Suburbicon

Year: 2017
Directed by: George Clooney
Starring: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, Oscar Isaac

Written by Tom Sheffield

George Clooney returns to the director’s chair once again for a trip back to the 1950’s in ‘Suburbicon’, which was written by the Coen Brothers. With Matt Damon and Julianne Moore as the leads, things were looking promising, even though the trailer left me a little confused as to what genre the film was trying to plant itself in.

But were Clooney, Damon, Moore, and the Coens a winning formula? Unfortunately not… The pieces for success were all there, but unfortunately they just didn’t come together for this film.

Suburbicon is a family-centred utopia in which Gardner Lodge (Damon) and his family live. One night, robbers break into Gardner Lodge’s (Damon) home and tie up his wife, Rose (Moore), her twin sister Margaret (also Moore), and his son Nicky (Jupe). The robbers chloroform the family, and when they wake up they learn the devastating news that Rose has died. The story then delves into why the robbers went to the Lodge’s household that night and we learn that appearances can be deceiving.

I’ll keep this relatively spoiler-free for those of you who want to watch the film, but it must be said that I think the trailer actually showed us all the only decent parts of the film, and it also doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out the obvious incoming plot twist. It has to be said, Damon, Moore, and Noah Jupe (who plays Damon’s son) are all fantastic in their respective roles, which only increases my disappointment with this film. Jupe in particular gave a very career promising performance, and perhaps my favourite of the film.

The film was marketed as a comedy, and whilst it does have a couple funny moments, it doesn’t contain enough to call itself one, and here-in lies my biggest gripe with the film. I went in expecting a comedy with a darker sense humour with a dash of mystery, and what I watched was, well… none of the above. The film fails to actually nail a genre and I left the cinema genuinely questioning what it was I just watched. The screenplay dips it’s toe into multiple territories, but it never fully submerges itself into one, meaning you’re often left wondering if something was meant to make you laugh, or if a rather obvious reveal was supposed to actually be a surprise.

Another gripe I have with the film revolves around the fact the plot puts focus on the first African-American family that move into Suburbicon, much to the other resident’s dismay. We are frequently shown scenes of the horrors this family suffer at the hands of their racist neighbours, who constantly rally outside of their house to try and force them out of the neighbourhood. This sub-plot doesn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the film though, and its addition in the film is also a contributing factor as to why I left the cinema confused. I sat there thinking that witnessing the horrible daily struggles this family are put through would lead to some sort of pay off at the end, but there is none and it’s incredibly disappointing. I feel like I might have missed something here? But from the general consensus amongst other reviewers, it appears my thoughts reflect the majority of theirs when it comes to these scenes.

Don’t get me wrong, the film does have its watchable scenes, especially Oscar Isaacs’s brilliant but brief appearance in a couple of them, and I’ll happily admit that my eyes were well and truly glued to the screen for the final couple of scenes. But the poor script and direction really resulted in an underwhelming film that truly did have potential to deliver a dark comedy.

To wrap this review up, I think I’d recommend catching ‘Suburbicon’ in the comfort of your own home when it’s released on DVD or streamable somewhere. It’s an okay watch at best, but with it failing to figure out what kind of film it’s trying to be, it may leave you confused and annoyed.

Tom’s Rating: 3.0/10

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Darkness Rises In Brand New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ TV Spot

“In Lucasfilm’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of ‘The Force Awakens’ join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past”

Directed By: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Billi Lourd
Release Date: 14th December 2017

Rey and Kylo Ren Take Centre Stage In Brand New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Trailer

“Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he meets Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force.”

Direct By: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Gwendoline Christie
Release Date: 14th December 2017

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Watch This Space: 9th – 15th October

Every Monday we will be recommending films that are on TV that week, films playing at the cinema, and also remind you of those brilliant films hiding on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and possibly in your own collection.

In Cinemas

Blade Runner 2049: Fans of the original have waited 35 years for a sequel to ‘Blade Runner’, and last week their wish was granted. It may not be receiving the best numbers at the box office, but fans and critics alike can’t help but share their love the this masterpiece. Our full review will be on site later today!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Whilst we know it’s not December yet, we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind you that tickets for ‘The Last Jedi’ go on sale Tuesday AM (UK), and with them comes a brand new trailer! We’ll have it up on site as soon as it hits the web!

The Mountain Between Us: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are stranded after a tragic plane crash. They must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. ‘The Mountain Between Us’ opened in UK cinemas last Friday, and our full review will be up soon!

On TV

Monday

Se7en (1995): If you discount ‘Alien 3’ because, well, who wouldn’t, ‘Se7en’ was our introduction to a master filmmaker. David Fincher has blessed us with numerous films that rightfully earn their place on countless best films ever lists, though arguably none have managed to be as high on said lists as ‘Se7en.’ It’s a crime noir starring a pre-Fight Club and Morgan Freeman as they investigate a string of murders all based on the seven deadly sins. It’s a deceptively clever thriller that keeps you engaged, guessing, and shocked at some of the truly messed up ways the sins have been visualised as murder scenes. On a personal note, ‘Se7en’ is one of my favourite films of all time. This film can be watched and rewatched countless times and you will still find new things to love about it, right up until it’s brilliant, soul-crushing climax.

 

Tuesday

Southpaw (2015): Directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Southpaw‘ is the gritty drama about a successful pro boxer who goes off the hinges after his wife is shot at a press event. Gyllenhaal delivers a strong and heavyweight performance as Billy “The Great’ Hope, a husband and father who wins titles in the ring, but ultimately loses himself outside. He’s on top of the world, beating opponents to a pulp with a fight fueled by anger. Hope must rehabilitate himself in order to take back his life and the custody of his daughter. Gyllenhaal’s character is aggressive and the onscreen punches are impressive. If you want something decent and gritty that isn’t afraid to throw punches, this is your film. Catch this knockout boxing drama on Film4 at 9pm.

Wednesday

Locke (2013): One of Tom Hardy’s most astonishing performances makes for an audacious film. Almost entirely a one-man monologue delivered over the course of a long night-time road trip. We watch as Locke slowly unravels and details of his career and personal life are revealed through a series of confessional phone conversations. Remarkable that this film was made at all and I’m very glad it was. Alongside ‘The Drop’ – one of Hardy’s best but underseen roles. Highly recommend.

Dirty Dancing (1987): An iconic soundtrack runs throughout this 80s classic, set in the 60s and telling the tale of a summer romance. Rich girl Baby meets bad boy and dirtier dancer Johnny and an illicit affair is sparked. Throw in a watermelon, a botched abortion and a corner where NOBODY puts Baby and you have one of the most quotable films of a generation. Again, if you haven’t seen it, why not? Rectify this immediately!

The Green Mile (1999): In the season of Stephen King adaptations, why not visit one of the most profound and heart-breaking? Tom Hanks (one of Hollywood’s most reliable actors) stars as Paul Edgecomb, who accompanies men down the ‘mile’, the walk cons take to the chair, to the death. When he meets the simple and naive John Coffey (played to perfection by Michael Clarke Duncan), a giant of a man accused of murdering two young girls, Paul begins to question John’s guilt.

Legally Blonde (2001): Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has everything: hot shot law student boyfriend, top spot in a prestigious sorority house, a stellar fashion sense, and the most infectiously lovely personality. When her sure-to-be future husband unceremoniously dumps her for being too blonde, she is determined to win him back. Using her unstoppable willpower and wit, she gets into Harvard Law School, and brings all her charm, a splash of pink and her chihuahua with her. Riotously fun and positive, Legally Blonde is the perfect antidote to the darker nights.

Thursday

License to Kill (1989): Rewind 17 years before Daniel Craig made James Bond a badass, and you’ll find Timothy Dalton doing it just as good if not better this time in the darkest 007 film of all. Going up against drug baron Robert Davi with the aid of the kick-ass Carey Lowell, Dalton shoots, stabs, water-skis, parachutes and punches his way into the heart of a dangerous drug cartel to bring them down from the inside in a mission of revenge. Blistering action, brutal violence and a real film of it’s time. The world wasn’t ready for a darker 007. Well, they are now. Enjoy!

Titanic (1997): What can be said about the biggest film in the world? I can’t imagine there are many people left who haven’t seen it. It’s a classic tale of boy meets girl, girl meets enormous blue diamond, iceberg meets boat, floating door not big enough for two people. Despite all the cliches, the second half of the film is still quite thrilling and visually spectacular. Get it in your eyeballs.

Friday

GoldenEye (1995): The Cold War is over, but there are plenty of reasons for James Bond to thrill us in the wake of a 6 year absence from an early end to Timothy Dalton’s run in 1989. Old and new cast and crew come together to take 007 to new heights with classic elements laced with a new, modern twist. Pierce Brosnon re-introduces Bond to a new generation of fans going up against rogue agent Sean Bean from bringing the world to it’s knees with a hi-tech super-weapon. With death-defying stunts, loud action sequences, a rousing theme and all the martinis, girls and guns we’ve come to expect from 007, it’s a new era but one that proves nobody does it better still.

Last Action Hero (1993):  The film that easily divides many Arnold Schwarzenegger fans, this is actually far cleverer than it appears and delves into the self-parodying track of spoofing the action genre and Hollywood in general. Director John McTiernan makes sure the action is played out tongue-in-cheek as we jump from inside the silver screen and beyond when Arnie goes up against villain Charles Dance. As long as the film is understood to be a mockery of the thing it tries to be, it comes across more enjoyable than if watched to be a serious actioner. And don’t worry, there are many Arnie one-liners a plenty here. “Iced that guy, to cone a phrase!”

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I (2011): The Twilight Saga lives on with its second to last installment, based on the novel Breaking Dawn. Bella Swan, the average girl who fell hard for vampire stud Edward Cullen, gets married and soon becomes impregnated with a half-mortal, half-immortal child. Seen as a potential threat to the local wolf pack and humans, the Cullen family must help Bella survive her pregnancy, and protect their livelihood in Washington. The young Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson reprise their roles in this fairytale drama that grossed big box office numbers among book and film fans alike.Catch the popular endearing story on E4 at 9pm.

Gladiator (2000): It’s Friday, and we all know what that means. A cosy night in, all snuggled up in front of the TV with snacks aplenty. And what better way to spend your Friday evening by watching Ridley Scott’s epic ‘Gladiator’, a 155-minute spectacle that throws you into the gladiator pits of Ancient Rome. With mesmerising cinematography by John Mathieson and career-defining performances from Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, ‘Gladiator’ is an epic that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with other grand, cinematic spectacles like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Ben-Hur’. A must-see.

 

Hiding Online / In Our Collection / Out This Week

 

Wonder Woman (2017): Yesterday we were treated to the final ‘Justice League’ trailer in which we saw Wonder Woman, along with Bruce Wayne, assemble the League to save the world. As of today, ‘Wonder Woman’ is yours to take home on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK! With it’s record breaking run at the box office almost complete, we can probably expect more records to be broken on her home release.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994): Allllrriigghhttyy then! 1994 was a very good year for Jim Carrey. During this breakout year he starred in not one, not two, but three comedy classics. Dumb and Dumber and The Mask were great for Carrey to showcase his talents, but Ace Ventura was the one that he really was allowed to let loose in. With his rubber face cranked up to 11 and his limbs in a non stop hurricane of madness, Ace is a character that Jim Carrey looked like he had the best time playing. It shines through in his performance. The premise is simple. Ace Ventura is hired by the Miami Dolphins to find their missing mascot, Snowflake the Dolphin. What follows is 87 minutes of pure 90s gold. With support from Courtney Cox and Sean Young, Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura Pet Detective is an easy, fun comedy which will keep you entertained for all its duration. They don’t really make them like this anymore so catch it while you can.

Fast Five (2011): The Fast and Furious franchise, whether you love it or hate it, can be an entertaining breakaway from the mundaneness of everyday life. The absurd car chases, the improbable yet insanely fun shootouts, even the fast-paced fight sequences in which the franchise is renowned for is especially present in the fifth instalment; ‘Fast Five’. Arguably the best in the now 8-film series, ‘Fast Five’ is relentless in its presentation, and with the addition of Dwayne Johnson’s hulking Hobbs joining the rest of the charismatic roster, ‘Fast Five’ rejuvenated a franchise that most felt was on its way out. Popcorn entertainment has never looked so good, so be sure not to miss it!

The Notebook (2004):  If you’re a hopeless romantic, the latest addition to the Netflix roster is for you. Adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel (king of the rom-com), The Notebook is a story of everlasting love told in two timelines. With notes of The Princess Bride (‘Always’) and Romeo & Juliet (forbidden love), the lead characters are so irresistible to root for. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as Noah and Allie bring to screen one of the most authentic representations of first love and teenage love, one that is sure to make you feel sentimental. Watch this under a blanket with a hot cup of cocoa.

A huge thank you to contributors this week: Dave Curtis, Chris Gelderd, Jessica Peña, Rhys Bowen-Jones, Fiona Underhill, Corey Hughes, Sasha Hornby

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The First ‘Annihilation’ Teaser Trailer Leaves Us Guessing

Direct By:  Alex Garland
Cast: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac
Release Date: February 23, 2018.

First Trailer For George Clooney’s ‘Suburbicon’ Released

“Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns …the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence. This is a tale of very flawed people making very bad choices. This is Suburbicon.”

Once again, George Clooney is sitting on the opposite side of the camera than we’re used to with his latest directorial effort, ‘Suburbicon’, which he co-wrote with the Coen Brothers. 

Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac star in the promising and bloody first trailer, which sees Damon’s character, Gardener, begin to fight back against mobsters and loan sharks following the murder of his wife. 

You’ll be welcomed to the neighbourhood when ‘Suburbicon’ releases 24th November. 

Written by Tom Sheffield

 

Grab Your Lightsabers! The First Trailer for Stars Wars: The Last Jedi Has Landed!

The trailer for the 8th episode of the ‘Star Wars’ saga was shown during the ‘The Last Jedi’ panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. It’s fair to say that this was the main event that many Star Wars fans were waiting for this week, and now it’s finally here!

Rian Johnson enthusiasm really shined during ‘The Last Jedi’ panel this afternoon, so much so that he showed the trailer twice to the audience because he wanted to watch it with them again. He has so much love for the films and the franchise as a whole that I have 100% faith he will deliver a film that Star Wars fans will love. 

From the trailer it looks like we can expect a much darker film, compared to ‘The Force Awakens’. From some of the casts comments over the period of the ‘Star Wars Celebration’ this week, this also leads me to believe the characters are going to face a lot of personal challenges, as well as facing the threat of the First Order, who Rian Johnson says “aren’t  just sitting on their hands” following the destruction of the Starkiller base. 

Like most fans, I’ve had the trailer on repeat since it’s arrival and each shot is stunning and full of mystery. We can see Rey training and Luke watching over her, a brief but amazingly awesome shot of Kylo Ren wielding his lightsaber, Finn looks as though he’s still recovering in some sort of pod, Captain Phasma leading her troops, and the demise of Luke’s Jedi Academy. 

December cannot come quick enough! 

JumpCut Writer’s Reactions: 

Rhys (@RuhBuhJuh): This trailer has me more hyped right now than after I watched the Force Awakens trailer. Incredible time to be a Star Wars fan!

Chris (@GelNerd): Light. Darkness. A balance. The Last Jedi has ruined me and I literally can’t comprehend what I’m seeing or what it means.

Noah (@movieswhynotm8): The word orgasmic comes to mind. 

Fiona (@FionaUnderhill)I’m SO excited about seeing Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo-Ren again.

and I’ll finish this piece with Sarah’s reaction, which I think we can all relate to right now… 

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ comes to a cinema not so far, far away December 15th 2017

Written by Tom Sheffield
 

An Explosive New Trailer For The Promise Has Arrived

No promises with this one…

Set during the largely untold final years of the Ottoman Empire, ‘The Promise’ tells the story of a love triangle between Michael (Oscar Isaac), an ambitious medical student, the charming and captivating Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), and her American photojournalist boyfriend Chris (Christian Bale). Tension amongst the trio runs close to boiling point, however they attempt to put their personal dramas to one side as they attempt to escape the ever-spiralling violence and chaos around them.

Having premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, ‘The Promise’ has been received with fairly mixed opinions. Many critics have praised Academy Award winning Terry George’s direction however criticising the film for being too romantically focused. Reviewers have also suggested that ‘The Promise’ relies on a tried and tested formula, appearing too afraid to focus solely on the atrocities committed during the concluding years of the Ottoman Empire, instead the film plays safe by centring around a love triangle. Having not yet seen the picture I am unable to comment on whether this is the case. This said, the trailer does seem to ring a rather familiar bell, evoking memories of John Madden’s ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’, which also coincidentally stars Christian Bale – all is not lost however as Nicholas Cage is not tipped to make an appearance in this one.

Putting the critics aside, the trailer teases us with a thoroughly engaging and poignant film which prospects some wonderful performances.

‘The Promise’ takes to UK cinemas on 28th April.

Written by Mark F. Putley

Top 5 Movie Dance Scenes

Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes

We all love a good boogie, right? Even better when there’s a touch of comedy to the dance moves, and these five dance sequences from the movies are equally entertaining as they are oddly impressive. 


5. Ben Mendelsohn (Lost River)

I only recently saw this film, and to be honest this dance sequence is probably the one which gave me the idea to put together this list. I loved this part of the film, mainly because I had no idea it was coming and it was so out of the blue in the context of the film. Ben Mendelsohn’s moves here are extremely creepy and sinister, yet you can’t help but have a wry smile on your face when you watch this scene.


4. Ben Stiller (Starsky and Hutch)

This one took quite a bit of pondering to come up with, but as soon as I remembered this sequence I just had to include it in the list. I’m not the biggest fan of Ben Stiller, but ‘Starsky and Hutch’ was, for me, one of his best films, and this hilarious dance-off scene is the highlight of the whole film. Stiller busts out some classic moves, and let’s be honest, he had Dancin’ Rick beat all over. 


3. Uma Thurman and John Travolta (Pulp Fiction)

This is probably the most iconic dance scene of all time, and I’m not disputing that at all. Uma Thurman and John Travolta’s legendary dance scene in ‘Pulp Fiction’ is the most recognisable and famous of them all, but that doesn’t make it the best. It is however, a magical moment in cinematic history and a real stroke of genius from Quentin Tarantino. 


2. Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)

Now this is the ultimate in dark comedy! Oscar Isaac, who plays the mysterious, rather detestable genius Nathan in this sci-fi flick, comes out of nowhere to drop an incredibly synchronised dance sequence which took the film world by storm last year. This is arguably the best moment of one of 2015’s top films; so good, that I just had to recreate it for the JumpCut UK Film Awards (watch this and skip to 27:43, or watch the whole thing, your call).


1. Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite)

Only one dance scene could beat that masterclass from Oscar Isaac, and that is, of course, the awkward yet endearing display from Jon Heder in ‘Napoleon Dynamite’. Not only is this a sequence which cracks me up every time, but it’s actually pretty impressive too. Jamiroquai’s ‘Canned Heat’ track is used perfectly, and Heder nails every step. Confession time: I’ve also mastered the moves to this one too.


So there we have it. Have I missed any movie dance moments out? Let us know in the comments section or hit us up on Twitter @jumpcutUK or @jumpcutjakob.