Into the Woods
Brought to you by the director of Chicago, Rob Marshall, and the producer of Wicked, Marc Platt, it’s safe to say that this musical, based on the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine 1987 Broadway show of the same name, is in the best possible creative hands.
Into the Woods is a Disney film for all ages, weaving several beloved fairytale characters into an original story about a baker and his wife who have the chance to reverse a curse placed on their family by a witch (Meryl Streep).
The Baker (James Corden) is tasked with tracking down a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold. This brings him into contact with Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) and Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and other instantly recognisable characters from the various fairytales (Johnny Depp makes an interesting wolf).
Director Marshall has brought together a strong central and supporting cast that breathes a healthy dose of humour into a musical filled with fun, family favourites.
Review by Matt Blackwell
The Woman in Black – Angel of Death
Amid the frenzied chaos of the London bombings during World War II, a group of schoolchildren are evacuated to Eel Marsh House 40 years after the estate’s first haunting. It doesn’t take long for the Woman in Black to make her unsettling presence felt and when several children begin to act strangely, it is up to the young teacher Eve (Phoebe Fox) and local military commander Harry (Jeremy Irvine) to save them. While the sequel fails to match the original, it is nevertheless deeply disturbing at times.
Tinkerbell and the Legend of NeverBeast
The sixth installment in the Disney Fairies animated franchise sees a new addition to Pixie Hollow in the form of the legendary NeverBeast. Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman) and the others are extremely wary of the mythical creature with a destructive reputation, although the good-natured Fawn (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) insists he’s not merely the devastating force everyone claims him to be. At only 67 minutes long it’s perfect for parents looking for a child-friendly way to fill the time over the holidays.
PREVIEW: The Intimidation Game
Set in the Second World War, Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who brings together a group of scholars, linguists and intelligence officers and leads them in an attempt to crack the supposedly unbreakable Enigma code, used by the Nazis to encrypt their transmissions.
Amit Sharma helms the remake of 2003’s Telugu film Okkadu, bringing together Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha in a tale of unrequited love. Kapoor plays Pintoo Shukla, a local kabaddi champion from Agra who takes it upon himself to protect Radhika (Sinha) from Gajender Singh (Manoj Bajpayee), a Bahubali from Mathura.
2015 Preview: As the film landscape of the coming year begins to take shape, it seems movie-goers are in for a number of familiar favourites and a few new nuggets in an interesting mix. Here are Y’s Matt Blackwell’s top 10 of the next 12 months
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Joss Whedon returns to direct the second installment of 2012’s highest grossing film. Tony Stark’s attempt to jumpstart a peacekeeping programme go horribly wrong when Ultron, the self-aware artificial intelligence takes it upon himself to eradicate all humans, forcing Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and the all-star team of superheroes that make up The Avengers to reunite once more in order to save the world.
Fifty Shades of Grey
The first novel in the Fifty Shades trilogy was released in 2011 and has gone on to top best-seller lists around the world, selling more than 100 million copies in 52 different languages. The story of the deepening relationship between college graduate, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and business magnate, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), is one film adaptation that has been hotly anticipated by many for some time.
After setbacks due to the death of one of the franchise’s integral actors, Paul Walker, the latest helping of the Fast and the Furious series has been slated for an April release. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and the rest of the team are able to return home to the United States after defeating Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his crew in London, although Owen’s brother Ian (Jason Statham) sets out for revenge, putting everyone back in danger.
Pitch Perfect 2
Prepare for the ultimate pitch fight when the sequel to 2012’s surprise package hits cinemas this May. After their success in the nationals, a cappella group, The Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American team has ever won. Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson reprise their roles as the Bellas take on old rivals The Treblemakers, as well as a host of new teams from around the world.
The Peanuts Movie
Commemorating the 65th anniversary of the comic strip and perfect for anyone after a large slice of nostalgia, The Peanuts Movie marks the first time that Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of gang will make a big screen appearance in state of the art 3D animation. The world’s most lovable beagle, Snoopy, takes to the skies in order to take on his nemesis the Red Baron, while Charlie Brown embarks upon an epic quest of his own.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The internet was set ablaze when the teaser trailer for the latest chapter in one of the most popular film franchises was released in November last year, but fans will have to sit tight until December for the film’s full release. Fresh from giving the Star Trek franchise a makeover, J J Abrams is on directorial duty and although details are currently lacking, the trailer revealed a few fan favourites including X-Wings, the Millennium Falcon and that lightsaber.
It’s been more than a decade since Jurassic Park III was released, but the wait is over at last. Set 22 years after the events of the first film, John Hammond’s vision of a fully functioning dinosaur theme park has finally been realised on Isla Nublar. After a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur escapes, it falls to Owen (Chris Pratt), one of the park’s staff who conducts behavioural research on Velociraptors (as you do), to get a band of hapless visitors to safety.
This was originally billed for release in July 2014 but was delayed until February this year, apparently to allow time to complete over 2,000 special effect shots. It should be worth the wait if the trailer is anything to go by. Andy and Lana Wachowski follow up Cloud Atlas with a new self-penned space opera that sees a down-on-her-luck janitor, Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) find out that her destiny extends beyond Earth, which puts her on the radar for unfriendly aliens. Channing Tatum is the interplanetary warrior ordered to save her. With some stunning and imaginative space visuals, this film is shaping up to be unmissable.
Just when we all thought we were safe, the Terminator is back. The fifth installment of a franchise that first appeared in the 1984 looks to reset the series with Arnold Shwarzenegger back in the titular role. After finding himself in a new timeline, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) teams up with Sarah Conner (Emilia Clarke) in order to avert Judgement Day. Expect some mind-bending time paradoxes as timelines cross and paths are changed forever.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Some may say that Hollywood lacks imagination these days as sequels and reboots dominate release schedules, but when the sequel in question is to the iconic Mad Max series, they can be excused. The first film in the franchise in 30 years sees rebels Max (Tom Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) attempt to cross a post apocalyptic desert in order to restore order to society. Mel Gibson, who played the original Max, reportedly lost interest after the project spent too long in development.