Hugh Jackman Is American Senator Gary Hart In First Trailer For ‘The Front Runner’

“Democrat Gary Hart becomes the front-runner for the 1988 presidential nomination until allegations of an extramarital affair derail his campaign.”

Directed by: Jason Reitman

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, Sara Paxton, J.K. Simmons, Molly Ephraim

Release Date: January 25th, 2019

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Father Figures

Year: 2018
Directed by: Lawrence Sher
Starring: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, J.K. Simmons, Katt Williams

Written by Tom Sheffield

I’ll be honest, with the disappointing quality of comedies over recent years (bar a handful of exceptions) I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy ‘Father Figures’ as much as I did. Owen Wilson and Ed Helms both have a history of hit and miss films, a niggling thought that only added to my scepticism of this film, but with the aid of a strong script and fantastic direction, this film manages to deliver some hearty laugh out loud moments, as well as offering up some genuinely heart-warming moments.

Peter (Helms) and Kyle (Wilson) are twin brothers who lead totally different lives. Peter is a Proctologist and divorced father of one who fears his child will hate him forever because he himself never had a father figure in his life. Kyle on the other hand is as laid back as they come and is currently earning the big bucks as the model for a BBQ sauce company.  The pair learn the their mother has been keeping a secret from them their whole lives… The man they grew up thinking was their father, who they were told died when they were really young, actually wasn’t their father. This revelation leads the brothers on a journey of self-discovery as they try to hunt down their real biological father by finding their mother’s ex-lovers.

Helms and Wilson are brilliant as the twin brothers, who pull off both the comedic and more heart-warming moments superbly. Sadly, the film fails to provide a classic Wilson ‘wow’ moment, and neither of the pair perform outside of their usual comfort zone as they portray characters who could easily be mistaken for one of older performances. The support cast, however brief their appearances may be, are all wonderful and offer something a little different to the story. A special shout-out has to go to Katt Williams, who absolutely steals the scenes he’s in and had me in absolute stitches. Williams’ scenes are also my favourite of the film, and it’s very likely I’m not the only one who will think so.

This is Lawrence Sher’s directorial debut. If the name rings a bell, it’s for a very good reason! Sher has worked on a number of films as the director of photography, including ‘Paul’, ‘The Hangover’ trilogy, ‘War Dogs’, and the upcoming ‘Godzilla’ sequel, ‘King of Monsters’. As far as debuts go, this is a pretty strong start for Sher and I look forward to seeing his future work both in an out of the director’s chair. As you can expect from a film with a director with a passion for cinematography, this film features some noticeably great camera work, lighting, and scenery. Sher enlisted the help of John Lindley (‘Legion’, ‘The Core’, ‘Bewitched’) to take the reigns as Director of Photography, with Sher no doubt having a great influence on his work.

The film takes a few unexpected (and hilarious) twists and turns, and with family-orientated comedies such as this you can always expect a scene or two that try to deliver an emotional gut-punch. For me, scenes like this tend to miss their mark or the ‘revelation’ is completely obvious and therefore doesn’t have much impact. However, the final scenes of this film absolutely nailed the delivery, timing, and came as a genuine surprise, which means it packs a pretty emotional wallop to the audience.

If you’re killing some time, this film will do the job and give you a few laughs along the way. The film doesn’t really offer up anything new but it does sport a great cast that play to their strengths, and a solid script. Sher has produced a comedy that manages to execute changes in tone throughout so fittingly that they don’t feel out of place or shoe-horned in. I may actually find myself re-visiting upon its home release.

Tom’s Rating: 5.5/10

Justice League

Year: 2017
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds, Amy Adams, J.K. Simmons, Diane Lane

Written by Tom Sheffield

Having thankfully managed to avoid spoilers, major plot points, and reading the opinions of film critics, I walked into the cinema at midnight last night full of hope and excitement – and I left completely blown away by what I just witnessed. I think even the DCEU sceptics reading this will be find themselves pleasantly surprised with ‘Justice League’ and the direction it takes.  I will avoid writing any spoilers in this review as I strongly feel that it would really dampen your viewing experience if you knew what to expect!

Following the death of Superman, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince attempt to assemble a team to be humanity’s defence against a new threat to Earth. The pair recruit rookie speedster Barry Allen (The Flash), half-human half-Atlantean Arthur Curry (Aquaman), and Victor Stone (Cyborg), who was recently brought back to life through the power of a Motherbox. The team must come together to stop Steppenwolf and his terrifying Parademons gaining the Motherboxes.

Affleck, Gadot, Momoa, Miller, and Fisher are a delight to watch on screen together. Whilst their characters don’t always see eye to eye, it’s clear to see the cast had a blast working together. Each has their moment to shine, and boy do they deliver! Miller was a standout for me, but I may be a little bias with Flash being my all-time favourite superhero. Miller was the perfect choice for Barry and his humour and charisma were spot on. The cast as a whole were brilliant in their respective roles, so I tip my hat to Snyder and the folks in casting for their choices!

Ciarán Hinds lends a menacing voice to Steppenwolf, and whilst his performance is respectable, the poor CGI is quite attention drawing and sadly weakens his stature as a villain. Steppenwolf shines when he comes face to face with the League – but I couldn’t help but feel we didn’t get to see enough of him. Hopefully this is something that can be resolved in the inevitable extended cut.  Witnessing Henry Cavill back in action as Superman was a beautiful sight to behold – and whilst my review will remain spoiler-free, it’s easy to spot which scenes were part of Whedon’s reshoots as the FX team attempt to CGI-out Cavill’s moustache he grew for ‘Mission Impossible 6’.

Unfortunately, during the filming of ‘Justice League’ Zack Snyder had to step away from the project to be with his family following the tragic loss of his daughter. Joss Whedon, who was already working with Snyder on the film, was asked to step in as Director and finish the film – which included reshoots. Anyone familiar with Snyder and Whedon’s portfolio can easily pick out who directed and wrote the dialogue in which scene, but thankfully they gel well enough together to deliver a sturdy and action-packed 120 minutes. It is a real shame the film got cut to pieces, with lots of footage from the teasers and trailers nowhere to be seen – a thread of which can be found here – but following the bashing the previous films received, it’s understandable (but not welcome) why Warner Bros. would limit the film’s content and run-time to try and appeal to the general audience.

In another twist during the production, Junkie XL was replaced by Danny Elfman as the composer for the film. In all honesty, his score as a whole was a little underwhelming, but there are a few notable moments where the score gave me actual goosebumps , and when you watch the film you’ll know EXACTLY which scenes I mean. Hearing some familiar notes just added to the joy and wonder of what I was witnessing. It really did give off JLA vibes and I felt like I was witnessing my childhood come to life in front of my very eyes.  I would have loved for Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL to score the film, but I guess we don’t always get what we want!

To wrap up, ‘Justice League’ is popcorn blockbuster of epic proportions. Zack Snyder’s  vision comes to fruition with the return of Superman, and with him, the return of hope for the future of the DCEU. I’ve made no secret of my admiration for Snyder and his work, and if this happens to be his final directorial work within the DCEU (which I really hope it isn’t) then he should be proud of his trilogy and what he’s achieved.  ‘Justice League’ is full of heart, humour, and most importantly…hope. It’s flawed and suffers in places with bad CGI, but to finally see these characters on the big screen together and to witness the group dynamic come to life with such an incredible cast is just a childhood dream come true.

You’ll also want to remain seated for the TWO post credit scenes, and believe me, they are well and truly worth it. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Tom’s Rating: 7.0/10

Explosive New ‘Justice League’ Trailer Has Arrived!

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds, Amber Heard, J.K. Simmons
Release Date: 17th November 2017

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The Snowman

Year: 2017
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Chloë Sevigny, J.K. Simmons, Val Kilmer, Toby Jones

Written by Corey Hughes

After a 6-year directorial break since ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in 2011, Tomas Alfredson returns to the director seat for the woeful adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s best-selling Scandi-noir murder mystery ‘The Snowman’, the fifth entry to the Oslo Sequence series of books starring Harry Hole.

Following a series of missing persons and murders in Oslo, acclaimed detective and loose-cannon Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) and newcomer Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), with their own personal intentions, hunt the aptly named Snowman down; a serial killer who leaves a snowman in his wake.

Fassbender, whilst trying his outmost to provide a plausible performance, fails to play the inner-tormented, broken man with the same gravitas that he brought to the table in similar roles in ‘Shame’ and ‘Hunger’; an unfortunate addition to a string of bad decisions from the immensely talented actor. The performances from the rest of the cast are moderate at best – Kilmer; an odd casting choice whose dialogue appears to have been dubbed in post production, Ferguson; who is unconvincing in filling the boots of the strong-willed Bratt, and J.K. Simmons; who provides a caricature-esque performance as the grotesque and completely unsympathetic Arve Støp.

Keeping within touching distance with Nesbø’s novel, Alfredson brings to the table experience from working on ‘Let The Right One In‘ by showing the goriness of the Snowman’s murders in their most truthful, explicit and uncensored form. The murders are set against the backdrop of Dione Beebe’s swooning cinematography, a successful depiction of bringing the cold, snow-engulfed Oslo to life, but in the grand scheme of things he is merely disguising what is ultimately a bleak, unforgettable experience.

There have been reports surfacing that during the editing process, Alfredson and editor Thelma Schoonmaker came to the realisation that chunks of the plot were missing, resulting in last-minute reshoots. Such disorganisation not only shows Alfredson’s lackadaisical approach in adapting the novel to the big screen, but also accounts for ‘The Snowman’s’ directionless nature; focusing on things that are insignificant whilst quickly glossing over things that are instrumental to the plot, an oddity that Schoonmaker is far from accustomed to from her partnership with Martin Scorsese (who was supposed to direct this mess before Alfredson stepped in).

Disregarding the inclusion of intricate, overlapping subplots evident in Nesbø’s novel, screenwriters Hossein Amini and Peter Staughan provide an unfaithful translation of the source material. Condensing a layered, 400-page novel to a mere 2-hour film is difficult but undoubtedly achievable, yet Amini and Staughan seem to struggle with adapting Nesbø’s multiple plots into a conceivable screenplay. The film cuts out a catalogue of important moments from the novel, which ultimately results in each character having the most minimal amount of depth and motivation possible. You aren’t given any reason to care about the characters, or the situations they find themselves in, an extreme flaw for any murder-mystery story.

‘The Snowman’, with so many acclaimed names attached to its production, with even Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, is a gargantuan disappointment. Use your price for admission towards Nesbø’s novel instead. You’ll thank me later.

Corey’s Rating: 4.0 out of 10

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The League Is United In The First Trailer For The Justice League

After trailer teasers started appearing on Thursday afternoon, DCEU fans have finally received the trailer they have been waiting for since the huge teasing in the SDCC footage last year. 

The 2 and a half minute trailer is full to the brim with action shots of the League doing their thing. We get a great look at all of them using their powers, and when Barry asks Bruce what his power is, he replies in the most Bruce Wayne way possible with the line “I’m rich..” . We also get a very quick look at Amy Adam’s return as Lois Lane, Amber Heard as Mera and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon! 

A lot of fans on Twitter were expecting a glimpse of Superman’s return in the trailer, but if they were to do this at any point during the marketing I would put my bets on it happening in the final trailer as the last big tease before the film’s release. Steppenwolf is also absent from the trailer, and again if he is to be revealed in any of the marketing, it will surely be closer to the release. 

A cover of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ fittingly plays in the background as we get a glimpse of more action shots, followed by Aquaman riding on top of the Batmobile and leaping towards some Parademons. 

I am hugely excited about seeing my favourite superheroes make their live action debut together on the big screen. Whilst many have their reservations, and for the most part I don’t blame them, I think this film could the one to restore some people’s faith in the DCEU. 

What are your thoughts on the trailer? 

‘Justice League’ lands in UK cinemas 17th November! 

Written by Tom Sheffield

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land Gets New Release Date

Damien Chazelle, the man behind JumpCut UK favourite ‘Whiplash’, could well be set for more Oscars success next year. Too soon, we hear you cry? Maybe so, but his latest project ‘La La Land’ recently got pushed from a summer release to a December release, which at least suggests that the film is plotting an Academy run. 

The musical drama, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, with J.K Simmons also joining forces with his ‘Whiplash’ director, has us very excited here, but will it get the Academy’s attention? We think so.

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

J.K. Simmons Moves To DCEU

Oscar winner J.K. Simmons’ best performance may be his star turn in ‘Whiplash’ which won him the golden statue, but his most beloved role has always been his portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi ‘Spider-Man’ movies. Up until last week, fans were clamouring for Simmons to return to the role for the rebooted Spider-Man universe, alongside our latest Peter Parker, Tom Holland. But no one could have guessed which comic book movie role the actor would ultimately take.

It was confirmed last week that J.K. Simmons would make the move from Marvel to DC to play Commissioner Gordon in the DCEU, with Simmons set to make his first appearance in the first ‘Justice League’ movie, due to be released in November 2017. The DCEU is rapidly taking shape, and it is reported that the role of Gotham’s favourite (official) law-enforcer was the last key role to be filled; and what a way to fill it!

What are your thoughts on this casting? Should J.K. have stuck with Marvel or will he smash it as Gordon? Let us know your opinions.

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

The JumpCut UK Film Awards Show

It’s been months in the making, but finally we can bring you the results and the full show of the first annual JumpCut UK Film Awards; an awards show put together by film fans, for film fans. If you’re tired of The Oscars, this is the perfect awards show for you.

The show is just a bit of fun, as you’ll see, but at the heart of it is an attempt to celebrate some of the films, filmmakers and performers who were perhaps overlooked by the big awards ceremonies. If you don’t fancy watching the show however, here is a quick rundown of the results. Stop reading now if you don’t want to spoil the surprise.

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Best Trailer: Star Wars The Force Awakens
The Guilty Pleasure Award: San Andreas
Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress: Alicia Vikander
Worst Acting Performance: Adam Sandler (Pixels)
Best Soundtrack/Score: Whiplash
Best Visual Effects: Star Wars The Force Awakens
Best Alternative Film: The Lobster
Worst Sequel/Reboot: Terminator Genisys
Best Support Actress: Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
Best Support Actor: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Horror: It Follows
Best Comedy: Spy
Best Sci-Fi: Ex Machina
Best Action: Mad Max Fury Road
Best Drama: Whiplash
Worst Film: Pixels
Best Editing: Birdman
Best Original Story: Ex Machina
Best Adaptation: The Martian
Best Cinematography: Sicario
Best Lead Actress: Charlize Theron (Mad Max Fury Road)
Best Lead Actor: Miles Teller (Whiplash)
Best Director: George Miller (Mad Max Fury Road)
The Best Film of 2015: Whiplash

Thanks to everyone who helped out, from the nomination process, to the final voting and of course to all the presenters. We’ll be back with an even better awards show for 2016 this time next year, but in the meantime, enjoy the show and let’s hope for some great films this year again!