Heads Up On Some Very Promising Upcoming Movies

I’m a trailer addict. Mike and I go to all the good sites to catch up on what’s going to be hitting the big screen sometime in the future. There are usually a few nuggets among the glitter, though trailers have been known to be badly misleading. And I admit, I have been duped. However, here are a few that hold out great promise.

The Railway Man – starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman

“The Railway Man” is based on a true story from World War II. I have read that its first viewing received a standing ovation from its audience at the Toronto Film Festival. You can’t beat these actors, and the story looks well-developed. Its subject is Eric Lomax, (and others) who survived a Japanese POW camp where he was forced into hard labor to build a railway. The resistance of the prisoners resulted in torture.

Years later, Lomax was given the opportunity to face the demon from his past — the demon that haunted his days and turned his nights into a living hell. It looks like a great movie if I can stand to watch it. Just the thought of what these soldiers went through, much less seeing it portrayed with such graphic intensity, makes me feel like my heart is being carved up with a dull knife. But if I can get past that to the life experience, I think it will be a movie to be remembered long past its debut.


Great Expectations – starring Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Holliday Grainger, and Ralph Fiennes

Yes. I know Great Expectations has been done numerous times before. But this one looks like the cream of the crop with its full-out 19th century period dramatization and cutting-edge actors. Just watching the trailer pulls you back into that great human drama between the young boy Pip (Jeremy Irvine), the aging and embittered spinster Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter), and the young beauty she raises to be a cold-hearted man-breaker (Holliday Grainger). Ralph Fiennes rounds out the human equation as Magwitch, the criminal who changes Pip’s life. Holliday Grainger seems to throw herself into the part of the heartless wench who leads Pip around by the nose. These actors and the script seem to breathe new life into this great old tale by Charles Dickens. The following is the international trailer, which was the best one, so please overlook the subtitles.


Captain Phillips – starring Tom Hanks – Out Friday, Nov 11, 2013

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Captain Phillips ever since they began advertising it because I remember when it happened and hung onto the news story. As you may recall Captain Phillip’s was taken hostage when his vessel was boarded by Somali pirates, and was later rescued by Navy SEALS. I think Hanks will portray Phillips very well, though I have read that for some reason Hanks doesn’t try for the captain’s strong New England accent. Though the movie will naturally be dramatized, it does use the memoirs written by Captain Phillips. However, in an ABC report, Phillips says he did not empathize with the pirates and there was no Stockholm Syndrome. They were antagonists from the beginning and remained antagonists. He also praised the military for their quick actions. Here is a link to the ABC report:



The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – starring Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage, and Ian McKellen

The big surprise (to me, anyway) is that the voice of Smaug will be performed by Benedict Cumberbatch.  This brings together our Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) from the BBC series “Sherlock Holmes”, on the big screen. I loved the preceding Hobbit and look forward to the continuing saga with Smaug, which will be out Dec 13, 2013.


The Frozen – Animated Disney – hilarious secondary characters 

The Frozen is a Disney animated feature about two rival princesses (sisters), one whose personality is a little cold and one who is warm and pleasant. The one with the glacier smile wants to make the world into her own frozen tundra, while the other scrambles to stop her. The people characters stay true to Disney’s signature great-big, doe-eyed incarnations, but some of the secondary characters, like the little snowman with allergies, and the friendly moose, are hilarious. I liked the trailers so much, in fact, that I couldn’t choose and will just go ahead and show both.


Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some good viewing ahead.


6 thoughts on “Heads Up On Some Very Promising Upcoming Movies

  1. I’m VERY much looking forward to The Railway Man, mostly because Colin is in it. Isn’t this the same rarlway that had the bridge in it that was the subject of Bridge on the River Kwai? Nicole Kidman is good in everything she does and having Stellan Skarsgard in this is icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned. I only hope I can stomach all the torture scenes. They tend to creep me out.

    Helena Bonham-Carter and Miss Havisham is a match made in heaven. Holliday Grainger is an actress who is truly coming into her own. I’ve followed her career for a very long time because she’s close friends with Robert Pattinson…and has been in two films with him.

    Captain Phillips is going to be a VERY exciting movie. I read an article in People magazine about the men who play the pirates. None of them had ever acted before. Three of them are actual Somalis and the others are Kenyan. They live in a Somali enclave in Minnesota and have for many years, which is why they can all speak English.

    I was thrilled when I first learned that Benedict Cumberbatch had signed to do the voice of Smaug. Frankly, it’s about the only reason I’m looking forward to this second movie in the trilogy. I was not a fan of the first one. Looking forward to seeing Evangeline Lilly, too, even if she’s a made-up character who isn’t in the book. There are other trailers for this movie. One of them has quite a long speech by Smaug and Benedict sounds wonderful.

    Off topic, but speaking of Benedict, didn’t you write about Star Trek Into Darkness? I just watched it earlier in the week and I thought Benedict was TOTALLY AWESOME as the villain.

    I doubt very much that I’ll see The Frozen. Animated movies aren’t my thing, but that first trailer was hilarious. Loved the moose especially.

    This was a fun post. Thank you. You should look for the Hobbit trailer that has Smaug speaking.

    • Good to hear from you again. I know I’ve been off-post for a week because of medical tests (I passed), but still looked forward to hearing from you. When Mike saw you come up in the comment window he said, “I was beginning to get worried.” Now, how’s that for getting attached.:)

      Yes. Very much look forward to seeing Colin Firth again. Like Cumberbatch, he soaks up all the charisma on-screen. But paired with Kidman, who has her own and to spare, it’s going to be electrifying. I didn’t recognize the name you mentioned, Stellen Skarsgard, but I looked him up and I did recognize him as someone I’ve watched and admired before. Don’t know if this is the same bridge as Kwai, but it’s probably a safe bet.

      Didn’t recognize the name Pattinson, because I don’t follow the vampires, but I recognized his face. You’d have to live in hole not to have seen him plastered everywhere. I really think (only from viewing the trailer) that Holliday Grainger will pull her role off magnificently. I’ll probably want to tear her hair out before getting to the point where I feel sorry for the character she plays. I read that Miss Havisham was reluctant to play the part of an old lady, but was somewhat mollified when told she was somewhere in the 40ish range. Certainly all the personality interplay and the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” should be enough for any actor to sink his or her thespian teeth on. I didn’t realize, as I wrote the post, that Jeremy Irvine is playing the part of the younger Colin Firth (character). Also, if I’m remembering right, Irvine’s younger brother plays the young Pip in Great Expectations. I’ll have to look it up again.

      That was interesting about the novice actors who play the Somalis. They certainly look the part. Hard, angled, and gaunt. But I did catch some hint of empathy for the pirates from the trailer, but apparently the real Capt Phillips knocked that in the head. He stated there was no relationship other than setting the boundaries of antagonism throughout the ordeal and there certainly wasn’t anything like a Stockholm Syndrome. But, like you said, it promises to be one exciting movie. Just the news programs about it were riveting.

      I’ll try to find the trailer with Cumberbatch/Smaug. I may have seen it before, but when I try to look up the best ones for the post, or try to share them with other family members, they somehow slip below the radar. You never can find them when you want to within a given time.I didn’t know the name Evangeline Lilly, either. My what a name-dropper you are. You keep me busy because once you mention them, I just HAVE to find out who they are. You are adding to my cinematic education. (Do I get credits for that):)

      Glad you enjoyed the little cartoon characters. I showed them to Tammy and Henry and who could not help but laugh out loud. I find it so much more intellectual than watching the government spin its wheels. We ought to cut off Congress’s paychecks, plus the air conditioning, and see how long it takes to get their collective act together. Okay. Pleasant thoughts. Pleasant thoughts. That’s why I like a good animated movie.

      Hey, by the way, I just read a great review of “Gravity” watched at IMAX in 3-D. You might want to take a look. http://www.npr.org/2013/10/03/227856226/the-inexorable-pull-of-cuarons-gravity

      Let me know if you see any of these. Good to have you back. And me,too.

      • Aww, give Mike a hug for me. How nice that he missed me….and you, too. Glad to hear you passed your medical tests.

        Stellan Skarsgard has been in a ton of movies, many of them Swedish, but a lot of American films, too. His son is the gorgeous actor, Alexander Skarsgard, who is a main character in “True Blood” on HBO. He and his father are both wonderful actors. Here’s Alex.




        I have almost 1,000 pics of him so I just grabbed the first three that came up.

        I think you are probably the only person I know on line who didn’t know who Robert Pattinson was. I have many, many “Twilight” fans in my on-line world so I guess I expect everyone to know who he is. That’s interesting that Helena Bonham-Carter didn’t want to play and “old lady.” I guess Miss Havisham is usually played as very old, but she wouldn’t necessarily have to be. And Helena is definitely capable of playing her at any age because she’s such an amazing actress.

        Evangeline Lilly was one of the main characters is “LOST” on TV. She’s gorgeous and will be a beautiful elf.


        And here’s the trailer for “The Hobbit” that has the voice of Smaug near the end. It sounds like Benedict because I know it’s him, but I’m not sure I’d recognize his voice if I didn’t know. His voice comes in at approximately the 1:57 point.

        I am very, VERY eager to see “Gravity”…so much so that I might even break down and go see it in a theater instead of waiting for the DVD. Some movies beg to be seen on a big screen and I have a feeling this is one of them. Thanks for the link to the review. I’ll read it after I post this. I’m afraid of losing my comment if I try to look at it while I’m writing.

        I can’t believe the mess our government has created and I know quite a few people who have been furloughed. I could give you the link to an LJ entry I did about it, but only if you’re not a tea partier. I am a super dedicated Democrat and I wouldn’t want to upset you. But I agree…if the members of Congress weren’t getting paychecks, this nonsense would be over by now. I wonder who these clowns think they were elected to represent. Their own constituents are being affected. Don’t they give a hoot about them? Apparently not since that’s the way our government seems to work these days.

        Now before I get overly riled up about it again, I’ll bid you adieu.

      • Mike was hugged. — I was thinking at first you meant Blue Bloods and wondered why I didn’t recognize Alex Skarsgaard. But True Blood is something entirely different. My daughter-in-law Tammy watches all the vampire originals and offshoots and has tried her best to get me in on them. But I’ve never been interested. There have been a couple of vampire movies in the past that I liked. One was the old Interview With A Vampire, but can’t remember the other one, though I can see the actor in my mind. I just remember he had distinctive and expressive brown eyes.

        Mike and I enjoyed the trailer. Cumberbatch’s voice for Smaug is absolutely chilling. Gives you goosebumps. Evangeline Lilly does make a beautiful elf. Love her hair. Never watched “Lost”. But the REAL beautiful elves are the men. Katie and I also watched your video together and agreed these guys in their elf personas are absolutely gorgeous — and still look like MEN. How is that possible? They look like very masculine elves. And the women are strong and beautiful while still coming across as entirely feminine. Everything works in Peter Jackson’s movies.

        Oh, by the way, I’m not a Tea Party-er. In fact, I’m not any party-er. I think both parties are a bunch of asses, not just the Democrats. I don’t believe in the views of either the left or the right. They are all extremists, and extremists act stupid. All of them are for themselves – not the country. None show any wisdom whatsoever. And I don’t see any of them acting on Biblical principals. For years we have not been given a real choice in Presidential elections, and our choices in anything having to do with how we’re governed has narrowed to such a slim margin, we essentially have no say at all. It is now such a tangled, jumbled mess I see no way out. That’s why I avoid political comments. My contempt is all encompassing.

  2. I agree, vampires aren’t for everyone, but I like them. “Interview with the Vampire” was VERY good. Hard to believe that Kristen Dunst was the little girl in that movie. She’s definitely all grown up now.

    I agree, too, about how handsome the male elves are. Orlando looks as good as Legolas now as he did 12 years ago. I still think Liv Tyler was absolutely stunning as Arwen.

    Thanks for the lowdown on your political views, and I agree with you. A Live Journal friend posted this article today and I think Robert Reich hits the nail on the head. I hope Word Press allows me to post the whole article:

    Their Real Goal: To Make Us All So Cynical About Government, We Give Up
    Posted: 10/08/2013 10:29 am by Robert Reich

    An old friend who has been active in politics for more than 30 years tells me he’s giving up. “I can’t stomach what’s going on in Washington anymore,” he says. “The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life.”

    My friend is falling exactly into the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into — such disgust and cynicism that we all give up on politics. Then they’re free to take over everything.

    Republicans blame the shutdown of Washington and possible default on the nation’s debt on the president’s “unwillingness to negotiate” over the Affordable Care Act. But that law has already been negotiated. It passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by the president. It withstood a Supreme Court challenge.

    The Act is hardly perfect, but neither was Social Security or Medicare when first enacted. The Constitution allows Congress to amend or delay laws that don’t work as well as they were intended, or even to repeal them. But to do any of this requires new legislation — including a majority of both houses of Congress and a president’s signature (or else a vote to override a president’s veto).

    Our system does not allow one party to delay, amend, or repeal a law of the land by shutting down the rest of the government until its demands are met. If that were the way our democracy worked, no law would ever be safe or settled. A disciplined majority in one house could always use the threat of a shutdown or default to gut any law it didn’t like.

    So the president cannot re-negotiate the Affordable Care Act. And I don’t believe Tea Bag Republicans expect him to.

    Their real goal is far more insidious. They want to sow even greater cynicism about the capacity of government to do much of anything. The shutdown and possible default are only the most recent and most dramatic instances of terminal gridlock, designed to get people like my friend to give up.

    And on this score, they’re winning. Congress’s approval rating was already at an all-time low before the shutdown, according to a poll released just hours before Washington went dark. The CNN/ORC poll showed that only 10 percent of Americans approved the job Congress was doing, while 87 percent disapproved. It was the all-time lowest approval rating for Congress on a CNN poll.

    A recent Gallup survey found that only 42 percent of Americans — also a record low — have an even “fair” amount of confidence in the government’s capacity to deal with domestic matters.

    And in a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 26 percent of Americans say they’re angry at the federal government while 51 percent feel frustrated. Just 17 percent say they are basically content with the government. The share expressing anger has risen seven points since January, and now equals the record high reached in August 2011, just after the widely-criticized debt-ceiling agreement between the President and Congress.

    It’s a vicious cycle. As average Americans give up on government, they pay less attention to what government does or fails to do — thereby making it easier for the moneyed interests to get whatever they want: tax cuts for themselves and their businesses; regulatory changes that help them but harm employees, consumers, and small investors; special subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare. And these skewed benefits only serve to confirm the public’s cynicism.

    The same cynicism also makes it easier to convince the public that even when the government does act for the benefit of the vast majority, it’s not really doing so. So a law like the Affordable Care Act, which, for all its shortcomings, is still a step in the right direction relative to the costly mess of the nation’s healthcare system, is transformed into a nightmarish “government takeover.”

    So here’s what I told my friend who said he’s giving up on politics: Don’t. If you give in to bullies, their bullying only escalates. If you give in to cynicism about our democracy, our democracy steadily erodes.

    If you believe the fix is in and the game is rigged, and that a handful of billionaires and their Tea Party puppets are destroying our government, do something about it. Rather than give up, get more involved. Become more active. Make a ruckus. It’s our government, and the most important thing you can do for yourself, your family, your community, and the future, is to make it work for all of us.

    ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock” and “The Work of Nations.”

    • He makes some good points, but I don’t agree with his conclusion. Both the extreme left and extreme right are in the wrong when they put their own agendas before the good of the country. I’m one who believes in looking at something with as little bias as humanly possible, and coming to a viable and reasonable conclusion or settlement. That’s what I tried to do as a reporter and guess what? I got hate mail from both sides. I agree with the “right” on many of their standards, but totally disagree with most of their overall methods, actions and behavior. I’m trying not to make that a blanket statement, because, naturally, there are those who are wise and strive to do what’s right in a Godly and Biblical manner, but they are getting fewer by the day. For the left-leaning, I applaud their “heart” for people. But even here, many allow their heart for some turn into hatred for others. Both sides go about so much of what they do being led by their biases and prejudices. And I can’t condone either one.


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