The Ravishing Teaser for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma

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A huge tip of the hat to the fine folk at Birth.Movies.Death for alerting me to one of the most beautiful looking teasers for a film I’ve seen in, well, forever. Feast your eyes on Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma

I’m a big fan of the Mexican director’s work, not only has he made one of the stone-cold classics of science-fiction cinema (or indeed, of just cinema) with Children of Men, but he also made one of the only Harry Potter films I can actually recall anything about (and I’ve seen them all, at least I think I have), with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He’s also made excellent movies such as Y Tu Mama Tambien and Gravity (which won him Academy Awards for both Best Director and Best Picture).

Co-edited, co-photographed, written, co-produced, and directed by Cuarón, Roma is an autobiographically inspired film that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s. And if this powerful and sumptuous trailer is anything to go by, it will be best experienced in a cinema.

Ironic then, that most viewers will probably see it on Netflix as part of an impressive slate of movies the streaming channel has lined up by filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers, Paul Greengrass and Gareth Evans, along with the insanely tantalising promise of Orson Welles’ legendary The Other Side of the Wind finally being completed. Of course, for viewers without easy access to cinemas that screen more than studio blockbusters, this kind of line up is a godsend.

Here’s the official synopsis for Roma:

“A vivid portrayal of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil, Romafollows a young domestic worker Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) from Mixteco heritage descent and her co-worker Adela (Nancy García), also Mixteca, who work for a small family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma.  Mother of four, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), copes with the extended absence of her husband, Cleo faces her own devastating news that threatens to distract her from caring for Sofia’s children, whom she loves as her own. While trying to construct a new sense of love and solidarity in a context of a social hierarchy where class and race are perversely intertwined, Cleo and Sofia quietly wrestle with changes infiltrating the family home in a country facing confrontation between a government-backed militia and student demonstrators.”

Roma has its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 30, and I hope to bring you more news soon.

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Robbie Reveals Tarantino’s Tate

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Margot Robbie took to her Instagram account today to give us the first look at her in character as actress Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

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The cast features Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio – along with a virtual who’s who of acting talent (see previous posts here and here) – and sees Robbie taking the role of the American actress and model, and the wife of director Roman Polanski,  who was murdered at age 26 by the Manson Family on August 9, 1969.

The film dodged one controversial bullet recently by announcing it will no longer open on the 50th anniversary of Tate’s death, but instead be released by Sony on July 26, 2019.

As always, I’ll bring you more news on Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as it hits. Because if you’re anything like me, next July can’t come soon enough (and not just because it’s vacation time).

First Photo From Star Wars Episode IX

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The as-yet untitled (publicly, at least) Star Wars Episode IX director, J J Abrams, has celebrated the first day of filming by dropping the first production photo from the film on his Twitter feed.

Feast your no-doubt eager eyes on this and we’ll talk after the break:

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Along with the photo, dominated by the camera but carefully showing John Boyega’s Finn in conversation with someone in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, Abrams left the following touching message:

Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie, but thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, we are ready to go. Grateful for @rianjohnson and special thanks to George Lucas for creating this incredible world and beginning a story of which we are lucky to be a part. #IX

Star Wars Episode IX will see newcomers Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie and Keri Russell join series regulars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Billie Lourd, alongside Billy Dee Williams returning as Lando Calrissian and the final appearance for Princess/General Leia Organa, using unseen footage (originally shot for The Force Awakens) of the late Carrie Fisher.

Expect to start seeing a lot more information creeping out (which I’ll be happy to bring you) as we reach the home stretch for the final film in the current Star Wars trilogy.

The film will open around December 18, 2019.

She’ll Be Back

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Empire Magazine has just shared the first image of Linda Hamilton as the iconic Sarah Connor, from forthcoming sequel/reboot/whatever Terminator Film Without A Title.*

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The full picture reveals her standing alongside co-stars Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes, in the new film produced by James Cameron (while simultaneously making four hundred back-to-back Avatar sequels) and directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller.

Whether this is a film anyone actually wants to see is still undecided, after the last three sequels (Rise of the Machines, Salvation and, ugh… Genisys) failed to deliver the goods in ever worse ways. The irritating mangling of the word Genesis alone explains my wariness towards this project, despite the always welcome presence of Hamilton (returning to the franchise for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 1991).

The new Terminator movie is released in November 2019.

*Likely to be changed before release

The Guardians Of The Galaxy Stand With Gunn (And So Do I)

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In a remarkable piece of chutzpah today, the entire cast of Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy films have released a joint statement in defence of director, James Gunn, recently fired from his position as a result of a concerted campaign by cybernazis.

Here’s the full letter, citing a petition to reinstate Gunn:

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It’s wonderful to see these actors backing their director, and while I don’t often bring politics onto this site, for once I’ll make an exception (because Gunn is someone whose work and public face I’ve personally admired for many years).

Gunn made a whole bunch of tweets that were undeniably in poor taste. But that’s all they were, jokes that some people find distasteful. Since making them he has very publicly apologised – twice, in fact – making a very heartfelt and eloquent case for his growth as a person who would no longer make those same jokes. In short, he owned the immaturity of his younger self. Would that we were all so self-aware.

When Disney hired Gunn to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy, they did so in full recognition of who they were bringing into the fold, in fact you might say they brought him in partly because of his far left-field humour.

The people who targeted Gunn’s past off-kilter humour did so because the director has become a highly vocal and highly visible critic of their right wing politics. They’re not stupid, they know Gunn wasn’t advocating the subjects he was making bad jokes about. They’ve targeted him in order to silence what he says now, not what he said a decade ago.

Disney and Marvel have made a very shitty move in firing Gunn under pressure from these cyber-bullies. It sets a terrible precedent that cannot be seen as anything than deeply troubling.

I don’t know if this show of support from Gunn’s cast will make a difference to one of the world’s biggest conglomerates, but if nothing else it shows that Gunn deserves support from more of us.

The Aquaman Trailer Makes A Splash!

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The trailer for James Wan’s Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa, has arrived and it looks, well… fun.

Take a look…

Fun, bright and seemingly going full comic book crazy with super-villains, underwater empires, giant sea creatures and, uh… turtles… could it be that between this and the equally fun-looking trailer for Shazam! DC/Warner have finally learned lessons from the grimdark Zack Snyder films (and, whisper it quietly… Suicide Squad)?

Aquaman opens on December 21st, and I guess we’ll all find out then.

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Trailer Is Badass!

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Before we go any further, here’s your trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Let’s meet back here straight after…

Well, what can I say? Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah… mankind as a virus and the last titans of Earth the only way to save us? Yep, that looks batshit crazy and I’m completely down with it.

There’s a lot of nuts looking stuff in here and it looks like the film will fully embrace the monsterverse Legendary Pictures have long been promising. With the promise of appearances from even more Toho monsters than revealed here, plus the reintroduction of the classic Godzilla theme music, this film just keeps looking better all the time.

Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens May 31st, 2019 and I’ll be holding my radioactive breath until then.

Stranger Things Calling Godzilla

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Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown stars in what is likely to be the first of several new teasers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, attempting to make contact with Monarch. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Monarch is the shadowy agency seen in Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla and Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ 2017 Kong: Skull Island, and if you were patient enough to stay through the end credits of the latter film you’ll have seen the reveal of an element tying the two films together, one which will presumably be expanded upon in Michael Dougherty’s forthcoming sequel to both.

As regular readers of this site will know, your intrepid writer is a major Godzilla geek, so you can be sure I’ll be bringing you all the news on King of the Monsters as it arrives.

UPDATE: Legendary Pictures removed the video from their YouTube account, so I’ve re-uploaded from another source. View it while you can, I guess, dear readers…

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Blasts Free!

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Go-go, Godzilla! Japan’s mightiest monster blasts free in a new image revealed exclusively by Entertainment Weekly today.

We’re big fans of all things Godzilla in these parts, and have held our own in many geek arguments about Gareth Edwards’ 2014 take on the beast. Incoming director Michael Dougherty’s forthcoming sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, promises even more excitement as the Legendary Pictures Monsterverse introduces Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah.

Long-time fans of the original Japanese series of films will know these variously as Godzilla’s allies and enemies and the prospect of these creatures doing battle in a big budget Hollywood film is utterly delicious.

Dougherty has produced some interesting work (particularly 2007’s Trick ‘R’ Treat) and his new story sees the creatures under some kind of human control.

The very intriguing cast is led by  Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown and Zhang Ziyi, it scheduled to be released on May 31, 2019 in 2D, 3D, and select IMAX theaters.

Bring on the monsters and let them fight, I say…

Halloween Is Back (Again)…

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Michael Myers slips on the Don Post William Shatner mask once again, in the new trailer for a film in one of the most frequently rebooted film series ever, Halloween.

Take a look at the trailer and we’ll talk…

There’s certainly a lot to pique interest here:  David Gordon Green and Danny McBride at the helm (Green directing, McBride co-writing with Green and Jeff Fradley), series creator and underappreciated movie god John Carpenter on music duties, and scream queen legend, Jamie Lee Curtis back as an obviously-ready-to-kick-some-slasher-ass, Laurie Strode.

Necessarily missing of course, will be much-loved and long-departed Donald Pleasance (as Doctor Sam Loomis), but other than that the trailer looks like a lot of fun, already telegraphing a couple of decent scares (that final closet shot is a hoot).

While there’s a decent conversation to be had about whether or not the world actually needs an umpteenth reboot (with this one apparently only acknowledging the original Halloween while ignoring the rest of the six thousand sequels – which should drive long-time fans nicely insane), the trailer at least promises a good time to be had. It looks brutal as a November weekend in Scarborough and there are some truly gorgeous-looking shots!

Halloween opens… not on Halloween, but on October 19th, just to annoy anyone with OCD.