Movie Review – 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

13-Hours-The-Secret-Soldiers-Of-Benghazi-Review-Logo

Director :   Michael Bay
Year Of Release :  2016
Principal Cast :  James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Dominic Fumusa, Pablo Schreiber, Matt Letscher, Toby Stephens, Alexa Barlier, Freddie Stroma, David Costabile.
Approx Running Time :  144 Minutes
Synopsis:   As an American ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya, a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.

*****

Cha-click.

While the name Benghazi may not mean that much to the vast majority of people outside of the United States, to those within it’s essentially the mother of all US political clusterf@cks. The [spoiler] death of a US Ambassador on the shores of Libya, an apparent botched rescue mission by military forces, and the subsequent political fallout has clouded much of President Barack Obama’s second term in office, not to mention those within his administration perceived by some as having either covered up, or even orchestrated the real-world events depicted in Michael Bay’s latest action film. Given its controversial nature, one could mount a reasonable argument as to why Michael Bay probably isn’t the right guy to present an even-handed account of the events of September 11, 2012. Conversely, one might also mount a compelling augment to suggest he is, given its explosive two-thirds finale is right up the man’s wheelhouse. Either way, he did film it, and in spite of slim pickings throughout the script, Bay’s restraint in the bombastic action sequences give things a slick, polished tension that mitigates more than a few of the flaws.

Continue reading…

Strings and Horns: How John Williams Could Have Helped The DCEU

Strings-And-Horns-OpEd-Logo

There’s no denying it: John Williams is one of the greatest composers who ever lived. The fact that he’s created more memorable movie tunes than almost anyone else alive or dead is testament to his power as a creator of thematic material, something I believe missing from many of today’s blockbuster releases. Among his many graceful motifs, one of the most enduring is his themes for Richard Donner’s 1978 film, Superman, the first big-screen, big-budget extravaganza that swept audiences away with the adventures of the Man Of Steel. The theme, reused for no fewer than four sequels (including Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, albeit seconded by composer-in-residence John Ottman, who reworked many of Williams’ iconic elements into the new film) has become as synonymous with the character as the big S or Lex Luthor.

Continue reading…

Movie Review – Fantastic Voyage (1966)

Fantastic-Voyage-1966-Review-Logo

Director :   Richard Fleischer
Year Of Release :   1966
Principal Cast :   Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Edmond O’Brien, Donald Pleasence, Arthur O’Connell, William Redfield, Arthur Kennedy, Jean Del Val.
Approx Running Time :   100 Minutes
Synopsis:  A scientist is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.

*****

Inna-space.

Deadpan serious, fancifully “accurate” sci-fi venture into innerspace – inside a man’s body thanks to the advance of miniaturisation – Fantastic Voyage can’t overcome a wooden directorial style in spite of lavish visual effects and a solid cast. The plot seems fairly simple: shrink a team of doctors and associates to microscopic size (with a convenient 1-hour limit) and inject them into the body of a nearly-dead Cold War informant with information on controlling said miniaturisation, in order to save his life. The execution feels almost awestruck by its own importance, conveyed via the pompous intonations of one of the shrunken vessel’s crew, Dr Duval (Arthur Kennedy), while star Stephen Boyd (Messala in Ben Hur) conveys the audience’s ignorance and bespoke anatomical knowledge with panache, even with the film stuck rigidly in its mid-60’s mindscape. As archetypal as these “military” adventures might seem, there’s still a lot to enjoy about Fantastic Voyage, in spite of its age.

Continue reading…

Movie Review – High-Rise

High-Rise-Review-Logo

Director :  Ben Wheatley
Year Of Release :   2015
Principal Cast :  Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes, Augustus Prew, Peter Ferdinando, Reece Shearsmith, Sienna Guillory.
Approx Running Time :   119 Minutes
Synopsis:  Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

*****

Fascinating, weird, demonstratively impenetrable: Ben Wheatley’s film version of JG Ballard’s classic novel of the same name is both densely packed with subtext and layered with opaque commentary, so much so that it’s the kind of film many will despise and more than a few will need to revisit again and again. While I’ve never read the book on which High-Rise is based, something tells me it’s one of those balmy dystopian types that worms itself deep within one’s brain stem and outright refuses to leave. A little like this film. High-Rise is a film I petition to be this year’s Ex Machina – a quietly menacing story delivering several quick gut-punches as it slides along a journey of vast hypnotism, it lingers well after the closing credits have rolled, in spite of your reticence it’ll leave a lasting impact.

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Suicide Squad Comic-Con Trailer

Suicide-Squad-Comicon206-Trailer-Trash-Logo

As the buildup to Suicide Squad intensifies (the film drops in only a few short weeks), the audience at Hall H at this year’s Comic-Con were treated to a special new trailer for the film – and now, so are you dear reader. If you’re not across this film yet, then shame on you, because it promises to deliver the sadistic fun and evil insanity missing from Batman V Superman. Click the jump to launch into it!

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them

Fantastic-Beasts-Trailer-Trash-SDCC2016-Logo

We’ve already seen a Fantastic Beasts trailer this year, but the one dropped over the weekend at the SDCC was longer, more detailed, and brought a new light to the world of Harry Potter. Basically, what would happen if magic and wizards got out into the Muggle world? That’s what this film attempts to answer – set in what appears to be early 1900’s London and New York, Fantastic Beasts sees audiences return to the Harry Potter universe thanks to JK Rowling and the money-hungry people at Warner Bros. Trailer after the jump!

Continue reading…

Shattered Dreams – The Long Expected Death of The YA Genre

Shattered-Dreams-OpEd-Logo

If you’re a serious film fan you’ll have noticed during the week the announcement by Lionsgate, the studio behind the Young Adult franchise Divergent, that the fifth and final film in the saga, Ascendant, would skip the planned 2017 cinematic release and become either a television movie/series, or at best a Direct-To-DVD release. Keep in mind, the first film in the Divergent series raked in nearly $300m in US box office off the back of an $85m budget, not bad for a film series in which nobody actually knows what the hell is going on. Embarrassingly for Lionsgate, the dwindling interest in the Divergent franchise, and its subsequent stumble into the less prestigious arena of television (hah), indicates a malaise not just with that series of films but the Young Adult genre overall.

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – The Flash Season 3 First Look!!

The-Flash-Season-3-SDCC-Trailer-Trash-Logo

One of my favourite television shows going around would have to be The CW’s The Flash (sister show to Arrow and soon-t-join-the-ranks Supergirl). Grant Gustin plays the title character, Barry Allen aka The Flash, and the third season looks set to emulate the seminal comic book storyline Flashpoint. Check out the brand spankin’ trailer after the jump!

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

King-Arthur-Legend-Of-The-Sword-SDCC-Trailer-Trash-logo

I’m not entirely sure what to expect from this. Another King Arthur flick, this time directed by flamboyantly histrionic Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) and starring Charlie Hunnam and half the cast of Game Of Thrones, as well as a bunch of amazing visual effects, Legend Of The Sword looks entirely awesome and stupid all at once. Check out the slam-bang trailer after the jump, and hold on tight.

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Doctor Strange (Trailer #2)

Doctor-Strange-Trailer-Trash-SDCC-Logo

One of the most anticipated films remaining this year is no doubt Star Wars Rogue One. The other most anticipated is undoubtedly Marvel’s next feature film (after this year’s Civil War), Doctor Strange. Starring Benedictine Cumberbumblesnatcher and the luminous Tilda Swinton, Doctor Strange starts us off in our journey into Marvel’s supernatural magical realms. Marvel also revealed the film’s official poster, so you can check out both new SDCC trailer and poster after the jump!

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Blair Witch

Blair-Witch-Traiiler-Trash-Logo

Remember a few years back a little film came out that scared the bejeebers out of an entire generation of cinemagoers? It was called The Blair Witch Project, and it became an international phenomenon, inspiring countless parodies, imitators and clones, spurring the “found footage” genre to greatness (and dire schlock, if we’re honest) and becoming a sub-genre all to itself. The years have not been kind to the found footage genre, but this new take on the premise, Blair Witch (formerly titled The Woods until its recent reveal to be a secret Blair Witch sequel similar to 10 Cloverfield Lane’s sudden arrival as a Cloverfield sequel) is touted as a return to form for a style of filmmaking that has largely jumped the shark. Time will tell: at least the trailer looks creepy, although tapping in to the original film’s most terrifying elements seems to indicate it’s going to use our memory of that film to make this film more frightening, rather than try something new.

I hope I’m wrong. The trailer for Blair Witch arrives after the jump!

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Kong: Skull Island

Kong-Skull-Island-Trailer-Trash-Logo

If you were more than impressed with Gareth Edwards’ take on Godzilla, you’ll be exceptionally happy with this new King Kong flick, Skull Island, which depicts the great ape not as a slightly larger version of the primates we know and love in zoos and jungles, but as a towering behemoth of similar size to Godzilla’s gargantuan bulk. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Toby Kebbel and a svelte John Goodman, Kong: Skull Island looks to continue the trend of gigantic animals tearing up the big screen with all the might digital CG can muster. Check out the poster and the trailer after the jump!

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – The Lego Batman Movie

Lego-batman-Movie-Trailer-Trash-SDCC-Logo

One of the big hits out of The Lego Movie wasn’t the instantly catchy song, but Will Arnett’s on-point vocal delivery of Lego Batman. Now, due to popular demand, they’ve made a whole film out of the character. And here’s the trailer.

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Justice League

Justice-League-Trailer-Trash-ComicCon-Logo

Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman!!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Okay, if you’re a fan of what Warner Bros are cooking up for their shared DC Universe of films, you’ll know that Batman V Superman (and next year’s Wonder Woman) are merely the precursor to the on-screen arrival of live-action Justice League – Batman, Superman (hopefully resurrected from his death at the hands of Doomsday in BVS), Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg all team up to combat the alien arrival of Steppenwolf (if you haven’t watched the BVS Ultimate Cut you’re missing some vital information), in Zack Snyder’s third film in this franchise. While no new poster has been sighted, the logo arrived a week or so ago and now we get an extended trailer of sorts for the film from SDCC. Check it out after the jump!

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Wonder Woman

Wonder-Woman-Trailer-Trash-Logo

Needing almost no explanation considering her awesome (brief) appearance in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice comes our first real look at 2017’s Wonder Woman, the first big-screen depiction of everyone’s favourite Amazonian. The hype for this was muted initially (at least from what I saw online) but following Diana’s appearance in BvS the interest in a solo film skyrocketed overnight. Patty Jenkins’ direction looks solid, although the plot isn’t revealed much in this trailer, which debuted at SDDC this year. Anyway, you can check out the new poster and the trailer after the jump! Get amongst it!!

Continue reading…

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Most Incredible Characters

DiCaprio_1

Last fall we learned that Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese would be teaming up once again to create a film that will no doubt be the talk of Hollywood when it’s finally released. This time around it’s Devil In The White City, an adaptation of Erik Larson’s novel about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the infamous serial killer who plagued it. DiCaprio will reportedly be assuming the role of Dr. H. H. Holmes (the serial killer) in what could be one of his most fascinating character projects yet.

Most agree by this point that DiCaprio is among the more talented and accomplished actors in Hollywood, and it’s probably both a cause and a result of this that’s led him to play an amazing array of characters over the years. Those who have read Larson’s work will be expecting a villain for the ages when this next film surfaces, but in the meantime let’s take a look back. Not necessarily at Leo’s best performances, but at the most amazing people he’s played when he’s delved into history and literature.

Continue reading…

Movie Review – Gods Of Egypt

Gods-Of-Egypt-Review-Logo

Director : Alex Proyas
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Chadwick Boseman, Elodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell, Geoffrey Rush, Bryan Brown, Rachael Blake, Emma Booth, Alexander England.
Approx Running Time :   127 Minutes
Synopsis:   Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.

****

Charting the rise and fall of Australian director Alex Proyas is to inflict hurt upon oneself. For a film-making talent as creative as Proyas to have stumbled into Gods Of Egypt is a dark stain upon a filmography that, to this point, had at least been intellectually daring even if not entirely entertaining. Stamping his style on mid-90’s cult classic The Crow, and following that up with probably his best film, Dark City, Proyas’ oeuvre since has slowly dwindled in anticipatory mediocrity; Garage Days was excellent but hardly seen, I Robot was well viewed but largely generic, and Knowing was a massive creative vacuum from which very few escaped unscathed. So we come to Gods Of Egypt, a sprawling adventure epic set in a fantasy-world Ancient Egypt, filmed in Australia, starring a few well known faces but hardly any well known names.

Continue reading…

Movie Review – Huntsman, The: Winter’s War

The-Huntsman-Winters-War-Review-Logo-v2

Director :   Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Year Of Release :  2016
Principal Cast :  Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Nick Frost, Sam Clafin, Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach, Sheridan Smith, Colin Morgan, Sope Dirisu.
Approx Running Time :   117 Minutes
Synopsis:  Eric and fellow warrior Sara, raised as members of ice Queen Freya’s army, try to conceal their forbidden love as they fight to survive the wicked intentions of both Freya and her sister Ravenna.

******

Finally, the sequel/prequel we’ve all waited years to see…. Okay, so nobody actually asked for The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the follow-up film to original marriage-wrecking box-office mediocrity Snow White & The Huntsman, but we’ve got one anyway. Sans Kristen Stewart, who’s too busy resurrecting her career following the fallout from her dalliance with director Rupert Sanders, and now upgrading previous 2nd Unit Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan to the Big Chair, The Huntsman sees returning star Chris Hemsworth and chief villainess Charlize Theron now accompanied by Emily Blunt and and elfin Jessica Chastain, although even with this heavyweight Hollywood A-list talent the film caves in upon itself in a genuinely wasteful example of style over very little substance.

Continue reading…

Trailer Trash! – Star Wars: Rogue One **Poster & Sizzle Reel!!**

Rogue-One-Trailer-2-Trash-Logo

Hi folks! What a busy day it’s been here at Fernby Films. Tough being up all night scouring the winterwebs for new Star Wars news. Before we get to the videos you’re here to see, here’s the official first poster for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which dropped at Star Wars Celebration a few hours ago.

Continue reading…