The Hunger Games
Cast:Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones
Based on a series of books very popular in the teenage market I feared another Twilight influenced turgid teen drama sandwiched in-between a genre film, but this trailer looks fairly promising. With it’s story of a future state that sends one boy and one girl from each of it’s twelve districts to a sick game of survival where there is only one left standing, it’s very dark stuff. With this bleak set-up and the inherent political aspects, Hunger Games could prove to have true emotional weight and brains as well as spectacle. From the trailer it looks a bit glossy a not all that stylistically interesting, but still quite rousing. Having Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) in the lead should prove to be a good move and I’ve always thought director Gary Ross’ Pleasantville was an underrated gem so I’m definitely interested in Hunger Games.
Cast:Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Olivia Thirlby, Dale Dickey, Lili Taylor, Julianne Moore
Based on Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (which was originally going to be the title of the film, but I guess the producers bottled it), Being Flynn is about Nick (Paul Dano) and his father (Robert De Niro), a brilliant but troubled man who disappeared when he was a child. Through volunteering at a homeless shelter, Nick finally meets him again and they form a turbulent relationship. This looks very good actually. It’s nice to see De Niro take on a more meaty role after slumming it in family comedies and low rent action films for a while. Plus Dano and Julianne Moore are two actors I’m always happy to watch. The film seems fairly original and touching too, so it should be worth seeing.
Snow White & The Huntsman
Cast:Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin
Urgh. I know, let’s take a children’s fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm, drain it of all charm and turn it into a Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter rip-off fantasy action film. Hollywood have just given up these days haven’t they. This looks like utter garbage – a shot or two look nice (Charlize Theron bathing in milk), but it’s just so dumb and cliched. You’d have to physically drag me to the cinema to make me see this.
Cast:Bryan Cranston, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Kevin Phillips, Nate Parker, Daniela Ruah, Michael B. Jordan
Lucasfilm’s first non Star Wars or Indiana Jones related film since 1994, Red Tails unfortunately looks a million miles away from these classic franchises, even their derided later instalments. Anthony Hemingway’s WWII fighter-plane action racial drama looks like cheese of the most pungent variety. Yes the aerial combat scenes look cool in a video game sort of way, but the rest of the film looks so generic and self-aggrandising it’s embarrassing to watch. This is a plane that is bound to crash land (sorry).