Cannes 2016: Steven Spielberg's 'The BFG' Lacks Any Magic or a Story

The BFG Review

Not even snozzcumbers can fix this film. Why did it feel so bland and so pointless? It's hard to make sense of it. Steven Spielberg's latest film, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic book The BFG, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Oddly, it seems very out of place here. It's definitely a kids movie, to a fault, as it's the kind of kids movie that you can't really enjoy unless you're younger than 16 years old. And that's not the case for most kids movies (see: Pixar). Spielberg does his best to bring stunning visuals and great performances to the film, but it lacks that magic touch of his previous work, and seriously lacks an actual story. There's a young girl, a friendly giant, lots of snozzcumbers, the Queen of England, but not much else.

 Posted May 17 in Cannes 16, Review | Comments

Impressive CGI Featurette from ILM for Duncan Jones' 'Warcraft' Movie

Warcraft Featurette

"Yes, we can pull these orcs off." Universal has released a new featurette profiling the work VFX studio ILM did on Duncan Jones' Warcraft movie, which is mostly CGI considering the Orcs are humans performing on set with motion capture rigs. ILM says their facial capture technology for this movie is groundbreaking, and pushes the boundaries of filmmaking beyond what we've seen with Avatar and the recent Planet of the Apes movies. A couple of movie websites recently visited ILM to see first hand what they're doing, but for everyone else, there's now a video featurette out that shows and discusses some of this technology. It's very impressive to see how much they're really challenging themselves with this movie, and I'm excited to see it. As I've been saying all along - seeing the final fully rendered version of this movie is going to look incredible.

 Posted May 17 in Featurette, Hype, To Watch | Comments

Watch: First Trailer for Brady Corbet's Film 'The Childhood of a Leader'

The Childhood of a Leader Trailer

"Witness the birth of a terrifying ego." The first trailer has debuted for a film called The Childhood of a Leader, which is the feature directing debut of the talented actor Brady Corbet, who has appeared in a number of excellent indie films over the last decade. Loosely inspired by the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre and Margaret MacMillan, the film tells a coming-of-age story of a young French choirboy whose father is a diplomat assisting President Woodrow Wilson in the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Tom Sweet plays the boy, and the cast includes Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Yolande Moreau and Robert Pattinson. This certainly does look like something we've never seen before. Take a look below.

 Posted May 16 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Cannes 2016: Jeff Nichols' Lovely, Tender 'Loving' Touches the Heart

Loving Review

This is the story of the Lovings, Richard and Mildred Loving. This isn't the story of how they met and fell in love, but this is the true story of how they changed America forever by staying true to their love. Loving is the latest film from the immensely talented filmmaker Jeff Nichols, who also made the film Midnight Special released this year, too. Joel Edgerton stars as Richard Loving, a mumbling hard-working family man, and Ruth Negga plays his wife Mildred, a soft spoken and resilient woman. The two were married in the 1950s and lived in Virginia, and at the time were arrested for simply being an interracial married couple. Their appeal eventually made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where they rejected this racism and won.

 Posted May 16 in Cannes 16, Review | Comments

Production Announcement Teaser for Danny Boyle's 'Trainspotting 2'

Trainspotting 2 Teaser

"Choose life. Choose hope. Choose faith." Production is underway now. And this is good news for fans of the original Trainspotting who have been waiting years and years and years for this sequel. Sony Pictures UK has released a short announcement teaser for Danny Boyle's T2, the sequel to Trainspotting (from 1996), and it doesn't feature any footage from the sequel because they're just starting shooting now. It's made up entirely of footage from the first movie and designed to get people excited about the fact that this one is now happening. The four main guys are back: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle. Even though it doesn't show much, give it a look and get ready for more drugs and rock.

 Posted May 16 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Cannes 2016: Jim Jarmusch's 'Paterson' is Sublime, Poetic Perfection

Jim Jarmusch's Paterson

I'm floating. I'm so in love with this film. I'm just going to say it - Paterson is a perfect film. There isn't a single thing I would change. Every scene, every moment, every line - it's perfection. Paterson is the latest film from Jim Jarmusch, a veteran filmmaker who has spent many years making all kinds of different films. This time he tells a very personal story of a poet, played by Adam Driver, who is actually a humble bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey. The name and location is significant because a couple of legendary poets also spent time in Paterson. The film reminded me of Inside Llewyn Davis (Cannes 2013), about the way great talent often stays hidden, yet if that film was near perfect - this one is its totally perfect counterpart.

 Posted May 15 in Cannes 16, Review | Comments

Cannes 2016: Andrea Arnold's 'American Honey' is Wild Yet Moving

Andrea Arnold's American Honey

What a film. It's not often that a film running a lengthy 2 hours and 42 minutes is easy to sit through, but in this case I'm happy to report I was caught up in this story all the way to the end. American Honey is the latest feature from British filmmaker Andrea Arnold (of Fish Tank, Red Road previously). This time she heads to America to profile a group of wild, carefree youngsters selling magazines while driving around the mid-west in a van. As boring as that might sound, it's actually an incredible look at the life of these kids and it exquisitely captures a side of Americana that we rarely see shown in this way. This way meaning - shown in a positive light, shown in a way where even though their lifestyle is pretty shitty (they often steal and live together in motel rooms), they seem to be living that glorious life that many are seeking but can't truly find.

 Posted May 15 in Cannes 16, Review | Comments

Watch: Third Trailer for Steven Spielberg's New Kids Movie 'The BFG'

The BFG Trailer

"Hold your breath. Cross your fingers. Here we go!" Disney has unveiled another new full-length trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG - meaning The Big Friendly Giant. The film just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, which is why this trailer is being released now to help build buzz. Ruby Barnhill plays Sophie, a young girl who befriends a giant that takes her on an adventure, eventually meeting the Queen of England. Mark Rylance voices and gives a motion capture performance as the BFG, with the cast including Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Rafe Spall and Penelope Wilton. This is definitely a kids movie and the kind of amusing entertainment you can take the whole family to see.

 Posted May 15 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Trailer for Possessed Thriller 'Incarnate' Starring Aaron Eckhart

Incarnate Trailer

"Possession is a disease." Universal has debuted a trailer for the new possession horror-thriller Incarnate, directed by Brad Peyton, the same filmmaker who last made the epic disaster movie San Andreas. Aaron Eckhart stars as a scientist out to prove that possession is a disease, and he is introduced to a young boy more powerfully possessed than he's ever encountered. The cast includes Carice Van Houten, Catalina Sandino Moreno, David Mazouz, Keir O’Donnell, Matt Nable and John Pirruccello. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm a bit tired of possession thrillers, there's been so many recently. Have a look.

 Posted May 15 in Horror, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

See the First Trailer for Studio Ghibli-Produced Film 'The Red Turtle'

The Red Turtle Trailer

My goodness this looks absolutely wonderful. Studio Ghibli has unveiled a trailer for the animated movie The Red Turtle, which they collaborated on during the storyboard and development phase (animation was finished mostly in France). Directed by Dutch filmmaker Michael Dudok de Wit, the animated movie is entirely dialogue free and tells the story of a man stuck on a desert island who encounters a mysterious red turtle that always thwarts his attempts to leave. This trailer shows quite a bit, but not too much, as this is the kind of film you should save for seeing in theaters when it's released. The Red Turtle premieres at the Cannes Film Festival and I'll be seeing the very first showing. Catch this trailer in the meantime. Have fun.

 Posted May 13 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailer for Ira Sachs' New Film 'Little Men' with Greg Kinnear

Little Men Trailer

"Our parents are involved in a business matter…" Magnolia Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for Ira Sachs' Little Men, a film about two boys growing up in New York City. I was a huge fan of Ira Sachs' previous film, Love is Strange, and while I didn't love this one as much as that film - I still suggest seeing it. Greg Kinnear stars as the father of one of the two boys, who are played by Michael Barbieri and Theo Taplitz; the full cast also features Jennifer Ehle, Alfred Molina, Talia Balsam and Paulina Garcia. This is a rather wonderful trailer that really does a great job of setting up the story and hopefully grabbing the attention of a few curious cinephiles. But then again, it's worth watching any of Ira Sachs' films. Enjoy.

 Posted May 13 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Watch: First Trailer for Fede Alvarez's New Horror Film 'Don't Breathe'

Don't Breathe Trailer

This looks freaky. Sony has debuted a trailer for the horror Don't Breathe, the latest from Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez, who directed the recent Evil Dead remake. Three teens decide to break into a blind man's home and steal his money, but end up discovering he's a deranged madman who doesn't need his sight to gruesomely take them out. The cast features Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang as the badass blind dude who isn't going to let some kids screw him. If I end up seeing this, I think I'm going to be rooting for Stephen Lang over the three kids. Maybe that's the point? Take a look.

 Posted May 13 in Horror, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Must Watch: New Trailer for Cianfrance's 'The Light Between Oceans'

The Light Between Oceans Trailer

"She needs us! We're not doing anything wrong…" Disney/DreamWorks have debuted another new trailer for Derek Cianfrance's The Light Between Oceans, the latest film from Cianfrance based on the book of the same name. The film stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander as a couple living on an island off the coast of Australia that raise a young child as their own after it washes up on shore one day. The cast includes Rachel Weisz, Emily Barclay, Anthony Hayes and Leon Ford. I totally adore the first trailer for this film, sometimes just watching it on repeat randomly during the day, and this new trailer is just as wonderful. I love the music and the emotions are so strong it's hard not to be pulled in by this. Cannot wait.

 Posted May 13 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Cannes 2016: Mohamed Diab's 'Clash' is Superb Confined Filmmaking

Cannes 2016 - Clash

The opening film in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival is an intense, riveting feature called Clash (also known as Eshtebak in Egyptian) and it's outstanding. Clash is set entirely inside the back of a police paddywagon in Egypt in 2013, during the second half of their revolution. It begins when two journalists are grabbed during protests, their cameras and IDs confiscated, and thrown into the back of this truck. The impressive handheld camerawork often focuses on all the action outside as much as what's happening inside. While the entire film is confined to this one location, it feels like director Mohamed Diab is showing so much more of the Egyptian revolution, and we get to learn more as more detainees are added.

 Posted May 13 in Cannes 16, Review | Comments

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