"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Saturday, November 7, 2015

New Photos: Disney's Zootopia

These are a little late going up but we've got new characters stills from Disney's Zootopia featuring the voice talents of Ginnifer Godwin and Jason Bateman. Directors Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) and Byron Howard (Tangled) announced their cast of characters that will inhabit the world of Zootopia releasing in theatres next March.

(Photos: Disney)
Up first is Mayor Leodore Lionheart who believes anyone can be anything in Zootopia. Voiced by the formidable J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), let's already agree not to get on his bad side.

 Next up, we have Assistant Mayor Bellwether, the overburdened and overstressed assistant of Mayor Lionhart. This simple sheep is voiced by comedian and actress Jenny Slate (Obvious Child).

The Zootopia Police Department is led by Chief Bogo who has to uphold the law in the metropolis and as well as deal with the department's first bunny Judy Hopps. Idris Elba, who's got enough experience with these tough guy roles, voices his first animated character with Zootopia. He's also voicing a character in Disney's Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory.

Also part of the Zootopia PD is Officer Benjamin Clawhauser, the receptionist and a cheerful cheetah who enjoys doughnuts a little too much. Clawhauser is voiced by actor Nate Torrence.

The aforementioned first bunny on the police force is Judy Hopps who is determined to prove herself (despite her shady partner) on a missing mammal case. Judy is voiced by actress Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon A Time).

Judy's proud parents, Stu, a carrot farmer, and Bonnie Hopps, are delighted to see their daughter join the Zootopia Police Department. Stu and Bonnie are voiced by good friends Don Lake and Bonnie Hunt, who has been a Disney/Pixar favorite.

The story moves forward in Zootopia when Mrs. Otterton shows up at the police station looking for her missing husband. Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) voices the part of Mrs. Otterton.

When the Zootopia PD only have 48 hours to crack the case of Mr. Otterton, wily fox Nick Wilde is paired with Judy to solve it. Jason Bateman voices Nick, whose loyalties are always known.

The very untrustworthy Duke Weaselton, a smaller level crook, may sound familiar to many of you. The Disney regular (Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen) Alan Tudyk previously played the Duke of Weaselton in the monster hit, Frozen.

The fastest sloth working at the DMV? Surely you're kidding me. Nope, Flash the sloth is the speediest at the Department of Mammal Vehicles. A story artist at Disney, Raymond Persi, voices the character.

Anytime the citizens of Zootopia should need any advice, they should head to the local Zen retreat for some knowledge. Comedian and actor Tommy Chong voices the very enlightened Yak, Yax.

One of the smallest animals in Zootopia, Finnick the fennec fox, is most suspicious of everyone. Actor Tommy Lister who is 6'5" in real life voices the character.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing in the movie?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Celebrating 20 years of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge!

(Source: Yash Raj Films)
It's been twenty years since we were invited to 'come fall in love' with Raj and Simran. The directorial debut of Aditya Chopra was the freshest thing Hindi cinema had seen. A love story about second generation British Indians, it reminded us that wherever in the world we may be, we are always Indians first.

Like most films from Yash Raj Films, there were songs in Switzerland. But Raj and Simran's first meeting, that took place in a train. And since then countless filmmakers have tried to replicate that magical meet-cute. But that's also largely due to the actor and actress who played them. Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol become one of the most beloved onscreen couples of Indian cinema. They would go on to make other films together but they are forever etched in our minds as Raj and Simran.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) gave us more than just an iconic screen duo. A whole soundtrack full of memorable songs, numerous quotable dialogues and an ardent wish to take the Eurorail! Shah Rukh Khan's "Senorita, bade bade deshon main, aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain", grew so popular that even US President Barack Obama quoted it on his trip to India.

What's your favourite part of this iconic film? Mine's always been that scene by the river where Raj and Simran have that veiled conversation about their real feelings.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Trailer: Disney's live action The Jungle Book

Hollywood studios often get ideas at the same time. How else do you explain the persisting problem of making films on the same subject by dueling film studios? Going all the way back to William Wyler's Jezebel (1938), a Bette Davis vehicle set in the American Civil War, was made to compete with Gone With the Wind (1939).  Since then, we've had films like Robin Hood and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves both come out in 1991 and more recently, Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror and Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman released in 2012. 

This time, Hollywood has Rudyard Kipling on the brain. Out today is Disney's first trailer for Jon Favreau's live action meet motion capture fantasy The Jungle Book coming out next April. Starring newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli and the voice talents of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken and Lupita Nyong'o, the film is more Kipling than the 1967 animated film. But wait a minute, didn't Disney already make a live-action The Jungle Book way back in 1994 starring Jason Scott Lee? Why yes, they did. But they're Disney, who's going to stop them from making another?

Meanwhile, motion capture transformation king Andy Serkis is directing his first film, Jungle Book: Origins with young Rohan Chand as Mowgli. Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander and Serkis himself will be providing the voices. Unlike Disney's The Jungle Book which only has Sethi as the lone human in the film, Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto will also be acting in the film. There's a long wait to see Jungle Book: Origins; the film is scheduled to release on October 6, 2017.

This new trailer gives us the first look of young Mowgli in action in the jungle going up against Shere Khan, Bagheera, Kaa and more. In fact, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa narrates the trailer, inviting us along with Mowgli to come over to the dark side. Favreau's film has a Lion King feel with a sprinkling of the animated classic (did you catch those few bars of 'Bare Necessity'?). The Jungle Book promises to be a grand scale adventure that will surely please fans of the original novel. One thing's for sure: The Jungle Book is going to look amazing in 3D.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Trailer: Pixar's The Good Dinosaur

We waited through having no Pixar films for two years, but this year we're rewarded with two in the same year! Inside Out has already proved to be a bittersweet delight, will The Good Dinosaur finish off the year of the dinosaur with a flair?

This new full trailer shows in detail the mysterious yet awe-inspiring world that was the planet Earth millions of years ago. Of course, The Good Dinosaur would also like you to imagine a world where the dinosaurs weren't wiped out by a massive asteroid. The trailer gives us the first proper introduction to Arlo, the young Apatosaurus whose loses his way only to make a new friend who happens to be human on his way to an adventure.

The Good Dinosaur which had a major upheaval in production also recently revealed that the voice cast underwent a change. Pixar must have obviously had massive character changes as child actor Raymond Ochoa will be voicing Arlo, Jeffrey Wright voices Arlo's father Poppa, while Frances McDormand is the only cast member who remains and will voice Arlo's mother Momma. Marcus Scribner voices Arlo's brother Buck while Steve Zahn voices Thunderclap, a pterodactyl.  AJ Buckley is T-Rex called Nash, Anna Paquin voices another T-Rex Ramsey and Sam Elliott voices the third T-Rex Butch. Finally, Arlo’s new friend, Spot, is voiced by another child actor Jack Bright.

The Good Dinosaur, directed by Peter Sohn, releases this Thanksgiving November 25, 2015. What did you think of the first full trailer of the animated film? Yay or nay?

New Teaser Trailer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani

The newest teaser trailer for Bajirao Mastani released last week shows typical attributes of a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. The sweeping score, the grandiose scale and lately, a doomed love story set against a periodic backdrop. The teaser for Bajirao Mastani releasing this December reveals its three stars gearing up for something... epic, we're just not sure what yet.

Ranveer Singh is Bajirao, the legendary Peshwa ruler, Priyanka Chopra is Kashibai, Bajirao's wife and Deepika Padukone plays Mastani, a warrior who ends up being Bajirao's second wife. The film will probably show they fall in love against all odds. Unfortunately, the fighting scenes especially those with the bow and arrow look so incredibly contrived. Deepika Padukone looks like she's about to finish painting rather than shoot an arrow across a distance. Also, Ranveer's sword in the last few seconds of the trailer looks like it's made of paper not metal. It's not just about hair and makeup that needs attention, these details matter too.

Let us wait and see what the full trailer will unveil. Bajirao Mastani goes up against another big film, Dilwale starring the star pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol reunited on December 18, 2015. Who will prevail? Which film will you be rooting for?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blast From The Past: Clueless (1995)

(Photos: Paramount)

It's been 20 years since Amy Heckerling's Clueless (1995) first released but the film still resonates with the audience that initially saw it and anyone who might see it again today (ie. Iggy Azalea's homage to the film in her video for Fancy). Based on Jane Austen's classic novel Emma (1815) about a meddlesome young girl with a heart of gold, Clueless transported the iconic material to a Beverly Hills high school. Featuring Alicia Silverstone in her first leading role, the film also starred Paul Rudd (Hey, there Ant-Man), Donald Faison, Jeremy Sisto, Stacey Dash and the late Brittany Murphy (Girl, Interrupted). Clueless made them all breakout stars that summer of 1995.

The film's teen terminology became instantly quotable, every girl wanted Cher's wardrobe and the soundtrack perfectly reflected was what was popular in the 90s - from Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Coolio, Counting Crows to The Muffs. Based on small budget of $12-13 million, Clueless grossed around $56 million domestically and opened No. 1 at the box office. Not bad for a film that was initially pitched as a television show. The success of the film lead to a spinoff TV series which launched on ABC and finished out the next two seasons on UPN. Most of the cast with the notable exceptions of rising stars Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd reprised their roles in the series.

If you're a diehard fan of this lovable cult classic, then you must check out the new book released just in time for the film's 20th anniversary, As If!: The Oral History of Clueless by Jen Chaney. There you'll find notable nuggets of information on casting (Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie were considered for the role of Cher, Ben Affleck read for the part of Josh which eventually went to Paul Rudd), how Heckerling came up with Cher and Dionne's lingo and how hard the everyone worked behind the scenes to make this little film a reality.

(Photo: Paramount)
Personally, the film just works on so many levels, it's a clever reflection of the social strata, an accurate look at the lives of teenagers and it also happens to be so darn funny. Plus, Clueless introduced us to the adorable Paul Rudd, who looks about the same now as he did in 1995. Silverstone's Cher is a heroine for the ages, self-deprecating yet endearing with her heart in the right place. Which is why, 20 years later, we still love her.

New Trailer: Alejandro G. Iñárritu's The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio has had the good fortune of working with the best directors in business. In recent years, he's become a trusted collaborator of the legendary Martin Scorsose churning out some of his career's best performances. Despite all of this, the Academy is clearly not impressed. They've awarded him five nominations for his work over the years, but he's never quite broken through to win the big prize.

Nevertheless, DiCaprio keeps at it. His latest project, directed by recent Best Director winner Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, pairs him with his Inception costar Tom Hardy yet again. Based on American frontiersman Hugh Glass' cross-country trek after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by his companions, The Revenant is adapted from Michael Punke's 2003 novel. The film's first trailer gives a perspective of a unique Western with its hero out for revenge and retribution.

With stunning camerawork from Emmanuel Lubezki (will he win his third consecutive Oscar with this film?), The Revenant shows us the harsh lifestyle and unforgiving conditions of the unexplored American wilderness. Costarring Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson, the film releases on Christmas this year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Trailer: Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell Bring Us Joy

She's known around the world as Katniss and/or Mystique yet director David O. Russell keeps seeing Jennifer Lawrence as troubled young suburbanite who's having a personal collapse in her life. For her third collaboration with Russell, Lawrence reteams with Silver Linings Playbook costars Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in the biopic Joy.  Based on Joy Mangano's life, the single mother of three invented the Miracle Mop and went on to create her own empire.

Joy also stars Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini and Elisabeth Rohm. Cooper plays an Home Shopping Network executive who helps Joy sells her products while De Niro plays her father. Releasing on Christmas Day, Joy will look to gain awards recognition especially at the Oscars as Russell, Lawrence, Cooper and De Niro have all been well accepted for their work together. 

New Trailer: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are Sisters!

It's only natural that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey play siblings in the first trailer for Universal's Sisters out this Christmas. The former SNL cast mates, bestselling authors and all-round funny women reunite as sisters Maura (Poehler) and Jane (Fey) visiting their childhood home to clear out their stuff before it's sold and have one last party to end all parties as closure. Bonus: Maya Rudolph makes an appearance as a former friend and uninvited guest. Raise your hand if your invite to the party was lost in the mail! Sisters, directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) lands in theatres December 18, 2015.  

New Trailer: Suicide Squad

We've seen the photos, we've been teased with the first character looks and now it's time to see the first trailer of director David Ayer's Suicide Squad. This task force of the 'most dangerous people on the planet' are hoping to become the anti-heroes you will root for. Featuring Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg and more, this squad is run by Agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), giving her best no-nonsense looks in the trailer.  The best is left for last, of course, the full proper reveal of Jared Leto's Joker in full on crazy mode to 'hurt someone really, really bad'. Get ready for an uber villain adventure next summer as Suicide Squad releases August 5, 2016.

New Trailer: Batman v. Superman Comic Con 2015 Edition!!

Probably the biggest film trailer to debut at this past weekend's Comic Con was Warner Bros' Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This second much longer look at the DC Universe film gives us additional info on the conflict brewing brewing between two brooding superheroes, leading to an eventual fight on the yard (or a Batmobile). They'll take whatever is available at the moment.

We see Superman aka Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) feel more and more marginalised as an outsider. We  see an older, bulkier Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck, who takes over the role from Christian Bale) who's suppressed his feelings for a long time. Somebody's also goading Bruce with notes about his past and you can literally feel the waves of anger rolling of him against Superman. Cue the return of the vigilante Batman.

The trailer also shows us glimpses of other iconic characters of the universe, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jesse Eisenberg as a very youngish Lex Luthor with hair and of course Gal Gadot debuting as Wonder Woman. Director Zack Synder sure has his hands full with all-star cast that I hope get the opportunity to do justice to their characters.

My only problem is (and I felt this with The Amazing Spider-Man reboot too and look what's happened there, it's being rebooted yet again) we just said an emotional goodbye to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. To say that Nolan's films changed the way we look at comic book/superhero films is an understatement. It's too soon. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is also setting up the road for the rest of the DC characters to go off and have their own adventures. More surprising news coming out of Comic Con was that Affleck himself would be directing a standalone Batman film after the Justice League film in 2019! Wow, that's a whole lot of Batman down the line.

Gotham's bringing the fight down to Metropolis. I sure hope Superman's ready. Will Earth survive the fighting between two ultimate superheroes? Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice releases March 25, 2016 ahead of the crowded summer season.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Miyazaki Will Return to Animation with a 3D CG Short Film

Turns out Hayao Miyazaki is not yet done with retirement as yet and that's great news for animation fans worldwide. For the first time, Miyazaki will be making a 3D computer generated short starring a hairy caterpillar to premiere at the Ghibli Museum in Mikata, Japan. The short which is about 10 minutes will be the first new project the famed storyteller will work on since his last release The Wind Rises in 2013.  Unfortunately, we'll have to wait three long years for the short to be completed and then too, it is due to be shown only at the Ghibli Museum. Guess 2018 is a good a time as any to plan that bucket list trip to Japan.

New Cast Photo: Ghostbusters

Director Paul Feig had been teasing us with photos from the upcoming reboot of the Ghostbusters releasing next summer. First there were the updated suits, their proton packs, their Ecto - 1 ride and finally, here is it, the official cast photo with the hashtag #whoyougonnacall. Uhm, the Ghostbusters, amirite?

(Photo: Paul Feig)
Actresses Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kirsten Wiig and Kate McKinnon look absolutely badass posed in front of the Ecto - 1 with that iconic logo in the middle.

There is one cast member who is missing from this photo and that's the Ghostbusters' receptionist played by Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. Annie Potts was the receptionist in the 1984 version. I personally love this bit of casting and Feig's prior track record with ensemble casts could show us another side to Hemsworth's as yet untapped comedic abilities.

The film, which is currently being shot in Boston this month, will release on July 22, 2016. Are you already humming the Ghostbusters song? Who you gonna call? 

Movie Review: Spy (2015)

Paul Feig has found his comedic muse in Melissa McCarthy and the results are simply marvellous. Bridesmaids, The Heat, and now Spy have all made me bust a gut in the theatres. Watching a good comedy is so rare these days, in the end, you like some parts but not the whole film. Meanwhile McCarthy has become the de facto queen of summer movies (barring Tammy last year) proving her name alone guarantees time well spent at the movies.

In Spy, she's Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who has the chops to become an agent, but chooses to stay in the shadows to help Bradley Fine (Jude Law) out on his missions. Obviously, she's also got a hopeless crush on him and he's got no clue. He treats Susan more like his secretary than what she actually is, his right hand woman.

When Fine is tragically killed on assignment and the identity of the rest of the CIA agents has been revealed, it's up to Susan to step up to the plate, expose the villains and save the world from a nuclear bomb. She travels to Paris to set the plan in motion. But first, she must have a new identity as an undercover spy.

Susan wants to be somebody and even her undercover identities are boring and normal. She's easily typecast as a mom of four and owner of ten cats. But as a longtime analyst, Susan has good instincts and backed up by her friend Nancy (the hilarious Miranda Hart), they go about finding Sergio De Luca (Bobby Cannavale) and Reyna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) who the CIA suspect have the bomb.

Throwing a large kink in Susan's plans is former agent Rick Ford (a surprisingly funny Jason Statham) who reminded me a bit of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's conversation in Hot Fuzz on all the things he's done on the police force. Rather than saving the day, he ends up being more of an impediment to Susan.

Susan, on the other hand, emerges to become a badass bodyguard to Reyna (take that, Midwestern mom!). This was, by far, my favourite part of the movie. All of sudden, Susan's not hesitant or scared anymore. She goes for it 100%. She gives herself a makeover, makes grown men cry and kicks  some serious ass. All this with an extremely potty mouth. It was glorious.

You know a film is good AND funny when not only are you laughing but also repeating the lines to yourself because it's that entertaining. I found myself doing that quite a bit. McCarthy and Feig will reunite once again for the Ghostbusters reboot next summer all but guaranteeing McCarthy's summer reign will continue. I can't wait.

Written and Directed by Paul Feig; Cinematography by Robert Yeoman; Editing by Melissa Bretherton and Brent White; Music by Theodore Shapiro

Running Time: 120 minutes


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Movie Review: Inside Out (2015)


After a self-imposed hiatus, Pixar is back with its 15th feature film with a high-concept story that has managed to touch both adults and children. Director Peter Docter, the mastermind behind Monsters Inc. and Up, brings us another emotional tale with Inside Out.

The majority of the film is set inside the mind of an eleven-year-old Riley (voice of Kaitlyn Dias) a regular young girl who life is uprooted when her family moves from Minnesota to the big city San Francisco. A avid ice-hockey player, moving to the warmer California and being away from her friends and all she know is initially worrisome for Riley but she puts on a brave face for her parents. How do we know this? That's because we have insider access to the inner voices in her head - namely Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Fear (voice of Bill Hader).

It turns out Riley's mind is the control room (aka headquarters) where these five differing emotions reside taking decisions that impact her daily life. They are deeply concerned for the well-being of Riley and hilariously help her out of little jams dealing with the fact her new bedroom has no furniture as the moving truck is delayed. Joy is the leader in making sure Riley is always happy and has to constantly manage the rest of the emotions especially Sadness from taking over.

One such day, when Riley is introducing herself at school, Sadness touches a core memory making it turn yellow (joyful) to blue (sadness). It causes Riley to break down in tears and the resulting madness to make the memory happy again causes Joy and Sadness to be sucked down into the long term memory archives. From there on, Riley's core memories as well her personality islands (family, friends, hockey, goofball, etc) are on in danger as Anger, Disgust and Fear are in charge at headquarters and Joy and Sadness have to figure a way back.

Their journey is what makes up the core of Inside Out and they come across Riley's former imaginary friend Bing Bong (voice of Richard Kind) and some hilarious escapades as they try to catch the train of thought back to headquarters. Joy and Sadness both have differing views on how to approach any situation and by spending more time with each other, they both get to understand each other's worth.

Pixar is the king of story in animation and Inside Out is no exception. With the tears (an unexceptionally touching moment with Bing Bong could touch the coldest of hearts) comes loads of laughs and self-awareness as well. The end credits has a particularly fun look inside the minds of several characters we've run into during the film. They've even managed to sneak a Chinatown reference in the film as Sadness and Joy make their way back home.

Kudos to Pixar on the casting of the voice talents. Each actor absolutely shines in their roles. But I've got to admit a little fondness for Sadness. Joy is easily the emotion to like instantly, how could you not? But Sadness slowly grew on me throughout the film as she came into her own personality and became more confident.

The morale of the story Pixar is trying to tell is deeply moving. While we might lose a little joy now and then as we get older, it's quite alright to embrace a little sadness. Is it okay to be sad sometimes? Yes, and that's going to be a profound lesson for youngsters to learn. This will definitely lead to some interesting conversations at the dinner table for parents and children alike. Welcome back, Pixar! We've really missed you.

Directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen; Screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley; Editing by Kevin Nolting; Music by Michael Giacchino

Running Time: 94 minutes



Movie Review: Jurassic World (2015)

22 years after Jurassic Park (1993) stormed its way into theatres, Jurassic World, the fourth in this gigantic franchise, is well on its way to make movie history itself. A new generation is experiencing the dino-mania that gripped the 90s when Stephen Spielberg and the talent team of VFX and animatronic artists showed us the forgotten world of dinosaurs. This time around, the whole experience feels a tad commercialised as we head back to dinosaur land in Jurassic World.

It was the dearly departed John Hammond's (the late Richard Attenborough) wish that the park be up and running at its finest for the public. In Jurassic World, it's all running smoothly until the newest attraction decides she's had enough of waiting in the wings for her big debut. Young brothers Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) are our eyes and ears as we travel to Jurassic World for the first time. Their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the head of operations at the park and they've got an all-access pass to the park.

The introduction to the park via the brothers is breathtaking and very real. Gray's infectiousness at wanting to visit everything at the park is heady. It's Disney World meets Universal Studios with vicious prehistoric creatures. But everything here is treated as a commercial enterprise so there's a petting zoo with baby dinosaurs, a Sea World-esque splash zone where the mosasaurus eats a large shark like it's an appetizer (a not-so subtle ode to Spielberg's Jaws) and a gyrosphere which allows you to roam amongst the apatosaurus and the stegosaurus. I sorely missed Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), from the first two films, who would have never allowed this to happen, he would have been the first to point out there's a looming disaster in the wings.

As a substitute, we have Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), the former Navy man turned Velociraptor wrangler, who believes that the dinosaurs aren't just park attractions but animals with a mind of their own. He leads the raptor pack (featuring Blue, Charlie, Delta and Echo) who've established a bond with him. When Jurassic World's latest dinosaur, Indominus Rex, outsmarts her handlers and escapes her paddock, a exhaustive search and rescue is set upon the island.

Of course, everyone underestimates how smart the dinosaur is. The Indominus Rex is hellbent on a mission to be the last dinosaur standing and the humans are helpless to stop it. Throughout the film, there are flashes of nostalgia with nods to the original Jurassic Park, a destroyed banner on the ground, the old jeep, the scene with the gyrosphere echoing the first encounter with the T-rex and then there are the original dinosaurs who let the Indominus Rex know who's boss. Seeing T-Rex stomp through the park in the climax gave me a big thrill; she's the real lead of the film.

Before the film released, it received a lot of flak for not having a strong feminist character. Howard's Claire started out the film dressed in all white, ran around in heels and according to Grady "has control issues". I'd like to point out that not only does she save Grady's life when he's been attacked by a dimorphodon, she also bravely leads the T-rex to the fight with the Indominus Rex. I guess that's not strong enough for everyone!

The rest of the Jurassic World features some known faces. Jake Johnson from New Girl plays the long-suffering control room support guy Lowery, Vincent D'Onofrio as the InGen representative Hoskins who only sees the dinosaurs as weapons and finally Irrfan Khann as the park's down-to-earth charismatic owner, Simon Masrani; they all stand out in their scenes. Director Trevorrow, in only his second film, was given a mammoth task of reviving a franchise. I really enjoyed his debut film Safety Not Guaranteed and I thought he was a odd choice to helm this film. However, Jurassic World hit all the right points for me as it deeply echoed the first film in the franchise.

The special effects really bring home the whole idea of dinosaur adventure park. You end up wishing for a place where you could canoe down a river or ride a safari amongst the dinosaurs. The final dino-on-dino fight is something else altogether and it's all enhanced by Michael Giacchino's soaring score. Building on John Williams' instantly recognizable Jurassic Park theme, Giacchino gives the thrills and chills of exploring the long-long world. Williams' music still gives me goosebumps to this day.

Jurassic World became the first film to gross $1 billion worldwide in 13 days and edged out the debut record previously held by The Avengers back in 2012 and it's easy to see why. Many of us have a some of kind of fascination with dinosaurs over the years and to see them come to life onscreen is astounding. Jurassic World has replicated the Jurassic Park in spades and it's wonderful to see them on the big screen. Easily the film of the summer!

Directed by Colin Trevorrow; Screenplay by Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly; Edited by Kevin Stitt; Cinematography by John Schwartzman; Music by Michael Giacchino

Running Time: 124 minutes


Thursday, July 9, 2015

New Stills from Pixar Short Sanjay's Super Team

Back in April, the first concept of the short film, Sanjay's Super Team, debuting before Pixar's Thanksgiving feature, The Good Dinosaur, was released. Today, two stills from the film, both showing different animation styles reveal a little bit more about the film.

(Photo: Disney/Pixar)
Young Sanjay is front and center in both of them as he first watches presumably a show about superheroes, clutching a figurine in his hand. His father can be seen praying in the background.

(Photo: Disney/Pixar)

In the next, the Hindu gods Hanuman and Vishnu and the goddess Durga stand behind him protectively. What is Sanjay up against that has him so worried?

I've got to say this short directed by debutant Sanjay Patel looks absolutely amazing. Indian animation has covered religion and mythology quite a bit but this will be the first time the mainstream audience will be getting to see this part of Indian culture onscreen. I can't wait. Sanjay's Super Team releases before The Good Dinosaur on November 25, 2015. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tom Holland cast as the newest Spider-Man!

(Photo: Marvel / Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images North America)
For the third time in the past 13 years, we will see yet another young actor take on the mantle of the iconic character Spider-Man onscreen. After Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, 19-year-old Tom Holland (The Impossible) has been cast by Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios to play young Peter Parker in the next stage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Captain America: Civil War and an additional stand-alone film.

A new director, Jon Watts (Cop Car), has been named for the next Spider-Man film releasing on June 28, 2017. This is a new direction for the web-slinger who will receive the cinematic reboot for the third time. The Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst grossed nearly $2.5 billion worldwide.  The 2012 reboot directed by Marc Webb and its 2014 sequel took Parker back to high school with British actor Andrew Garfield and a new/old flame Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). While the pairing of Garfield-Stone worked mainly due their on and off screen chemistry, the films made half of what the first trilogy grossed.

Sony Pictures abandoned any further sequels planned and instead the character is now set to step into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and fight alongside the Avengers. This new move also means a new backstory for Peter Parker after he will be reintroduced in Captain America: Civil War. There's no doubt that Tom Holland is a fine young actor, but I'm hoping he will be able to stand out in the overly crowded Captain America sequel. As for the new Spider-Man film, I don't know how many times they can spin the same story over and over again, but I'm sure Hollywood will find a way to bring us to Peter Parker's journey into Spider-Man in theaters one more time. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

First Teaser Trailer: Kung Fu Panda 3

Last week, DreamWorks Animation unveiled new stills and characters in the first look of the upcoming Kung Fu Panda 3. As the story hinted at the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, a whole new world inhabited by pandas was yet to be explored by our lovable lead, Po (voice of Jack Black). In the first teaser trailer released today, after a requisite fighting sequence showing us the returning characters Furious Five in action (plus Po and Master Shifu), we finally see the big moment when Po comes face to face with his long-lost father Li Shan (voice of Bryan Cranston) and it's everything we've come to love and expect from this winning series.

The reason why the Kung Fu Panda series still resonates amongst viewers is that despite everything he's achieved, Po remains the adorable goofball we first laid eyes on. He's a skilled martial arts warrior but he will stop along the way to eternal glory to finish that bowl of dumplings he's just seen. With what we've just seen from the teaser, good old dad seems to be exactly like his son Po. I think it's safe to say that we can count on hijinks a plenty in Kung Fu Panda 3 releasing January 29, 2015. The film is directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni.

First Look: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Dilwale!

A couple of days ago, Shah Rukh Khan posted a photo on Twitter that detailed his and one of his earliest co-stars Kajol's journey together. 22 years and 6 films later, they will work together again in Rohit Shetty's Dilwale releasing December 18, 20, 2015. They last worked together in Karan Johar's My Name is Khan (2010) and many thought it would be a Dharma Productions film that would cast them once again. Their much anticipated reunion (for fans, at least!) could not come sooner.

(Photo: Red Chillies)
 This first photo released of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol shows the pair in scene set in Bulgaria. Dilwale also costars Varun Dhawan and Kirti Sanon, while Shah Rukh Khan has previously worked with Shetty in Chennai Express, this will be the first time Shetty will be directing Kajol.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Animated Trailers: The Peanuts Movie, Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Secret Life of Pets

An old classic, a sequel and an expose of the hidden of life of pets! Blue Sky Studios, Sony Animation and Illumination all have new trailers out for their upcoming animated films.

Coming out in a crowded November with The Good Dinosaur, Spectre and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the world's most loved underdog Charlie Brown and his equally lovable dog Snoopy decide to turn around the bad luck that always seems to surround him. There's a pretty new girl who moves in on the block and if he can muster up the courage to say hi, Charlie Brown might just have a new friend. In the gang's first 3D adventure and their first big screen adventure in 35 years, Charlie Brown is going to transform himself into a winner. The Peanuts Movie, directed by Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!), brings up favorites we all grew up with: Schroeder, Sally, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Pigpen, Lucy  and of course Charlie Brown and Snoopy. This film gives Blue Sky Studios a great chance to show a whole new generation the iconic and endearing characters created by Charles M. Schultz.

The Drac Pack returns in Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania 2 in the first teaser trailer for the film. New to being a grandfather, Drac (voice of Adam Sandler) wants to show his half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis the ways of being a vampire. If only little Dennis would learn how to fly! He better learn soon because Drac's father Vlad (voice of Mel Brooks) is coming for a visit and he's not going to like the hotel being open to humans now.  Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, Hotel Transylvania 2 releases in theaters on September 2, 2015.

Ever wondered what your pets do at home all day when you're at work? Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets will take us behind those cute eyes and show us exactly what your little furball is up to. Featuring the voice talents of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper and Jenny Slate, the film is about a terrier, Max, who questions his place in his owner's life when he brings home a mongrel named Duke. Debuting next summer, The Secret Life of Pets might just unveil some mysteries your pets don't want you to know.

Which animated trailer are you most intrigued about?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

First Teaser Trailer: Disney's Zootopia

Two days ago, the first look of Zootopia's lead characters, Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps, were introduced and today the first teaser narrated by the wily fox Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman) has been released. The teaser basically sets up the modern world that these anthropomorphic animals inhabit. The look of this teaser is wry yet funny and hits all the right notes.

Lots of characters of all shapes and sizes in the animal world traverse by. But we're really interested in Nick and Judy and their antagonistic first meet cute. Let's see how these two end up saving the day when Zootopia releases in theatres on March 4, 2016.  

New Photos: DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda 3

DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda 3, landing an early release next year, showed off some photos from the upcoming film in USA Today. In the series, Po (voice of Jack Black) believes that he is the last of his kind and his father Mr. Ping (voice of James Hong) found him as a abandoned baby.  However, the previous film revealed that Lord Shen (voice of Gary Oldman) was trying to destroy the village that Po and his family lived at. Po finally learned that his parents sacrificed themselves to save him.

Po and his father Li. (Photo: DreamWorks Animation)
But that's not all folks! The last scene of Kung Fu Panda 2 showed Po's biological father (and a whole village FULL of pandas) sensing that his son was still alive. Kung Fu Panda 3 expands on that last scene as Po finally gets a reunion with his father Li (voice of Bryan Cranston) and gets to live, for a bit, with pandas who look just like him.

Meet Mei Mei! (Photo: DreamWorks Animation)
He even meets Mei Mei (voice of Rebel Wilson) who becomes quite interested in him. But Po remembers he still has obligations alongside the Furious Five: Tigress (voice of Angelina Jolie); Monkey (voice of Jackie Chan); Mantis (voice of Seth Rogen); Viper (voice of Lucy Liu) and Crane (voice of David Cross).  The gang, with help from Master Shifu (voice of Dustin Hoffman), have to fight the new big bad, a supernatural villain named Kai.

Frolicking baby pandas in the river. (Photo: DreamWorks Animation)
But before that, Kung Fu Panda 3, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni, promises a film filled with lots of panda babies. Nelson even went to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan, China to observe pandas in their natural habitats and saw nurseries filled with adorable baby pandas. More film time devoted to baby pandas is a-okay by me. 

The film is scheduled to release on January 29, 2016. Let's hope the release date sticks this time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New Trailer: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

 The final saga of The Hunger Games series comes to a close with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. The last teaser trailer debuted yesterday and as usual, it’s delighted fans with the promise of a definitive battle between the rebels and the Capitol. This time around Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is ready, really ready to end things once and for all with President Snow.

The stage has been set up and the trailer shows up a brief glimpse of the calm before the storm with Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Annie's (Stef Dawson) wedding. All too soon, Katniss is on the battlefield leading the rebels through the Capitol. We see tender moments with Primrose (Willow Shields) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) before it's time to fight. All our of main characters and actors are back in this ultimate ending to The Hunger Games series, one last blowout, it seems.

I remember reading the final few chapters and taking a pause for a minute, the material gets dark very fast  and I'm wondering if this cinematic version will stay true to the original story. Directed by Francis Lawrence, with a screenplay from Danny Strong and Peter Craig, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 releases in theaters on November 20, 2015

First Look: Disney's Zootopia

(Photo: Disney)
USA Today unveiled the first look of Disney Animation’s upcoming Zootopia, a buddy comedy with a twist. Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), a fox and Judy Hopps (voice of Ginny Godwin), a rabbit team up to solve a big case. Co-directed by Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), Zootopia is based a modern world inhabited with animals.

First reaction… this looks wonderful, it echoes its own Robin Hood in the look and feel of the characters and I’m glad Disney is creating different and original content in animation as the rejuvenated production house has given us some amazing stories and characters in the past year. Zootopia, Disney’s 55th animated film, releases in theaters on March 4, 2016.

Awards Season Trailers: Suffragette, Bridge of Spies, The Martian and more!

It’s June, you know what that means. It's time to roll out trailers for films releasing in the latter half of the year that could potentially have an awards presence. Hence, you’ll find Hollywood’s A-list Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Matt Damon all featured in the trailers for Suffragette, Bridge of Spies and The Martian respectively. The films below all come with good pedigree with award-winning and nominated directors, screenwriters, and actors showcasing their latest work.

The early struggle of the British women’s suffrage moment and their fight for equality is the focus of director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Hour). The mostly British cast, minus Meryl Streep, of Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai show how dangerous and brutal a fight the feminist movement had to have an equal voice. Streep, who plays British activist Emmeline Pankhurst, can be counted as an honorary Brit, after all, she did win her third Oscar for portraying the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Come awards season, Suffragette could land potential nominations for best film and lead and supporting nominations for its actresses. The film releases in theatres on October 23, 2015.

James Marsh’s 2008 documentary Man on Wire on Phillippe Petit’s daring walk between the World Trade Towers already won the Best Documentary Oscar. Now, director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future) is retelling Petit’s story from his book, To Reach the Clouds. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit and Oscar winner Ben Kingsley, The Walk recreates his famous 1974 walk in breathtaking 3D and will be showcased on the large screen IMAX format. Best of all, the film gives Gordon-Levitt the chance to show off his French accent. The self-confessed Francophile has been a fluent French speaker for years. Take that, Bradley Cooper! The Walk, with Zemeckis’s previous Oscar and Golden Globe wins, might gain best film, director and lead actor nominations for Gordon-Levitt. It releases in theatres on October 2 and will have its premiere as it opens the New York Film Festival on September 25, 2015.

Based on writer Jon Krakauer’s (Into the Wild) book Into Thin Air, Everest details the 1996 fatal climb to Mount Everest. A strong ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal take us throw the harrowing expedition which takes a turn for the worse once a severe snow storm hits. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns) and co-written by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and William Nicholson, Everest also features a score by Oscar-winning composer Dario Marianelli (Atonement). Lately, most true life stories get recognized for their screenplay and direction, Everest too could like be nominated for the same. I have a feeling it could also squeeze through the technical categories, especially for VFX, if all the superhero films don’t crowd it out. Everest releases in theatres on September 18, 2015.

This is collaboration number 124578 between director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks. No, not really, but the Spielberg-Hanks partnership goes way back to 1990 when they first worked together a little film called Joe Versus the Volcano. (Sidebar: This ‘little’ film is a gem, do watch it if you can.) Based on the true life story of the 1960 incident when an US spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace, Bridge of Spies is also adapted from the book of the same name by Giles Whittell. Co-starring Mark Rylance, Amy Adams and Alan Alda, this Spielberg-directed cold war thriller could land plenty of nominations during awards season. The prolific Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel, have contributed to the screenplay and composer Thomas Newman could earn his 13th Oscar nomination for the score. Could the 13th time be the charm? Bridge of Spies releases in theaters on October 16, 2015.

We just saw Matt Damon play a stranded astronaut in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. He’s back to repeat the experience, this time on the red planet, Mars, closer to home. Directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator) and featuring a screenplay by Drew Godard (World War Z), The Martian is based on the popular novel by Andy Weir. The film costars Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara and Chiwetel Ejiofor in this intense story of a man surviving and trying to find his way back to Earth. Damon could find himself once again competing for lead actor and this film, like Everest, will feature prominently in the technical categories like sound and VFX as well. The Martian releases in theaters on October 2, 2015.

These are just five of the many award hopefuls releasing in the second half of the year. What film are you most looking forward to?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Eddie Redmayne cast as Newt Scamander

Newly minted Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne has a new role - that of intrepid adventurer Newt Scamander in new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy being penned by JK Rowling.  Redmayne's name had been whispered around as the lead for months now; the news was just made official yesterday.

The prequel will find Newt in 1930s New York on a journey that will probably be catalogued in the textbook that Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger end up reading at Hogwarts. Additional details about the story or more characters isn't official as yet, but the film promises to be about characters and creatures set in the wizarding world we have to know and love.

The original Harry Potter team is back for this trilogy as well. Director David Yates who closed out the series with the last four films returns in the director's chair and David Heyman will produce these prequel films once again. Rowling takes on the role of screenwriter for the first time. Fans are really excited about this, knowing the level of detail she usually includes in her stories.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them releases next year on November 16, 2016.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New Teaser Trailer: The Good Dinosaur

The new teaser for Pixar's The Good Dinosaur wants you to envision a world where dinosaurs where never wiped out by an asteroid. What would the world be like then? What indeed... sorry, I'm just lost in my imagination here. I'm a big fan of Pixar and I think I've made my love of dinosaurs quite evident on this blog. Between Jurassic World and now The Good Dinosaur, it's going to be a good year at the movies for us dinosaur fans.

Directed by debutant Peter Sohn, who's voiced several Pixar characters over the years, namely Emile from Ratatouille and helmed the short Partly Cloudy, this animated feature is finally making its way to theatres. Sohn took over from previous director Bob Peterson who was removed from the project midway causing the film to have a delayed release amidst restructuring. The Good Dinosaur will also be coming on the heels of Inside Out which received rave reviews at the Cannes film festival and both films look to restore Pixar as the number one animation studio after its self-imposed hiatus.

The trailer shows us the first look of some of the dinosaurs featured in the movie, namely our lead character Arlo who goes on an epic encounter and makes a human friend along the way. With the voice talents of Lucas Neff as Arlo, John Lithgow, Judy Greer, Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader (his second Pixar film after Inside Out) and Frances McDormand, The Good Dinosaur releases this Thanksgiving. As long as Pixar continues to pursue unique and original stories, we, the audience is always eager to see more. I can't wait to see The Good Dinosaur.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Blast from the Past: Casper's 20th Anniversary

Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Brad Silberling, 1995's Casper is known today as being ahead of its time for its technical achievements. Bringing to life the comic books and cartoon of Casper the Friendly Ghost created by Joseph Oriolo, the film was the first feature length movie to have live actors interact with computer-generated characters.

Since then, films featuring CGI characters have gotten incredibly realistic and complex. Studios dedicated to special effects have changed the way we see and imagine our films. Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Weta, Double Negative and the dearly departed Rhythm and Hues, we all recognize them by name. But back then, incorporating live characters with one created on the computer was a big deal indeed.

Released 20 years ago today, Casper starred Bill Pullman as Dr. James Harvey, a paranormal therapist, who moves into an haunted manor along with his young daughter Kat (Christina Ricci). The manor is inhabited by Casper (voice of Malachi Pearson/later played by Devon Sawa) and his three mischievous uncles who keep everyone out. However, Casper likes Kat and decides he's going to keep her. Meanwhile, Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty), who has been bequeathed the manor in  her father's will, believes there is hidden treasure somewhere.

There weren't many scary moments during the film, after all, Casper is a friendly ghost! The movie was a commercial success. It opened at #1 that Memorial Day weekend in 1995. This was also Christina Ricci's first big role as a lead after Mermaids and The Addams Family. Sawa and Ricci also starred together in Now and Then. The reviews of Casper were mixed, while the technology was lauded, the film never quite connected. A sequel was planned but never materialised.

Today, the film stands in the footnotes of film history for its advances in technology. Maybe one day, considering how much nostalgia factor goes into Hollywood remakes, they'll think about revisiting Casper and tackling it using today's technology.

Friday, May 8, 2015

15 Must-Watch 2015 Summer Movies!

The Hollywood summer season kicked off in style with Avengers: Age of Ultron last Friday, but things are just heating up now. With franchises old and new, book adaptations, comedies and dramas, this Hollywood summer has a lot of up its sleeve with films from Meryl Streep, Chris Pratt, Tom Cruise and more. Here's a quick list of summer movies I'm looking forward to.

15. Ricki and the Flash
Director: Jonathan Demme
Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald, Sebastian Stan and Mamie Gummer

Meryl Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, a mother who left her family to pursue her dream of being a rock singer. Years later, Ricki returns to help her daughter (played by real life daughter Mamie Gummer) recover from a breakup and reconnect with her family. While most of us would watch Meryl Streep recite the phonebook, Ricki and the Flash features a screenplay by Oscar winner Diablo Cody (Juno) and is directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia). The film releases August 7, 2015.

14. Southpaw
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, 50 Cent and Naomie Harris

Jake Gyllenhaal is Billy Hope, the headstrong, reckless boxing Junior Middleweight Champion who had it all. When his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) dies in a senseless accident, Billy falls down hard only to climb his way back to the top. Co-starring Forest Whitaker as a former boxer Tink who helps Billy along the way, Southpaw is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and co-written by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy). Releasing on July 24, 2015, the main talking point of the film is lead actor Gyllenhaal who has absolutely transformed his body to play Hope. His role could be an early contender for Best Actor this summer.

13. Pixels
Director: Chris Columbus
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Michelle Monaghan

When a capsule to find extraterrestrial life is sent out as a message of peace and later interpreted the wrong way, real video games characters like Pacman and Donkey Kong descend upon Earth to attack us. Oh, did I mention it was up to Adam Sandler and Kevin James to save us all? Al least they have Tyrion Lannister on their team. Will it be game over for Earth? We'll find out on July 24, 2015 when Pixels releases in theatres.

12. Trainwreck

Director: Jared Hess
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader and LeBron James

If you don't know who Amy Schumer is, then this film is probably a good place to start. The hilarious comedienne plays a commitment-phobic writer who meets a guy who could probably be 'the one'.  Featuring LeBron James (yes, that's right, the Cleveland Cavalier) in a hilarious supporting role, Trainwreck is produced by Judd Apatow and written by the multi-tasking Schumer. It releases on July 17, 2015.

11. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg

Tom Cruise aka Ethan Hunt is back with more death defying stunts in this latest instalment of the Mission: Impossible film series. From hanging off a plane to zooming past baddies on a motorcycle, Hunt's at it again, tracking down the mysterious Syndicate who's out to destroy him and his team. With co-stars Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg, the spy gang is back again to make it count this time. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation releases in theatres on July 31, 2015.

10. Aloha
Director: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski and Bill Murray

Director Cameron Crowe's first feature in four years, Aloha features an all star cast with recent Oscar nominees Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone along with Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray and John Krasinski. Apart from this extremely amiable cast, the film is one of the few rom-coms this summer. Could this bring back a push for the genre? Fingers crossed! Aloha releases in theatres on May 29th.

9. Paper Towns
Director: Jake Schreier
Starring: Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff

Building on the success of last year's The Fault in Our Stars, this adaptation of John Green's novel features Nat Wolff (who played Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars) and model turned actress Cara Delevingne in her first lead role as the mysterious Margo. When she suddenly disappears, will Quentin (Wolff) pick up on the cryptic clues she leaves behind? I can't wait to watch Paper Towns when it releases on July 24, 2015.

8. Magic Mike XXL
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Starring: Channing Tatum, Amber Heard, Elizabeth Banks and Matt Bomer

I could just type the name 'Channing Tatum' over and over here and that's all that is needed for most people to check out this sequel to the 2012's surprise hit Magic Mike. The guys are all back (minus Matthew McConaughey) for one last epic road trip. Brace yourself ladies, the temperature's about to get real hot! Magic Mike XXL hits theatres July 1, 2015.

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Earl
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke and  Ronald Cyler II

Keep your eyes peeled for this year's Sundance darling, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, about three high school students and the year that changed their lives.  This could be the indie breakout hit this summer. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl releases in theatres on June 12, 2015.

6. Minions
Directors:Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
Voice Talents: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin

This standalone movie is the first step in the overall minion takeover of the world. A word of advice, don't try to resist these feisty, inarticulate little yellow beings. Their cuteness is irresistible and I don't care about the plot of the film, I'm watching it anyway. Banana! Minions begins their world domination in theatres July 10, 2015.

5. Pitch Perfect 2
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld

The Bella Bardens are suspended after an 'incident' in front of the President of the United States. But these girls run the world and they won't rest until they've defeated the rest of the aca-competition. With returning stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, mashups will never be the same again. Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Pitch Perfect 2 lands in theatres on May 15, 2015.

4. Spy
Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham and Allison Janney

Bridesmaids co-stars Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne are reunited in this rollicking spy comedy from director Paul Feig. McCarthy plays CIA analyst Susan who goes into the field to find her missing partner (Jude Law). McCarthy's also the undisputed queen of comedy in the summer season when she returns with Spy in theatres on June 5, 2015.

3. Tomorrowland
Director: Brad Bird
Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Huge Laurie and Raffey Cassidy

I'm longing to find out the secrets of Tomorrowland, a place somewhere in time and space in director Brad Bird's follow up to Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, co-written by Damon Lindelof (Lost). With actors George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, this long-in-the-works mysterious Disney project finally hits theatres on May 22.

2. Inside Out
Director: Pete Docter
Voice Talents: Amy Poehler, Diane Lane, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black

It's been far too long that we've seen a Pixar film in theatres. It's actually only two years but feels much, much longer. The inner workings of your mind are now five distinct characters in this incredible, innovative film from director Pete Docter (Monsters University, Up). Featuring the voice talents of Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black and more, Inside Out takes us inside our minds on June 19, 2015. Be prepared, guys, I'm carrying extra tissues to the theatres with me.

1. Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson

They're back!!! 22 years after Steven Spielberg's Jurassic World, bigger, meaner and smarter dinosaurs take centerstage in the fourth film of the Jurassic Park series. Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in the newly updated park on Isla Nublar. Jurassic World roars back into theatres on June 12, 2015.

Well, that was my list! What summer movies are you most looking forward to?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...