Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Comes To London

There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if we could become something more.

Have you ever wanted to join the Avengers? Have you pondered what it would be like to train with them? Do you want to try and lift Thor’s hammer? (Yes I know it was destroyed in Ragnarok but just go with it!) Well, get yourself down to the ExCel Centre in London where you can gaze upon the Hulk’s strength, try to lift Mjölnir, become Iron Man and straddle Cap(‘s motorcycle).

Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N has been travelling around the world and it’s finally made it to London after being announced a few months ago. Here you can train to become an Avenger Agent by exploring the wide range of Iron Man suits and (virtually) try one on yourself, have your strength tested against the team to see which Avenger you match up to, visit the villains who have been defeated, learn about the Infinity Stones (vital information for these dark times since the snap) and even test out the Arc Reactor. Step back though, that is one powerful thing! 

This is an insanely fun attraction which I urge all Marvel fans, movie fans and nerds in general to check out. There’s all of this and a lot more to see and do, with Thor’s Obsevatory in which you can learn more about the God of Thunder, Banner’s lab, Steve Rogers’ personnel files as well as his mighty shield, you’ll be able to get your geek on for the day. Get your tickets here and it’s booking up until March. 

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The End Game Is Coming

The wait is almost over with the release of the first trailer from the fourth Avengers film. It’s title? Avengers: End Game. This has been the rumoured title for a while with Marvel and the Russo Brothers keeping it a secret until now. Check out the trailer below:

It’s an astonishing first look which doesn’t reveal too much besides Ant-Man who, last time we saw him, was trapped in the quantum realm. How he gets out is anyone’s guess but I suppose it’s not that much of a spoiler because you can’t just leave him in there for the duration of the film can you? This is an interesting and better way to release a trailer. Last year with the first one for Infinity War we got a countdown with those odd green numbers from the Russos, this time it’s been rumour after rumour and then dropped. Apparently it was held back for various reasons, causing some ludicrous outrage amongst fans across the globe (some people were total dicks on Twitter!) Anyway, also included is a new poster which is the Infinity War one after the snap. Oh…SNAP!

 

What we do see in the trailer includes the original Avengers, as well as Nebula and a brief shot of Thanos, his devastated gauntlet and his armour walking around an unnamed planet although it’s safe to assume he’s where we left him at the end of Infinity War. Tony is in a worse situation than the rest as he drifts through space having run out of food and water and coming dangerously close to finishing whatever oxygen he has left. Clint aka Hawkeye aka Ronin makes a return with a new haircut (it looks fucking cool) and a new weapon. As we see Thor and Bruce coming to terms with what has happened, Black Widow and Captain America formulate a plan to make things right. Take a look below for a few shots from the trailer.

 

Directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Karen Gillan, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin and a shitload of others Avengers: End Game is out in April. What are your thoughts on the name and the trailer? Like? Hate? Don’t give a shit?

HOLY FUCK I’M EXCITED!!

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New Captain Marvel Trailer Delves Deep Into Denvers’ Past

Captain Marvel has a second trailer and whilst a lot of you will be wanting the Avengers 4 trailer just sit down, shut up and enjoy the feast for your eyes instead. Okay? Good!

Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel in Marvel’s 21st film which predates most of the MCU by being set in the 90s (I got it wrong last time by saying it takes place before anything in the MCU, forgetting about wartime Captain America, woops!) Check out the new trailer below in which we learn so much more about the first female to lead an MCU movie. About fucking time, right??

As she is faced with a battle against the Skrulls, Carol questions who she is and where she came from due to memories she has of her previous life. We see her with Annete Bening (not sure who she is playing and I don’t think I knew she was in this) who claims to have saved her life when she had no memory, showing that she was badly injured in a crash. She says “…we made you one of us so you could live longer, stronger, superior”. The trailer also includes multiple scenes with a younger looking Samuel L Jackson as an eyepatch-less Nick Fury  (“Last time I trusted someone I lost an eye.”) discussing parts of her history and who she believes she is which is part of a race of warrior heroes. There are a couple of shots of Jude Law as he pouts his way around the screen whilst telling Carol “You’ve come a long way but you’re not as strong as you think” I think someone who is the most powerful Avenger would disagree! Knob! Here are a few shots from the trailer including one very brief look at Ben Mendelsohn. What a cast!

That last one looks as if she’s stuck her fingers into a socket. Ouch! Don’t do it kids! Anyway, Captain Marvel flies into cinemas next year in March and also stars Gemma Chan, Clark Gregg, Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou. It’s been directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who were also on writing duties with  Anna Waterhouse, Joe Shrapnel, Jac Schaeffer and  Geneva Robertson-Dworet. 2019 is set to be yet another huge year for Marvel with this, Avengers 4 and Spider-Man: Far From Home all out in the first six months. Watch this space for the announcement of the Avengers 4 title and trailer.

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The Lion King Receives A First Trailer

First of all Disney, how dare you remake my favourite Disney film! I’ve loved this film for as long as I can remember and I’ve seen it on stage, so frankly it’s insulting. Second, it only looks okay! If this is a shot for shot remake, which it so far certainly looks like then I will not be happy. Third, Beyoncé?? Really?! Urgh! Okay rant mostly over but I will be watching you Disney! 

Here is the first look at the live-action remake of The Lion King which has been directed by Jon Favreau who previously worked on live version of The Jungle Book which to be fair was good! He’s brought back the circle of life as we see the ceremony for Simba on Pride Rock along with a couple of other familiar characters. Check out the trailer here:

Starring Donald Glover (Simba), James Earl Jones (reprising his role as Mufasa), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), John Oliver (Zazu), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar) and Beyoncé (Nala), this is the latest live action film from Disney who have announced several others including Mulan, Lilo & Stich and Lady and the Tramp. These along with Aladdin and Dumbo, both of which have trailers and are out next year in the summer.

Here’s the poster which Favreau also shared along with this teaser. Look, I know I’m super negative with these films but it’s only because Disney can do better. This is all a very cynical attwmpt to make a load of money rather than being creative. Anyway, the film is expected to be out in July 2019. 

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The Burying Party, review

Based on war poet Wilfred Owen, The Burying Party shows the deep seeded trauma of war as he considers going back to put his life on the line.

Wlifred Owen is considered one of the most well-known and highly acclaimed First World war poets however not everyone will know of his story. The Burying Party smartly conveys his life with beauty and accuracy, including his longing to go back to the war and his sexuality in understated ways.

Focusing on Wilfred (Matthew Staite) as he meets certain literary figures during the final years of his life, the film flicks between past memories of the war and his present life in which he contemplates going back. During these scenes we occasionally hear voiceovers of his poems which create an atmosphere like no other. Ordinarily techinques like this are employed to give some form of exposition rather than what director Richard Weston has done which is to have them as an accompanying piece, to assist with the mood and tone.

It swiftly deals with the effects of war, including PTSD as well as that sense of missing the conflict, something which is more common than you may think. Creating some beautiful scenery to go with such difficult issues, the contrast works well as Cinematographer Meurig Marshall crafts his shot and never wastes a chance to show off the view. 

An interesting look at the First World war and what soldiers went through, whether it was during a conflict, its aftermath or being home, The Burying Party is a perfect example of dealing with certain issues in a short amount of time but whilst also making you realise just how difficult things would have been.

4 out of 5.

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Me, Myself and My Blog

With this being my 300th blog post I thought I’d write something different. Something that may help others because I’m someone who understands how difficult it can be to maintain a blog, especially if you feel you’re not quite represented enough. As someone of Indian heritage writing a film blog doesn’t feel like the most common thing to do but I’m happy to be the black sheep. 

Since I had a conversation in a cafe across the street from where I live with a friend of mine 6 years ago who gave me the idea to start and I haven’t looked back. Besides those times when Facebook memories forces me to confront the horrors of my earlier posts. Including one solely based on my then brand spanking new Avengers Assemble steelbook. To be fair is was and still is beautiful.

I feel I have come a long way since then and whilst I always have doubts regarding my ability to write anything interesting, witty, insightful or that anyone else will ever want to read, I continue to write. However it shouldn’t be about that really, what your writing should be, whether it’s a blog, a book, a film a TV show or just something you’re doing for yourself, it should be something you enjoy. Something you love. Something you feel passionate about (even if that’s yourself, nothing wrong with that).

I’m in a habit of slow writing, because of how I want it to sound, how I want to sound to other people. I edit as I write which makes me slow, I’m doing it right now and it’s annoying. But you know what? Again that shouldn’t matter. Write slow, write fast, write incoherently. Make it into whatever you want. Stop thinking about it, stop worrying about it and just do it!

Whilst my passion pushes me to better my writing (at least I hope it does) it’s also given me something a bit more interesting to do. I’ve manged to get onto press lists for smaller film releases, plus I cover the London Film Festival every year with a press pass I always feel lucky to have. I applied for it a few years ago and now I take some time off work, pay for my pass and watch around 16 films across 10 days. I always have the best time and this year more than ever I’ve wanted this to be my life. Going to films, writing about them, meeting people from the industry, finding a hidden gem and spending my time doing what I love the most. Blogging, whilst difficult to maintain around a full time job, makes me happy which after having either a difficult day, week, month or year, is something I can look at, something which I created and feel proud. It’s not often that I can say that, anyone who knows me understands that I am my harshest critic and worry far too much when it comes to anything. So with that here’s a few things to keep in mind when beginning and writing your own blog:

  • Think about what your really passionate about
  • Write what you want and edit it later
  • Have no distractions
  • Read other blogs
  • Be open to criticism. It helps a lot!

So I hope I’ve helped, even a little bit. I know it can be hard to start a blog when you’re unsure where to begin but when you do and you find that confidence you certainly have, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

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Captain Marvel Trailer Swoops In

It’s the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it’s the first ever female-lead Marvel movie in the current iteration of this set of comicbook movies. Captain Marvel comes in hot with it’s first trailer and it’s pretty good. Check it out below.

As with other MCU trailers, we’ve not been given that much, essentially this is an extension on the images we’ve already seen here but with a bit more context. Starring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, she’s joined by Gemma Chan, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Lee Pace, Ben Mendlesohn and Clark Gregg, the plot revolves around the origins of Carol Danvers. Keeping with the comicbook character, she begins as a pilot before she’s granted with superpowers as Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. One of the alien races includes the Skrulls, a shape-shifting group who can look like anyone so therefore could actually be part of the current universe. Oooooooooooooo!

This is the 21st film in the MCU, which means it’s taken 20 movies and now 11 years for their first ever female-lead movie. It’s about fucking time Marvel! COME ON! We want more of this, especially when they are as awesome as Brie Larson and EVERY WOMAN in Black Panther. Here’s hoping we get to see more of this in the future. Captain Marvel is due for release in March 2019.

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Mary Poppins Returns…With A New Trailer

Coming 54 years after the original (and they say The Incredibles 2 was long-awaited) Mary Poppins Returns has a brand new trailer, showing it’s cast in full along with nostalgic inducing 2D animation and fantasy sequences. Check out the trailer below.

The trailer shows Emily Blunt taking over the lead role from Julie Andrews as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda as the Guy With An Awful English Accent aka Jack, plus Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Julie Walters and of course the original man with the terrible English accent, Dick Van Dyke. The story takes place in depression-era London with the now grown up Jane and Michael Banks (Whishow and Mortimer) who are visited by Mary Poppins following a personal loss as she shows the family how to rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Directed by Rob Marshall, the sequel is in safe hands with his previous work including Chicago and Into the Woods. His musical experience as well as obvious love for the original movie comes through clearly in the trailer. Marshall takes a writing credit along with his collaborators David Magee (Finding Neverland, Life of Pi) and John DeLuca who previously produced Into the Woods, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Chicago. The film is due for release on 19th December 2018.

What are your thoughts regarding the film, casting, trailer, the music? Do you like it? Do you think it’s another pointless sequel or are you excited by it? 

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What To See At 2018’s BFI London Film Festival

So, it’s been an exciting time recently hasn’t it?! With the release of the full BFI London Film Festival schedule, we now know what we have to look forward to. Last week the Members tickets went on sale and tomorrow the general public will also be able to buy tickets (you know, whatever is left once the Members have had at them!)

With this I thought I’d roundup what I’m most looking forward to 13 days after it’s been announced BUT 1 days before the public booking is released. There’s a staggering amount of films on offer for the 62nd year of the festival. Here’s what I think you should be watching.

Beautiful Boy

Starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet as father and son in this brutally heartbreaking film about a lifelong struggle with addiction. Directed by Felix van Groeningen and based on the novel of the real life father and son, the film is one of the festival’s main attractions this year. If you didn’t cry at the trailer WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

Widows

Steve McQueen returns with his first feature film in 5 years which he has co-written with Gillian Flynn. His previous film was the Oscar winning 12 years a Slave and this time with Widows, he’s gone for a character driven action movie. Starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Carrie Coon, the quartet become widows to their criminal husbands after they are ambushed in shootout with the police. Wanting to finish what they started, the four find unexpected solidarity and empowerment as they work together.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The latest in the Cohen brother’s plethora of films, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a Netflix film which has also received a small distribution into cinemas. Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits, Zoe Kazan and Bill Heck star in this western comedy drama, centred on the title character. The anthology western follow multiple storylines including a bank robber who gets his due and a gothic tale about a couple of travelling performers.

Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

As you can see from the image below, at one point this film, by Ben Wheatley, was called Colin You Anus which is a much catchier title I’m sure you’ll agree. However I assume for marketing purposes they had to change it. Oh well! Starring Joe Cole, Charles Dance, Neil Maskell and Alexandra Maria Lara, the story centres around a new years celebration in which Colin feels under threat to his position of power within his own family after the arrival of his estranged brother David.

The Elephant Queen

Shot over eight years, The Elephant Queen is a documentary about a herd of elephants. One of the mothers, Athena wants to do everything to protect them as they are forced to leave their watering hole. Narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, the narrative takes place across the African savannah as it tells the tale of loss, love and family.

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

Alice Guy-Blaché is the first ever female director, creating her debut film in 1896 at the age of 23. She then went on to write, direct or produce more than 1,000 films. This is her story.

The Favourite

The latest from director Yorgos Lanthimos, the man behind Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Lobster returns with his latest oddball movie which is part comedy, part drama, part wincing at something on screen. Starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, it tells the story of early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

Sometimes Always Never

Starring Bill Nighy, Alice Lowe and Sam Riley, Sometimes Always Never is director Carl Hunter’s first ever feature film. He works with screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce to bring this drama to the big screen. Nighy plays Alan whose eldest son storms out of the house never to return. Years later, he and his other son (Riley) a still searching for him.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Being in production hell since the 80s with multiple attempts to get this project going, it’s finally been filmed and and is ready to be released by Terry Gilliam. Telling the story of Toby (Adam Driver), an advertising executive who is pulled into a fantasy world of of time jumping and a Spanish cobbler. Jonathan Pryce and Stellan Skarsgård join Driver on this psychedelic sounding break from the norm.

The Vice of Hope

A gritty and gripping depiction of someone who is striving to escape her life of vice and crime. Here, Maria (Pina Turco) a tough and determined young woman lives in a bleak neighborhood with horrible memories of childhood trauma as she deals with being a prostitute and child trafficking. Becoming used to this way of life, she find that everything changes when she falls pregnant.

Tehran: City of Love

Director and co-writer Ali Jaberansari creates a relateable trio of stories surrounding the subject of love, seen from the point of view of different people in different way. One is a woman who is unhappy with her weight but addicted to ice cream. she catfishes men she encounters at work. Another who is a funeral singer is urged to perform at weddings instead after his long-term girlfriend leaves him. Meanwhile a retired bodybuilder is cast in a film with an actor he has never heard of but who the producer claims is actually very famous. An interesting collection of stories coming from a Persian storyteller, who second feature film comes with a Q&A on the 14th October.

Wildlife

Starring Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ed Oxenbould, Wildlife is Paul Dano’s feature directorial debut which he co-wrote with Zoey Kazan. That’s a lot of pretty well-known names and going by the trailer, it’s going to be an emotional ride. Joe (Oxenbould) and his parents (Mulligan and Gyllenhaal) move to the suburbs in Montana after needing a change. However the teenager soon witnesses the disintegration of his parents marriage as his mother find another man.

Soni 

As an Indian female police officer, Soni (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan) has seen her fare share of abusive treatment, especially when she is used as live bait in order to trap sexual predators and violent men. This calls for her to be well-equipt when it comes to self-defense, however one incident in which she is particularly hot-headed causes he to be charged with misconduct and threatens her career. An interesting sounding film in which male and female roles will be looked at and possibly defined. In a country where women are seen as second class citizens, this will be a very interesting character study.

Peterloo

A first for the London Film Festival, Peterloo will premiere in Manchester due to the historical importance linked with the city. Retelling the story of a peaceful protest which British forces attacked, Mike Leigh serves as writer and director. Starring Maxine Peake and Rory Kinnear, the tale of a protest of wanting reform due to the rising living costs and the hard working being ripped off which cause the government to become increasingly nervous. One for the history books me thinks.

The Little Drummer Girl (First two episodes)

A first (as far as I know) for the festival in that a couple of episodes of a TV show are going to be shown before it’s general release later this year on BBC1. Starring Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgård, Florence Pugh, Clare Holman and Kate Sumpter, the plot revolves around an English actor who is asked to infiltrate a group as an Israeli in order to bring an end to the series of bombings.

So there you have it! My choices for this years London Film Festival, whether I get to see any of them, well I suppose I’ll have to see. I have my eighth and final wedding (no, that’s not me getting married eight times!) of the year which is during the festival. Oh well!

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Neel’s Highlights Reel – 10th September, 2018

Happy Monday everyone! Are you all excited for this week?? No? Well you should be! I’m trying to come up with a reason why but… ANYWAY there isn’t too much this week, either there really isn’t much to share, or I’ve missed something or I’ve been lazy. You decide…

Enjoy! Have a great week!

Trailers and Poster

Suspiria

A bloody new poster for the upcoming remake of Suspiria which has been included on the BFI London Film Festival schedule. Exciting times!

22 July

A powerful new film by Paul Greengrass based on the 2011 attacks in Norway carried out by Anders Behring Breivik. 22 July explores the events of the day, in which 77 people lost their lives.

The Favourite

Coming to BFI London Film Festival next month, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite gets a fresh new trailer and poster, both of which shows the bitter rivalry between Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. No need to fight ladies, you can both have me!

Halloween

Before Halloween received rave reviews last week, a new trailer and poster emerged. Although I think Laurie needs to look to her left…

House of Cards

A teaser from the final season of House of Cards reveals the fate of Francis Underwood. I promise not to say anything but you can probably guess…

Anna and the Apocalypse

Zombies at Christmas whilst singing and dancing. I don’t think there’s much else that I can say about this utterly insane looking film, but take a look for yourselves at this trailer for Anna and the Apocalypse.

Wildlife

Holy crap the trailer for Wildlife looks amazing! I can’t wait to see it! Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan together on screen with Paul Dano directing AND co-writing with Zoe Kazan, what’s not to love??

News

McClane

In case you missed it, the prequel to Die Hard will now be called McClane and somehow star Bruce Willis as a young police officer in his 20s. I assume they will be using the same de-aging technology on him as they did with Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr in the MCU

Mary Poppins Returns

Lin-Manuel Miranda appears in a new image along with Emily Blunt and co. for Mary Poppins Returns. The film is gracing cinemas in December, a full 54 years after the original was released with Emily Blunt taking on the lead role. Big shoes to fill!

Captain Marvel

Brie Larson has be revealed in full Captain Marvel costume officially for the first time in a set of new images and she looks fierce! Very excited for this film, check out the rest here.

So Much Love

Gemma Arterton is taking on the role of Dusty Springfield in a new film about the singer’s life. So Much Love, which is the directorial debut for screenplay writer Phyllis Nagy will show Dusty during her most successful time in her career.

The Walking Dead

Teasing it’s return in just a months time, The Walking Dead has a new poster and a few character images. With this being Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) final season, let’s hope he has a fitting end. 🧟‍♂️🧟‍♀️

Lady and the Tramp

The cast for the (pointless) Lady and the Tramp live-action remake has expanded even more with the addition of Yvette Nicole Brown. She will be playing the role of Aunt Sarah and this means nothing to me because I can’t remember much about the original… 🤔

Industry News

Toymaker Mattel is launching its own film division to focus on projects based on their already well-known action figures and franchises. Yes that’s right! Lots and lots of movies about toys… Yeah it sounds shit and pointless, but here’s more on this story.

Reviews 

Mini Review: BlacKkKBlacKkKlansman

Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harriet

An African American police officers manages to successfully infiltrate the KKK after calling the local chapter.

The timing of this film is no mistake, with it being in a time when the racist far right have the most powerful man in the world backing them. An excellent film in terms of dealing with race relations and how they haven’t changed much in America since the 1970s. The drama and comedy marry together well as Spike Lee handles tonal shifts as he slickly weaves in blatant racism and everyday moments. John David Washington gives a perfectly understated performance as a man who has heard it all before and has become used to this sort of treatment.

4 out of 5.

Mini Review: The Happytime Murders

Starring Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks (voice), Maya Rudolph, Leslie David Baker

When puppets from a 90s kids TV show are being killed one by one, a former LAPD officer turned private detective takes on the case with his former partner.

It’s impossible to tell you how dreadful this film is. There’s an effort to make puppets x-rated in the way stage musical Avenue Q did but it’s not as good thanks to it’s tired jokes which we’ve seen before or for so many more which just didn’t land. There are moments which are thrown in to shock you and make you laugh but you’ll just leave the cinema feeling confused and annoyed. Avoid at all cost.

1 out of 5.

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