Thursday, 1 June 2017

June 2017 – Roger Moore Remembered, Cannes Winners 2017, Wonder Woman, Transformers: The Last Knight, Despicable Me 3, and The Mummy

Hi Everyone,

Last week the death of British actor Sir Roger Moore was announced. He, perhaps, will be most remembered (on screen) as James Bond and Simon Templar (aka The Saint), and off-screen as a dedicated UNICEF goodwill ambassador. I have fond memories of growing up watching Moore and Tony Curtis having a “whale of a time in the 1970s television crime series The Persuaders. It remains one of my favourite shows – and I own the series on DVD.


I have just a little more to say about Sir Roger's career on page two of my latest newsletter. Suffice it to say here that, sadly, he passed away on 23rd May from cancer aged 89. I don't have any details of the exact nature of his final illness except that his family described it as “a short but brave” battle with cancer.

Speaking of illness, I'm afraid I have to mention something that I am struggling with myself at the moment. For a number of years my eyesight has been slowly deteriorating, and things have got to the point where I can't see out of my right eye. More accurately, I can see – but I have a blurry kind of double vision. Although the other eye is not as bad at present, it is suffering from the same condition.

Therefore, it has been a bit of a struggle to compile this month's newsletter and I don't honestly know whether I shall be able to continue or not. Maybe I shall soldier on for a bit. If I do carry on; readers may have to put up with a more hap-hazard Big Films Monthly result. I shall be getting medical advice on this shortly. If the June 2017 issue does prove to be the last – I'd like to say now that it's been a real joy and pleasure to produce the magazine for you all - and I hope you've enjoyed reading it. If it turns out I can't continue, I hope you'll forgive me for that decision. However, I haven't decided yet; so there may well be another magazine and blog entry coming on 1st July 2017; I just can't say yet.

On a lighter note, the Cannes Film Festival had it's awards recently. You can read all about it by following this link http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/press/press-articles/communique/articles/all-the-70th-festival-de-cannes-awards

Here, however, are some of the headline results:-

The Palme D'or was won by the Swedish satirical drama The Square.

Sofia Coppola won best director for The Beguiled.

Best actor was Joaquin Phoenix for his performance in You Were Never Really Here.

The Best actress award went to Diane Kruger for her performance in German film Aus Dem Nichts (In the Fade).

Nicole Kidman was honoured by presentation of the 70th Anniversary Award (which – in her absence – was received by Will Smith on her behalf).


The big films released in the UK in June 2017 include Wonder Woman, Transformers: The Last Knight, Despicable Me 3, and The Mummy. Here's a picture from each of those movies to whet your appetite:-


Wonder Woman © 2017 Warner Bros. Ent, Inc. & Ratpac Ent., LLC. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Clay Enos/ TM & © DC Comics



Transformers: The Last Knight © 2017 Paramount Pictures/Bay Films. All Rights Reserved. 
HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Hasbro © 2017



Despicable Me 3 © 2017 Universal Pictures. Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. An Illumination Animation Studios feature.



The Mummy © 2017 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved. The first film in the “Dark Universe” franchise.


Here's a comprehensive run down of the June 2017 new releases:-

The major films are: All Eyez on Me, Baby Driver, Berlin Syndrome, Churchill, Despicable Me 3, Gifted, Hampstead, In This Corner of the World, My Cousin Rachel, My Life as a Courgette, Norman, Rock Dog, Rough Night*, The Book of Henry, The House, The Last Word*, The Mummy, The Shack, Transformers: The Last Knight, and Wonder Woman.

Limited or “key cities” releases include: After the Storm, A Man Called Ove, By the Time it Gets Dark, Centre of My World, Daughters of the Dust, Destination Unknown, Dough, My Name is Lenny, Nails, Summer in the Forest, The Shepherd, and Tubelight.

Other limited releases given their “own spot” in the newsletter are: Alone in Berlin, From the Land of the Moon, Kedi, Slack Bay, Souvenir, Stockholm My Love, The Seasons in Quincy, Whitney: Can I Be Me, and Wilson.

In addition to all of the above, the classic movies Der Mude Tod [aka Destiny] (1921) and The Graduate (1967) have also been showcased. Video on demand offerings Okja, Edith Walks, and A Good Day to Die – Hoka Hey also get a mention.

*Note: The movies Rough Night and The Last Word referred to above - and initially slated for a June 2017 release - have been delayed until later in the year. See the June newsletter for details.

Not mentioned in the publication are the June releases Risk and Chubby Funny. Both of these come out on June 30th .

You may also be interested in other recent or forthcoming releases Half Girlfriend, Isoken, Raabta, and Dying Laughing.

Also not included in the magazine are this month's “Event Cinema” entertainmentsmost of which are listed below. As usual, information sometimes differs when comparing various sources, so please take the details below with a large pinch of salt and do some further investigation if you are interested in attending any of these events. Also, the recent tragic events in Manchester may have had a knock-on effect on some live performances. So please double-check the following:-
  • 7th June 2017 – Dream/Symphonic Variations/Marguerite & Armand – Royal Opera London 2016/17 (Royal Opera House)
  • 8th June 2017 – La Traviata – Glyndebourne 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 9th June 2017 – Berliner Philharmoniker Live 2017 – June Convert (More2Screen)
  • 9th June 2017 – Take That: Wonderland Concert Live from the O2 (CinemaLive)

  • 10th June 2017 – Peter Pan – NT Live 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)

  • 13th June 2017Exhibition on Screen – Michelangelo: Love and Death (Seventh Art Productions) 
     
  • 14th June 2017 – Resident Evil: Vendetta (Park Circus)

  • 15th June 2017 – Le Mans 3D (Independent)
  • 16th June 2017 – Fireman Sam (National Amusements)

  • 19th June 2017 – Die Entfuhrung Aus Demserail – Teatro Alla Scala Live Opera 2017 (Thunderbird Releasing)

  • 20th June 2017America Valhalla (More2Screen)
     
  • 22nd June 2017 – Salome -NT Live 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)

  • 28th June 2017 – Otello – Royal Opera, London 2016/17 (Royal Opera House)

(In addition, don't forget to look out for “Secret Cinema” presentations if these are of interest to you). https://www.secretcinema.org/


Here is the link to my latest newsletter (which is a download of approximately 53MB):-



Often, when compiling the magazine, I have technical issues arising from the necessary compromise between wanting to provide a publication that isn't too large (in file size terms) and one that has great-looking images. Occasionally, (in order to remove “noise”, avoid over-pixelation, and provide sharp images) processing results in a relatively large output file. Why am I waffling on about this?

Simply to say that the 53MB version of the newsletter above has mostly images that are fine - but one or two that suffer if you zoom in. For a slightly better experience – but a much larger file – you may prefer the following download of 121MB. The improvements are minimal – but if your system can easily handle a 121MB download.....why not? Please click here:- June 2017 newsletter (high def version).

I'm off to see Wonder Woman tomorrow. Can't wait! Especially as early reviews have been largely positive. Whatever you are intending to see in the coming weeks – I hope you have a great time. Happy viewing!


For trailers for most of the major films mentioned above please see below:-


All Eyez on Me



Baby Driver



Churchill



Despicable Me 3



Gifted



Hampstead



My Cousin Rachel



Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer



The Book of Henry



The House



The Mummy



The Shack



Transformers: The Last Knight



Wonder Woman [Award-winning trailer]

Monday, 1 May 2017

May 2017 – Film Director Jonathan Demme Passes Away, Disney Publishes 2017-2021 Release Schedule, Alien: Covenant, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, and Baywatch

Hi Everyone,

I confess I didn't know that much about American film director Jonathan Demme, whose death from oesophageal cancer (and complications from heart disease) was announced last week. But I was aware that he was the director of the brilliant and seminal horror thriller The Silence of the Lambs – in which Jodie Foster plays young FBI investigator Clarice Starling who is tasked with interviewing notorious cannibal Hannibal Lecter. Great stuff! 


Looking at Jonathan Demme's resume, it appears he also directed such classic films as Caged Heat (1974), Married to the Mob (1984), and Philadelphia (1993). Demme passed away on 26th April 2017 aged 73, and I'm sure all our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

 
Jonathan Demme directing a scene from the movie Philadelphia. 

A lighter piece of news last week was Disney Studios' release of their slate of movies for the next few years. It includes, for example, three family movies: Coco, A Wrinkle in Time, and Magic Camp. Other highlights include:-

  • Cars 3 - 16th June 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok - 3rd November 2017
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi - 15th December 2017
  • Black Panther - 16th February 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War - 4th May 2018
  • Currently untitled Han Solo movie - 25th May 2018
  • The Incredibles 2 - 15th June 2018
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp - 6th July 2018
  • Live-action Mulan - 2nd November 2018
  • Captain Marvel - 8th March 2019
  • Avengers sequel - 3rd May 2019
  • Star Wars: Episode IX - 24th May 2019
  • Live-action The Lion King - 19th July 2019
  • Frozen 2 - 27th November 2019
  • Currently untitled Indiana Jones movie - 10th July 2020

For the full list, please click here: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES RELEASE SCHEDULE


The big films released in the UK in May 2017 include Alien: Covenant, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Baywatch, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Here's a picture from each of those movies for you to enjoy:-



Alien: Covenant © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.



King Arthur: Legend of the Sword © 2017 Warner Bros. Ent, Inc. Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Ltd, and Ratpac-Dune Ent, LLCA. All Rights Reserved.



Baywatch © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Frank Masi.



Pirates of the Caribbean 5 [Dead Men Tell No Tales aka Salazar's Revenge] © 2016 Disney Enterprises. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Film Frame



Here's a comprehensive run down of the May 2017 new releases:-

The major films are: A Dog's Purpose, Alien: Covenant, Baywatch, Colossal, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Mindhorn, Miss Sloane, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Sleepless, Snatched, Spark (aka Spark: A Space Tail), and Unlocked.

Limited or “key cities” releases include: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Harmonium, I Am Not Madame Bovary, Inversion, Lost in Lebanon, Machines, Sarkar 3, Spaceship, The Levelling, The Other Side of Hope, and Tomcat.

Other limited releases given their “own spot” in the newsletter are: Away, Detour, Frantz, Interlude in Prague, It Was Fifty Years Ago Today!, Jawbone, McLaren, The Journey, The Last Face, The Red Turtle, The Secret Scripture, and Whisky Galore! In addition to all of the above, the classic movies Manhattan (1979) and La Strada (1954) have also been showcased.

Since the May newsletter has gone to press, as it were, several other film releases have been announced. These include Woody Harrelson's Lost in London (5th May) - in fact this does briefly get a mention in the stop press section of the newsletter - and Bob the Builder: Mega Machines (27th May).

Also look out for such films as Hubble at the BFI Imax, Kolonya Cumhuriyeti at Lee Valley Odeon, The Marriage of Maria Braun at selected Picturehouse cinemas (8th May), The Kitchen: World Chef Battle (in various Odeon cinemas), plus Ishkq in Paris and Jatts In Golmaal on 24th May at the O2 Cineworld.

As usual, not included in the magazine are this month's “Event Cinema” entertainmentsmost of which are listed below. As usual, information sometimes differs when comparing various sources, so please take the following details with a pinch of salt and do some further investigation if you are interested in attending any of these events:-

  • 2nd May 2017 – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Encore) – starring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire – from the Old Vic (Screen Arts/NT Live)

  • 5th May 2017 – Don Carlo - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino – Live Opera 2017 (Thunderbird Releasing)

  • 5th May 2017 – Exhibition on Screen – Hockney: Landscape, Portraits, & Still Life (Seventh Art Productions)

  • 11th May 2017 – Obsession – NT Live 2017 (NT Live/Picturehouse Entertainment)

  • 13th May 2017 – Der Rosenkavalier – Met Opera 2017 (By Experience)

  • 18th May 2017Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - starring Imelda Staunton and Imogen Poots(?) - NT Live Theatre (Trafalgar Releasing)
     
  • 24th May 2017 – Antony and Cleopatra - RSC Live Theatre 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)

  • 28th May 2017 – The Hippopotamus - film Screening and Q&A with creator Stephen Fry and the Cast – from the Hay Literary Festival (Miracle Comms/Electric Shadow)
    Note: The film stars Roger Allam, Tim McInnerny, Fiona Shaw, Matthew Modine, Russell Tovey, and Emily Berrington


Here is the link to my latest newsletter (which is a download of approximately 48MB):-



It turns out that one of the films I was most looking forward to last month - Rules Don't Apply – played in so few cinemas that I didn't get to see it! This seems to be happening quite a lot these days. Smaller films are arguably being squeezed out. Sometimes, a film just isn't picked up at all by cinema chains. In other instances, there is a token showing in just one theatre – just so that the movie is eligible for Bafta consideration, methinks. (For a few other thoughts on the topic of limited releases, see the editorial in this month's magazine).

Anyhow, similarly, I hope to get a chance to watch Interlude in Prague in May 2017 – but so far, I haven't been able to track down a single screening in the UK. I hope, by contrast, you are able to locate accessible screenings of all the movies you wish to see this month. I therefore wish you a great time at the cinema. Happy viewing!

For trailers for most of the films mentioned above, please see below:-


A Dog's Purpose



Alien: Covenant



Away



Baywatch



Citizen Jane: Battle for the City



Colossal



Detour



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul



Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry



Frantz



Harmonium



I Am Not Madame Bovary



Interlude in Prague



Inversion



It Was Fifty Years Ago Today!



Jawbone



King Arthur: Legend of the Sword



La Strada



Lost in London



Machines



Manhattan



McLaren



Mindhorn



Miss Sloane



Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge



Sarkar 3



Sleepless



Snatched



Spaceship



Spark (aka Spark: A Space Tail)



The Journey



The Last Face



The Levelling



The Other Side of Hope



The Red Turtle



The Secret Scripture



Tomcat



Unlocked



Whisky Galore!