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Film & TV News Roundup 11th – 17th of December

Welcome to Leviathyn’s second instalment of our weekly film and TV news roundup where we take you through the latest trailers, casting announcements, box office figures, shows that have been renewed or cancelled, review roundups.

This week’s News: 11th – 17th of December.

Biggest Trailers of the Week:

1. Independence Day: Resurgence

Plot: Decades after the original ID4 alien attack, Earth is threatened with a new extra-terrestrial threat, but will the planet’s installed space defenses be enough?

Does it look good?

It looks a little less fun than the original, but I’m sure it will be a hoot for trashy sci-fi action movie lovers. And you know what to expect: more explosions, another president Bill Pullman speech, cheesy one liners with slightly less Will Smith – well, a lot less Will Smith because he ain’t in it. I can see this performing well at the box office, probably spawning more sequels because Hollywood loves squeezing every last drop out of a franchise.

2. High-Rise

Plot: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

Does it look good?

Hell Yes, in a crazy, A Clockwork Orange kinda way! Comparisons have already been made with Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 cult classic when High-Rise screened at TIFF this year. Early reviews have hailed it as utterly bonkers and a faithful adaption of J.G. Ballard’s novel (which comes as no surprise because the director, Ben Wheatley’s one hell of an up and coming talent). Wheatley combines genres like horror and black comedy and creates a piece of cinema which is both unpredictable and sheer entertainment. It’s safe to say, there is no better person to capture the words of J.G. Ballard on screen.

3. Star Trek Beyond

Plot: No plot description has been released yet, but judging from the trailers, it looks like the Enterprise has been shot down and the crew crash land on an unknown planet where Idris Elba’s bad guy resides. It looks as though some of the crew have been taken prisoner and the others who haven’t need to rescue them. Also, there’s an old ship they’re trying to take off in at the start, maybe that’s how they try and escape.

Does it look good?

Yes, potentially. I know this trailer has got a lot of criticism because it’s using a Beastie Boys song and according to Star Trek fans, the Beastie Boys aren’t in the Star Trek universe. Also, it’s the fact that the director, Justin Lin is responsible for trashy action films like Fast 5, and they are worried that he is going to turn Star Trek into a trashy action film. Look, if we’re honest the last installment was a bit trashy, it was linear and predictable and the Kahn storyline was so ham-fisted and melodramatic, that cheese was coming out of the cinema seats. But actually, I have faith that this is going to be the best one yet. Reason? Well, Star Trek super-fan Simon Pegg has written the script and after all, he knows why fans love Star Trek so much. He said in an interview that he’s going to make the film fans want to see: a universe for exploring and discovering new planets. But of course it all depends on how Justin Lin interprets the scripts onto screen.

4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Plot: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Does it look good?

A teaser trailer should do two things. One, whet your appetite for its release, and two, not give any plot details away. Well, the teaser at least didn’t show us much in terms of spoilers, but whetting our appetite? I just felt a bit been there done that. You know, wizards, train stations and magical twigs. From the teaser its looks like it’s going over similar ground and to be honest looks a bit bland. I’m going to need a lot of convincing that this isn’t J.K Rowling trying to cash in.

Review Roundup:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has garnered an 81 Metacritic score out of 51 reviews over the past two days, and has been universally agreed upon that the new installment has brought back what made the originals so popular while also offering something new.

The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner described The Force Awakens as “a triumph of escapism and the most exhilarating film yet in this mighty franchise.”

The Times critic Kate Muir wrote: “Adults will be floored by tearful nostalgia because this is a classic.” Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter said: “The Force is back. Big time. As the best Star Wars anything – film, TV show, video game, spin-off, what-have-you – in at least 32 years, Star Wars: The Force Awakens pumps new energy and life into a hallowed franchise in a way that both resurrects old pleasures and points in promising new directions.”

Film News:

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to be the high grossing film of all time eyeing a 200 million dollar plus opening.
  • Kurt Russell is bordering on securing a deal to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the father of the film’s protagonist, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt).
  • Cate Blanchett, from award nominated period dramas to Marvel. Blanchett is looking to play a key role in Thor: Ragnarok, and if she does land the role it will be her first in the Marvel universe.

TV news:

  • House of Cards season 4 has a release date. The political drama will air on the 4th of March only on Netflix.
  • TNT has renewed adventure drama, The Librarians, serialized crime drama, Murder in the First and crime procedural, Major Crimes. And has cancelled Legends, Public Morals and Agent X.
  • ABC has ordered a new conspiracy thriller drama called, Designated Survivor. Kiefer Sutherland is set to star as the president of the United States, and the role will mark his return to primetime television.

Box Office Figures:

The Huger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is still top of the box office, taking 11.4 million dollars at the weekend, while last week’s second place film, Krampus, has dropped to fifth, only raking in 8.4 million dollars at the weekend, meaning the new number two is, In the Heart of the Sea which was just behind The Hunger Games will 11 million dollars. In third is The Good Dinosaur, which raked in 10.3 million dollars and in fourth is Creed, bringing in 10.1 million dollars.

Final Message (festive special):

There will be no weekly roundup next week as it’s Christmas – which I’m sure you’ll find ways of coping with. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone will be watching Star Wars so you can then moan about how it’s ‘not a sequel, it’s a reboot.’ Have a good one!