1. Eleven upcoming films to get excited about…

    The Dark Knight Rises - Released July 20, 2012 
    Christopher Nolan’s and Christian Bale’s last Batman film looks to be a big one to bow out on. After the genre-defining Dark Knight, Nolan has assembled a top-notch cast including Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Matthew Modine, along with the usual suspects. Plot details are sketchy, with Hardy’s Bane the only confirmed villain (Hathaway plays Seline Kyle but this is no firm indication that she’s playing her as Catwoman) and the only known scenes being flashbacks to a young Ra’s al Ghul, played by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins and Josh Pence in TDKR. Needless to say fanboys are salivating already, a year before release, and pretty much every film fan is eager to see how Nolan leaves the franchise (I’ve got my own theories, but that’s a story for another post)

    Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes - Released August 5, 2011
    Rise… earns its place on this list mainly because I’m intrigued to see how they can make this into a good film. Yes, it stars James Franco as a scientist and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) as a redneck and yes, in the shots released so far, the titular apes look damn realistic, but then there’s the thing that hampers every prequel; we already know how it’ll end up thanks to Planet Of The Apes. The fact that this is meant to be the first of a series does not fill me with hope…

    Cowboys & Aliens - Released July 29, 2011
    Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford. Fighting aliens. In the old West. That premise is worth the entry fee alone

    The Inbetweeners - Released August 19, 2011
    I’ll admit, it took while for The Inbetweeners to win me over, but it’s clear now that it was one of the funniest homegrown series in a while. Whether or not that translates across to the silver screen remains to be seen, and even though its likely to just be an extended episode, it’ll still be funnier than pretty much every “comedy” chucked out by Hollywood this year.

    Fright Night - Released August 19, 2011
    A remake of an 80s classic apparently… nope, I’ve never seen the original either, but this stars Colin Farrell as a vampire, David Tennant playing a Russell Brand-ish TV host and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) & Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin in Superbad) as our suburban amateur vampire hunters). Typical vampy fare, but the cast is a good’un, so it’ll definitely be worth a watch

    Men In Black 3 - Released May 25, 2012
    If you were too young or too old for the previous two MIB films, you probably won’t be getting to hyped for this. But if, like me, you were the perfect age when MIB 1 and 2 were released, this should be getting you quite giddy. The cast list is sweet (Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return as J & K, whilst Josh Brolin plays the young K and Jermaine Clement, yes, him off of Flight of The Conchords, plays the film’s villain, Boris) whilst a supposed time travel plot has a lot of potential. Come May 25th 2012, I doubt I’ll be the only one feeling like a kid again.

    Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Killer/World War Z/The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet - Release dates TBC
    Have you seen these titles? Do you know what they’re about? Vampires, zombies, American presidents, strumpets, Brad Pitt, apocalypse, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, 1700s England, more zombies, more vampires. They’re like what would happen if you gave horror nerds million dollar budgets and a camera. Fun. Django Unchained It’s Tarantino, it’s a revenge film, it’s got Christoph Waltz in it again and it might star Will Smith. I dunno about you, but I’m buying my ticket now.

    The Smurfs - Released August 19, 2011
    Just to see how awful it is.

  2. The best Quentin Tarantino characters

    Estaban Vihaio
    Only on screen for ten minutes max, but Don Esteban is a wonderfully sleazy octogenerian pimp, head of the Acuna Boys crime gang, and Bill’s substitute father. Played by Michael Parks (the Sheriff in Vol. 1), Esteban adds a dollop of camp comic relief to the fairly po-faced Vol.2

    Archie Hicox
    The role of Lt Hicox was meant for Simon Pegg originally and whilst that would have been this fanboy’s dream, somehow I can’t imagine it working quite as well as Fassbender in the role. For an German-Irishman, Fassbender works perfectly as what you could call a Bond-prototype; charming (an unusual amount for a Tarantino character), cool… just not too good with ordering drinks…

    Mr Pink 
    The fast-talking, tip-hating gangster was probably Steve Buscemi’s defining role, until Nucky Thompson in the brilliant Boardwalk Empire, and he’s probably the best character in Dogs if only for “Why am I Mr Pink?”

    Jules Winnfield 

    Nice Guy Eddie
    In a film populated by badasses in cool suits, it takes something special to be equally cool whilst dressed in a garish 90s shellsuit, but Nice Guy Eddie pulls it off.

    Hans Landa
    The role that made Christoph Waltz. Imagine if Leo DiCaprio had played the Jew Hunter as was originally planned. Not saying that DiCaprio’s a bad actor, but there’s no way it could have worked (rumours that DiCaprio will be starring in QT’s next film Django Unchained, haven’t been met too favourably). Anyway, I digress. Landa is cold, calculating and pretty damn evil… but somehow winds up as one of Tarantino’s most memorable and charismatic. Waltz has been also confirmed for a role in Django Unchained. Can lightning (hopefully) strike twice?

    Chester Rush
    Four Rooms isn’t often mentioned wen it comes to Tarantino’s filmography (mainly because it involved three other directors). In truth it’s not a fantastic movie, and only comes to life with in the final segment, directed by Tarantino. QT plays a slightly overexaggerated version of himself involved in an insane bet, spewing words ate 100mph and generally looking cool as fuck. Okay, maybe not quite so exaggerated after all…

  3. Weinsteins Set Release Date for Tarantinos Django


    The Weinstein Co. has set a Christmas Day 2012 release date for Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” pitting the controversial pic against the second frame of Disney’s wholesome “Lone Ranger.”


    Read More

    Whilst Will Smith would have been a interesting lead for a Tarantino film, this writer believes the role seems more suited to Idris Elba or Michael K Williams, both of whom seem to be in contention (albeit Williams because of a fan campaign). DiCaprio is also quite a curious choice. No doubt he’s a damn fine actor, it’s just hard to see him fitting in with QT’s style.

    Either way, with Django…, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit and the new Spiderman reboot, 2012 looks set to stand up to this year in terms of big, big films

    (via cinemaconfidential-deactivated2)

  4. The Hangover: Part 2

    It was such a surprise hit, it was bound to earn a sequel. The Hangover was the best Hollywood comedy since probably Dodgeball five years before it; it was well made, surprisingly funny and launched the careers of its three leads (it also spawned a million decreasingly funny catchphrases and Facebvook pages).

    It goes without saying that the sequel is the exact same formula, just transported to Bangkok. You can’t say you were expecting Citizen Kane, surely? The minor changes, other than setting, are it’s Stu’s (Ed Helms) wedding this time and it’s his soon-to-be brother-in-law who disappears after another insane night. The results are, well, not quite as hilarious as the first instalment.

    The jokes are all there, it’s just that the re-used plot takes away from the surprises and twists. Also the characters just seem to have been Flanderised; that is to say their smallest quirks and features have been magnified and amplified, making it all a bit unbelievable. Alan (Zach Galifianakis) becomes even more of a psychotic manchild, Stu is a ton more neurotic, Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) walks the tightrope between mildly amusing and annoying sidekick and Phil (Bradley Cooper)… well Phil’s not too bad really. 

    The eventual reveal of the brother-in-law is quite clever, there’s a brilliant scene from Alan’s view of the world and the few cameos sprinkled around brighten up the film (although the supposed duo of Liam Neeson and Bill Clinton would have been better), it’s just that there is an overwhelming feeling of deja vu. The fact that a monkey is probably the funniest thing in the film speaks volumes.

    Who knows, the proposed third part might add something new to the Hangover formula and stand up to the first film? This second part is by no means a bad film, just sort of boring.


  5. WATCH: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 trailer

    It’s almost finished. Fans, feel free to become hysterical and nostalgic. Haters rejoice. Whatever your thoughts on the specky wizard, there’s no denying the release of the eighth and final film is the end of an era. A Potter film every few years has been a comforting constant over the last decade, kind of like Friends repeats on E4 or Liam Gallagher’s decreasing relevance to anything. I can’t claim to have read every single book cover to cover (the first three, definitely. I think I dropped off around the fourth…), and not every film is a classic although they have got better as they’ve gone along. All I can say is that after the extended trailer that was Deathly Hallows Part One, Part Two looks to be a great end to the series. I’ll certainly be watching on the 15th of June.

  6. Potential “The Dark Knight Rises” spoiler ahoy!

    The ever-wonderful Den Of Geek has stumbled upon a nugget of information which makes Christopher Nolan’s upcoming trilogy closer even more intriguing. If you’re trying to avoid spoilers for TDKR, I suggest averting your eyes right about now.

    Still here? Right-o. Because it looks as if Liam Neeson is appearing in Christopher Nolan’s final Batman adventure. There’s been no confirmation of this, of course, but Neeson was spotted on the London set of The Dark Knight Rises, seemingly reprising the role of Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman Begins. We know that Josh Pence is playing a younger version of the same character in the new film, but it’s unclear how big Neeson’s involvement is in this. According to Hitfix, he filmed on Monday, and was in New York for Tuesday. So, it might just be a small cameo.

    The anticipation level just went up a couple of notches.

  7. REWIND: Hot Rod

    Rewind - basically a chance to go back and revisit, or in some cases visit for the first time great albums and films that have passed us by for whatever reason. First up, The Lonely Island’s 2007 debut film “Hot Rod”. “Hot Rod” is the story of manchild and amateur stuntman Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) who, in a bid to win over the girl next door (Sissy Spacek) and raise money for his abusive stepfather’s (a wonderfully hammy Ian McShane) heart surgery, plans to jump 15 school buses on a moped. In order to raise the money to organise the jump Rod and his misift stunt crew (fellow Lonely Islander Jorma Taccone and US comedy staples Bill Hader and Danny McBride) embark on enough hare-brained schemes to make Wil E. Coyote proud.

    It’s easy to see why “Hot Rod” has become something of a cult film. It’s immensely quoteable (the “Cool beans” scene), well made and actually quite funny, as you would hope from a film featuring the best of US comic talent; Samberg, Taccone, Hader and Chris Parnell (30 Rock, Archer) are all veterans of Saturday Night Live, whilst McBride and Will Arnett (Arrested Development, 30 Rock) automatically make anything they’re in 50% better. However, if your comedic tastes are on the slighlty immature side or you’re not acquainted with The Lonely Island’s brand or humour or musical output then I suggest a) Youtubing everything they’ve done, and if that doesn’t tickle your funny bone, then there’s no hope for you.

  8. They’re making a sixth Fast & Furious

    I don’t think I have to add anything “journalistic” or “proper blog”-worthy to this.

  9. COMING SOON: Horrible Bosses

    With a top-notch cast and a brilliant premise, Horrible Bosses could be one of the comedy hits of the year, up there with the supposedly-side-splitting Bridesmaids. In short, three hard-done-by employees decide to better their lives by killing off their three grotesque bosses. Hilarity is sure to ensue. Plus, anything with Jason Bateman and Kevin Spacey is bound to be great.

    Watch the red-band NSFW trailer here.


  10. COMING SOON: Brave

    It’s a smart move from Pixar to release the teaser for Brave now, a year before its release. Cars 2 isn’t getting the best reaction (it’s a film about talking cars, they’re basically parodying themselves), so we get something unlike anything the company has done before to whet our CG appetites.

    Brave is set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, where Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is the princess of a kingdom ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). An unruly daughter and an accomplished archer, Merida one day defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom. In an attempt to set things right, Merida seeks out an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) and is granted an ill-fated wish. Also figuring into Merida’s quest — and serving as comic relief — are the kingdom’s three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), the surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), and the disagreeable Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).

    If I were the cynical type, which I am sometimes, I’d say that Brave looks like an attempt to cash in on the mythical, medieval successes of How To Train Your Dragon and Tangled. But then, the animation looks superb and the cast is the finest collection of British talent since Harry Potter, so I wouldn’t bet against Pixar bouncing straight back from Cars 2’s negatvie reception.