Tag Archives: joel edgerton

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

Bought to you by Graeme Wood
01.07.15

 

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!

The whitewashed cast of ‘Exodus’ is irresponsible — Another 2014 Movie Once Again Changing History

 

We at Kushfilms.com have been just so annoyed and once again disappointed with Hollywood with their racists discriminatory filmmaking  and in the case of the film ‘Exodus’ the director Ridley Scott and sadly Christian Bale (one of our favourite British actors); that we really didn’t want to give this film any type of exposure at all – Nada – absolutely nothing!

We do also realise the danger of continuing to let Hollywood make these type of films as they have done since the creation of Hollywood without there been a wave of negative feedback and a call to not support box office sales of racists misleading history changing film-crap like Exodus.

But after already speaking out about films like; Noah & Lucy all made this year in 2014, which also blots out the African genesis of mankind from genuine world history, we just felt we shouldn’t give Exodus any type of exposure at all, hoping it will in a counter-intuitive manner help the film to attract low box office sales.

Sadly with all that has been happening recently; Sony Pictures executives personal emails exposed, their producers slagging off black stars like Kevin Hart and doubting the international box-office appeal of Denzil Washington, the lack of diversity here in the UK and the US in both television and film, black films and actors not been given fair opportunity to shine as with the recent UK semi-partial bogus release of the British urban film Montana and not to mention the ever increasingly worrying racial separation currently happening in the United States facilitated by the deaths of numerous young black men and now two New York police officers in a supposed revenge killing.

I have to wonder if there is some kind of agenda by forces unseen to undermine and in some cases to exterminate globally the progress of black people – Yes now in 2014!
Marlon Palmer (Director)
Kush Films

 

Taken from Mashable.com
Written by Yohana Desta
11.12.14

We just love this straight-talking professional article on the film Exodus written by Yohana Desta of mashable.com that we just had to reprint it here for you our readers.

Please feel free to give us some feedback – send comments to: info@kushfilms.com

What a shame — Exodus: Gods and Kings could have been epic.

exodus-05

Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver, the new Ridley Scott film has already garnered controversy for casting white actors as ancient Egyptians. Some have called for a boycott, but the Academy Award-nominated director has kept fairly quiet on the criticism — until a recent interview with Variety.

Scott explained:
“I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” Scott says. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

There’s a lot to unpack, but it’s worth noting that Scott’s position is not entirely without merit — filmmakers, even those working with major studios, have an incredibly difficult time funding movies. As the industry becomes more reliant on revenue from foreign countries, where top stars are still a critical draw, you need big names on the marquee to get a green light. Period.

However, that doesn’t excuse films from making the same irresponsible casting decisions over and over. While movies are still an art form, filmmakers are increasingly held accountable for working within a system that egregiously ignores minorities. Half of all contemporary films still fail the Bechdel test, despite its growing influence as a measure of gender bias. Ironically, studies show that films with a more diverse cast earn more revenue.

Sure, Exodus is just a movie — but its message surfaces social issues that do more harm than good.

As someone who has seen this film, I can attest to its aggravatingly backward casting. Not only is the main cast aggressively whitewashed, but the decision to degrade actors with dark skin was an utter distraction. Scott’s need to get a movie star may become the film’s own Achilles heel.

What Ridley Scott gets wrong.

bale-scott-edgerton

Christian Bale, Ridley Scott and Joel Edgerton – Image: Andy Kropa /Invision/AP/Associated Press

An expensive film has to recoup its budget and race to the top of the box office. Exodus: Gods and Kings is an expensive movie. With an estimated $140 million budget, it makes sense why Scott feels pressure to deliver on the film’s promise. However, that is where all forgiveness of Scott’s racist Biblical epic ends.

The uproar against this film has been dragging on for months on end, initially because of the film’s cast list. The movie stars carrying this film — Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton (if he can be called a “star” yet), Sigourney Weaver and Aaron Paul — are all white, as are most of the male supporting cast with speaking roles (save for Ben Kingsley, who is half-Indian).

In contrast, aside from Weaver, most of the main actresses with speaking roles — Hiam Abbass, Maria Valverde, Golshifteh Farahani and Indira Varma, mainly — are non-white, which might be the film’s only saving grace in terms of racial casting. But let’s go back to Scott’s Variety quote.

His reasoning deliberately places the blame elsewhere, as though it’s completely out of his hands. In the grand scheme of things, what he’s doing in this film is not different from many other Hollywood films — one need only go back as far as Noah to find a jarringly all-white cast in a biblical epic. Exodus carries on the grand tradition of white actors playing…well, everything. Native Americans. Asians. Other Ancient Egyptian people. However, tradition does not make this film’s actions inexcusable.

Now, this may be the point where you ask: But isn’t the exact skin color of the ancient Egyptians up for debate anyway? Thanks to the Nile River, ancient Egypt was a blend of many outside cultures. However, as Penn State University anthropology professor Nina Jablonski pointed out, it is safe to surmise that they likely had tan skin, as depicted in ancient artwork of Egyptian royalty.

Egyptian art
Jablonski also wrote in her book Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color: “In ancient Egypt as a whole, people were not designated by color terms, and slavery was not associated with darker skin.”

If you couldn’t tell from my author photo, I’m a dark-skinned black woman. And if you couldn’t tell from my name, I’m of East African descent. When I watched Exodus: Gods and Kings in an early press screening,

joel_ramsesI saw things a little differently than the 18-35-year-old white men Scott’s film is no doubt trying to reach.

When the initial casting for the film ignited uproar, it was because dark-skinned actors were cast as servants, soldiers, assassins — you get the idea. Going into this film, I remained open-minded — perhaps Scott had been unfairly vilified in the film’s early reports. Instead, I was slapped in the face with racist imagery.

— Jaime (@jaimichnew) December 5, 2014

Within the first few minutes of the film, two black actors are shown, but they’re merely servants to the high priestess (played by Varma). The next few times you see dark-skinned people, it’s essentially the same — they’re the ever-present bodyguards of Ramses, the wicked assassin sent to kill Moses. They’re servants who flit in and out of rooms. Dark-skinned people in this film are treated like furniture, scattered in the background like props. They are mute (I can count on one hand how many times a dark-skinned actor speaks, and that’s being generous). It’s a visual representation of the statistic that only 25.9% of speaking characters in 600 films from 2007-2010 and 2012-2013 were minorities. And this is a movie set in Africa. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this film’s imagery — and let’s be clear, this is a popcorn flick for your eyes, not your brain — is that it may as well have been set in the Antebellum South. The brutally callous way with which black actors are relegated wordlessly to the background and white actors in the foreground was incredibly uncomfortable and so distracting I was aghast Scott got away with it. Once I noticed the disturbing trend, I decided to tally in my notebook how many times I saw a prominently featured dark-skinned actor stand in a scene without speaking. By the end of the film, I had 40 marks in my notebook. That’s 40 opportunities to give a black actor a voice. Forty chances to let a dark-skinned person rise above the subservient role he or she has been given. Forty times Scott did not realize how gruesomely ignorant his film had become.

What should have happened.

Christian Bale in a scene from 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'

Christian Bale in a scene from ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings.’


Dark-skinned people in this film are treated like furniture, scattered in the background like props.

 

 

In a recent interview, Christian Bale defended Scott’s casting choices, spinning them as opportunities to spotlight lesser-known minority actors. “…We should all look at ourselves and say, ‘Are we supporting wonderful actors in films by North African and Middle Eastern film-makers and actors?’ Because there are some fantastic actors out there,” he says. “If people start supporting those films more and more, then financiers in the market will follow…To me, that would be a day of celebration.” Bale’s comments are the closest thing to a mea culpa offended viewers are going to get. In the same interview;

Scott told the film’s boycotters to “Get a life.”

Bale has a great point — films from those regions deserve attention. However, the Hollywood system, in which Bale is an active participant, largely ignores minorities. A 2011 UCLA study showed that only 10.5% of films starred minorities. Therein lies another problem. There are minority actors who could carry Exodus. If Scott was so determined to secure Bale, fine — but why horribly whitewash the rest? Revered actors like Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor or Djimon Hounsou all possess at least as much gravitas and popularity as Edgerton. An actress like Angela Bassett or Viola Davis could have have tackled Weaver’s surprisingly small role with gusto. (Weaver may be Scott’s golden girl, but her presence was one of the most distracting of all.)

Sigourney Weaver in 'Exodus: Gods and Kings.'

Sigourney Weaver in ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings.’

Scott’s movie star tactics also haven’t helped reviews. Exodus currently holds a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Its real star is the special effects. That $140 million budget was put to good use, particularly with well-orchestrated battle scenes and visually stunning plagues of, well, Biblical proportions. For that reason alone, millions of people will see this film. However, tracking indicates it might make around $29 million opening weekend, which is enough to secure a top spot, but shaky for a film with that kind of budget. Global audiences might eat up its massive scale, and see it because it carries the name of the director who brought us Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator. And yet, I am not entertained.

Aside from Bale, Edgerton also spoke about the film’s casting controversy in an interview with IGN. Though he admits to not keeping up with all the criticism, he wants people to get the film’s true message: “It has one of the most important resonant messages that we really face as a human race, which is: On an ethical standpoint the ideal is that we treat each other with equality, as this story shows the struggle that ensues when one race subjugates another.

” How ironic that this film stands for just the opposite.