet Place, Bird Box could be very engaging. What do you think?

Bird Box is out 21st December

The House That Jack Built – Review

Provocateur or irritant? Artist or idiot? Lars Von Trier divides audiences like his adopted ‘Von’ separates his first and last name. He is the writer-director who gave us Dogme 95 and a four hour film entitled Nymphomaniacwhat’s to love? Not much. He doesn’t travel by air but instead lures talent such as Nicole Kidman and Bjork to Scandinavia to participate in his cinema of cruelty. For decades, he was a staple at Cannes, until he expressed sympathy for Nazism at a press conference and suddenly he was not an artist any more. If he has a muse, it’s Charlotte Gainsbourg – for most actresses, once is enough. Given his penchant for ‘child women’ – most notably Emily Watson’s character in Breaking The Waves – I suspect he’d like to work with Sally Hawkins. I have no idea whether he has placed that call.

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Von Trier’s ‘comeback’ film – his first in five years – is an assault on good taste. The House That Jack Built is his serial killer movie. It features four instances of violence against women, as well as violence against children and the threat of violence against an African American. His protagonist Jack is played by a charismatic Matt Dillon, who hangs dog just as much now as when I first saw him forty years ago playing a school bully in My Bodyguard – goodness, how dogs fly. It’s the actor’s best leading role since Drugstore Cowboy in 1989, but then Dillon is not exactly Box Office or Oscar Bait – he’s no BOOB. He smoulders as if permanently posing for a photograph. Von Trier totally understands Dillon’s 1960s style appeal, so much so that he pays homage to Bob Dylan in D.A. Pennebaker’s 1967 documentary, Don’t Look Back, with gratuitous use of caption cards.

At Cannes this year where it screened out of competition, the film elicited boos, walkouts, one star reviews and social media reactions that tried not to give it the time of day. Yet for those who can tolerate its questionable, mostly comic attitude to violence and its misogyny – Von Trier is not known for his complex female characters or complex characters full stop – there is something to enjoy. Von Trier can stage artful sequences – Anti-Christ has a stunningly slow-motion tragic opening that eclipses everything after it, including the fox that says, ‘chaos reigns’. Here, he has made his most simplistic film to date; it is practically a cave painting. Yet it is his most memorable film in years – let’s forget about John Hurt calling every woman ‘Betty’ in Melancholia. It also features his starriest cast, in order of demise: Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl and Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough.

At the beginning of the film, we hear Jack conversing with Virge (Bruno Ganz) who, unimpressed, asks him about his life. As it becomes apparent, Virge – Virgil – is escorting Jack to the Underworld and it’s a tricky journey – in the last section, as Jack negotiates a narrow watery crevasse, one scene is filmed with a GoPro. Ganz’s heavily-accented English throws Dillon’s drawl into relief. You can feel the amusement in Von Trier in putting these guys together – forget Midnight Run, this is the real unlikely buddy movie. Jack explains himself by relating five random incidents in his life that illustrate his addiction to serial killing. But there is at the heart of the film a joke. Von Trier plays with the tropes of the serial killer movie, but he isn’t interested in explaining Jack, rather telling us that the serial killer movie can never be redeemed by pretensions to profundity. The ‘pleasure’ of Von Trier’s film is in a tacit identification with Jack in what he rejects, a stranded motorist (Thurman) who calls him a wimp, an older woman (Fallon Hogan) who lets him in on the off-chance he can improve her pension, a mother (Sofie Gråbøl) who is seeking a father for her two boys and a young woman (Keough) who becomes his girlfriend.

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Each set piece is long and drawn out. We continue watching in anticipation of the break in Jack’s temperament. In the ‘2nd incident’, Jack is overcome with obsessive compulsive disorder and keeps returning to the crime scene to clean up; Von Trier puts us in Jack’s head as he imagines, Lady Macbeth-style, that damned spot. If the film has a serious point it is that, in the face of evil, no one can help. There is no force of goodness that saves the day.

Von Trier’s play with Americana extends to Jack hiding out in an abandoned pizzeria – he has a use for the fridge but no taste for the stock of pizzas that he has inherited. Yet he doesn’t downplay the shock value of the violence, replaying the nastiest scenes in jarring flashbacks.

The other joke is that Jack imagines himself as an architect. At the end of the film, he builds his house, one not exactly for human habitation, though there are humans in it.

The humour extends to a play on words – the complaint about a broken Jack in the first sequence and the use of ‘Hit the Road, Jack’ over the end credits. Von Trier wasn’t trying to win the Palme D’Or with this one, but he reflects on his own route to Hell. The film ends with a montage of his work.

Von Trier is no more going to Hell than he is getting on an aircraft. His film is the opposite of an arthouse pleasure. The ‘moral’ finale is a put-on. He is making the point that serial killers, like provocative film directors, are deviants who can’t or shouldn’t be saved. Don’t imagine that’s what he really thinks; Von Trier is entirely disingenuous.

Hotel Mumbai – Brand New Trailer!

It’s always tentative when it comes to portraying tragic events on the big screen such as Hotel Mumbai.

Directed by Anthony Marras, the film revolves around the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, particularly in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. It sees the staff who tried to save the guests and those in the midst of the warfare.

With Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, this looks to be in interesting movie and has had could praise. What do you think?

Hotel Mumbai hits cinemas 2019 

Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – Teaser Trailer

Guys, the first Shaun the Sheep Movie  is a wordless beautiful stop-motion gem. So we’re terribly excited to get our woolly mitts on a sequel.

The film revolves around an alien life force that comes to Mossy Bottom Farm.

Just give this film to us now. We’re so excited to see where Shaun’s journey continues. What do you think?

Shaun The Sheep Movie Farmageddon is out 2019! 

Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle – Review

Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle is the latest interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic Indian set fable The Jungle Book. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Jungle, young human boy Mowgli is raised by the Wolf pack as one of their own. This time, it’s actor turned director Andy Serkis who brings the animals and man cub to life.

Although director Serkis has brought the titular character to the front and delivered a brilliant cast of performance captured creatures, the film suffers from  a lack of originality. Rudyard Kipling may have written a timeless classic but with numerous versions and the dominant Disney animation, did we need another retelling? No, we did not. Even though the film had strengths.

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Featuring voice and performance captured visuals from Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and led by newcomer Rohan Chand, the story centres on young Mowgli (Chand), left in the jungle after his parents are killed by fierce tiger Shere Khan, (Cumberbatch). Found by Panther Bagheera (Bale), he is raised by the loyal Wolfpack. Yet as Mowgli grows, Shere Khan still threatens the human that lives amongst them. Can Mowgli and his animal family stop him and bring peace to their jungle home? As well as providing the voice and performance capture for bear Baloo, Andy Serkis also takes the directors chair here.
The original Mowgli stories were written in 1894. With the tale being adapted multiple times the main question of the story will be is it faithful? Yes, it is.

Therefore, the film follows the same narrative as the other adaptations. The character of Mowgli is more dominant here than in other adaptations. He is the driving force of the film and his animal companions take a backseat. This is definitely a much grittier take on Rudyard’s classic with more blood and danger. The stakes feel higher and the potential for loss is stronger but it’s not enough to truly set it apart from last year’s Disney live-action remake.

With Serkis considered the leader in the pioneering of performance capture, it’s no surprise that the creatures of Mowgli are incredible. Fierce but emotional the film combines the realism of wild animals with the emotional range of human characteristics. Their interactions with Mowgli are always felt, bringing Kipling’s jungle to life.
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The cast is led by young Chand as Mowgli. His is definitely the more raw performance, compared to other adaptions with a greater range. Some parts feel overdone but it’s a solid performance for the newcomer.
Serkis, Naomie Harris and Cate Blanchett all lend their strong vocals to the Bear, the Wolf and the Snake of the tale, as well as inspiration for the creatures visuals. Yet the stand outs here are Benedict Cumberbatch as the Tiger and Christian Bale as the Panther. Cumberbatch continues to lend his voice to strong CGI villains creating a menacing Shere Khan. Opposing this is the fatherly figure of Bale. As Mowgli’s fierce protector Bahgeera he is torn between his love for the man-cub and the duty to protect him and the wolf-pack who raised the young boy he found. His performance is one filled with love and the weight of responsibility.

Although this is the superior version in the latest batch of interpretations, Mowgli suffers from its predecessors. This may be beautifully realised and grittier but we’ve all been here before despite the effort and beauty.

Mowgli: The Legend of Mowgli is available to watch on Netflix