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Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Film Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 12/09/2012 @ 09:29
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 300
Films seen in the last week: Killing Them Softly, Ruby Sparks, On the Road

FILM OF THE WEEK: TABU

2012 London Film Festival line-up

This week I attended the press launch of the 2012 London Film Festival (cheekily nicknamed PASTRYFEST because of the vast number of pastries provided). This year the festival has a new artistic director and I was keen to see what changes Clare Stewart would make. At a cursory glance, the most welcome innovation is the introduction of several new strands – gone are the dedicated nods to French cinema and “International” and in their place we now have eight themed strands entitled Love, Debate, Dare, Laugh, Thrill, Cult, Journey and my personal favourite, Sonic.

I'm in the rare position of having seen several of the films already this year, though I'm frustratingly embargoed on most of them. Let's just say that I can highly recommend Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (expanded from his early animated short film and opening the festival), Ben Wheatley's wonderful Sightseers (like Mike Leigh's Nuts in May goes psycho), A Prophet director Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone (starring Marion Cotillard), Australian girl group comedy-slash-true story The Sapphires, New Orleans childhood drama Beasts of the Southern Wild, Kubrick conspiracy theory doc Room 237 and (sort of) found footage-style cop thriller End of Watch.

I'll admit I was disappointed that Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master and the Coen Brothers remake of Gambit weren't in the line-up, but there's a tasty selection of galas on offer nonetheless. The ones I'm looking forward to most are Rolling Stones doc Crossfire Hurricane, Ben Affleck's Argo (based on a true story about a secret agent posing as a film producer to free six American prisoners in Tehran), Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut Quartet, Paul Andrew Williams' drama Song For Marion, Michael Haneke's Cannes hit Amour, Ben Lewis' drama The Sessions and delightful-looking animated feature Ernest and Celestine, about the friendship between a mouse and a bear.

In the Official Competition strand (another new innovation for this year), I'm really looking forward to Sally Potter's Ginger and Rosa and not just because it means Christina Hendricks might attend the festival. I'm also delighted that Seven Psychopaths (see trailer section last week) is playing at the festival, as well as Alex Gibney's new documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.

As for the various strands, the films I'm most looking forward to are Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways (Love), Marilyn documentary Love, Marilyn (Love again), Celeste and Jesse Forever (Laugh), Craig Zobel's Sundance hit Compliance (Thrill), amazing-looking Spanish thriller Painless (Thrill) about children that can't feel pain, John Dies At The End (Cult), Michel Gondry's The We and the I (Journey) and coming-of-age drama Spike Island, about a group of Manchester kids trying to crash a Stone Roses gig. So, all in all, quite a lot to be excited about, The Master or no The Master. Can. Not. Wait.

Trailerwatch: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

I'm a big fan of both Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner, so it's fair to say that Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (that colon had better be on the poster, poster-makers; grammar is IMPORTANT - we don't want a Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Cradle of Life situation on our hands
again) has been on my radar for quite a while now. What I hadn't realised was that it was directed by Tommy Wirkola, who made Zombie Nazi thriller Dead Snow, owner of the glorious tag-line, “Ein! Zwei! DIE!”

The plot is pretty self-explanatory: narrowly avoiding being eaten by a witch in a traumatic ginger house incident, siblings Hansel and Gretel grow up into professional witch hunters. However, when it comes to their latest assignment (involving Famke Janssen as what looks like the latest in a noble cinematic heritage of sexy witches), they may have bitten off more than they can chew. There's a lot of action in the trailer, but it appears that they've been set up and lured into a trap for what are no doubt sexy-witch-related reasons.

I can't quite decide whether I'm a fan of the whole tricked-out mediaeval weaponry thing – it backfired hugely in the recent terrible Three Musketeers movie, for example. It does look pretty cool here though, or maybe that's just because Gemma and Jeremy are better weapon-wielders. The imdb page for the film lists characters like Tall Witch (played by Zoe Bell, so you can bet that Tall Witch gets killed by getting thrown through a plate glass window or something), Candy Witch, Etruscan Witch and Horned Witch as well as revealing that one of the actors, gloriously, is named Sebastian Hulk. This is why you should always read imdb pages. Anyway, Peter Stormare looks like a pretty decent villain and I'm pretty certain that that's a TROLLLLLLLLLLL at the end of the trailer (I've seen Troll Hunter - I know the signs), so that's something to look forward to. It doesn't open here until March 2013, so quite a while to wait yet, but I am officially excited to see it.

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