Saturday, 16 December 2017

NEWS: RIP Bruce Gray - September 7th 1936 – December 13th 2017

Bruce Gray, one of the stars of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and as investment banker Adam Cunningham on the 1990s Traders TV drama, has died. 

Gray was 81.

Gray passed away in Los Angeles on Wednesday after a bout with brain cancer, his Toronto agent Jennifer Goldhar has confirmed.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ALL Trailers + Extras (2017)


Check out this compilation of all the trailers and clips in Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Stephen Woolley: A Life In Film


For the best part of 35 years, Stephen Woolley has been a driving force in British film, responsible for bringing a dizzying array of films to the silver screen. His formative years were spent tearing tickets at the Screen On The Green in London before going on to own the celebrated Scala cinema. He subsequently formed Palace Video with Nik Powell, a partnership that delivered films as diverse as The Evil Dead and When Harry Met Sally to UK audiences, and it was in this period that his producing career really began to take off. A true champion of Brit cinema, 2017 has proved a very successful year for Woolley, with Their Finest proving a critical smash. His latest offering is a full-blooded adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s acclaimed novel, The Limehouse Golem, starring Bill Nighy, Douglas Booth and Olivia Cooke (available digitally on Christmas Day before arriving on Blu-ray and DVD on December 26th), a release that gives us the perfect opportunity to delve into Woolley’s past and call out some of the highlights from a career with too many to mention:

The Company Of Wolves (1984)
One of a number of pairings with long time creative partner Neil Jordan, The Company Of Wolves is a wonderful fairy tale cult movie that rivals 1981’s An American Werewolf In London for sheer special effects magnificence. The story focuses on a young woman who drifts into a nightmare-filled sleep populated with lycanthropic threats realised spectacularly long before CGI could help, but this is a curio that gives in a variety of ways, not least of which being Angela Lansbury’s winning performance as Granny and genre stalwart David Warner thrown into the mix for good measure. Co-written by Angela Carter, the film picked up four BAFTA Award nominations.

Mona Lisa (1986)
A genuine British classic, Mona Lisa once again sees Woolley partnered with Jordan to produce a grime-tinged love story that follows an ex-con recently released from prison (Bob Hoskins, delivering a hammer blow of a performance) who gets a job driving a high-class call girl (Cathy Tyson) from customer to customer. As his feelings for the hooker grow, his ability to deal with her situation collapses and what follows is a master class in emotional impotence and stultifying repression that elicits truly magnetic performances from everyone involved. Hoskins won a Golden Globe; Best Actor in Cannes; a BAFTA; and just missed out on the Oscar to Paul Newman for his role in the film.

The Crying Game (1992)
Although Woolley’s career was already flying by this point, The Crying Game was nevertheless something of a watershed moment and ahead of its time, with the film picking up an Oscar for best screenplay for Neil Jordan, as well as receiving five further nominations including a Producers Guild award and Best Picture nod with Woolley’s name against it. Ostensibly a thriller set against the backdrop of The Troubles in Ireland, the film is elevated by peerless performances from a talented cast that includes Stephen Rea, Forest Whitaker and Miranda Richardson, although it’s perhaps equally well known for Jaye Davidson’s rug-pulling sexual curveball (clue – look out for the erroneous Adam’s apple...).

Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
A film version of Anne Rice’s epic vampire saga had long been mooted, with Elton John, John Travolta and a host of other equally bizarre names circling the project for decades before Woolley and co arrived on the scene. Once Woolley (yep, with Jordan again) got things moving, however, it wasn’t plain sailing, with Rice taking out a full-page ad decrying the casting of Tom Cruise as her beloved vampire, Lestat. It was all change when the film came out, mind, with Rice retracting her statement and throwing her full support behind a performance from Cruise that shocked and surprised many – in a good way!

The End Of The Affair (1999)
Based on the melancholy novel of the same name by Graham Greene, The End Of the Affair sees Woolley delivering another study in repressed emotions as Julianne Moore (Oscar nominated for her troubles) and Ralph Fiennes rekindle a long dead extra marital affair in gloom-addled 1940s Britain. Stylistically beautiful and painfully reserved, The End of The Affair picked up an impressive 10 BAFTA nominations and is a surprisingly savage, difficult watch that lives squarely in the realm of tragedy much more than it does in romance, with Fiennes and Moore rarely better than they both are here. Not much of a date movie, though.

Stoned (2005)
A man of many talents, 2005 saw Woolley turn his hand to directing – with lesser known but very well received biographical drama, Stoned, the result. A highly absorbing and accomplished tale of the demise of the Rolling Stones founder, Brian Jones, it took Woolley 10 years to get the film to the big screen – a true labour of love that paid off handsomely. For the camera-work, colour and montage sequences alone Stoned is worth seeing, but that’s not where its merits end. Whether a fan of the band or not, this is an interesting film full of directing techniques and skilful editing that blend into a heady mix of rock and roll excess which takes the viewer to the sixties and back through one of the most interesting stories of the time.

Made In Dagenham (2010)
Woolley teamed up with producer Elizabeth Karlsen and reunited with Bob Hoskins for something altogether more joyous than Mona Lisa in the form of a dramatisation of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant that saw female workers walk out in protest against sexual discrimination. This might not sound like a laugh-riot but with Sally Hawkins, Andrea Riseborough, Jaime Winston and Daniel Mays alongside Hoskins, you’re safely in classic Brit-com territory, something backed up by the recent musical version of the film starring Gemma Arteton that has taken the West End by storm.

Byzantium (2012)
There are enough curios in Woolley’s back catalogue to really give the impression that the man loves a bit of folklore. If The Company Of Wolves was his love letter to Red Riding Hood, and Interview With The Vampire was his slice of gothic romance, Byzantium seems to be him bringing folk tales bang up to date as Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan play two vampires holed up in a fading seaside town, only to ignite the ire of some ill-informed locals. Written by Moira Buffini based on her play and another film borne out of Woolley’s long-time partnership with Neil Jordan, Byzantium should be considered essential viewing for anyone brought up under the illusion that Twilight is how to make a modern vampire movie.

Carol (2015)
A visual and emotional feast, Carol is based on the novel, ‘The Price of Salt’, by Patricia Highsmith, someone who has continued to deliver a rich vein of cinematic gold ever since 1951’s Strangers On A Train (with nuggets like The Talented Mr Ripley and The Two Faces of January dropped in more recently along the way). Cate Blanchett stars as the society woman captivated by a younger shop girl in what was considered a racy text upon its original publication. That it was still considered daring as a mainstream release perhaps says more about modern mores than it should, but there’s no doubting this is another essential entry in Woolley’s back catalogue, and definitely one of the most beautiful. Teaming up with his producing partner Elizabeth Karlsen once again, Carol caught the eye of the Awards judges, earning nine BAFTA and six Oscar nominations.

The Limehouse Golem (2016)
All of which brings us to The Limehouse Golem. When one considers the themes of repression, folklore and sexuality that pepper Woolley’s career it’s not hard to see why he was attracted to Peter Ackroyd’s novel. Mixing real life historical figures (Karl Marx; music hall star Dan Leno) with pseudo-Ripper mythology, The Limehouse Golem still manages to throw in some pertinent comments on repressed sexuality through Bill Nighy’s gay policeman who must deal with whispering colleagues as much as he must track down the brutal titular killer. Adapted for the screen by Jane Goldman, this is a studied piece, as artful as it is horrifying, and featuring a cast playing against type to fantastic effect. A smog-filled London serves as the perfect backdrop and, with the film releasing on Blu-ray and DVD in time for some Boxing Day chills, The Limehouse Golem is a refreshing change to more traditional Christmas horror stories.

The Limehouse Golem is available on digital platforms from December 25th and on Blu-ray and DVD from December 26th courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment


Thursday, 14 December 2017

A definitive countdown of our favourite Bill Nighy films


Bill Nighy is one of the country’s beloved character actors and whether he’s breaking hearts in Love, Actually, swashing his buckle in Pirates of the Caribbean or spinning records in The Boat That Rocked, Nighy has always been one of the nation’s most dextrous and treasured performers. In The Limehouse Golem – which arrives on Digital Download on Christmas Day, and on Blu-ray and DVD on Boxing Day – Nighy remarkably takes his first ever role as a detective, Inspector Kildare, who must discover the identity of mass serial killer, nicknamed ‘the Limehouse Golem’, who is terrorising the streets of Victorian London.
In honour of Nighy and his multi-faceted acting talents, let’s take a look at some of his greatest roles, to date.


Love, Actually (2003)
A perennial Christmas classic, Love Actually has stood the test of time and remains a firm favourite in households up and down the country. In the romantic comedy, Nighy has a ball as jaded rock’n’roll star Billy Mack; a character who keeps his frazzled manager Joe (Gregor Fisher) on his toes with his unpredictability and outlandish character. A ticking time bomb and no stranger to swearing live on air, Mack is a loose cannon who cannot be tamed. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that Mack’s world has narrowed and Joe is the only one who’s been there for him through thick and thin. Perfectly cast in a role that seems on the surface a caricature, Nighy adds bittersweet notes; creating the light and shade that has had audiences hooked for well over a decade. 


Shaun of the Dead (2004) 
The role of the incredibly grumpy and cold Philip in Edgar Wright’s Horror/Comedy Shaun of the Dead was something of a departure for Nighy, as he is anything but loveable from the moment he appears on screen. The film follows our mess of a protagonist, Shaun (Simon Pegg), whose epiphany that leaves him desperate to get his life back on track happens to coincide with the start of the zombie apocalypse. When he goes to rescue his dear mother, he decides he should probably take his step-dad (he’s definitely not his step-dad) with them. Even though it’s clear the world is crumbling around them, Philip doesn’t miss a chance to have a few swift digs at his wife’s screw-up of a son, in the classic quick-witted style Nighy’s known and loved for.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Another not so subtle role for Nighy came in 2006’s fantasy action adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. In the film Nighy plays one of the standout roles of the franchise; Davy Jones, a bizarre part octopus, part lobster, part man, who was once a human. Unable to deal with the grief of losing his true love, Jones cuts out his heart and puts it in the Dead Man’s Chest, which he then hides in a secret location. Not content with this, he takes it upon himself to collect the souls of dead or dying soldiers to serve on his ship, The Flying Dutchman, for 100 years. Jones also makes a return in the third instalment, At World’s End, with just a glimpse of him appearing in the fifth film, Dead Men Tell No Tales; a fact that Nighy himself wasn’t aware of until the film’s release!


The Boat That Rocked (2009)
Richard Curtis clearly sees Bill Nighy for what he is: One of the coolest men on the planet. For the second time (after Love, Actually), Bill is cast by one of Britain’s most prolific filmmakers as a true rock ‘n’ roller, desperate to keep the dream alive! Nighy plays Quentin, who runs pirate station Radio Rock; a station anchored in the North Sea and home to some of the most rebellious disc jockeys the swinging sixties had to offer. Nighy absolutely oozes cool in this role, and if we had to shack up with one person in the North Sea with nothing but liquor and rock ‘n’ roll music, he’d definitely top our list!


About Time (2013)
About Time is another Curtis-Nighy collaboration that sees Nighy adopt a slightly softer persona as James Lake; an early retiree with a fondness for Dickens and table tennis, husband to Mary (Lindsay Duncan), father to budding lawyer Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), and... oh, he’s also a time-traveller. In fact, so is Tim; time travel is a talent that runs through all the men in the Lake family. The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, James reveals this time-bending trick to his son, and warns him that his new-found ability is something to use wisely and not on a whim. James departs his wisdom upon Tim, who soon learns that his unique gift can't save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. Tim discovers that, in the end, making the most of life may not need time travel at all. Surely one of the most adorable and moving father-son relationships on film.


Their Finest (2016)
As Ambrose Hilliard, Nighy meets the indignity of playing a terrible actor brilliantly, serving thick chunks of largely talent-free ham in the scenes where he acts like he’s acting, while balancing that with the tragic weight of reality in more private moments as he both fights against and simultaneously accepts the hand the war has dealt his career as an actor. Scenes opposite Henry Goodman and Helen McRory (who individually and to varying degrees of success serve as Hilliard’s manager) allow him to let rip and deliver some peak Nighy, but he’s just as good when failing to realise he’s being manipulated by Gemma Arterton’s canny Catrin.


The Limehouse Golem (2017)
Victorian London is gripped with fear as a serial killer – dubbed The Limehouse Golem – is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in his victims’ blood.  With few leads and increasing public pressure, Scotland Yard assigns the case to Inspector Kildare (Nighy) – a seasoned detective with a troubled past and a sneaking suspicion he’s being set up to fail.  Faced with a list of suspects, including music hall star Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), Kildare must discover which one is the killer before the Golem strikes again. The Limehouse Golem marks a departure from Nighy’s traditional romantic-comedy safe ground, further showcasing his talent and cementing his position as one of Britain’s best loved actors.


The Limehouse Golem is available on Digital Download on Christmas Day, and on Blu-ray and DVD on Boxing Day


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Song of Granite - Official Trailer


SONG OF GRANITE revolves around the life of the great traditional Irish singer, Joe Heaney. The harsh landscape combined with the myths, fables and songs of his Connemara childhood helped shape this complex and fascinating character. Enigmatic and complex, Heaney’s devotion to his art came at a huge personal cost.

Joe Heaney was born just outside of Carna in 1919. From an early age, he was fascinated by the stories and music around him, ‘drinking (them) from the bottle when (he) was in the cradle”. By the time of his death in Seattle in May 1984, he was widely recognized as one of the most important figures in Irish traditional music, having won fans and admirers from every part of the globe and most particularly from the folk music scene in the United States. Joe’s life was also remarkably complex, challenging traditions with his way of life.

Utilizing documentary evidence, recreations and more abstract scenes that attempt to reveal the inner workings of Heaney’s psyche, Pat Collins has shaped a cinematic exploration of Heaney’s life and his music, tracing his strange, tragic and often inspiring journey from rural Connemara through Glasgow and eventually to New York City – but not always in that order.

Tom Cruise Retrospective


Since his debut on-screen appearance in the 1981 romance Endless Love, Tom Cruise has risen to the top of Hollywood’s royalty list and has managed to stay on top right up until the present day. Although Cruise has a wide variety of titles in his filmography, the majority of audiences love him most for his inescapable charisma that can captivate within an instant. His latest film, American Made, has been hailed as a return to the kind of characters that offer just that; relying on the sheer moxie of pilot Barry Seal, who manages to dig himself into a deeper and deeper hole when working for the CIA in South America and simultaneously moonlighting as a drug trafficker. With American Made available on Digital from December 18th and 4k Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM and DVD from December 26th, we see no better time than to take a look back at some of the best roles of Tom Cruise’s career. 


Top Gun (1986)
The first film on our list will forever be synonymous with the career of Tom Cruise, becoming his first smash hit at the box office and showcasing the charismatic persona he’s become known for.

For the rare few of you who haven’t seen this epic 80s action masterpiece, Cruise’s devil-may-care navy pilot Pete Mitchell is sent to Miramar Naval Air Station for advanced fighter jet training where he vies with Tom Kasansky (Val Kilmer) for the coveted "Top Gun" award. When not so occupied in the cockpit, Mitchell carries on a romance with civilian consultant Charlotte Blackwood, played by Kelly McGillis (cue blue light and ‘Take My Breath Away’).

The film made more money than any other film in 1986 and with audiences still reeling over Cruise’s charm and the vertigo-inducing visuals, it’s no surprise a modern sequel has just been announced.


Rain Man (1988)
One of Cruise’s more notable performances within the film industry, Barry Levinson’s Oscar winning drama put his talent at the forefront, perfectly complimenting Dustin Hoffman’s incredible central performance.

His character, self-centred, avaricious Californian Charlie Babbitt, is challenged with taking care of his estranged, autistic-savant older brother Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman), takes him on a cross-country odyssey (including a particularly successful stop at a Vegas casino), in an attempt to use him as leverage for his recently deceased father’s inheritance.

Although Cruise was overlooked once awards season rolled around, this helped enhance his reputation as a serious on-screen presence and one of Hollywood’s most coveted leading men.


Jerry Maguire (1996)
Any idea what Tom Cruise said when they offered him the role of Jerry Maguire? “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!” All jokes aside, Cruise must have jumped at the chance to play this wise-cracking NBA agent after reading Cameron Crowe’s fantastic script.

As the title suggests, the film focuses on Mr. Maguire - a loud-mouth, big-shot who after being unceremoniously fired from an international sports management company, decides to get his life together and is joined on his journey of soul-searching by his only remaining client, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), and wistful single mother/possible love interest Dorothy Boyd (Renée Zellweger).

Though the film is set within the world of American Football, Cruise’s central performance helps it focus on his character’s journey of self-reflection, relatable to all walks of life. 


Mission: Impossible Franchise (1996 – present)
You can’t even think about Tom Cruise’s greatest ventures into film without mentioning his many missions to complete the seemingly impossible, in the Mission: Impossible series. Starting in 1996 with a fairly grounded spy thriller and one hell of a robbery scene at its heart, the franchise has developed into one of the most consistently box office breaking series of films in modern cinema.

With the latest instalment alone featuring our film superstar hanging off the side of a jet plane whilst it takes off (no CGI, just Cruise), the series has pushed itself - and it’s star talent - to take it one step further every time. We for one can’t wait for the upcoming sequel, and can’t imagine what’s next in store for agent Ethan Hunt because at this point, literally anything’s possible!


Minority Report (2002)
This modern day Sci-Fi classic was built on the recipe of Steven Spielberg, Philip K. Dick and Tom Cruise, so it was hard to believe this wasn’t ever going to be anything other than incredible. The film focuses on Dick’s familiar preoccupation with themes of concealed identity and mind control. Cruise plays John Anderton, a Washington D.C. detective in the year 2054, who works for special unit "Precrime" that arrests murderers before they have committed the actual crime based on the visions of three psychics whose prophecies of future events are never in error.

When Anderton discovers that he has been identified as the future killer of a man he's never met, he is forced to become a fugitive from his own colleagues as he tries to uncover the mystery of the victim-to-be's identity. The film is bursting with interesting ideas on where modern society is heading, with a powerful moral message at its heart, all of which is powered by the film’s star led performance.


American Made (2017)
Cruise’s latest film has been heralded as a return to the energetically charismatic Tom Cruise that thrived so much earlier in his career - and it doesn’t disappoint! Based on true events, the film follows Barry Seal’s story as he soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. The secret operation that would be exposed as the Iran-Contra Affair scandal spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House. In the film, airline pilot Seal has to dig himself out of a number sticky situations with the Columbian cartel using his - you guessed it - charm, but eventually finds himself in way too deep in one of the biggest international scandals in US history. Cruise, as promised, is on sizzling form and you can’t help but root for his less than morally-obliging character, a spell he’s managed to cast over audiences for over 20 years now and one that looks set to continue.

AMERICAN MADE IS AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL ON DECEMBER 18 AND 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY™ AND DVD ON DECEMBER 26, 2017 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT UK

Born a King - Shooting Wrap Announcement


British-Spanish feature film production BORN A KING has completed production in Saudi Arabia, having wrapped filming  in London this summer. Inspired by real events, this historically faithful and ambitious period drama tells the remarkable story of a very young Prince Faisal of Arabia who was dispatched from the deserts of Arabia to London on a high-stakes diplomatic mission. Set in 1919, the feature is a coming-of-age story set against an epic backdrop which provides a timely and fascinating insight into historical and political issues which resonate to this day. Prince Faisal’s mission played a key role in the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

With a budget of over eighteen million euros, BORN A KING is directed by Agustí Villaronga (winner of nine Goya awards, including Best Film in 2010 for ‘Pa negre’, which was selected by the Academy to represent Spain at the Oscars) and boasts a strong, mainly British cast, led by Ed Skrein (Game of Thrones, Deadpool), Hermione Corfield (Mr. Holmes), Laurence Fox (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Kenneth Cranham (Maleficent) and James Fleet (Sense and Sensibility, Four Weddings and a Funeral). Spanish actor Rubén Ochandiano (Biutiful) also stars and Abdullah Ali makes his cinematic debut in the lead role of Prince Faisal.

BORN A KING signifies a return to feature production for producer Andrés Vicente Gómez, who won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for Belle Époque in 1994. This will be his first film production since the multi Goya nominated As Luck Would Have It in 2011. The Co-Producer is Stuart Sutherland (Celtic Ent.). The script is the work of writer and former national newspaper journalist Henry Fitzherbert (Slaughterhouse Rulez), with the collaboration of Bader Al Samari and the Spanish writer and filmmaker Ray Loriga (Teresa, The Body of Christ, My Brother's Gun).

On the film, Andrés Vicente Gómez said, "With this film we have made history, not only because it is the first European film shot in Saudi Arabia, but also because we hope to release it in a country where film theatres do not exist at the moment. We hope to raise awareness of the story of King Faisal, a key figure in the history of the Middle East.”

Stuart Sutherland said, “A young Muslim boy came to London to take on the very people in the British establishment who were drawing lines in the sand of the Middle East. It’s a remarkable and very timely story that is almost completely unknown.”

Set in 1919 and based on true events, BORN A KING tells the true story of 14 year old Faisal (Ali), the younger son of the first King of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud, who is dispatched from the deserts of Arabia to London by his warrior father on a high stakes diplomatic mission to secure the formation of his country.

In the frenetic post-WWI atmosphere, Faisal (Ali) becomes the first Saudi Royal to visit the UK on a politically perilous trip which lasted five months. There, he must negotiate with some of the pre-eminent figures of the age, including Lord Curzon (Cranham) and Winston Churchill (Celyn Jones), while forming a friendship with Princess Mary (Corfield) who helps guide him through the corridors of power. He is mentored by Harry St. John Philby (Skrein).  Faisal ultimately became the hugely popular King of Saudi Arabia (1964-1975), implementing modernisation and reform.

Cultural relevance of the project
This is the first Western film that is partially shot in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, thanks to the perseverance of producer Andrés Vicente Gómez, who spent four years in negotiations to obtain government permits there. Since the 1980s, cinemas have not been open to the public in Saudi Arabia, but in 2018 the government plans to open several theatres in the country as part of its Vision 2030 program, whose mission is to promote culture and entertainment, as well as focusing on initiatives such as public health, the development of cities and the achievement of environmental sustainability. As the first film offered in cinemas to the Saudi public for over 30 years BORN A KING is set to play a special role in this cultural change, with the premiere taking place in April 2018.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Driving While Black - Poster and Trailer


Sound the siren! the critically acclaimed, internationally award-winning Driving While Black, from filmmaker Paul Sapiano, opens in theaters February 1.

Based on the real life experiences of writer and lead actor Dominique Purdy, this arresting new comedy explores Purdy’s real life experiences growing up as a person of color in LA and his run ins with police.

With 32 film festival wins to date, and an ever-increasing online fanbase, Driving While Black is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated comedy releases of 2018.

Dmitri is a pizza guy who would rather smoke weed and suffer for his art, but his mom and his girl won’t stop nagging him to get a real job. When he’s offered a gig mouthing off to tourists behind the wheel of a Hollywood “star tour” bus, it looks like everyone might get what they want. Trouble is, our man can’t seem to step out the door to get to the interview without endless complications: busted radiators, simple weed scores gone sideways and LAPD cruisers seemingly everywhere. Dmitri’s skill at going unnoticed by cops is honed by painful experiences growing up Black in L.A., but even his keen survival instincts won’t save him from the week from hell.

With a jovial swagger to its walking pace, Driving While Black is half comedy of errors and half hard-bitten realism, tucked into a sly treatise on 21st-century over-policing.

Driving While Black hits theaters across the U.S 2/1 from Artist Rights Distribution, Inc.


Monday, 11 December 2017

Ready Player One - Official Trailer and Poster


Synopsis
The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse.  But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance).  When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world.  When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

Joining Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mud), Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Bates Motel), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One – A Star Wars Story, Bloodline) and T.J. Miller (Deadpool, Silicon Valley), with Simon Pegg (the Star Trek movies, the Mission: Impossible movies) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk) round out the cast. Directed by Spielberg from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, Ready Player One was produced by Spielberg, Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah; with Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris DeFaria and Bruce Berman as executive producers. The film is slated for release worldwide beginning 30th March, 2018, and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Alita: Battle Angel - First Trailer


Visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY) create a groundbreaking new heroine in ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment. Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic.  When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in.  Everything is new to Alita, every experience a first. 

As she learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo (Keean Johnson), offers instead to help trigger her memories.  A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships.

It is then that Alita discovers she has extraordinary fighting abilities that could be used to save the friends and family she’s grown to love. Determined to uncover the truth behind her origin, Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives.


Friday, 8 December 2017

Interview with Brett Bentman - writer-director of Apocalypse Road


Brett Bentman, writer-director of the new apocalyptic thriller Apocalypse Road (now available on VOD), tells us what he loves about filmmaking.


Do you have to be a fan of movies like this to want to make one? I imagine it helps?

Oh yeah. I love movie that carry a heavy dramatic narrative, then punch you in the gut with some action and slam your eyes with some uncomfortable gore. We were able to mix all of these elements I love into one film.


When did you come up with the idea?

I had just wrapped a western that went horribly wrong. When I came home I wrote AR and told my team we were going to make a film the right way, with the right producers behind it from day one. I wanted to re-invent myself with this script and I wanted to put the viewer in the shoes of Sarah and Natalie West. It’s one thing to make a movie where you go from scene to scene to scene, with actors who just read lines and move on, to a film like AR where the cast and crew are literally bleeding for the story. Makes you feel a sense of pride.


How much have post-apocalyptic movies like Mad Max or even The Hunger Games inspired the libretto here?

Not a lot, but some. I took more inspiration from The Road and The Revenant. We shot on one camera with two lenses on a gimbal 90% of the time. We had to use a ton of natural light and put thought into not having power most of the time. It was fun, tiring, but fun.


How did pitch it to your investors? What do you think led them to pulling the trigger?

Our sole investor was Bill Nicholas who is a close personal friend and has serves as my executive producer on all of my feature films. It wasn’t so much a pitch of the film, more of the idea that Bill believed in me as a filmmaker that brought him back in the fold. Plus, he gets a little cameo in the film, so everyone is happy!


Can you talk about the look of the film? What did you shoot on?

We shot on a sony a7sii. We kept the camera moving at all times. We wanted to give the illusion that the viewer is in the middle of the shot. Going through cars and things like that all while moving the camera on a ronin. We shot in real abandoned locations with no AC or heat. I wanted this film to have long takes with natural light. We did it all when others said we were nuts. We weren’t nuts, we just wouldn’t take no for an answer. Michael Ray Lewis, who shot the film, had to be exhausted every night. He would be running all day, he never sat down.


What do you love about filmmaking?

I love that at the end of the day we are telling a story and making it come to life. We keep it light on set. We have fun, but we work our asses off too. We aren’t curing cancer, we are making a movie. How cool is that?


Interview with Isabella Blake-Thomas


Isabella Blake-Thomas reconnects with her grandmother in the heart-warming new film Kepler’s Dream, currently screening in theaters and available on InDemand.


How did Kepler’s Dream come about, Izabella?

My mum took me to an open audition in London for a children’s TV show and out of a few thousand children l got the job alongside three other kids. This was just the beginning.


Sounds like you have some good support in your mum!?

My mum has always supported me and driven me wherever and whenever I’ve needed to go somewhere. She also helped coach me as she is a film director.


Fantastic. Has it been hard to break in? it’s competitive out there, I imagine?

The industry is still just as competitive but now there are multiple platforms for you to get spotted such as YouTube or any social media platform allowing everyone to be able to give the industry a go.


Was this movie shot a while ago?

Yes, it was shot three years ago. Sometimes it can take that long for films to come out though.


What was the main appeal of it, for you?

l loved the idea of being the protagonist in a family film. No swearing, no violence just a lovely story.


Did you get to know your co-stars before filming began?

There was only a day to rehearse altogether but we mixed as much as we could and I’m not supposed to know or like Holland Taylor, my grandmother, so it was important we didn’t get to know each other much. Once shooting started though we all became friends very quickly.


Was there a scene that was hard to film?

It was hard seeing my mum in hospital, l just imagined it was my mum and so it wasn’t hard to get upset.


What do you hope people get out of this movie?

l hope people are inspired to feel hopeful when dealing with difficult family or health situations.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Tomb Raider - Image, Trailer and Featurette


SYNOPSIS AND FURTHER INFO:
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her Dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who - against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit - must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.




Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald - Synopsis and Further Info


SYNOPSIS AND FURTHER INFO:
At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Redmayne).  But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.  Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

“FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD” is being directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, and produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.


The Shape of Water - Official International Trailer


Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael
Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer

The Shape of Water is an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.

THE SHAPE OF WATER is released in cinemas across the UK on 14 February 2018


Walk With Me - Poster and Trailer


With unprecedented access, ‘Walk With Me’ takes us deep inside the worldfamous monastery of Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, and captures the life of a monastic community who have given up all their possessions for one common purpose – to practice the art of mindfulness.

Filmed over three years, this visceral film is a meditation on a community determined to develop a deep sense of presence, not just for themselves but for all those they love.

As the seasons come and go, the monastics’ inner journey is amplified by insights from Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Premiering at SXSW Film Festival, and screening at the 2017 London Film Festival, WALK WITH ME gains a personal insight through its candid interviews with the monks and nuns who have decided to leave their families to follow in Thich Nhat Hanh’s footsteps.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi | Featurette "Training for The Last Jedi"


In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of the UK’s biggest film of all time, The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.

The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.         

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released in UK cinemas on 14 December 2017

Monday, 4 December 2017

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel Hits Theaters


Los Angeles, CA - Surge of Power Enterprises is proud to announce the theatrical debut of the long-anticipated sequel to the groundbreaking and lighthearted superhero movie "Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes."  "Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel" will begin with a weeklong run in Los Angeles before fighting crime in additional cities.

Creator Vincent J. Roth returns to the cape-clad title role of Surge, cinema's first out gay superhero.  Roth is joined by a star-studded cast representing the forces of good and evil including "Star Trek" alums Nichelle Nichols and Robert Picardo, comedian Bruce Vilanch, "SuperFriends!" Shannon Farnon, Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts, The Exorcist's Linda Blair, "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" star Gil Gerard and the original Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno.  The award-winning film has screened at festivals and conventions across the globe, taking home prizes for Best Comedy, Best Villain, Best Special Effects and Most Inspirational Lead Character.

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel will open January 5 in Los Angeles, expand to New York on January 19 and continue nationwide.

Synopsis:
Surge's nemesis, the Metal Master, is out of jail and trying to reconcile with his estranged parents (Blair, Gerard) and tempted to continue a life of crime by Augur (Roberts), archnemesis of the wise Omen (Nichols, Picardo).  Augur sends Metal Master to Las Vegas for mysterious crystals.  Needing more crime fighting help, Surge activates the artificial intelligence in the Surgemobile (Vilanch, Farnon). Augur emerges from the shadows back in Big City, causing Omen to step into the fray, which alerts The Council, a supervillain cabal bent on world domination.  Facing more enemies than ever before, Surge must do whatever it takes to save mankind.


James Franco is The Disaster Artist - In Cinemas Wednesday


The hilarious and critically acclaimed The Disaster Artist, directed by James Franco, and starring Dave Franco as Greg Sestero, James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, Seth Rogen and Alison Brie, is in selected cinemas now and nationwide on December 6.

SYNOPSIS:
James Franco transforms the tragicomic true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau—an artist whose passion was as sincere as his methods were questionable—into a celebration of friendship, artistic expression, and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on Greg Sestero’s best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy’s cult-classic “disasterpiece” The Room (“The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”), The Disaster Artist is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend—and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing.

WIN AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER ON DVD – AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL AND DVD DECEMBER 11


Hailed as “a wake-up-call” (Frankie Crossley, Miro Magazine) and “skillfully put together” (Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent), the eye-opening and compelling AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER arrives on Digital Download and DVD December 11th. To celebrate the release, we are giving you the chance to win a copy on DVD!

Ten years after the Academy Award®-winning An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change to the forefront of mainstream culture, the 2017 Environmental Media Association (EMA) Award-winning documentary AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER follows former Vice President Al Gore as he continues his tireless fight, traveling around the globe to educate and inspire the next generation of climate champions.  This “daring, urgent and exhilarating follow-up” (Josh Dickey, Mashable) shows that while the stakes have never been higher, the solutions to the climate crisis are still within our reach.

You can buy An Inconvenient Truth Sequel from Amazon using the link below which opens in a new window.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (DVD)

Watch the incredible trailer here:


For your chance to win a copy of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power on DVD simply submit your answer to the question below:

QUESTION:

In the trailer, where is the annual climate change conference held?
a) Paris
b) London
c) Berlin

Send you name, address and of course the answer to competition@beentothemovies.com



Like Paramount on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow #BeInconvenient for all the latest news and information

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power - See It on Digital and DVD December 11

© 2017 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 18-12-17
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Disney Pixar’s - Coco New Trailer – Moments Worth Paying For


With the eagerly anticipated January 2018 release of the brand new adventure from Disney·Pixar, the Industry Trust are continuing their Moments Worth Paying For campaign to combat film piracy with an exclusive trailer for Coco.

With behind the scenes footage of the Pixar Studios animators at work, the exclusive trailer focuses on the hilarious and deeply emotive scenes that make us laugh, cry or jump for joy - unforgettable movie moments that must be seen in the very best quality on the big screen.

The Industry Trust’s consumer education campaign continues to deliver the core message – inspiring audiences to choose the big screen experience. Like the others in the Moments Worth Paying For series, the trailer directs audiences to the industry-funded film search engine, FindAnyFilm.com, which signposts legal content sources, so they can book, buy and watch at their convenience.

Disney·Pixar’s Coco comes to UK cinemas on Friday 19th January 2018 with advanced previews 13th & 14th of January

SYNOPSIS:
The movie, which has already touched the hearts of millions of families to become the biggest film of all time in Mexico as well as winning over critics worldwide, follows the story of Miguel, a young boy who, despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel and his faithful sidekick Dante find themselves in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. The film features the voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Friday, 1 December 2017

SPENT, an award-winning dark comedy, in theaters and VOD 12/15


SPENT, the award-winning new dark comedy from writer-director Lisa Mikitarian, hits theaters and VOD December 15 from Indie Rights.

Winner Best Comedy at the American Filmatic Arts Awards, SPENT is a tale of greed, love, and most of all...rat poison.

Ruthless People meets Fargo in a delicious homage to ‘40s dark comedy about a wife and son that live it up while their miser-rat of a husband/father lies in a hospital bed--death by brain tumor imminent. It's all fun and games until he experiences a miraculous 4th of July recovery.

SPENT, featuring “a great story with good direction melded with the right cast and crew”*, opens December 15 in LA theaters and on VOD.