Film Critic Madeline McInnes is highly impressed by Red Sparrow, a darkly contemporary thriller starring Jennifer LawrenceWritten by mmcinnis on 9th March 2018
Weekly Round-up: Trailer Reviews
James Moore and Alex McDonald round up the week's most diverse trailers.
There's a trailer for every genre this week, and Redbrick Film is here to round them up for you.
Here’s something I never thought I’d see: Sir Patrick Stewart playing a Neo-Nazi. Yet lo and behold, this year’s Green Room is giving us just that. Alongside our unlikely villain is a great cast of young actors, including Imogen Poots, Anton Yelchin and Joe Cole, so there is no shortage of talent on display. One could argue that there is a danger of this being just another clichéd ‘slasher’ film, and if this was a studio film I would be inclined to agree. However, indie films always have a trick up their sleeves, so there are bound to be a few shocks. I also like the writer/director Jeremy Saulnier, who may not have the most extensive filmography, but if his previous thriller Blue Ruin is anything to go by, we could be in for a treat here.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
The team behind The Lonely Island are back on the big screen with a new musical mockumentary, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, parodying the ridiculous trend of live concerts being shown in the cinema. If you aren’t a fan of The Lonely Island you probably aren’t going to find this funny. But as a fan of them and Andy Samberg (who is more than likely going to take centre stage throughout) in general, I think this could be a hugely entertaining film. The supporting cast and cameos are the major selling point of this trailer though. I can honestly say I never thought I would see Simon Cowell, Adam Levine and DJ Khaled in the same film, but here they are. While I don’t think this will reach the lofty comedic heights of This Is Spinal Tap, it is far more preferable than a sequel to another film about One Direction…
From the moment you see a grotesque looking CGI obese version of the Rock, you get a pretty clear picture of what to expect from the film. Central Intelligence is essentially Ride Along 3, a mediocre action comedy, with Dwayne Johnson teaming up with Kevin Hart instead of Ice Cube. The leads themselves are likeable: as a stand-up comedian I think Kevin Hart is great, but I’m yet to see a film where his comedy has translated to the big screen, which once again seems to be the case here. For me, the Rock has been one of the biggest stars of the last few years and he always brings a real charisma to his roles. Sadly, I don’t think even Johnson's charm can elevate this to being anything but forgettable.
All above by Alex McDonald
Florence Foster Jenkins
I don’t know whether this is meant to be a comedy or a drama. It seems like ripe material for comedy, yet seems to be played like it’s going to be this amazing experience: be inspired by this tale of how hard this woman worked… yet she didn't actually work hard… I get the impression the writers didn’t want to seem to be poking fun at a real person. FFJ is a British film from the director of The Queen, Stephen Frears, so it may have some hope. The writer, Nicholas Martin, has previously worked on TV series' such as Midsomer Murders, which explains the humour. I have no idea if I can recommend this film based on this trailer. Will it be funny? It didn’t look it. Will it have drama? Not a clue.
Oh god why. No, seriously. Who asked for this? Ben-Hur - the novel - was published 1880, made into a play in 1899, adapted into a film in 1907 and 1925, and then became the film we know in 1959. So Ben-Hur is hardly new to adaptation, and this genre is no stranger to remakes, but you’ve got to do them justice. Gladiator wasn’t a good film just because it was a remake of The Fall of the Roman Empire, but because it went above and beyond. Gladiator brought in the best actors of its time, one of the greatest directors of all time and the best visual effects of its time. If you’re going to remake Ben-Hur you’ve got to be damn sure you’re making something that lives up to the word epic. The ’59 film had the largest budget ever when it was made. This… this looks like any other forgettable summer blockbuster. This looks like generic garbage lugged out of the back-end of Hollywood hoping to capitalize on the apparent success of Gods of Egypt or Noah, because those films were somehow something you’d want to imitate. I have never seen a film look more misguided than this. I have never seen anyone ruin a beloved classic worse than this trailer slurries the name Ben-Hur.
Both James Moore