Our weekly look at the latest news and trailers from the world of film, featuring Star Wars news galore, Samuel L Jackson (without snakes) on a plane and 5 movies on TV to round off your week… It’s the Showreel!
Zoolander 2 Release Date
Finally, after years of rumours and maybes, Zoolander 2 has been green-lit for a February 12th 2016 US release. After a clever promotional appearance on the Valentino catwalk during the Paris Fashion Week extravaganza we were expecting an announcement soon, we were not disappointed. Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller will return as the really, really, really good-looking models with more heart than brains. Hopefully they can live up to the expectations from the fans that have been waiting for 14 years for the sequel. 14 years? Man I feel old. I am expecting big things from this with Stiller back in the directors chair and Tropic Thunder writer, Justin Theroux, working on the screenplay.
Burton to Direct Live-Action Dumbo
After Disney’s Alice in Wonderland re-imagining swept in over a cool billion dollars at the box office in 2010, it came as no surprise to see Tim Burton taking over as director once more for the animation goliaths. This time we will see Burton’s mix of CGI and live-action in the retelling of the elephant with extraordinarily large ears. Initially ridiculed by his fellow circus performers the story turns to one of wonderment when Dumbo uses those mammoth appendages to take to the skies. Truly a Disney favourite, I for one am apprehensive in messing with the delightful, heartfelt classic. With the screenplay in the hands of Ehren Kruger who penned the recent Transformers sequels, Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction, I can’t see the heart present needed to pull this off being. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Alice reboot and I don’t see any need for this; however I am sure it will bring the classic tale to many younger viewers that may not have seen the original and once again bring the big bucks home for Disney.
Mallrats 2 is in the Works
I am a huge Kevin Smith fan and it was Mallrats that pulled me into the wonderful world of the Viewaskewniverse, the world of Jay and Silent Bob. Early in the month Smith tweeted his shooting schedule through 2016 saying:
We shoot CLERKS III in May. HIT SOMEBODY shoots September to Christmas. Then in Feb 2016, we do MOOSE JAWS. But after that? I smell a rat…
It came shortly after that he was indeed talking of a Mallrats sequel, adding:
“I had a cool idea and a bunch of investors that were like, ‘Do it!’ so here we are, man”
Here’s the original’s trailer to get those nostalgic juices flowing:
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Star Wars: The News Awakens
There has been a surge of Star Wars related news as of late as the head honchos at Disney and Lucasfilm getting together for a press release. After JJ Abrams’ Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits the world’s screen, this coming December, Star Wars’ fans have but a year to wait for the first official franchise spin-off. Star Wars: Rogue One is scheduled for release on December 16th, 2016.
Rogue One already has some names attached to it also; Godzilla and Monsters director Gareth Edwards will be in the chair with Felicity Jones just announced as the lead. Jones was recently nominated for on Oscar for her role in The Theory of Everything alongside Eddie Redmayne. The screenplay is in the hands of another Oscar nominee, Chris Weitz. Weitz was nominated back in 2003 for his adaptation of Nick Hornby’s About a Boy.
If a year was too long to wait for Rogue One, don’t fret. Star Wars Episode VIII has also received its release date, a mere five months after the spin-off. Episode VIII will be helmed by the impressive Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper).
As The Force Awakens takes place in “real time”, 30 years after the events in Return of the Jedi, Lucasfilm Press and Disney World Wide Publishing are teaming up for an exciting new project. They are set to release no less than 20 books to bridge the gap and let us all know how Luke, Leia and Han Solo spent their last three decades. The books will cover all age groups and they have teased that they will be filled with Easter eggs; all the more reason for the fan boys to go mad for them.
Big Game Dir. Jalmari Helander
A young teenager camping in the woods helps rescue the President of the United States when Air Force One is shot down near his campsite.
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The Finns know how to have fun; this became evident when Helander released his feature debut, anti-Christmas caper Rare Exports in 2010. Helander now brings us Samuel L Jackson as the US President whose only hope for survival in the Finnish forests is a young kid with his Scandinavian wits. This film looks like great fun, with an impressive cast to boot and the reviews are promising. Released last year for the Toronto Film Festival, Big Game has received positive feedback and with a May release date here I am looking forward to a proper popcorn movie experience.
It won’t set the world alight or even break boundaries in terms of genre but hopefully it will put Helander in the spotlight and even introduce his brilliant debut to new fans.
Alongside Jackson is young talent Onni Tommila, who also features in Rare Exports under the eye of Helander, and Ray Stevenson who impressed in the BBC/HBO series Rome as Titus Pullo.
Self/Less Dir. Tarsem Singh
An extremely wealthy man, dying from cancer, undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. But all is not as it seems
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Tarsem picked himself up after the disappointment of The Cell staring J-Lo and made a beautiful blend of fantasy and drama in The Fall. He has since fallen on old ways and his last two outings have proved to be, yet again, critical disappointments (Immortals, Mirror Mirror); can he remedy this with his latest project?
Self/Less stars Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Sexy Beast) as a dying man running out of options and desperate to keep his life and legacy alive, even when his body is giving up. In true sci-fi thriller tradition they decide to take his conscious and place it in a younger body, that body happens to be the one belonging to Ryan Reynolds (or at least his character).
The obvious montage of ‘old man in young man’s body’ ensues and then the twists and turns begin. I am unfamiliar with the work of the sibling writing team of David and Alex Pastor (Carriers, The Last Days) who have a lot of work on their hands as this film will need some seriously good dialogue and a few unexpected twists to keep the audience’s interest up. It all seems a little too obvious from the trailer itself.
Only time will tell if Tarsem can claim past glories and put a fresh turn on the tired swapped brain storyline.
So What Films Are On TV This Week?
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) – Film4 – Thursday 19th March 3.50pm
A dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that allowed it to happen.
A big budget adaptation of what led to the devastating attacks on Pearl Harbour, Tora is a remarkable film in the fact it is told from two sides. The film’s directors, Richard Fleischer and Kinji Fukasaku, tell the story from both the American and Japanese perspectives and deliver some great action and fighting scenes. One for all ages and as important as ever, this film will engage you throughout.
Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (1997) – ITV2 – Friday 20th March 9.00pm
Two dense, inseparable friends hit the road for their 10-year high school reunion and concoct an elaborate lie about their lives in order to impress their classmates.
Definitely one of those guilty pleasures, this comedy is, not to sound sexist, Dumb and Dumber for girls. It’s not as bonkers as Dumb and Dumber but it is truly silly, fun and full of laughs. I haven’t seen it in years – I am now, as I type, hoping that it’s not one of those films that I found funny when I was younger and now feel stupid for recommending it. Either way I’ll be watching it, so join me in checking if Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino still have what it takes.
The Elephant Man (1980) – ITV3 – Friday 20th March 12.30 am
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a sideshow freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
Nominated for eight Oscars, David Lynch’s dark biopic is one worth staying in for on Friday night. Starring Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt, The Elephant Man is crammed with heart and will have you nearing for the Kleenex. Based on a true story of a man born with a horrendous disfigurement we are thrown into a world where those who are not normal are outcast and we cheer for Hurt’s portrayal of Merrick as he proclaims “I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!”
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009) – RTE One – Saturday 21st March 6.35pm
The most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the beloved children’s book, the film focuses on a town where food falls from the sky like rain.
An animation for all the family to ease your way into Saturday night, Cloudy brings us into the world of Flint Lockwood, a young ambitious inventor. As Flint tries to find his place in the science world his town becomes the centre of a fantastical event. But not everything goes as planned and his food producing weather machine becomes the cause of concern for the townspeople.
Edward Scissorhands (1990) – Film4 – Sunday 22nd March 4.50pm
An uncommonly gentle young man, who happens to have scissors for hands, falls in love with a beautiful girl.
As with the rest of Tim Burton’s back catalogue Edward Scissorhands is a fantasy that is filled with quirky humour, beautifully gloomy sets and plenty of heart and sensitivity. Johnny Depp has donned the cap of many leads in his career however his portrayal of the outcast Edward is my favourite of his characters. The film is perfect viewing for a Christmas binge, a Halloween marathon or a lazy Sunday evening in March so get the family together and become enchanted by the mix of surreal horror and mundane suburbia that falls tenderly between the realms of fantasy, coming of age and love story genres.
Featured Image Credit: Taratur