Ron Perlman attending the World Premiere of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them', held at Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City, United States - Friday 11th November 2016
The time is drawing ever closer to the release of Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find, within a short number of days we will finally be able to get a glimpse into the life of a character that author J.K. Rowling so lovingly developed. Even when Newt Scamander was a young Hogwarts student, he always loved the wilder side of magic. If there was a wild beast to nurture, Newt would be the enthusiastic child wanting to find out more.
When he grew up, he became an acclaimed magizoologist and formed his own unique and rather deadly collection of beasts. Any endangered species, Newt would willingly look after and add to his endless list of beasts, all with their own unique powers. After a busy trip collecting more creatures, Newt visits the city of New York and arrives to find that tensions between the wizarding community and a group of powerful muggles (known as the Second Salemers) are battling one another; the Second Salemers goal is to eradicate the wizarding community.
When some of Newt's beasts are accidentally released, he is quickly called to answer questions from the Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) who presumes Newt is guilty of working with wizard Gellert Grindelwald. The director, Percival Graves, believes that Newt has purposefully released the beasts to expose magic kind in order to stir up tension between and further the war between the muggles (No-Maj) and the wizarding world.
Newt Scamander is a wizard who's always had an interest in monsters and wild, unworldly creatures. Newt inspects as many different species of Beast that he can and keeps some of the rarest ones in order to preserve them and keep them from harm's way whilst also ensuring they themselves don't cause any of the chaos they could so easily cause.
It's 1926 and the wizarding community is under threat. Whilst most muggles (No Maj's) don't have any idea that wizards and witches actually exist, a small yet powerful few are all too aware of them and their powers.
The New Salem Philanthropic Society is headed by a tough woman named Mary Lou Barebone who wants to make sure that all wizarding kind is exterminated.
Long before the time of Harry Potter, wizards and witches still lived their lives in the muggle world as well as the wizarding world that was still governed by the ministry of magic.
Even though 'he who shall not be named' wasn't causing chaos for the wizards, they still had problems of their own. Largely these were monsters and beasts that come from far and distant lands. Newt Scamander is one particular wizard who is fascinated by these creators and when a selection of these terrible beasts are mistakenly released into the muggle world, Newt finds himself suddenly thrown into untrodden territory.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was originally written as a book by JK Rowling. The book studies 83 of these mystical creators all of which Newt has discovered.
Danny Winters is a young man in 1969, who becomes disenfranchised from the marginalisation and discrimination of some members of society. His radical opinions cause his parents to kick him out of their Kansas home, and so he takes the opportunity to travel to New York where he meets a group of liberal and flamboyant youths who shelter him and bring him to a discreet gay club run by the mafia known as The Stonewall Inn. Unfortunately, this is a place frequently raided by cops, who are less than liberal in their way of thinking. Tired of the constant social threats and alienation, Danny leads an army with members of the gay, trans and cross-dressing community to fight against the corrupt police with a full scale riot.
Continue: Stonewall Trailer
This dark thriller is so relentlessly stylish that it's distracting. Refusing to settle down to focus on its intriguing central story, filmmaker Greg Francis whirls around through a series of whizzy flashbacks that layer in all kinds of subtext and interest. But it's so fragmented that the film never quite builds any suspense, instead becoming a grotesque horror movie featuring a slasher who tortures and kills with Saw-like maniacal glee.
It centres on young rookie Detective Jeter (Beau Mirchoff), whose recent bust has elevated him to the ranks of the elite cops (Ron Perlman, Titus Welliver, Giancarlo Esposito, Ron Eldard and Corey Large) who meet for a weekly poker game. At his first night with them, each recounts his most iconic case, and afterwards Jeter staggers out a bit tipsy, running into his underaged girlfriend Amy (Halston Sage) who is being menaced by a man (Michael Eklund) in a terrifying mask. Next thing Jeter knows, he's drugged, tied up and being held by this self-proclaimed paedophile who clearly has some sort of agenda here. Jeter can hear Amy in the next room, but every time he tries to escape their captor seems to be one step ahead of him.
All of this plays out of sequence, constantly interrupted by the other five cops' stories and even the masked man's own past, all played out in with flashy visuals and a clever integration of Jeter into past events as he watches them unfold. Sometimes the film also goes into his mind as he plays out a scene hypothetically. All of these fragments weave into the central story in some way, but filmmaker Francis never quite brings it into any sense of focus. It's so hyperactive that all the audience can do is sit back and enjoy the inventive visuals and up-for-it cast, while being horrified and/or entertained by the brutal violence.
Continue reading: Poker Night Review
Manolo has a lot of pressure forced upon him from his family regarding his future, but all he wants to do is marry the woman of his dreams, Maria. However, he is not the only person who wants to make Maria his wife and he is in serious competition with her charming and handsome suitor (and his own best friend) Joaquin. Meanwhile, two spirits of The Land of the Remembered named La Muerte and Xibalba look upon the scene in fascination during the Day of the Dead; a time when spirits are able to effect the the land of the living as they pass between worlds. They decide to make a bonding wager on who will win Maria's affection, with La Muerte betting on Manolo being the victor. When it looks like she might be right, Xibalba has him killed by a snake and taken over to the Land of the Remembered where he is forced to face his biggest fears in order to see his beloved once again.
Continue: The Book Of Life - International Trailer
When Thunder is abandoned into the street by his owner as a kitten during a house move, he finds himself in the home of an eccentric aged magician named Lawrence and his family of friendly mechanical toys on a stormy night which gives him his name. Lawrence takes him on tour performing at parties but it soon becomes clear that he's much more popular than the magician's old pet rabbit, Jack - a fact that doesn't sit well with either Jack or the magician's mouse Maggie. However, the furry team must unite for the sake of Lawrence when trouble arises in the form of his nefarious nephew, who is attempting to sell the large house while Lawrence is away at hospital. Thunder and his new friends decide to try and convince him that the house is actually haunted, with Thunder at the forefront of the ploy. The question is, do Lawrence's unusual family have it in them to save his livelihood?
Continue: The House Of Magic Trailer
In Mexico, two best friends Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) fall in love with the same girl, Maria (Zoe Saldana and so both face each other for her love. Two spirits passing through the world, La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and Xibalba (Ron Perlman), make a bet over who will triumph out of the two. Muerte on Manolo and Xibalba on Joaquin. When the Xibalba feels the odds are against him, he brings Manolo into The Land Of The Remembered.
The Book Of Life sees Manolo setting out on an exciting, but dangerous journey across three majestic worlds where he will face his greatest challenges, in order to return to Mexico and win over Maria once and for all.
From producer Guillermo Del Toro, The Book Of Life is an animated comedy film directed by Jorge Gutierrez and written by Gutierrez and Doug Langdale (Aladdin: The Return of Jafar). The Book Of Life sees Gutierrez attempt a Nightmare Before Christmas esque Tim Burton style, with jovially dark animation. With exceptional visuals and a story of fortitude, The Book Of Life should be a loveable film for all.
Even if the premise is tired, this grim thriller holds the attention by focussing on the raw intensity of the characters' personal lives. It's also grisly enough to work as a bone-dry black comedy about a hapless guy who will do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones. But just a little more complexity in the story and characters would have helped a lot.
The film opens as nice guy Elliot (Mark Webber) is sacked from his New Orleans job at exactly the wrong time. Not only is he planning his wedding with his pregnant fiancee Shelby (Rutina Wesley), but he also helps support his retirement-age dad (Tom Bower) and mentally disabled brother (Graye). So when a stranger phones to offer him a place in a cash-bonanza game, he doesn't mind that the 13 tasks are increasingly deranged. It starts with killing a fly, but soon escalates to making a child cry, starting a fire in a church and desecrating a dead body. But if he wins, his worries will be over. Then he realises that he's not the only contestant.
Without a hint of subtlety in the script, we never have any questions about what is happening, what the moral implications are and where the story's going next. So there's no way to join in with Elliot's disorienting dilemma. Instead, there's nothing to do but sit back and watch. In another actor's hands, Elliot might have come across as an idiot who deserves whatever's coming, but Webber has a vulnerability that makes us care what happens, even as he does one stupid thing after another. His family seem eerily oblivious, but Ron Perlman adds some deadpan humour as a detective following Elliot's trail. And Pruitt Taylor Vince is on hand as his usual bug-eyed, shifty nerd who knows more than anyone else.
Continue reading: 13 Sins Review
It's Friday and the barbecue smoke plumes of the not-so-distant weekend beckon, but if you fancy going to see a film this weekend here's what's just been released.
Friday 12th July has been quite the launchpad for a host of new and exciting films, showcasing the genre spectrum. From action blockbusters to indies, political thrillers to kids animation films, there'll be something to suit all tastes and ages as the summer of film gets hotter.
Well, we'll start off with Trap For Cinderella first because it's the underdog erotic thriller indie with an interesting premise. The Iain Softley film will star young, up-and-coming British actresses Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach as vivacious Micky and shy Do: two girls who are reunited after years apart and reignite a secret passion despite the disapproval they are faced with.
Tuppence Middleton & Alexandra Roach In Trap For Cinderella.
The time is drawing ever closer to the release of Fantastic Beasts And Where to...
Newt Scamander is a wizard who's always had an interest in monsters and wild, unworldly...
Long before Harry Potter - or his parents - took up residence at Hogwarts, there...
Long before the time of Harry Potter, wizards and witches still lived their lives in...
Danny Winters is a young man in 1969, who becomes disenfranchised from the marginalisation and...
This dark thriller is so relentlessly stylish that it's distracting. Refusing to settle down to...
Manolo has a lot of pressure forced upon him from his family regarding his future,...