Our weekly look at the latest news and trailers from the world of film, featuring a gunman, some walking, and the Wrath of God. It’s The Showreel…
Festival de Cannes name their Jury President(s)
It truly is non-stop in the world of cinema this time of the year. The Sundance Film Festival starts off this week and its Berlin counterpart is just a few weeks away. The prestigious Cannes International Film Festival, which kicks off in May, has just announced their jury’s presidents. For the first time the chair will be held in tandem by two people, Joel and Ethan Coen.
In the past the honour of Jury President has been held by cinematic legends such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, Robert De Niro and Steven Spielberg.
The sibling tour-de–force, who have been at the helm of modern classics such as The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading and No Country for Old Men, are no strangers to the Cannes crowd. The pair picked up the Palme d’Or for Barton Fink, Best Director for Fargo and The Man Who Wasn’t There, as well as the Grand Jury Prize for Inside Llewyn Davis. This year however they will be in charge of dishing the honours out.
Marvel’s Agent Carter Airs in USA
This month has seen the TV release of a new Marvel series, Agent Carter. We were introduced to Agent Peggy Carter as Captain America’s love interest in his first outing Captain America: The First Avenger. Portrayed by Hayley Atwell, we caught up with an aged Carter in The Winter Soldier and in the throwback Marvel One-Shot that shares the name with the new series.
Atwell also appeared in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD during their time-spanning story arc featured in the last season. Agent Carter’s very own series was announced last year and takes over the Agents of SHEILD spot on America’s ABC channel as the popular show takes its mid-season break.
Channel 4, who have the rights in the UK for Agents of SHIELD, have recently said that they do not “have any current plans for Agent Carter.” This is disappointing, however, if the series does well over the pond I am sure it will eventually get picked up.
The series opener and subsequent episodes have received very positive reviews on both Rotten Tomatoes (97% approval rating) and Metacritic (74% favorable reviews).
Seth Rogen has a go at Eastwood’s American Sniper
After the recent hoopla over The Interview, Seth Rogen is yet again in the headlines this week as he speaks his mind on Twitter. Rogen tweeted the following; “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.”
The movie in question is the film-within-a-film during Tarantino’s brilliant Inglorious Basterds. It is a propaganda movie made by the Nazis called Nation’s Pride, during which it tells the story of the most prolific Nazi sniper. In all honesty I can see the similarities – Superman saw it a little different.
Dean Cain AKA Superman from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman had this to say: “Seth…I like your films, but right now, I wanna kick your ass. Chris is an American Hero. Period. Go to war. Then we’ll talk.”
When Superman starts threating to kick your ass you are definitely stirring the pot, although Rogen reiterated the fact that he was not comparing the two movies. Seth responded to the backlash: “I wasn’t comparing the two. Big difference between comparing and reminding. Apples remind me of oranges. Can’t compare them, though.”
The division of opinion will become more and more apparent as we lead up to the Oscars, where Bradley Cooper has been nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of THE American sniper, Chris Kyle. Just imagine if he wins….
The Gunman (2015) Dir. Pierre Morel
An international spy must clear his name in order to save himself from the organization that he used to work for.
[youtube id=”Ug9xufczPVE” align=”center” autoplay=”no” maxwidth=”550"]
Sean Penn is a three-time Oscar nominee and two-time recipient of the Best Actor Oscar (Mystic River in 2004 and Milk in 2009); now he is doing a movie with Taken director Pierre Morel.
Now, as I have already stated in a previous Showreel, I am not a fan of the farcical Taken series. This film does not seem miles away from the aforementioned Taken. Penn plays a spy who must survive a tirade of attempts on his life as his secret organization employers try to clean house after years of covert missions.
What may take this Morel feature away from his previous Taken expedition is the stellar cast and that it is based on the Jean-Patrick Manchette novel ‘La Position du Tireur Couché’ (‘The Prone Gunman / Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot’). I hope that the fact it is based on a novel, may give the plot a little more depth; something Taken really lacked.
The cast is very impressive; Penn is obviously great and has given powerhouse performances in the past. Penn is joined by the strong-jawed Ray Winstone, Oscar winner Javier Bardem and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba. I would like to think that not all of these prolific acting powers would simply jump on board a money train so I can only assume that the story itself holds its own.
After he unleashed Taken on us, in 2008, Morel went on to direct the lacklustre From Paris with Love in 2010; five years on I hope he has thought long and hard about what he done and intends on proving me (and many) wrong with a great action thriller.
The Walk (2015) Dir. Robert Zemeckis
The story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s attempt to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.
[y[youtube id=”rBicCZG4vg0" align=”center” autoplay=”no” maxwidth=”550"]p>
In 2008 James Marsh, director of The Theory of Everything (nominated for this year’s Best Film Oscar), brought us into the world of Philippe Petit and his team’s attempt to execute the greatest high-wire walk of all time. Man on Wire is a beautifully told story of a magical event in the 70s and the Academy awarded Marsh an Oscar for this fantastic documentary.
Robert Zemeckis has brought us the brilliant Back to the Future trilogy, multi-Oscar winner Forest Gump and, most recently, the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated Flight, starring Denzel Washington.
Zemeckis has always pushed the bar when it comes to visual effects and this new venture, a 3D adaptation of Philippe Petit’s walk among the clouds, will surely be a sensory success. Although I am not a fan of 3D (or heights) I will probably still hit the IMAX this October to delve into the world of the daring and as the trailer suggests, it will be a spectacle to behold.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt will portray Petit and will be backed up by the fantastic Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale (of the short lived but great Rubicon) and Ben Schwartz (TV’s House of Lies and This is Where I Leave You).
So What Films Are On TV This Week?
Peter Morris takes us through a few films on your TVs this week:
Hanna (2011) – RTE 1 – Wednesday 21st 9.30pm
A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.
Our very own Saoirse Ronan takes the lead in this action packed, if somewhat serious, action thriller. Joe Wright (Atonement) directs with Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett supporting, but it is Ronan who lights up the screen with her violent but sheltered teenage assassin.
Headhunters (2011) – BBC 4 – Thursday 22nd 9.30pm
An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.
A film that is both brutally violent and brutally funny and follows a continuing trend of brilliant thriller/dramas based on Scandinavian sources. Aksel Hennie plays the sophisticated thief while Games of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau oozes charm and menace as his threatening nemesis.
Killing Them Softly (2012) – Film 4 – Friday 23rd 11.40pm
Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse.
This film was ridiculed (by some Americans) for being pointedly anti-American in its dealings with how the American dream is now a violent rat race, and far removed from the sentimental views many have of success. Either way it is a truly essential watch with Brad Pitt leading a stellar cast which includes the late James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Scoot McNairy and the fantastic Ben Mendelsohn who steals the show. Directed by the wonderful Andrew Dominik who previously brought you Chopper and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
I Am Legend (2007) – ITV 2 – Saturday 24th 10.05pm
Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.
While the biggest failing of this film is the special effects used on the plague vampire / zombie dudes, it is worth a re-watch even just for getting that essence of source material, the wonderful I Am Legend by sci-fi hero author Richard Matheson. While die-hards of the original novel will dislike many of the changes issued by director Francis Lawrence, it is still watchable science fiction.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) – Film 4 – Sunday 25th 11.15pm
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.
Werner Herzog’s masterpiece of madness and obsession has become legend in terms of film making folklore. Lead actor, and all round volatility machine, Klaus Kinski plays a conquistador who leads a group in search of fortune amongst the jungles of South America. Herzog and Kinski made a number of films together over the years and their relationship was tempestous to say the least. Both show their mesmerising skills here though.