Focus News: June '21
The five biggest movie news headlines of the month.
June saw the return of the Hollywood blockbuster as films like F9 and In the Heights dominated most of the screens around the UK. And now as we head into the Summer, the blockbusters keep on coming as Marvel, DC and Disney are all back with a release.
Streamers have fallen back into the background with their original releases a little, but perhaps it will become a seasonal tradition. In December of 2020 we had loads of streamer releases: Soul, News of the World, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Midnight Sky...just to name a few. It will be interesting to see if come the festive season we have just as many streamer releases, or if films continue to release in the way they so often should...on the big screen.
In Memoriam: Ned Beatty, age 83
Ned Beatty will most likely be a name you recognise, but not one that you can attach to any particular role. Well, this beloved actor crops up in various places through the last 50 years of cinema. More traditional moviegoers will know him for his performances in All the President's Men or Deliverance; or perhaps as Otis in Richard Donner's Superman. But for me, the role that stands out is Beatty's vocal performance for Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear in Toy Story 3. You fully trust the bear's husky voice from his first appearance which fans of the film will know, is not a smart move. It can't have been easy to slip into an already beloved vocal cast, but Beatty seems to have no problem. His voice and his dedication to cinema will be greatly missed.
From Maria to Snow White
Since her casting in the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg's upcoming West Side Story, a flood of people have promised that she will be the next big name in film. And that promise is already coming true, as before her first feature film appearance has even been released Rachel Zegler has landed herself the title role in the Disney Live Action Snow White & The Seven Dwarves remake.
We could sit and say she's a perfect fit for the role, but West Side Story will be most people's first glimpse of the young actress, her fate is in Maria's hands.
Transformers 7? Really?
How long must a franchise continue to make bad decisions before a studio realises it's time to pull the plug? Transformers has a following of people that will forever back the franchise as they have the animated TV shows and the comic books before them, but in recent years the collection of films have somewhat underperformed. We at Focus Film are fans of the original film starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, but since then the franchise seems to have fallen downhill. Perhaps this seventh instalment will change the tide, with rumours of it being set on Cybertron, maybe this will please the fans and critics alike...we can only hope that they find that sweet spot.
Three British stars to conquer Everest
Ewen McGregor, Mark Strong and Sam Heughan have all been tipped for the role of James Bond in the past, but here they're working together on new Doug Liman film Everest.
Liman has stated that his upcoming picture will be the "ultimate adventure film" as it documents the first attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1921. The film will chart the intense rivalry between English mountaineer (McGregor) and Australian climber (Heughan), whilst Strong will play the arrogant Arthur Hinks, joint secretary of the Mount Everest committee.
Dafoe & Waltz: A dream combination
When news of a new Walter Hill western broke out, fans of the director and the genre began to speculate which heavy-hitting male superstars would be cast in the leading roles. In the past, the director has worked with Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Eddie Murphy; but now he may have just about outdone himself.
Both Christoph Waltz and Willem Dafoe are beloved actors, and are already set to appear in Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch later this year. Will they become a new Hollywood dream combination that the world didn't know it needed?
The three June podcast episodes to go and catch up on:
Episode 41. talkabout Movie Composers
Using a tournament bracket, we try to decipher who is the greatest movie composer of all time. From Zimmer to Newman, we discuss them all.
Episode 42. Top Ten 00's Films w/ Gareth Bradwick
After ranking the films of the 80's and 90's Gareth is back on the podcast to talkabout our Top Ten 00's Films. With animation at its' most competitive between 2000 and 2010, and the rise of the superhero film coming into fruition, it was an interesting decade in the cinema. But which was crowned the best of the best?
Episode 43. On the Shelf: Night at the Museum
In a returning series, we take a beloved family film and decide whether to keep it on the DVD shelf, or throw it in the bin. This time it's Night at the Museum and we debunk and review the film to get to a final outcome.
All of the above are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you stream your podcasts. If you don't have any access to any podcast streamers then simply hit the link below and go and check the latest episodes out.
Top 5 June films and where to view them
Another Round | Cinemas | ★★★★★
In the Heights | Cinemas | ★★★★
Nobody | Cinemas | ★★★★
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard | Cinemas | ★★★
Luca | Disney+ | ★★★