There was excitement in the air today in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con when Miss Minutes popped up to introduce Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer of Marvel, who was joined on stage by moderator Ash Crossan to deliver Marvel Studios’ long-awaited live-action panel.
Feige didn’t disappoint the enthusiastic crowd, showcasing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s upcoming slate with trailers, special looks, Q&As with talent and filmmakers, major announcements and a live, show-stopping performance.
MULTIVERSE SAGA: Two Avengers Films to Culminate the Saga
Fans were the first to learn that Phases 4, 5 and 6 are officially part of the Multiverse Saga, which will conclude with two all-new Avengers films, including “AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY,” releasing May, 2025, and “AVENGERS: SECRET WARS,” which is slated for November, 2025.
PHASE 4: Trailers and Talent Introduced, Plus Stunning Performance
Fans won’t have to wait long for the next Phase 4 title with “SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW” debuting exclusively on Disney+ August 17, 2022. Directors Kat Coiro and Anu Valia, and head writer Jessica Gao, were joined by cast members Tatiana Maslany, Ginger Gonzaga and Jameela Jamil for a lively Q&A about the new series. The audience saw a new trailer, which is also available to download and share now.
In Marvel Studios’ “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany)—an attorney specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases—must navigate the complicated life of a single, 30-something who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk.
The nine-episode comedy series welcomes a host of MCU vets, including Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/the Abomination, and Benedict Wong as Wong, as well as Jameela Jamil, Ginger Gonzaga, Josh Segarra, Jon Bass and Renée Elise Goldsberry.
“BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER” capped the Hall H presentation to thunderous roars and applause, beginning with a live performance by Baaba Maal (vocals), Massamba Diop (tama) and dancers and drummers. Feige was joined on stage by director Ryan Coogler and cast members Mabel Cadena, Michaela Cole, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Tenoch Huerta, Florence Kasumba, Alex Livinalli, Lupita Nyong’o, Dominique Thorne and Letitia Wright for a Q&A and first look at the film’s first trailer, which is now available to download and share.
In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livanalli.
Feige also shared that the film is the final title in Phase 4. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opens in Australian cinemas Nov. 10, 2022.
PHASE 5: Talent Takes the Stage, Plus New Titles and Dates Revealed
Feige revealed that Phase 5 kicks off in 2023 with “ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA,”opening Feb. 16, 2023. Director Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors and Kathryn Newton engaged in a spirited Q&A with the host. Epic in scale and tone, “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is a sci-fi adventure that is decidedly unique to the franchise. Fans in the room were given a special look at the upcoming film.
Super Hero partners Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and The Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.
Next up, the thrilling new series “SECRET INVASION”launches on Disney+ in 2023. Cobie Smulders, who reprises her role of Maria Hill—a decorated spy and Nick Fury’s loyal #2—was on hand to talk about the new show. To the audience’s delight, a clip was shown to give a glimpse of what’s in store.
Marvel Studios’ “Secret Invasion” stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull Talos—characters who first met in “Captain Marvel.” They are joined by Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman and Regé-Jean Page.
The crossover event series showcases a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls who have been infiltrating Earth for years.
“GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3”heads to cinemas on May 4, 2023. There were a lot of Guardians on hand to dish about the highly anticipated third instalment of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” With director James Gunn taking the lead, cast members Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova took part in an engaging discussion. Chukwudi Iwuji arrived on stage in costume, revealing to excited fans that he’ll be portraying High Evolutionary in the film. The audience was treated to a special look at the upcoming feature film.
In Marvel Studios “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
New details emerged regarding a host of previously announced titles in Phase 5. Streaming exclusively on Disney+ in 2023 are highly anticipated series currently in production, including “ECHO”, “LOKI SEASON 2” and “IRONHEART”. “AGATHA: COVEN OF CHAOS” will also begin filming later this year.
Phase 5 theatrical releases include “THE MARVELS,” directed by Nia DaCosta, which hits cinemas July 27, 2023;and“BLADE,” which begins shooting this October and opens in cinemas November, 2023.
Feige revealed for the first time today a trio of captivating projects debuting in 2024 that garnered a huge response from fans.
· “CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER” opens in cinemas May, 2024.
· “DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN,”an 18-episode season with Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio returning, streams on Disney+ in 2024.
· “THUNDERBOLTS,” featuring an exciting new group of heroes, is slated for cinemas July, 2024.
PHASE 6: “Fantastic Four” Precedes New Avengers Titles
Looking ahead, Phase 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe promises compelling storytelling and Marvel Studios’ signature style of adventure.
· “FANTASTIC FOUR” hits cinemas November, 2024. Production kicks off next year for the feature film that introduces Marvel’s most iconic family.
· “AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY” opens in cinemas May, 2025.
· “AVENGERS: SECRET WARS” is slated for release November, 2025.
A dream team of formidable female stars come together in a hard-driving original approach to the globe-trotting espionage genre in The 355.
When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, wild card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie, former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah, and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng, who is tracking their every move. As the action rockets around the globe from the cafes of Paris to the markets of Morocco to the opulent auction houses of Shanghai, the quartet of women will forge a tenuous loyalty that could protect the world—or get them killed.
The 355 is directed by Simon Kinberg and stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz,Diane Kruger, Bingbing Fan, Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramírez.
THE 355 releases in Australia, only in cinemas, on January 6, 2022
Summary: The surviving members of the resistance face the First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its peak bringing the Skywalker saga to its end.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th December 2019
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 19th December 2019
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Screenwriter: J.J. Abrams, Chris Terrio
Cast: Gerald W Abrams (Captain Cypress), J.J. Abrams (D-O (voice)), Naomi Ackie (Jannah), Josef Altin (Pilot Vanik), John Boyega (Finn), Lynn Robertson Bruce (D-O/Sith Alchamist), Dave Chapman (BB-8), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker (voice)), Richard Coombs (Maz Kanata), Aidan Cook (Boolio), Liam Cook (Ochi of Bestoon), Olivia d’Abo (Luminara Unduli (voice)), Anthony Daniels (c-3PO), Harrison Davis (Pommet Warrick), Warwick Davis (Wicket W. Warrick), Matt Denton (Maz Kanata), Mandeep Dhillon (Lieutenant Garam), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano (voice)), Amir El-Masry (Commander Track), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa (archival footage)), Cailey Fleming (Young Rey), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Geff Francis (Admiral Griss), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Richard E. Grant (General Pryde), Greg Grunberg (Snap Wexley), Alec Guiness (Obi Wan Kenobi (voice)), Robin Guiver (D-O), Amanda Hale (Officer Kandia), Jennifer Hale (Aayla Secura (voice)), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Claire Roi Harvey (Maz Kanata), Shirley Henderson (Babu Frik (voice)), Carolyn Hennesy (Demine Lithe), Brian Herring (BB-8), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Josefine Irrera Jackson (Young Rey), Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu (voice)), James Earl Jones (Darth Vader (voice)), Paul Kasey (Cai Threnalli), Nick Kellington (Klaud), Diana Kent (General Engell), Amanda Lawrence (Commander D’Arcy), Denis Lawson (Wedge Antilles), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine), Ewan McGregor (Obi Wan Kenobi (voice)), Dominic Monaghan (Beaumont), Tanya Moodie (General Parnadee), Liam Neeson (Qui-Gon Jinn (voice)), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Frank Oz (Yoda (voice)), Simon Paisley Day (General Quinn), Angelique Perrin (Adi Gallia (voice)), Freddie Prinze Jnr. (Kana Jarrus (voice)), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Vinette Robinson (Pilot Tyce), Alison Rose (Lieutenant Draper), Kipsang Rotich (Nien Nunb (voice)), Keri Russell (Zorii Bliss), Philica Saunders (Tabala Zo), Andy Serkis (Snoke (voice)), Kiran Shah (Nambi Ghima), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Hassan Taj (R2-D2), Chris Terrio (Colonel Aftab Ackbar (voice)), Lee Towersey (R2-D2), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), John Williams (Oma Tres), Patrick Williams (Boolio (voice)), Debra Wilson (Nambi Ghima (voice)), Tom Wilton (Colonel Aftab Ackbar), Matthew Wood (Cai Threnally (voice))
Running Time: 142 mins
Classification: M (Australia) TBC (Thailand)
OUR STAR WARS: RISE OF SKYWALKER REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths Review:
It has taken forty-two years to get there, but finally the Skywalker saga is drawing to a close. No other cinematic franchise has ever reached the massive heights that Star Wars has and to say that this is a beloved series is under-selling it in a very big way. It is for that reason that J.J. Abrams has had one of the most difficult jobs that any filmmaker could ever dream of, it is up to him to close this much loved chapter in the Star Wars story in a way that will please a legion of fans world-wide.
Leading into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that story had been thrown into turmoil both on and off the screen. On screen we saw the death of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and the apparent return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Off screen all Star Wars fans were rocked with the tragic death of actress Carrie Fisher which they knew would impact the storyline of the final film.
Abrams doesn’t leave fans waiting with The Rise Of Skywalker very quickly getting down to business. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is on the hunt for Palpatine, while Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) search for an artefact that will allow Rey (Daisy Ridley) to face Palpatine, while they try to stop the massive First Order forces who are ready to once again take over the universe.
The plot maybe simple but certainly does not fail to entertain. Early on the film feels episodic simply moving from one story to another in a specific order but once it breaks those shackles the film mirrors the energy and entertainment that we all come to love from the original Star Wars films. But while the film does entertain it also does have its flaws. With the plot having so much going on there are times when it feels like it doesn’t spend enough time raising the levels of suspense, something that is very surprising considering that some of the lives in danger here are some of the most loved characters in cinematic history.
Still for the most of the part of the film Abrams keeps things simple but effective. Once it established that all characters could meet their end this time around that goes some way to keeping the audience on their toes while the final epic battle is something that true Star Wars fans have dreamt of for a long time. Unlike a lot of franchises this chapter does close with a finale that will leave fans happy and is should be noted that Disney does leave the door slightly ajar if they ever wish to continue the saga.
What makes this instalment so enjoyable though is the acting, and that is not something we have been able to say about every Star Wars instalment. Adam Driver shows in this film why he is one of the best actors in Hollywood at the moment. It is obvious that he doesn’t move into a lower acting gear because he is in an epic blockbuster here, instead he puts as much drama and emotion into his Marriage Story and Paterson… the former role which is talked about possibly earning him an Oscar nomination.
Driver is well matched on screen by Daisy Ridley whose acting prowess has continued to grow throughout this trilogy. Johy Boyega and Oscar Isaac also deliver their goods but at the end of the day this film is literally Driver versus Ridley and that shows right up to the last amazing and memorable crescendo.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is a film that is going to be embraced by the hardened Star Wars fans out there, something we can breathe a sigh of relief over since the disappointment of the Game Of Thrones finale. The Rise Of Skywalker is light but thoroughly entertains.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Reviews:
After sending shockwaves across contemporary culture and setting a new standard for provocative, socially-conscious horror films with his directorial debut, Get Out, Academy Award®-winning visionary Jordan Peele returns with another original nightmare that he has written, directed and produced.
Set in present day along the iconic Northern California coastline, Us, from Monkeypaw Productions, stars Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway.
Haunted by an unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high-alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family.
After spending a tense beach day with their friends, the Tylers (Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. When darkness falls, the Wilsons discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway. Us pits an endearing American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.
Writer and director Peele produces for his Monkeypaw Productions alongside Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, and Monkeypaw’s Ian Cooper. Us will be released by Universal Pictures in 2019.
This weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took the stage in Hall H for a panel to showcase the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, hosted by Chris Hardwick.
These are the films that were looked at:
BLACK PANTHER is in U.S. Cinemas February 16, 2018 / Australia release date TBC, 2018
The panel kicked off with surprise guests from BLACK PANTHER, including cast members Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye) and director Ryan Coogler, making their first official appearance as a cast.
THOR: RAGNAROK is in U.S. Cinemas November 3, 2017; Australia release date October, 2017
Chris Hemsworth (Thor) from the upcoming THOR: RAGNOROK didn’t want to be left out of the Comic-Con fun despite being mid-shoot in Australia and sent a video highlighting what Thor has been up to since the last Avengers. An in-production sizzle reel gave the audience in attendance a sense of what’s to come.
DOCTOR STRANGE is in U.S. cinemas November 4, 2016 / Australia release date October 27, 2016
For the first time, fans were introduced to the cast of DOCTOR STRANGE: Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo), Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One), Rachel McAdams (Doctor Christine Palmer), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius) and Benedict Wong (Master Wong) along with director Scott Derrickson and treated to brand new never-before-seenfootage from the film.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is in U.S. Cinemas May 5, 2017/ Australia release date April, 2017
The panel was taken over by the Ravagers from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, and Kevin Feige announced the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (more information below and attached) attraction at Disney California Adventure, followed by a surprise appearance from returning cast members Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu) and new additions Kurt Russell (Ego), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha) alongside director James Gunn. They treated fans to exclusive footage from the film. The following pieces of art were also revealed.
More about Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
Debuting in summer 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will take Disney California Adventure park guests through the fortress-like museum of the mysterious Collector, who is keeping his newest acquisitions, the Guardians of the Galaxy, as prisoners. Guests will board a gantry lift which launches them into a daring adventure as they join Rocket Raccoon in an attempt to set free his fellow Guardians. The new attraction will transform the structure currently housing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ into an epic new adventure, enhancing the breathtaking free fall sensation with new visual and audio effects to create a variety of ride experiences. Guests will experience multiple, random and unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift rocks to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.
CAPTAIN MARVEL is in U.S. Cinemas March 8, 2019 / Australia release date TBC, 2019
As a final surprise, Kevin Feige introduced the brand new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Brie Larson, who will be playing Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers in CAPTAIN MARVEL.
Summary: Set thirty years after the events of Return Of The Jedi the universe is once again facing upheaval. Rising from the ashes of Darth Vader before him Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) leads the First Order as they strive to conquer (and in some cases) destroy the galaxy. In order to do so they know they must kill every remaining Jedi which means they need to hunt down Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who has been missing for years.
Leading the resistance against the First Order is Leia (Carrie Fisher) who despite the good intentions of her fighters, like Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), is losing the battle against the First Order. The Resistance gets a much needed boost when a map that may show the whereabouts of Luke is found. But in order to have any affect a young scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley), a reformed Storm Trooper named Finn (John Boyega), the legendary Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and everybody’s favourite Wookie (Peter Mayhew) must get the map (which is hidden to a droid) to the Resistance.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 18th December 2015
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: J.J. Abrams
Screenwriter: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt, George Lucas (characters)
Cast: Gerry Abrams (Captain Cypress), Sebastian Amresto (Lieutenant Mitaka), Erik Bauersfeld (Admiral Ackbar), Leanne Best (Min Sakul), Jason Boyega (Finn), Anna Brewster (Bazine Netal), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Crystal Clarke (Ensign Goode), Tosin Cole (Lietenant Bastian), Morgan Dameron (Commodore Meta), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Warwick Davis (Wollivan), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Emun Elliott (Brance), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Cailey Fleming (Young Rey), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Michael Giacchino (FN-3181), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Nigel Godrich (FN-9330), Stefan Grube (Yolo Ziff), Greg Gunberg (Snap Wexley), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Jessica Henwick (Jess Testor), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Andrew Jack (Major Ematt), Jeffrey Kissoon (Rear Admiral Guich), Ken Leung (Admiral Statura), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Rocky Marshall (Colonel Datoo), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), James McArdle (Niv Lek), Jim McGrath (Vice Admiral Resdox), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Simon Pegg (Unkar Plutt), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Korr Sella), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Kipsang Rotich (Nien Nunb), Yayan Ruhian (Tasu Leech), Philicia Saunders (Tabala Zo), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Claudia Sermbezis (Lema Eelyak), Kiran Shah (Teedo), Mark Stanley (Knight Of Ren), Pip Torrens (Colonel Kaplan), Iko Uwais (Razoo Quin-Fee), Brian Vernel (Bala-Tik), Max von Sydow (Lor San Tekka), Harriet Walter (Dr. Kalonia)
Runtime: 135 mins
OUR STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS REVIEWS & RATINGS:
It might be a brutal thing to say but Star Wars: The Force Awakens is perhaps George Lucas’ worst nightmare. For years now we’ve heard people worldwide speculating at how Disney and J.J. Abrams were going to destroy the Star Wars universe. Well now after viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens I can say that it seems that Abrams actually has a better understanding of that universe than what Lucas himself has had over the past few years. Episode 1 and the rest of the new trilogy made me lose my childhood love of everything Star Wars but last night The Force Awakens just awakened it inside me.
There is little wonder that true Star Wars fans at the Melbourne premiere last night clapped their hands off as the final credits rolled last night because Abrams has obviously created this film from his Star Wars fanboy point-of-view. In fact in light of day this script could have easily been lifted from any short novella on a Star Wars fan-fiction site… that’s how true to the original trilogy it was. The original Star Wars feel to the film can also be credited to Abrams’ right hand man – legendary screenwriter who has brought us gems like The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi and Raiders Of The Lost Ark… yes the man knows how to write what audiences love.
In some ways Abrams plays the safe-card with The Force Awakens. He sticks to the tried and true tropes of the original Star Wars films even using similar storylines such as a very important map hidden inside of a droid. Instead of feeling like a blatant rip-off though it instead feels like Abrams paying homage to something that he has loved over the years. Having said that though Abrams does put his own stamp on the franchise very well. His new characters, such as Finn and Rey, are likable and unlike Lucas’ attempt with the ill-fated Jar Jar Abrams shows that his new characters don’t need gimmicks to try and win over their audience. Sure you have to wonder how much political correctness was in mind when characters like Rey, Finn and Poe were created but that doesn’t stop them from being the kind of characters that fans of the series are very quickly going to warm to. The idea of Finn being a reformed Storm Trooper is a stroke of genius from the Abrams camp, while Rey and Poe seem to have some pretty interesting back stories that need to be explored in future Star Wars film… and yes it is very obvious that Finn and Rey have some sexual tension that is guaranteed to surface in the future as well.
Perhaps the biggest stamp that Abrams puts on the Star Wars franchise is his visual style. Teaming up with cinematographer Daniel Mindel (who Abrams has also worked with on the Star Trek franchise) Abrams here has created a film that doesn’t need CGI to enhance its environment. Whether it be a great light sabre in a forest, a Millennium Falcon led dog fight or a group of Tie fighters flying out of a sunset Abrams put a visual stamp on the film that George Lucas always seemed to fail at doing throughout his time in the Star Wars world. As The Force Awakens plays out you realise that Abrams’ main focus here wasn’t CGI creatures but instead developing a film that not only had a decent plot but looked damn fine as well.
The big plus for this film though is the inclusion of old favourites. Giving Han and Chewie such a big role in this film is another stroke of genius from the Abrams’ camp. It gives the film some familiarity and the fact that Han is so accepting of Rey and Finn gives them a huge ‘in’ with the film, plus the Abrams’ screenplay provides Han and Chewie with some truly great moments as well. The comedic dialogue works well between the two and once again Harrison Ford shows that even at his age he can be a believable action hero who is more than capable of carrying a film like this… plus the time on set with such a legendary actor will surely put the young stars of this film in great steed for the future.
After the disappointment of the previous three Star Wars films J.J. Abrams touch on the franchise is a welcome relief. Finally there is another Star Wars film to be proud of and yes this is one former lover of the franchise that has had his flame rekindled.
Big Star Wars fan, here. As a child I wanted to hire the original trilogy videos every week. I wanted to be Luke; loved the tale, mythology and symbolism littered throughout. I loved the prequels, despite them generally getting a bad rap these days.
Then it was finally announced – episode 7! We’d see what really happened after Return Of The Jedi. And then I saw it…
And I was sad. A brilliant opening set the scene well – I was hooked. But it falls apart more and more as we progress. The film had a habit (even before release) of building expectations, then dashing them. Even from the opening ‘story crawl’ – “…Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts…” Most daring pilot – is it Han Solo?! No. It’s newcomer Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). That’s OK, I want to get to know him (but barely do). And the old ally… who could it be?! No-one we’ve ever met before. Played by a very famous actor, Max von Sydow, ‘old ally’ Lor San Tekka is killed-off in about 5 minutes, as just a plot device. Even Poe Dameron is seemingly killed-off within the first half hour, only to suddenly reappear later in a cheap way. It was hollow, like something wasn’t right so I kept looking for some big surprise around the corner. Nothing.
Everything builds-up to go nowhere. The opening line of the film is “Luke Skywalker has vanished” – so the story is about finding him, right? No, it’s the main crux of the story but forgotten about and sidetracked with nonsense until the last few minutes.
The new characters of Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisey Ridley) were great and the performers did well. All the impetus was put on them by Disney as what they wanted to sell. The fans wanted to see more of the classic characters along with the new generation, but the classic cast was left underdeveloped or written sometimes out-of-character. I remember when you could half understand the Droids’ bleeping, but now it’s like random sounds.
Daisey and John, at least, are great at bringing their characters to life and we enjoy following them, but there’s too much time spent sidelining the plot. It sets up questions (which kind of look like they have predictable answers – we’ll see in episode 8, probably) that don’t pay-off. You need to give the audience some pay-off, even if this is part of a trilogy. Both characters get invested in their journey then alternatingly both want to leave, then just-as-suddenly change their mind again.
So, then they look for Luke Skywalker, right? No, there are more distractions as the First Order (just a condensed copy of the Galactic Empire from the original trilogy) come to find the map to Luke Skywalker as this is also their plan… or is their plan to blow-up planets with yet another Death Star – oh, sorry: “Star Killer”? While I like the ‘Star-Killer’ nod to George Lucas’ original Star Wars script where the Skywalker clan was named Starkiller, that would have been more than enough of an in-joke. But everything else in the film is a nod to something, a re-make of an old scene, an in-joke for fans, etc… We get two hours of fan-service and maybe 30 minutes of it is story-related. Instead of finding Luke we deal with the unoriginal ‘planet-killing’ device – something we’ve seen fail TWICE already – then clumsily get to a plot point of killing-off a character.
We see what was probably an important planet destroyed by the Starkiller (actually, the home of the New Republic; an element totally lost as the First Order seems to have such power that it seems NOTHING has changed since episode 6) but we don’t care because we never saw the planet. We see some people about to die in horror (including great actress, Freema Agyeman, who’s little more than an uncredited extra after deleting an important scene earlier in the film) but we don’t get invested in their deaths as it becomes such a non-point with little gravitas or repercussion.
Abrahams and Disney cut so much of what was filmed after already diluting so much of what George Lucas had written for them that the current universe isn’t properly established, so have little grounding. But then Abrahams goes all-out on padding the movie with stuff we’ve seen before but has little reward. We get a couple of important plot-points, but mostly this movie is just played out as an small opening act for an actual story which leaves the experience very hollow.
Gone, also, are the layers of myths and symbology that Lucas created in his original films, which I still enjoy discovering to this day, leaving with us something quite superficial.
Technically, the film is well-achieved, and if you want mindless spectacle over an adventure you’ll enjoy this film. I think Disney have been too keen to cash in on this (you can see them whoring the franchise out to anyone who will pay to have a Star Wars image on their product – including Gillette razors) and wanted to hurriedly establish their characters to use as they wish with little continuity constraints (and probably because they’ll be cheaper than the existing heroes). And a new Star Wars-related film will be out every year! Great, so long as they have actually gone to the lengths to make it GOOD.
I, of course, can’t wait for Episode 8 and have hope (A New Hope?) that it will make-up for TFA’s shortcomings and actually develop the plot and story properly. We want more than a money-making romp from Disney, and sadly that is all this film feels like in the end.
Star Wars ‘The Force Awakens’ (Directed by J.J. Abrams) is a sequel, continuing on from the original Star Wars trilogy.
The Force Awakens is said to be the biggest film release in history. But does the film live up to all the hype?
Star Wars ‘The Force Awakens’ introduces us to a new range of characters when at the same time bringing back ones from the past. At the beginning of the film we are introduced to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and a brand new droid, BB-8. Poe is an X-Wing pilot and is on a mission to protect classified information from the hands of the First Order.
The audience is then introduced to Finn (John Boyega). Finn is a Stormtrooper who disagrees with the ways of the First Order and decides to run away. Finn escapes to the planet of Jakku where we meet Rey (Daisy Ridley). Rey is a scavenger living a life where she needs to recover any junk metal or spare parts that are good enough to be traded for food.
Any Star Wars film wouldn’t be complete without a major threat and villain fighting to make that threat a reality. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is the leader of the First Order and is accompanied by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).
We are of course greeted with some old faces as Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher and of course Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). It was amazing to see the characters we know and love return to the big screen and to see how they have changed after all these years. C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) also return to join the returning cast.
The one thing that stood out to me in this film was the acting. J.J Abrams chose actors who were not well known to a large audience and they have definitely shown their potential when it comes to acting.
Throughout the movie there is so much going on that it’s hard to determine your thoughts about it and what you think. After seeing the movie and taking a moment to breath I can honestly say that it was a triumphant return for the Star Wars franchise. The movie was non-stop action and intensity and it was amazing to see that J.J. Abrams kept to the old films and didn’t change anything that would leave fans disappointed. Star Wars ‘The Force Awakens’ is an amazing film for Star Wars fans and the ending has been left wide open for future stories and films to connect with.
The one thing I loved most about this film is that the only CG (Computer Graphics) used was for when they are in space or in battle, flying through the air. There was a physicality to it that made the Star Wars universe feels so real. All the character, droids, aliens, sets and locations were all real and done brilliantly.
My finale thoughts of the film are that it was a great comeback for the Star Was franchise and it’s great to see this universe be introduced to a whole new generation of fans. I would definitely see it again!
Summary: An air marshall must spring into action aboard an international flight.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th February, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: USA, France
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Screenwriter: John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, Ryan Engle
Cast: Jon Abrahams (David Norton), Josh Bodenhamer (Giovanni), Nadia Bowers (Mrs. O’Reilly), Alejandro Cardenas (Arturo Lucci), Edoardo Costa (Herve Philbert), Frank Deal (Charles Wheeler), Michelle Dockery (Nancy), O.T. Fagbenle (Jack Rabbitte), Jason Butler Harner (Kyle Rice), Corey Hawkins (Travis Mitchell), Christine Hitt (Camila D’Agostino), Charlotte Kirk (Amy Harris), Perri Lauren (Stella), Quinn McColgan (Becca), Scoot McNairy (Tom Bowen), Omar Metwally (Dr. Fahim Nasir), Julianne Moore (Jen Summers), Anson Mount (Jack Hammond), Liam Neeson (Bill Marks), Lupita Nyong’o (Gwen), Bar Paly (Iris Marianne), Nate Parker (Zack White), Amanda Quaid (Emily Norton), Linus Roache (David McMillan), Corey Stoll (Austin Reilly), Liz Thomas (Madeline), Michael Thomas Walker (Michael Tate), Shea Whigham (Agent Marenick)
Runtime: 106 mins
OUR NON-STOP REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Remember the time when you could sit down and watch a good action thriller and you wouldn’t actually know who the bad guy was until just before the end credits? That certainly hasn’t been the case over the past few years when you’ve sat down to watch a Hollywood thriller but the good news is that director Jaume Collet-Serra manages to recapture the thriller feeling of old once again with Non-Stop.
Liam Neeson again seems to have forgotten that he once said he would never make action films and this time brilliantly plays Bill Marks, a jaded former New York cop who is battling an alcohol problem and depression while working as an air marshall.
The day in question starts off just like any other for Bill, he is not only fighting a killer headache as the morning goes on but also feuding with his ex-wife. Then while boarding the flight he sees that he has his usual bunch of suspects to protect – the rude and obnoxious Travis Mitchell (Corey Hawkins) who seems to think the world revolves around him and the nervous child flyer Becca (Quinn McColgan). At least as he settles into his routine he does notice some friendly faces around including his friend Nancy (Michelle Dockery) and the chatty passenger he is seated next to the mysterious Jen Summers (Julianne Moore).
But then shortly after take-off the flight suddenly becomes anything but ordinary when Bill receives a text message telling them that has twenty minutes to place $150 million in a bank account or people start to die. Quickly Bill tries to work out which passenger could be involved – perhaps it is the Muslim gentleman Dr. Fahim Nasir (Omar Metwally), the jittery Austin Reilly (Corey Stoll) or the flight crew member who was rushed onto the flight at the last moment, Gwen (Lupita Nyong’o). However it is they are good at their job and Bill soon realises this when it seems like they are making him look like the person that is behind the hijacking.
Creating the perfect thriller is also a double edged sword for a director or a screenwriter. The fact that they can call upon the fact that nearly everybody has a small hint of being a nervous flyer can really enhance the film but the fact that an entire movie also has to be kept in such a small space can also prove too much for many filmmakers and their films end up lacking that certain something that holds the audience’s suspense all the way through.
The basic criticism that many will level at Non-Stop is that Neeson is playing the same character he played in Taken, and that is true to a certain extent, but there also seems to be more of a sense of realism around his character here. Yes Bill is substance affected while he is supposed to be looking after a plane full of people, but just like you did with Denzel Washington in Flight you quickly warm to the character, which only raises the suspense even further when those on the ground begin to assume that Bill is in fact the hijacker.
Credit also has to be paid to a great script that pretty much leaves the audience with no idea who the real hijacker is until it is supposed to be revealed… the way it should be with a good thriller. The script is further enhanced by director, Jaume Collet-Serra who feeds the audience false paths all the way along, something that works and just makes the elusive hijacker even harder to pick.
Non-Stop further cements Liam Neeson as one of the best action stars going around at the moment. He mixes dramatic acting and action sequences together with absolute ease and he is well supported by the likes of Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery who also do credible jobs. Kudos also to Scoot McNairy and Corey Stoll who don’t have to do much but still have a couple of screen stealing moments.
Non-Stop is one of the better thrillers to have surfaced over the past few years and if you are a young filmmaker who wants to learn all the ins and outs of this genre then this is one film you just have to check out.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Non-Stop′: Nil.
The 2013 SAG Awards nominations are now in. Here they are:
Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osange County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture
12 Years A Slave – Bendict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garrett Dillahunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodward
American Hustle – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Paul Herman, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Rohm, Shea Whigham
August: Osange County – Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Misty Upham
Dallas Buyers Club – Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts, Steve Zahn
Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jnr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey
Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series
Matt Damon (Behind The Candelabra)
Michael Douglas (Behind The Candelabra)
Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy)
Al Pacino (Phil Spector)
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series
Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta)
Helena Bonham Carter (Burton And Taylor)
Holly Hunter (Top Of The Lake)
Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
Elisabeth Moss (Top Of The Lake)
Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones)
Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
Kerrry Washington (Scandal)
Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Don Cheadle (House Of Lies)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep)
Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire – Patricia Arquette, Margot Bignham, Steve Buscemi, Brian Geraghty, Stephen Graham, Erik La Ray Harvey, Jack Huston, Ron Livingstone, Domenick Lombardozzi, Gretchen Mol, Ben Rosenfield, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jacob Ware, Shea Whigham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeffrey Wright
Breaking Bad – Michael Bowen, Betsy Brandt, Bryan Cranston, Lavell Crawford, Tait Fletcher, Laura Fraser, Anna Gunn, Matthew T. Metzler, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Steven Michael Quezada, Kevin Rankin, Patrick Sane
Downton Abbey – Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Jessica Brown Findlay, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leach, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Matt Milne, Lesley Nicol, Amy Nuttall, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Ed Speleers, Dan Stevens, Cara Theobold, Penelope Wilton
Game Of Thrones – Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Oona Chaplin, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Mackenzie Crook, Charles Dance, Joe Dempsie, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Fairley, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glenn, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kristofer Hivju, Paul Kaye, Sibel Kekilli, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden, Rory McCann, Michael McElhatton, Ian McElhinney, Philip McGinley, Hannah Murray, Iwan Rehon, Sophie Turner, Carice Van Houten, Maisie Williams
Homeland – F. Murray Abraham, Sarita Choudhury, Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Tracy Letts, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morgan Saylor
Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series
30Rock – Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, James Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Tracey Morgan, Keith Powell
Arrested Development – Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, John Beard, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia De Rossi, Isla Fisher, Tony Hale, Ron Howard, Liza Minnelli, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Henry Winkler
The Big Bang Theory – Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch
Modern Family – Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Aubrey Anderson Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O’Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
Veep – Sufe Bradshaw, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh
STUNT ENSEMBLE HONORS
Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture
All Is Lost
Fast & Furious 6
Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Comedy or Drama Series