Trailer Trash! – Life (Trailer #3)

Gravity meets Aliens, I guess. Life, directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Child 44) features Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson as scientists who discover a new form of extraterrestrial life. Then things get really messed up.

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Movie Review – Accountant, The

Director :  Gavin O’Connor
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, JK Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow, Jean Smart, Andy Umberger, Alison Wright.
Approx Running Time :  128 Minutes
Synopsis:   As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

*****

One part assassin thriller, another part procedural crime drama, and one-third Ben Affleck doing his best Autism performance, The Accountant finely balances the pulp leanings of its bloody underworld setting and the potential for cringe-worthy apologist parody to produce an unsettling, slow-burn chess-piece of well-honed cinematic revelation that may not entirely surprise, but will keep enthralled. Affleck wooden-acts his way through this occasionally violent piece involving his titular number-crunching book-cooker, but thanks to Gavin O’Connor’s deft direction and some canny supporting casting (notably JK Simmons, who brings everything to his nothing role of a Federal financial investigator), The Accountant’s driftwood pacing is attuned to the frisson of the plot’s inherent tension, and at no stage does this film pull its punches.

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Trailer Trash! – Beauty & The Beast (Trailer 2)

Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty & The Beast has landed its second trailer, showing us a few glimpses of some familiar characters (and of course, a familiar tune or two). Check it out after the jump!

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Trailer Trash! – Ghost In The Shell

The new Ghost In The Shell live-action film starring Scarlett Johansson is almost upon us, and the filmmakers have launched a new trailer in time for the Superbowl! Check it out after the jump!

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Trailer Trash! – Transformers: The Last Knight

The American Superbowl is upon us, which means for every film fan out there a slathering of new tentpole-film trailers will arrive over the next few days. Michael Bay has released the 30-second promo spot for his fifth Transformers movie, The Last Knight, set to drop this year. It teases a longer spot for Sunday (Monday Australian time) so we’ll update this post once that lands. In the meantime, here’s the explodey TV spot for the next battle of Bayhem! NOW UPDATED WITH FULL SUPERBOWL SPOT!!!

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Movie Review – Trolls

Director :   Mike Mitchell + Walt Dohrn
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  Voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, James Cordon, Gwen Stefani, Jeffrey Tambor, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Kunal Nayyar, Quevenzhane Wallis, John Cleese, GloZell, Walt Dohrn.
Approx Running Time :   93 Minutes
Synopsis:   After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

****

If, unlike me, you made it through the entirety of Trolls without getting a migraine, then all the power to you. Appropriating the beloved 60’s doll craze with an eye-watering colour palette and a blend of cringeworthy pop-song covers, this bizarre mix of fantasy, adventure and hysterically inane character development is like swallowing a spoonful of sugar mixed with a half-cup of popping candy and an entire packet of Fizz Whizz. Aimed squarely at the juvenile brigade of children too young to remember this concept at its zenith, who will no doubt have to Google what the hell it’s all about, Trolls‘ colour-coordinated, auto-tuned narrative and blisteringly obtuse comedic stylings, to say nothing of a wasted top-tier voice cast, will delight those under 10 but aggravate the hell out of any adult within earshot.

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Movie Review – Moana

Director :  Ron Clements + John Musker
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  Voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Nichole Scherzinger, Jemaine Clement, Alan Tudyk, Oscar Knightley.
Approx Running Time :  107 Minutes
Synopsis:   In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the demigod to set things right.

******

The historic Disney formula returns with a vengeance in its 2016 digital offering, Moana, a Polynesian-based fable of magic, mysticism and a demi-god with the voice of The Rock. Espousing the checklist of Disney ethical and moral compass points, including a feisty daughter at odds with her well-meaning father (“He doesn’t get me!” she cries at one point) and an assorted grab-bag of animal sidekicks (chief among them an insane and stupid chicken), as well as multiple soaring musical numbers thanks to a cohort of Disney alum as well as Broadway’s current “it”-guy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Moana absolutely runs the gamut of typical studio storyboarding and does very little to separate itself from previous films in the canon – only, Moana is a blast of animated fun that deserves your time. Yep, as much as it offer nearly nothing new other than a fresh coat of paint, Moana’s free-spirited antics and dynamite animation style will enthral audiences of any age – adults included.

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Movie Review – Conjuring 2, The

Director :  James Wan
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, Lauren Esposito, Benjamin Haigh, Patrick McAuley, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Simon Delaney, Sterling Jerins.
Approx Running Time :   133 Minutes
Synopsis:  Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by a malicious spirit.

*****

Things that go bang, things that go bump, these are the things that make Rodney jump. 

The Conjuring was one of 2013’s best scare flicks, a chilling little horror film from Saw and Insidious helmer James Wan. Three years later, we have its sequel, an England-set haunted house premise featuring returning stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, playing husband-and-wife team Ed and Lorraine Warren, a duo of paranormal investigators who travel the world examining experiences of the supernatural. As with both this franchise and his Insidious films, Wan’s eye for the creepy, skin-prickling tension of quality scares is on-point once more, as he layers set-piece after set-piece in an almost brutal effort to smother is into submission with ratcheting alacrity.

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Movie Review – Spectral

Director :   Nic Matheiu
Year Of Release :   2016
Principal Cast :  James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Max Martini, Bruce Greenwood, Clayne Crawford, Cory Hardrict, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Jimmy Akingbola, Dylan Smith, Philip Bulcock.
Approx Running Time :   117 Minutes
Synopsis:  A futuristic special-ops team is dispatched to fight supernatural beings.

****

One part RPG-thriller, another part live-action Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Netflix’ 2014-filmed Spectral offers a slick, souped-up computer game aesthetic and gritty urban militarism without the combative emotional heft you might imagine. Ostensibly a war film against ghostly apparitions, Spectral’s sci-fi edginess and overheated tones feel low-budget despite a decent cast and Nic Matheiu’s energetic direction. The premise isn’t bad, and some of the film’s action sequences are genuinely entertaining, but the film owes too much of its genetics to other genre classics – including Aliens, among others – to be original, a pastiche of tropes hammered into shape by a tired, rote screenplay.

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