Tag Archives: guy ritchie

New films hitting the big screen Summer (July – Aug) 2015

Bought to you by Graeme Wood


As we enter the final phase of summer there are still a few blockbusters to be entertained by and even some more eclectic fare to look out for at the cinema. First up on Friday July 3rd is the much anticipated Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy”, celebrating the life and career of the much missed singer. Directed by Asif Kapadia the film has already provoked an angry response from Winehouse’s family who complained they have been portrayed unfairly though critic’s early reviews have heavily praised the film.

Watch the teaser trailer:

Channing Tatum is back this weekend (3rd July) in “MAGIC MIKE XXL the sequel to 2012’s smash hit featuring Tatum as a male stripper; the film finds Mike and the remaining ‘Kings of Tampa’ stripping team hitting the road for one final blow-out performance.

Reviews have been fair and it appears well worth watching ladies even if it’s just for the grinding!

Watch the trailer:


Also on release now from the British Film Institute is “Magician-The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles”, an entertaining and illuminating portrait of Orson Welles with contributions from those who knew him and rarely seen film clips illustrating the genius of one of cinema’s greatest writer/directors.

Check out the trailer:


He said he’d be back and he is! The much anticipated “Terminator Genisys opens Today 2nd July, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clark, Matt Smith, Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney the film reboots Terminator the film that bought sci-fi action films onto a whole new level back in the 1980’s and then with CGI laden Terminator 2 in the 90’s. This film goes back to the beginning and follows those first two classic Terminator movies thus side-stepping the lack-lustre 3rd and 4th vehicles, so we’re back in 1984 as Kyle Reese arrives once more to protect Sarah Connor but this time things are different as he is expected, they then jump to 2017 and mayhem breaks loose with alternate realties, new terminators and three different ageing versions of T1 (Arnie), everywhere you turn things are not what they seem!

Enjoy the trailer:


Arriving July 10th is “Love and Mercy the biopic of 60’s pop group Beach Boy Brian Wilson, starring John Cusack, Paul Dan, Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks. It’s the 1960s and as Beach Boys leader Wilson struggles with his psychosis he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24 hour watch of shady therapist Dr Eugene Landy. This promises to be an interesting if unconventional look at Wilson’s life set against an unforgettable soundtrack of Beach Boys sounds.

View the trailer:


Also opening the same weekend (July 10th) is “TED 2“ Director Seth McFarlane’s follows the original hit with a sequel that promises more laughs as the living teddy bear attempts to prove his personhood in a court of law so that he and his wife can adopt a baby.

Starring: Mark Whalberg, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman & American football quarterback Tom Brady.

View the trailer:


Marvel’s latest super-hero arrives July 17th, although not the biggest name on Marvel’s roster of heroes “Ant-Man” could well provide the fast, furious, fun that summer hits require. While some have written this off following director Edgar Wright’s departure, incoming director Peyton Reed seems to have delivered what Marvel required for the next phase of their cinematic saga. Starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll and showing on big IMAX 3D screens around the country, this could be the next big-box office hit for Marvel.

View the trailer:


Also opening July 17th is director Tarsem Singh’s intriguing “Self/Less”, starring Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley, Matthew Goode and Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery. The film offers the premise of a wealthy billionaire who, dying from cancer, attempts to cheat death by using a radical medical procedure to transfer his consciousness into the body of healthy young man.

See trailer:


July 24th brings the latest summer offering from Disney and Pixar with “Inside Out”, a tale of emotion as 11 year old Riley’s life is turned upside down when her parents move to San Francisco. Riley’s emotions try to guide her through this difficult life changing event utilising the voice talents of Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black and Bill Hader.

View the trailer:


July 24th also sees Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second summer offering “Maggie” arrive in cinemas, after witnessing his daughter become infected with a virus that transforms her into a zombie, small town farmer Wade (Schwarzenegger) will stop at nothing to save her. The film also stars Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson and Mattie Liptak.

See trailer:


Also opening this weekend is the eagerly awaited authentic boxing film “Southpaw” from director Antoine Fuqua starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Rita Ora and Naomie Harris. Gyllenhaal undergoes an amazing physical transformation to play boxer Billy ‘The Great’ Hope when his impressive career is destroyed by tragedy Billy must fight his way back to save himself and his daughter.

Be excited by the trailer:


Arriving 30th July is “Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation” which sees Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt up against The Syndicate an anti-IMF rogue force. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie this action sequel should provide those much needed essential summer thrills. Also in the cast are Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Ferguson.

Enjoy the ride:


On August 6th and a decade on from their first attempt to conquer the big screen Fox bring us Marvel’s first family “The Fantastic Four”. Director John Trank’s attempt looks to try something different as four young outsiders acquire amazing abilities following a trip to an alternate universe. While the trailer promises some amazing visuals it seems to lack the charm and fun that fans might expect from the Fantastic Four. The cast includes Michael B Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell.

View the trailer:


Opening August 7th is director Joel Edgerton’s mystery horror ‘The Gift’, following a young married couple whose lives are thrown into a tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband’s past delivers a mysterious gift and a horrifying secret! The cast features Jason Bateman, Joel Edgerton and Rebecca Hall.

View the trailer:


August 12th brings director Chris Columbus ‘Pixels’ to screens from a story by Adam Sandler. When aliens intercept video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as an act of war they attack Earth using the games as models. In order to defeat the aliens the President enlists the aid of former video game champ, Brenner (Sadler), to lead a team of players to save the planet. Starring Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Kevin James, Josh Gad and Michelle Monaghan.

View the trailer:


August 14th sees talented British director Guy Ritchie’s big screen version of small screen classic “The Man From U.N.C.L.E in cinemas. Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill takes on the famous role of Napoleon Solo and actor Arnie Hammer plays Illya Kuryakin. A big screen U.N.C.L.E. movie has been in development for many years but no one has yet been able to deliver something that could satisfy the studio and fans alike. Ritchie has a good track record with his Sherlock movies so let’s hope he can deliver something that is true to the spirit of the original while being action packed and fun.

View the trailer:


August 27th sees ‘Straight Outta Compton hit theatres, a biographical drama directed by F. Gary Gray that revolves around the rise and fall of the Compton, California hip-hop group N.W.A. (N**gers With Attitude) In 1980s California, a group of young men form the hip-hop group N.W.A. and their journey sees them revolutionize music and pop culture with their brutally honest songs about life in the ‘hood’. The film stars Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti, Aldis Hodge, Keith Stanfield and Alexandra Shipp.

Here you go:


Finally, August 28th sees another sequel “Hitman:Agent 47” arrive, originally based on the video game series, the first Hitman was a hit with fans. This time another genetically engineered assassin targets a mega-corporation that wants to use his genetic code to create an army of killers.

Directed by Aleksander Bach and starring British actor Rupert Friend (Starred Up), Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware and Ciaran Hinds.

View the trailer:

*All opening dates correct at time of writing.

Have a great cinematic summer!

Jason Statham: ‘Do I want to be the next James Bond? Absolutely’

Original article courtesy of theguardian.com


Jason Statham Action Star

He’s got the deadliest skills and the maddest stare but has Jason Statham got the chops for comedy? As his new film Spy opens, Britain’s toughest export talks about keeping a straight face, doing his own stunts and having 007 in his sights.

‘You slip on a cape and you put on the tights and you become a superhero? They’re not doing anything!’ … Jason Statham.

“If someone wants me to jump off this balcony,” says Jason Statham, nodding to the window behind him, “and land on a crash pad, that’s a piece of cake for me.” We’re only on the first floor of a Mayfair hotel, but it’s still quite a drop. This isn’t Statham boasting – it’s more a casual aside – but we both know he’s not joking, either. I’m tempted to challenge him to do it without the crash pad, though there’s the possibility he’d win the bet by disabling me with a dinner plate to the throat, hurling me off the balcony with him, and using my body as a human cushion, like he did a few years ago in the movie Safe.

Statham is one of the most distinctive brands in cinema. You know exactly what type of movie you’re getting when you see his name above the credits, and you can be sure that’s really him doing the balcony-jumping, car-chasing and choreographed ass-whupping. He’s the man with the deadliest skills, the maddest stare, the strongest cranium, the graveliest growl. When he punches the air, the air screams in pain.

Except now Statham might have blown his cover. In his new movie, Spy, written and directed by Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig, he’s scene-stealingly hilarious. Melissa McCarthy is the dependably funny and surprisingly physical heroine of this gleeful action comedy, but equally revelatory is Statham, playing a chauvinistic English secret agent. He’s everything James Bond isn’t: sweary, vulgar, not very good at being secret, and by no means the sharpest tool in the agency’s box. He’s confused to learn there’s not actually a “face-off machine” (see clip below) that can change his identity, and he’s given to listing the absurd punishments he’s taken in the line of duty, from ripping off his own arm to impersonating Barack Obama – all delivered with an impeccably straight face. He’s basically a brilliant parody of himself.

“Paul was saying, ‘Look, just don’t try and be funny. That’s not what I want,’” says Statham. “It harks back to Guy Ritchie saying, ‘Don’t try and act. That’s not what I want!’”

There’s no mad staring or growled threats with the real-life Statham. He’s friendly and attentive, even if you get the sense he’d rather jump out of the window than go through another interview. He enjoyed being out of his testosterone comfort zone doing Spy, it seems. If he had any anxieties about playing second fiddle to smart, funny women like McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Miranda Hart, he’s not admitting to them. More challenging was Feig’s way of working. He encourages improvisation, and is in the habit of dreaming up new lines mid-scene and handing them to his actors on Post-it notes.

Statham might have the edge when it comes to leaping from tall buildings, but when it comes to verbal dexterity, he’s happy to bow to McCarthy. “She was just … great,” he says, amused by his own inarticulacy. “For myself, it’s not something I’ve been accustomed to experimenting with.”

Feig wrote the part especially for Statham. He’s a big fan, it turns out. He’d seen all of Statham’s movies – “even the bad ones” – and he clearly recognised something that becomes apparent watching Spy: Statham has been a comedian all along. Many an absurd story would have beenJason-Statham-Crank impossible to buy without Statham’s unwavering deadpan. Like the one where the hero can only survive by committing high-adrenaline acts such as having public sex and driving through shopping malls (Crank). Or keeps his artificial heart charged by attaching jump leads to his tongue and rubbing up against polyester-clad grannies (Crank 2). Or assassinates someone by ambushing them from the bottom of their swimming pool, then moves the corpse’s arms and legs from underneath to make it look like they’re still having a swim (The Mechanic).

Statham has been keeping a straight face for some time, I suggest, half-tensing in case he decides to shove my dictaphone into the side of my neck. He laughs. “I get paid too well not to keep a straight face.”

Jason Statham Transporter

Statham’s school-of-life ascent is almost the stuff of legend now. His acting skills were acquired hawking cheap costume jewellery on London street markets. The athleticism was encouraged by his father, who was a boxer and gymnast. “He taught me to do a handstand practically before I could walk. I could do somersaults and backflips from a very early age.” That led to diving, and a place on the national team, but not the success he craved. “You have to start when you’re five years old; when I started at 12, it’s way late. You need pro coaches; my coach was a chartered accountant.”

Guy Ritchie took a chance on him with Lock, Stock …, Luc Besson took another with The Transporter in 2002, and it’s been a succession of strenuous B-movies and increasingly lucrative franchises ever since. His previous movie, Fast & Furious 7, is now the fourth-highest-grossing of all time, having taken more than $1.5bn worldwide.

Statham’s comfort zone has never looked the slightest bit comfortable, mind you. It’s exhausting just reading about his punishing training regiment: rowing machines, circuit training, weights, sprints, rings, trampolines. Having said that, he recently divulged he also likes to get drunk and float about in his Los Angeles pool with his girlfriend, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. “It’s been feast and famine,” he admits. “I’ve had untold years of burning the candle: going out, overeating, over-drinking. Even when you do it, you understand you can’t live that way. As you get older, you get a bit wiser.” He’ll be 48 next month. Given his new comedy direction, could it be he’s easing out of the action game?

He shakes his head. “I really like doing action movies. It’s opened the door for me and I’ve had a great career out of it. Why not continue doing something I’ve always wanted to do?”

Jason-statham1The problem is, in today’s movie landscape, Statham is facing competition from all directions. On the one hand, there’s a conveyor belt of superhero contenders muscling in on his turf; on the other, you’ve got actors such as Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington, even Colin Firth, taking late-life detours into action movies.

Not to mention the Expendables old guard, including Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who refuse to retire. Statham doesn’t begrudge the latter: “They were my heroes growing up. Sly Stallone is a real athlete; he gets stuck in.” But he’s riled by the number of phoneys he sees around him.

“They are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” he says, becoming more animated. “I’m inspired by the people who could do their own work. Bruce Lee never had stunt doubles and fight doubles, or Jackie Chan or Jet Li. I’ve been in action movies where there is a face replacement [that “face-off machine” really does exist] and I’m fighting with a double, and it’s embarrassing. But if you really are an aficionado of action movies, you know who’s doing what and who ain’t. To me it’s a little bit sad.”

He’s clearly not impressed by the superhero upstarts, either: “You slip on a cape and you put on the jason-statham-sylvester-stallone-expendables-2tights and you become a superhero? They’re not doing anything! They’re just sitting in their trailer. It’s absolutely, 100% created by stunt doubles and green screen. How can I get excited about that?”

Statham’s next project is something of a change, though: a thriller entitled Viva La Madness. “It’s a completely different thing to what I’ve been doing,” he says. “This is a real jump back to something very serious. It has its own element of black comedy but very slick, very sophisticated.”

At this point certain dots start to join. Viva La Madness is written by JJ Connolly. It’s a sequel to Connolly’s Layer Cake, in which Statham’s character was played by Daniel Craig. Layer Cake was credited as Craig’s audition for James Bond. Craig has announced this year’s Spectre will be his penultimate Bond movie. Statham would be a wild card choice for the next Bond, but why not?


“Could I do it? Abso-fucking-lutely,” he says. “Would I do it? Abso-fucking-lutely. Is Daniel Craig a great Bond? Abso-fucking-lutely.”

There’s no doubt Statham can walk the Bond walk. And talking his talk can hardly be an issue with a character whose accent has fluctuated between Sean Connery’s Scottish brogue and Timothy Dalton’s Welsh. Added to which, Statham’s self-made, by-the-bootstraps backstory is surely more in tune with modern Britain than the traditional public-school elitist Bond biography. “Yeah, I’d make a decent Bond,” he says. “But it’d be very, very different if I did it.”

What about a Bond villain?

“Er …” he hesitates. “I don’t know if I wanna to do that. That’s not my thing. I’d rather play the other guy.”james-bond-style-jason-statham1

He’s not that bothered, really. He’s doing fine without Bond. After Viva La Madness, work starts on Fast & Furious 8. And Spy will almost certainly be a sequel-spawning success. He’s enjoying himself. “Yeah,” he says. “It’s a good spot. But it’s very unpredictable. It’s inevitable what goes up must come down.” Keeping his feet on the ground might be the wrong expression when it comes to Statham. Let’s just say he’s still landing on the crash pad.