Blackhat

Director Michael Mann Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tang Wei, Viola Davis, Manny Montana, William Mapother Release Date January 16, 2015

For the first time since 2009’s Public Enemies Academy Award nominated director Michael Mann is sitting in the director’s chair for a film that asks us what happens when the privacy invaders have their privacy invaded? What happens when the negotiators can’t negotiate? What happens when the people in control lose control? Well, there’s only one guy who can save the day, and after it takes about ten prison guards to subdue him he does some casual handstand push-ups in his cell.

Dawn over Chicago, a city waking up about to discover its citizens are no longer private. Hacking is the latest unknown threat to the free world, and Viola Davis is at her wits end trying to stop a hacker who’s targeting the U.S economy, so to think like a cyber terrorist she’s going to need a cyber terrorist. Enter Chris Hemsworth, who batters his freedom in exchange for hunting down the ultimate hack-smith. His chase, on foot and over the net, will lead him and Tang Wei from the familiar sights of Chicago into the unknown of Hong Kong. It’s a sobering moment as this faceless villain, with no motivation to speak of, literally tears the world apart, proclaiming himself untouchable to all… except Chris Hemsworth.

A plot involving the police hiring a criminal to catch a criminal is beyond cliché, and a villain who is destroying the world for kicks reeks of a certain villain from a Chris Nolan flick you may have seen, so it’s fairly redundant. It reminds me of every action flick since the 90’s, but despite that it still looks like a cool film, and I’m a sucker for some Australian representation in Hollywood, even if he’s coming out of Russell Crowe’s American accent 101, so I’m being a little lenient on this one.

7 of 10

Inside Out

Director Pete Docter Starring Kaitlyn Davis, Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Diane Lane, Kyle McLachlan, John Ratzenberger

Pixar stalwart Pete Docter has been on an amazing streak with his feature film’s, and that streak looks set to continue with his latest offering in Inside Out.

The trailer is essentially a scene from the film that effectively introduces us to all the character’s and the concept. The brains of the Anderson family, including their actions, reactions, and relations, are piloted and personified by these little, wisely coloured-coded creatures, treating a generic conversation over dinner like NASA treats a space shuttle launch. Each emotion’s personality and the comedy that comes from them is easily defined in the space of two minutes, and on top of that we’ve got jokes coming fast from their failure to guide the Anderson parents, with a mother whose emotions are methodical and lament not taking up with a Brazilian helicopter pilot while the father possesses emotion’s that are reactionary and distracted by a football game.

This trailer is great, and it’s really funny. I like that it looks and feels independent with a great original concept as other Disney films can be a bit derivative of each other. The story follows young Riley as she traverses a new life in a new city, so it’s actually an incredibly down to earth plot that people can relate to. Her guides who help her cope are where things become outlandish, which is what make this such a fantastic idea, and with a legend like Pete Docter, who’s been helming Pixar films since Toy Story, you know it’s safe to say this one’s a winner.

9 of 10

Knight Of Cups

Director Terrence Mallick Starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas

Christian Bale is a miserable man lacking identity. He reminisces about living a life he was unaware of, not knowing what he really wants while others continually attempt to define him with promises of wealth, explanations of his indecision, and telling him what he wants. He then succumbs to a life of aimless decadence to mask his despondence, alienating himself from those around him. What is he doing? Not even he knows, so of course we’ve no idea.

Of course he hits the water and sinks like a stone, breaks down as he confronts himself as his self-destructive lifestyle catches up with him. then comes the breakthrough, he sees the light at the end of the tunnel and breaks the surface of the water.

This is strange, coming across more like a arty indie film with this optimistic vibe to it; it’s almost like a surreal dream sequence that asks what is true happiness? It will be one of the more talked about films of the year, though that doesn’t necessarily equate to monetary and critical success, but the trailer is what makes it interesting.

7 of 10

San Andreas

Director Brad Peyton Starring Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Colton Haynes, Ioan Gruffudd, Kylie Minogue, Paul Giamatti

Where will you be and who will you be with? You will be in Los Angeles with Dwayne Johnson. He’s your every day muscle-bound family man, and probably the world’s greatest helicopter pilot as he flies around saving everybody from the largest earthquake in history. He stares on in disbelief as the Hollywood sign comes crashing down while Paul Giamitti reinforces the magnitude (see what I did?) of this disaster.

The film itself looks like horses for courses, but it’s not your standard action film trailer. It’s actually quite mournful, having jumped on the put-you-to-sleep cover version of great songs for dramatic effect, but at the same time it looks like an intense thrill-ride. It’s been a long time between drinks but do we finally have a disaster movie done right?

6 of 10

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Director J.J Abrams Starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max Von Sydow, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker

J.J Abrams, the perennial director/producer of sci-fi on film and television, and adapter of other’s work, is bringing us probably the most anticipated seventh instalment in a film series ever.

A familiar desert. John Boyega is sweating bullets, Daisy Ridley takes off on her hovercraft, and Oscar Isaac pilots his X-Wing. A sith lord unfurls his sabre, and the famous theme hits as the Millennium Falcon goes into battle against TIE Fighters. Cue title.

There isn’t much to go on as it’s only a teaser, but it offers us a glimpse at what’s to come in just under a year, in particular three of the main cast, new-look storm-troopers and a new villain with a re-imagined weapon. CGI looks to be its friend, and every detail, down to the clothing, is accurate. Plus it’s going to have everything that any Star Wars fan could ever want, including such famed space craft as the X-Wing, TIE Fighters, and the almighty Millennium Falcon.

However, all it really is is a bunch of second-long random shots that may or may not make up a portion of the film possibly set on Tatooine. It hasn’t killed my anticipation for Episode VII, but being completely impartial I have to say they haven’t done as good a job as they could have.

4 of 10

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