Let Your Imagination Run Free In The Brand New Teaser Trailer For ‘Wonder Park’

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Wonder Park tells the story of a magnificent amusement park
where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.

Directed by: Dylan C. Brown

Cast: Mila Kunis, Jennifer Garner, Brianna Denski, Ken Jeong, Kenan Thompson, John Oliver

Release Date: March 15th, 2019 (USA)

Jennifer Garner Takes Justice Into Her Own Hands In First Trailer For ‘Peppermint’

“Young mother Riley North awakens from a coma after her husband and daughter are killed in a brutal attack on the family. When the system frustratingly shields the murderers from justice, Riley sets out to transform herself from citizen to urban guerilla. Channeling her frustration into personal motivation, she spends years in hiding honing her mind, body and spirit to become an unstoppable force – eluding the underworld, the LAPD and the FBI – as she methodically delivers her personal brand of justice.”

Directed by: Pierre Morel

Cast: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., Annie Ilonzeh, Method Man, Juan Pablo Raba

Release Date: September 21st, 2018

Love, Simon

Year: 2018
Directed by: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Keiynan Lonsdale

Written by Fiona Underhill

2017 was a banner year for LGBQT cinema, with prestige pictures such as ‘Call Me By Your Name’, ‘God’s Own Country’, ‘Beach Rats’, ‘A Fantastic Woman’, ‘BPM’, ‘Princess Cyd’ and ‘Professor Marston & the Wonder Women’ all doing extremely well critically and at various awards shows (and I personally highly recommend that you seek them all out). However, these were pretty much all arthouse indie fare that didn’t make that much of an impact on the mainstream audience. Hopefully, ‘Love, Simon’ is here to change that in 2018 – with a big studio (20th Century Fox) and a wide release, designed to appeal to young adults. ‘Love, Simon’ appears to be a typical coming-of-age, high school romantic comedy – which had a golden age in the late 1990s/early 2000s with ‘10 Things I Hate About You’, ‘She’s All That’ and ‘Get Over It’ among others. The twist here is that boy doesn’t love girl, boy loves boy.

One of the refreshing things about ‘Love, Simon’ is that it tackles modern day teens in a realistic way, acknowledging how much their lives are fueled by social media and iced coffee. Simon (Nick Robinson) lives with his parents Emily (Jennifer Garner) and Jack (an unfairly well-aged Josh Duhamel) and younger sister Nora (Talitha Bateman) in ridiculously affluent and well-adjusted circumstances. Nora is obsessed with cooking and tries out all her recipes on her family and they have a weekly ‘family TV night.’ Simon is also pretty happy at school, with his friends; Nick (Jorge Lendeborg), Abby (Alexandra Shipp) and Leah (Katherine Langford). Simon has a small role in the high school musical; ‘Cabaret’ led by Ms Albright (the absolutely hilarious Natasha Rothwell). The only person Simon has to avoid in the corridors is the overly familiar vice-principal Mr Worth (Tony Hale). One day, the school is rocked by a post on a tumblr for high school gossip; ‘creeksecrets’ – an anonymous user saying that they are secretly gay. Simon makes the decision to contact this person, known as ‘Blue’ using an alias of his own; Jacques. The rest of the film centres around Simon’s growing attachment to Blue and his quest to find out who he is.

Nick Robinson is a likeable screen presence and after ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Everything Everything’, he is on a successful run at the moment. Katherine Langford is quite a big draw for this film’s target audience after appearing in Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why,’ however I feel she was slightly miscast here. Logan Miller plays Martin, who discovers Simon’s secret and starts blackmailing him. Clark Moore plays Ethan – the only openly gay kid at school and it is refreshing that several very different LGBQT people are represented.

The film hits many of the typical senior year of High School milestones – getting drunk at a Halloween party, sleepovers, the big homecoming football game and the musical. There is one delightful fantasy musical sequence (set to the best possible song; ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’), where Simon imagines going to a liberal university and being able to be ‘loud and proud’ in his homosexuality. This was a highlight of the film for me and I wish that this had been more of a feature. Another successful element is that the film turns into a mystery – with Simon on a quest to uncover Blue’s true identity. As he speculates as to who it could be, the voiceover reading Blue’s emails changes to fit who he is imagining and he pictures scenarios involving each potential candidate.

The film builds to an exciting climax, after Simon gradually comes out to those closest to him and then is eventually outed publicly. The big reveal of Blue’s identity is effectively tense and has the appropriate level of cheese for a rom-com, which will melt a stony heart and leave you smiling warmly long afterwards.  Yes – on the one hand this is a blandly suburban middle-class mainstream film, but on the other, it has made an effort to have a diverse cast and of course, crucially, it is a major studio release tackling a young gay love story. It’s really enjoyable and absolutely worth you leaving the house and lending your support to. You won’t regret checking out ‘Love, Simon’ this weekend!

Fiona’s Rating: 8.5/10

Bryan Cranston Drops Everything And Retreats To His Attic In This Wakefield Trailer

With a lean number of films in her directorial repertoire, Robin Swicord may not be a name with which you are familiar. This said you would sure as heck be au fait with her writing; namely ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ screen story and that Danny DeVito classic ‘Matilda’.

Robin Swicord writes and directs ‘Wakefield’. A curious story of Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston), a New York city lawyer who following a nervous breakdown decides to withdraw from his family by hiding in his attic, whilst rationalising his new found reclusive lifestyle choice as not a complete abandonment of his family. – ‘I never left my family, I left myself.’

Wakefield certainly seems to be an inquisitive what if sort of film. I find myself most intrigued to see Jennifer Garner’s performance as Diana, Howard Wakefield’s wife, as she battles with unanswered questions whilst living in hope of her husband’s return.  

Opening at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival last September, reviews and opinions have been varied with many praising Cranston’s excuseless performance and Swicord’s brave directorial decisions, although one cutting piece by The Guardian argues that “two hours with Bryan Cranston in an attic is less fun than it sounds”

As always I am going to reserve judgement until I see it and I urge you to do the same. Not long to wait as ‘Wakefield’ is set to release on 19th May; if you need me I’ll be in the loft until then.

Written by Mark Putley