With the tagline "A Star Wars Story", this first spin-off from the saga isn't actually a stand-alone movie. It requires some understanding of the context as it chronicles events that lead directly into 1977's Episode IV: A New Hope. It's also a seriously rousing action film with a riveting cast of characters and a surprising willingness to embrace even the darkest elements of storytelling. In other words, it might be the first Star Wars movie made specifically for grown-ups.
It opens as the Empire is systematically crushing the rebellion, leaving them wondering if there's any point to continuing the fight. Rumours are swirling that the Empire is building a massive Death Star, and rebel Jyn (Felicity Jones) discovers that it was designed by her long-lost father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), who sends her a message saying that he left a flaw in the system specifically for the rebels to exploit. So she joins a team to contact him, led by Cassian (Diego Luna), who doubts that Galen is on their side. They're accompanied by pilot Bodhi (Riz Ahmed) and the sarcastic robot K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), plus the blind wannabe Jedi Chirrut (Donnie Yen) and his battling sidekick Baze (Jiang Wen). And as their mission goes rogue, they come up against the slimy Imperial Director Orson (Ben Mendelson) and the vicious Darth Vader (again voiced by James Earl Jones).
Director Gareth Edwards (Monster) packs the movie with visual references to A New Hope, cleverly matching the design work by avoiding fakey digital effects in lieu of more practical, battle-scared models and lively settings on a series of new planets and a familiar one. This gives the film an electric atmosphere that's edgy and unpredictable even though we all know exactly how this mission has to end. At the beginning, the plot feels a bit splintered, but the strands come together with power, building a gnawing sense of momentum and some real gravitas along the way.
Continue reading: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review
It's almost here! Here's what to expect.
We are less than two weeks away from the release of the stand-alone 'Star Wars' movie 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' and now Disney have unveiled some exciting clips exploring the intense stress that the Rebel Alliance are under, and introducing a key new character or two.
K-2SO doesn't trust Jyn
'Rogue One' follows the adventures of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as she joins the Rebel Alliance to help bring down the Galactic Empire's plans to launch an apocalyptic new superweapon known as the Death Star. Jyn teams up with Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) for the mission, who appears to be highly suspicious of... well, everything. But especially of her, as is shown in one of the new clips where he panics at the sight of her weapon.
Charissa Barton and Alan Tudyk seen attending the premiere of Disney's 'Moana,' during AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi, held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 14th November 2016
Alan Tudyk and various other celebrities gathered on Saturday night for Entertainment Weekly's annual Comic Con party held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, California, United States - Sunday 24th July 2016
The filmmakers behind Tangled and Wreck-it Ralph join forces for this entertaining animated action comedy, which has clearly been planned as a franchise-launcher. Energetic and funny, the movie is packed with wonderfully engaging characters and animated with clever visual inventiveness. But even though it's a lot of fun, it's difficult to escape the feeling that Disney is trying to sell us a whole new range of products.
The setting is a world populated only by animals, where predators and prey have learned to get along. The story centres on feisty rabbit Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), who grew up under pressure to work in the family carrot-farming business. But she wants to be a cop, even though no bunny has ever made the force. Top of her class at police academy, she's assigned to the Zootropolis Police Department, where Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) makes her a meter maid. But she's too ambitious to write parking tickets all day, and teams up with con-artist fox Nick (Jason Bateman) to look into the strange case of a missing otter, which might be linked to a series of unexplained events in which predators suddenly became aggressive and dangerous.
The writers and directors have a great time with the premise, peppering scenes with knowing references mainly to other movies but also to resonant aspects of society, such as the genius casting of sloths as government workers. And there are also much bigger themes rattling around the edges, from how other peoples' expectations constrain us to how politicians use fear to control the public. There's also a cleverly pointed undercurrent about prejudice and diversity. And at the centre, Goodwin and Bateman give solid vocal performances as natural enemies who find a way to trust each other. Of the supporting cast, Elba is the standout as a buffalo who is all bluster.
Continue reading: Zootopia [aka Zootropolis] Review
14-year-old Auli'i Cravalho from Oahu, Hawaii opens up about being cast in her first ever acting role as the voice of Moana in the upcoming animated Disney film of the same name, which has been directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and co-stars Dwayne Johnson. The movie depicts a young explorer on her way to a mysterious island with her friend, the demi-god Maui.
Continue: Moana - Who Is Moana Featurette
'Dalton Trumbo had gone from novelist to a successful career as a Hollywood screenwriter which saw him become one of the town's highest paid writers and even earn an Academy Award nomination. But his bright career came to a crushing end in 1947 after he was one of nine people who refused to testify in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. This led to Trumbo being blacklisted from Hollywood and effectively ending his movie career. But despite being blacklisted Trumbo refused to give up and instead continued to write, often under pseudonyms, working on films such as Oscar winner Roman Holiday. His fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses over his freedom to write and work entangled everyone in Hollywood from gossip writer Hedda Hopper to Kirk Douglas who would call on Trumbo to pen the scrip for his epic drama 'Spartacus' and help bring about the end of the Hollywood blacklist.
Continue: Trumbo - Trailer Trailer
Oprah obsessed Alice Klieg suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder which causes her to be socially awkward, impulsive and stubborn, and she's about to find out that money truly can buy you anything. After winning an impressive $86 million in the lottery, her first port of call is a major TV station, where she pitches an idea for hosting her own talk show. They offer her a slot at a cool $15 million, and she subsequently decides to stop taking her medication and pursue fame and recognition. The only problem is, she sucks at hosting her own show. The producers know they have to do something to save their embarrassment over this fiasco of a deal, but with Alice stuck in her own world and resolutely ignoring advice from friends and family, there's not a lot they can do to help her.
Continue: Welcome To Me Trailer
Fans of bright, flashy things will love this colourful, kinetic animated adventure, although anyone seeking originality or involving characters should probably look elsewhere. This is the first Disney animation based on a Marvel comic book, although they have essentially only retained the title and a vague semi-Asian setting. The result is a film that feels like something you've already seen before, with the usual Disney plot formula, characters and action beats, plus lots of sentimentality. At least it's witty and fast-paced enough to keep us entertained.
The futuristic setting is San Fransokyo, a slightly more Japanese version of San Francisco in which 15-year-old computer-geek orphan Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) lives with his Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph). Both are shaken when Hiro's brother Tadashi dies in an explosion Hiro thinks he might have caused. Then he meets Tadashi's health-care robot invention Baymax (Scott Adsit), a cuddly inflatable creature who just wants to take care of Hiro. He goes along with Hiro's plan to turn him into a fighting machine that helps find the masked man who stole Hiro's microbot invention and actually caused the explosion. Baymax also helps Hiro assemble the Big Hero 6 team, adding Tadashi's nerd-inventor pals: goofy Fred (T.J. Miller), rebellious Go Go (Jamie Chung), nice-guy Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and girly Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez). Together they set out to stop the villain before he enacts his nefarious plan.
All of this is animated with bright colours and a snappy sense of the technology. There are several exhilarating set-pieces along the way as the young heroes work out their special powers by inventing all sorts of gadgets. But nothing about the script meaningfully deepens these characters. Each person on-screen is essentially one personality trait, while potentially colourful side roles (including Aunt Cass) are left badly undefined. What holds the interest is the superb interaction between Hiro and Baymax, mainly because of the obvious affection between them. And also because Baymax has all of the film's funniest lines.
Continue reading: Big Hero 6 Review
A new series of 'Frozen' themed attractions will be built at Disney World Florida including a "royal greeting area" where fans can formally meet Anna and Elsa in Arendelle.
Disney World Florida will be getting the Frozen treatment when a section of the park will feature a whole new series of attractions based on the hit film.
Frozen is coming to Disney World!
Continue reading: 'Frozen' Attractions To Be Built In Disney World Florida
Hiro Hamada is a young robotics virtuoso whose best friend is a large, balloon-like humanoid machine named Baymax which he designed at the San Fransokyo Institute Of Technology. However, having such expert knowledge in this kind of scientific field is bound to be dangerous and soon enough they find themselves under attack from a vicious enemy who sends his army of miniature robots after them. Going to the police proves fruitless, and so Hiro decides he must fight back. He designs a powerful suit for Baymax and joins a team of like-minded vigilantes who have been appointed by the government to save the world; they are Wasabi-No-Ginger, Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago and Fred and together they form the ultimate superhero team. Hiro and his friends must uncover the villain's plot of destruction – without breaking curfew.
Continue: Big Hero 6 Trailer
Disney learns a lesson from Pixar's Brave, giving these orphaned princesses some feisty purpose that doesn't depend on a man. Everything else about this movie is fairly formulaic, including the requisite goofy sidekick character. But the frosty animation adds a stately, dramatic tone that's picked up by Broadway-style songs and just a hint of moral complexity in the story, which is based on Hans Christian Andersen's story The Snow Queen.
With her ability to freeze anything at a touch, young Queen Elsa (voiced by Menzel) has spent her life hidden away in the castle. No one can know her secret, including her restless little sister Anna (Bell), who meets her dream man in Hans (Fontana) on the day of Elsa's coronation. But Elsa's startled reaction to this news triggers an ice age in the kingdom, which sends Elsa fleeing to hide in the mountains. So Anna decides to track her down. She enlists help from local delivery boy Kristoff (Groff) and his pet reindeer, and as they head into the hills they encounter one of Elsa's newest creations: a singing, dancing, scatterbrained snowman named Olaf (Gad).
The winter wonderland setting gives the animators a lot to work with, and the imagery is spectacular. We actually shiver at the gleaming ice and snowy landscapes, which are so detailed that they make us want to see the film again. The characters are also sharply rendered, although they're designed without much subtlety, including the usual Disney physicality in the girls' big-eyed Barbie-like figures. But the plot keeps us off balance by, for example, giving Anna two eligible men to choose between. And also by making Elsa so internally conflicted about her unwanted powers.
Continue reading: Frozen Review
With the tagline "A Star Wars Story", this first spin-off from the saga isn't actually...
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a standalone Star Wars film which acts as...
In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...
The Galaxy is on the brink of a major war being won by dangerous rulers...
Moana has spent her life travelling with her family is on the vast blue waters...
We all know the story of Luke Skywalker and the legendary Jedi and rebels who...
The filmmakers behind Tangled and Wreck-it Ralph join forces for this entertaining animated action comedy,...
An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...
14-year-old Auli'i Cravalho from Oahu, Hawaii opens up about being cast in her first ever...
'Dalton Trumbo had gone from novelist to a successful career as a Hollywood screenwriter which...
Oprah obsessed Alice Klieg suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder which causes her to be socially...