Robbie Coltrane

Great Expectations Trailer

Seeing as we already got a version of Charles Dickens’ assigned-to-you-freshman-year-of-high-school classic “Great Expectations” that was adapted by a Harry Potter director (Alfonso Cuarón) back in 1998, some might be under the impression that we don’t need another. But Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell would beg to differ, so he’s put together his own film version of the much-loved-except-by-high-school-freshmen story, and he’s challenged Cuarón to a secret benefactor showdown. For those of you (us) who slept through your high school English classes, Great Expectations centers on the character of Pip (War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine), a young boy of meager means who nevertheless befriends a creepy old rich lady named Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter), falls in love with her beautiful but twisted young ward Estella (Holliday Grainger), and eventually becomes a young gentleman with a bursting pocketbook and a wealth of potential due to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor (identity withheld). How does this all hash out in regards to Newell’s new film? If its new UK trailer [via Empire] is any indication, it gives Newell the chance to distance himself from the miserable failure that was his last film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, re-embrace the spooky mood-building that made him a good fit for the Harry Potter franchise, and work with respected actors like Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, and Sally Hawkins.

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Here’s a fun fact: Prior to 2001′s releases of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, fantasy movies were frequently silly, low-budget shlockfests that actors only wanted to make so they could eat something other than whatever they scraped from under their fridge for another month. (For the record, I am told that this lifestyle — I like to call it Underfridging — is good for bolstering your immune system. On the other hand, high potential for scurvy. Your call.) And since the Harry Potter series has spanned eight films and employed every single actor in Britain at least once (twice in the case of Warwick Davis), you know there’s a treasure trove of painfully cheesy fantasy movies lurking in their collective resumes. Let’s take a look at some of them!

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Pixar’s great, wonderful, incredible, stellar, etc. That goes without saying but must be said in every post about Pixar ever, because them’s the rules. However, one of the things Pixar has been lacking is a sole female lead to go on an adventure and win the day while learning a lesson. They’ve definitely distanced themselves from the Disney princess aesthetic, and it’s time for them to come a little closer. Brave is the story of a young Scottish princess named Merida who is skilled with a bow and with defying mystical, sacrosanct acts that bring down terrible fates on her people. So, she sets out to make things right with a sage older character, a magical wish, and some comic relief. The cast here is fantastic. Kelly MacDonald will voice Merida. Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, and Robbie Coltrane are all on board as well. That’s a strong list right there. Plus, EW has some pictures that show off the view point and computerized beauty of their fictional Highlands (and what looks like painstaking concept art):

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; get your finger out of your ear. Listen, do you smell something? That’s the smell of cheesy movies served up weekly in an effort to dispel any rumors of my possessing even a modicum of taste. I will mercilessly prod and poke at all the movie’s soft spots, but then swaddle it in arguably undue praise and sing it sweet lullabies of adoration. As if this baby metaphor weren’t creepy enough, I will then spoon feed you a tasty, after-dinner treat inspired by the bad film before sending you outside to play and almost certainly vomit all over the swingset. This week’s snack: Krull

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An evil wizard named Flagg seeks to subvert the Kingdom of Delain by placing a monarch in power that will listen to his every whim. With King Roland’s two sons – Peter and Thomas – Flagg sees an enemy to fear and a child to manipulate into the tool of destruction he needs on the throne.

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