Friday, August 31, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: What is real for Colin Farrell?

Three films are released nationwide for you this weekend, and one that was released a few days ago that I thought I'd bring to your attention. This week sees a remake of an old film, which although looks sharp from the trailer, seems rather unnecessary considering the film it is. I do hope that I am proved wrong on this front and I'm sure I'll let you know on Monday as I would have thought it is the film I see this weekend. We also have yet another house/box horror story which I'm sure is based on a true story, and then we have a new version of The Hangover. I don't mean for this post to sound negative but all these new films seem to becoming less original by the year. Shame really as I bet there are some great ideas floating around in Hollywood. Anyway let's hope I'm made to eat my foot and that these films actually rock ass. Have a look at the new releases below.

1. Colin Farrell struggles with an identity crisis in the revamped remake TOTAL RECALL. No Arnie and no Mars in this version, where Farrell begins to question who he really is when a trip to an organisation that implant memories in your mind ends up becoming a bloodbath. Also starring: Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, & Kate Beckinsale. What is real?

Total Recall trailer

2. Also released is THE POSSESSION. The films based on a true story about a young girl who acquires an antique box, only to open it and unleash a malicious ancient spirit which possess her body. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays her father who desperately tries to remove the demon from her. Also starring: Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, & Jay Brazeau. Can they unleash the demon?

The Possession trailer

3. The Australian Hangover is our next release in A FEW BEST MEN, where the film is typically what the title is. One of four best friends decides to get married and the other three are given the task of being the best men. From here trouble ensures when everything they seem to do goes wrong. Sounds just like The Hangover to me. Starring: Laura Bent, Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall, & Kevin Bishop. Are they the worst of the worst?

A Few Best Men trailer

4. Finally is the film released at the beginning of last week, THE WATCH. I felt I should bring this to your attention as it stars Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, and Vince Vaughn as protectors of the world against an alien invasion. Whilst patrolling their neighbourhood as the new found neighbourhood watch they stumble across an alien being and they become the only hope. Also starring: Billy Crudup. Will they protect the neighbourhood?

The Watch trailer

There are your new releases for the week and despite them being slightly unoriginal I'm sure one or two will take your fancy. With low expectations for these releases we could all be surprised and end up coming out seeing one of the better films of the year! Am I being slightly too positive now? I don't know you will have to wait till Monday and read my review on Total Recall, which I've already agreed with the other half that we will be seeing.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

NEWS - A former Batman replaces Hugh Laurie as the villain in Robocop

So much news has been released this week in the movie world but not any of it has been particularly recurring or overly big, that is until today where I have found the same piece of news flashing up on many sights and I tell you it is actually fairly huge!!! A few months back I brought to your attention that Hugh Laurie had signed on for the role of the villain in the new Robocop. However last week it was announced that this was not the case and Mr Laurie had dropped out, which was disappointing as he was slowly growing on many as the villain of an iconic science fiction film. Well have no fears Robocop fans because it has been announced today that former Batman Michael Keaton has replaced Laurie, and honestly I think that is a better casting option. Granted I'm sure Laurie would have been great in the role but for me Keaton brings something new to every role he is in. From Beetlejuice to The Other Guys Keaton has always been brilliant in his roles, and I am utterly convinced that he will do this new role justice.

The film is beginning to generate news with director Jose Padilha recently stating that working on the film has so far been 'hell'. Well let's hope that this great piece of casting will cheer him up and make us even more excited for the release of this film next year. Nothing has been announced on the shooting front but it has been stated that the cast has been finalised, with talent coming from the likes of Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L Jackson, and Gary Oldman. All I can say is Keaton is about to throw his weight around amongst some pretty fantastic actors. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

QUESTION: Best movie spy?

As this week I saw a disappointing entry to the Bourne franchise I have decided to ask you guys out there who you think is your favourite movie spy. There are five options below, with them ranging from super franchise spies to parody spoof spies, either way they are both a lot of fun. I can't decide which one I like best as it all depends on which movie I like best. Regardless of movie however I don't want to know the one whose movie you prefer I want to know the spy who is your favourite as a character. Take a look below and put your favourite in the comments.

1. JAMES BOND - Probably the most well known movie spy out there. Spawning 22 movies thus far with one more to be released in October of this year, Bond has been a constant hero on screen with some of the best lines and best action sequences.

2. JASON BOURNE - With the new Bourne not actually starring Jason Bourne you will need to look at the first three films to know who I mean. The hero with amnesia who will do all he can to find the reason he finds himself in a web of conspiracy. Has some of the best fight sequences, helped by expert direction.

3. JOHNNY ENGLISH - Super spy who is a mock of James Bond himself. Rowan Atkinson plays the lead role as he heads off to solve global corruption but not all goes according to plan since he is the World's biggest klutz.

4. ETHAN HUNT - Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible franchises. The films have technological edge to them but also have lots of action which genuinely sees Hunt hanging from something tall.

5. AUSTIN POWERS - A complete comedy spy who is a super sexy English spy with not much going for him in the way of intelligence but highly in the way of sex appeal. Powers is constantly trying to thwart the plans of Dr Evil but often ends up with his mojo getting in the way.

There are five movie spies for you. Let me know your favourite from the list in the comments below.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

THE BOURNE LEGACY - A major glitch in the Bourne machine

The second film we went to see this weekend was the fourth film to be released in a franchise that is very highly rated. There was something about this film that was telling me to not bother with it, but knowing that the other half was keen on it I thought; what could possibly go wrong? I can tell you what can go wrong and that is bringing a fantastic franchise down to a just above average. That is the review of myself and the girlfriend who was so intrigued by the brilliant trailer that she was desperate to see it. I'm just going to come out and say it; despite the top actors committed to the film it really is not very good at all.

One of the first issues with the film is that it is boring! The opening half is so slow and nothing really happens that I found myself drifting from wide awake to yawning my head off. We begin the film in the Alaskan mountains, where Renner's Aaron Cross is partaking in a training exercise where he must recover an object and take it to a rendezvous point over the mountains. At least this is what I think was happening as this sequence is inter cut with expositional stories involving Jason Bourne which had me scampering my brain to remember what happened in the previous films. From the gist of it this new Bourne entry runs parallel to the first Bourne and the issues raised in that film have recurring effects across all Government programmes, which includes Edward Norton's 'Outcome' agents who have been fed drugs in order to make them ultimately superior than anyone else. Due to the coming out of 'Treadstone', Norton must shut his programme down which means killing everyone involved. From here Renner and Rachel Weisz join forces to weed Renner off the drugs and escape every Government force hot on their tail.

The plot actually sounds more interesting as I write it as opposed to when I watched it because I tell you now the plot didn't grip me one bit. It seemed so simple compared to the deep complex narrative of the other Bourne films, that it made this one boring. It also showed how unenthusiastic this story is as it seems to be confused as to where it stands within the bigger Bourne universe. I really did not enjoy the plot of this film, and as I said before it didn't grip me one bit. Not even the characters could get me excited as I never cared for one of them. It was quite difficult to sympathise with a main character who was in a sense searching for drugs due to withdrawal symptoms. This would have worked if the drugs were forced on him but we see a flashback which shows he actually asked to be involved in the programme. Renner does his best to get us on board but I'm afraid it never really works.

The direction of the film also didn't help in getting me hooked. Too many shot choices had me confused as to where I was and to who was talking to who. There were also some odd decisions such as Renner showing up just at the right moment without any reason to, and without prior knowledge to what was happening, to save Weisz's life. A bit too coincidental for me, especially later on when car doors would be left unlocked or motorbike engines left running, I'm sorry but Jason Bourne never worked on coincidence. There is also an evil bad guy brought in far too late for any of us to actually fear for Cross's safety. I can't help thinking that if it was mentioned throughout that this man was more powerful than Cross than I would have been scared when they finally met up. Unfortunately this nemesis is brought in far too late, and they never have a hand combat fight anyway. What was the point?

The only thing that was particularly good about this was the final chase sequence but it wasn't any better than what Matt Damon's Bourne was involved in. Renner isn't too bad in the role but I have seen Weisz in better form and Norton's character was overshadowed by too many other characters and that was noticeable in his performance. I can't say I was overly disappointed but I think the girlfriend was. In the end she even admitted that the trailer itself was ten times better than the film. If I can make a suggestion; watch The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum and completely forget that this one ever existed.

Pros: Final chase sequence.

Cons: Poor plot that tries too hard to fit into an already polished franchise.

5 / 10

Top 10 films of 2012 so far:

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10
2. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
3. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
4. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
5. Ted     7.5 / 10
6. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
7. The Expendables 2     7 / 10
8. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
9. The Grey     7 / 10
10. Prometheus     6.5 / 10

Monday, August 27, 2012

THE EXPENDABLES 2 - Stallone's tongue is firmly in cheek

Let me just start off by apologising for not having updated in the past week. Having been away on a very important course, I have failed to keep up to date with cinema trips and any news going on in the film world. Despite the course being pivotal to the industry to which I would love to stamp my authority, I have missed heading out on a Friday or Saturday night to see the latest film of the week. That was only missing one weekend imagine if I missed more. So without further ado let me tell you what I thought of The Expendables 2 which is the first of two films I will be seeing this weekend. The first Expendables was fun, with no story line to note, mediocre acting, corny dialogue, and a complete homage for 80's action flicks with some of the 80's best action heroes. This second instalment is exactly the same only bigger and a hell of a lot better.

The opening fifteen minutes of the film is brilliant. An action sequence in where our Expendable heroes have to ram raid their way into a city of Nepal in order to save a powerful Chinese politician. Their entrance, their fight and their escape are thrilling and your bum with be on the edge of your seat throughout. The direction of the whole sequence is superb, with everything looking as realistic as it can. Once your heart has settled back down in your chest we are introduced to the newest member of their team who is desperate to quit in order to return to his girlfriend, after their next mission though which is to pick up a box which was securely stored on a plane which was shot down over Albania. This box can not fall into the wrong hands is the understatement of the film told by Bruce Willis' Mr Church. Of course this is exactly what happens at the expense of one of Stallone's expendables, so he takes his now slightly depleted team after the people responsible to gain unholy revenge. The story of it all is the weakest part but we are more than willing to forgive that given that it isn't about story and is more about simply arse kicking.

Jean Claude Van Damme is the man to play our villain and to be fair he was brilliant in his role. It was when he was on screen that the film took itself seriously, and the tongue in cheek humour never came from his character. Unfortunately he was not in the film quite as much as I had hoped because he really did steal it when he was on screen. Other actors are just their typical selves, not that it is a problem as once again this is not what the film is about. The film is like a montage to old school action films, and the tone flits between serious to satirical. What is good about it is that director Simon West has captured the moments where satire and deepness are needed. Like I said when JCVD is on screen there is no light heartedness. His story thread is pure evil being the man willing to sell plutonium around the world in order to supply bomb makers. When the story is following our expendables however we are given the laugh out loud moments which most people have come to see. The moments where Chuck Norris turns up and states a Chuck Norris 'fact'. Or when an action hero arrives and states that he is back! Or when heroes pinch each other's lines form their most well known films. It is a film that you just watch with a smile on your face as it is a serious story that they are not taking too seriously. They all know what they are doing.

There are moments that don't work for the film however. The Expendable who is killed is one with little emotional impact, and the way they try to make it more emotional is by adding in some pretty on the nose expositional dialogue for this character which after he is killed off seems very pointless indeed. However at least with this we don't lose one of the main Expendables we have come to see. Also some of the sound quality is poor. Whether this is the capturing of the sound of the mumbling of the actors I don't know, but unless they are shouting corny lines they seem to mumble their way through them as if they are embarrassed to say them. The picture quality at times also seemed a little blurry. This could have been a point to the old action films but in today's world of HD I felt that it could have been a lot better. Despite all of these we do get some very good moments which include the acting from the villains, JCVD and Scott Adkins are both great, which is better than the heroes as they are the seriousness of the film. There are some great fight scenes between Statham and Adkins, and mainly Van Damme and Stallone which rivals the fantastic fight between Vin Diesel and The Rock in Fast And The Furious 5. The only disappointment was that the Stallone fight wasn't longer. The cameo from Chuck Norris is also worth the watch.

To sum up see this film if you want to have a hell of a lot of fun, because that is exactly what it is. Don't see if for in depth character study, see it for action and humour because that is what makes this film good. It is so much fun that I had a smile on my face the whole time. The story is weak, and seems to be paper thin in order to get the big cameos in, but what would you rather in this film. It is all about the big cameos and the 'my gun's bigger than yours' tone, and because of this The Expendables 2 surpasses its predecessor and also shines brighter than some of the other action films of this year that have taken themselves far too seriously.

Pros: Had me smiling throughout and despite some poor acting from them the cameos are great fun.

Cons: Not enough Jet Li.

7 / 10

Top 10 of 2012 so far:

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10
2. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
3. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
4. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
5. Ted     7.5 / 10
6. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
7. The Expendables 2     7 / 10
8. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
9. The Grey     7 / 10
10. Prometheus     6.5 / 10

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

COLOMBIANA movie review


Starring: Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue & Jordi Molia

Running time: 108 minutes

Year: 2011

Directed By: Olivier Megaton

Written By: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen

Luc Besson is well known for his typical assassin films such as Leon, Nikita, and Taken. Colombiana fits in this category so if you are going to see this film as you believe it will be something new and original then turn back now as that is not what you are going to get. However if you decide to watch this with a loose thinking cap on then I have to say you will be thoroughly entertained because I certainly was.

It is not the greatest film ever to be released and it isn't Besson's best film either. The story he is written up here is fairly simple to follow and you won't be scratching your head trying to figure it out, but you may be scratching it with some odd plot points that seem to disappear half way through. The film then begins in 1992 where we meet an assassin in Colombia. He tells his boss that he is done with the assassin game and wants to spend time with his family; however the boss doesn't accept this and kills his former assassin and his wife in front of their daughter. Before they were killed however they managed to explain to their daughter what to do if they were killed, which involves taking a microchip to the police and getting herself to her Uncle's in America. After a chase through Bogota, the young girl manages to escape, hand the chip in at the Embassy, and be shipped to America where she meets her Uncle and promises to train to be the best hit woman and gain revenge.

Catalaia, the young girl, grows up to be Zoe Saldana and is a hit woman for hire bossed by her Uncle. However on the side she is slowly picking off the members of the gang who killed her parents, and leaving them with a wild orchid painted on their chests in order to tell the big boss that she is coming for him. The first hit we witness her doing brings the attention of the FBI and we are introduced to a typical agent whose job it is to stop the killer in their tracks.

The story is very simple. It is a typical revenge thriller with a couple of side twists thrown in to try and make it a little more thoughtful. However it doesn't need to be any more thoughtful because Colombiana is at its most fun when it is just mindless action. There are a lot of inconsistencies to overlook to enjoy it though. Such as a grown woman hiding in extremely large ventilation ducts which seem to lead into each prison cell in a heavily guarded prison, but if you can get past this you will completely enjoy watching the gorgeous Zoe Saldana look incredibly sexy waltzing round in skin tight, or minimal, clothing clasping onto an assault rifle which looks way too big for her to be carrying.

That is where the film is at its best; when we are simply admiring Zoe doing her thing. She is very good in the role and really packs a punch quite literally. The tagline is 'revenge is beautiful' and that is captured very well with Saldana doing her stuff. Saldana and the major actions set pieces are the reasons to watch this film.
With the few positives of the film there are negatives. There are too many characters that are just pointless and simply there to fill a gap. Take for example the love interest of Catalaia. He does inadvertadly do wrong by her but the character is never fleshed out and it is hard to believe he would sympathise with her when he realises she is a cold blooded assassin. The FBI agent is also highly clichéd, and Catalaia's Uncle is told to have had a son who was killed but that thread is quickly quashed and nothing else is said. This is the same with the chip at the beginning which is never mentioned again, but I do presume it is a list of the people involved in assassination and these people then become protected by the CIA after this. This is something I have guessed at, and something I've only thought of whilst writing this review, as nothing is mentioned of it again. It also seems slightly odd that the top gangsters in Colombia are protected by the CIA so I have simply put two and two together. It is a bit weird not to have this strand fleshed out considering how simple the rest of the plot is.

Anyway this film has a few positives and quite a few negatives. For mindless action this is a top film but if you take that away it is nothing. As a matter of fact the action was going to give Colombiana quite a good score from me, until the final act where the action became a little cheesy and clichéd, which ruined it slightly. For a bit of fun watch this film, and if you know much about Besson or Director Olivier Megaton than you will know exactly what to expect before you even sit down to watch it.

3 / 5

Next film to review: REAL STEEL

New on DVD this weekend: Battleship

With the weather being so fantastic at the moment it may be pointless me letting you know what is to be released on DVD this week as I don't suppose many will be heading out to get a film and sit inside. However if you are anything like me and the weather does not dictate what you do but the wonderful world of movies does then take a look below at the 3 films to be released on DVD this week. This is my last post for the week so you will need to wait till the weekend to read my review on The Expendables 2. Until then wish me luck as I venture to Edinburgh to take part in The Network hosted alongside the Edinburgh Festival. Have a good week and get out and rent one of these films anyway!!!

BATTLESHIP - Based on the board game of the same name, Liam Neeson and Taylor Kitsch star as army officers who are faced with alien ships emerging from the waters and attacking the cities.

LOCKOUT - Guy Pearce stars in this futuristic action flick. He plays Snow who is a convicted felon sent onto an outer space prison to rescue the President's daughter who was on board it when the prisoners managed to escape.

MARLEY - A documentary about the life, music and death of the Reggae master himself Bob Marley.

 Marley trailer

Monday, August 20, 2012


Burn After Reading

Starring: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich

Running time: 96 minutes

Year: 2008

Directed By: Ethan Cohen & Joel Cohen

Written By: Joel Cohen & Ethan Cohen

Prior to Burn After Reading the Cohen brothers made the fantastic film that was No Country For Old Men, which scooped awards galore at the Oscars of its year. When their next feature was announced, and it was to be starring some of Hollywood's best acting talent, most people could be forgiven for thinking it was going to be brilliant. Unfortunately however either No Country For Old Men was that good it will make anything the brothers do look less than average, or Burn After Reading is that poor that it makes their other movies look amazing. Whichever way round it is it doesn't change the fact that Burn After Reading is a poor film despite the fantastic acting talent and the great directors and writers on show.

The plot of the film is all over the place for starters. It begins with John Malkovich being downgraded from his job in the CIA, to which he accepts by quitting. Instead of telling his wife that night, they host a party where we meet George Clooney's character who it is made clear quite quickly is having an affair with Tilda Swinton, Malkovich's wife. Once the party is over Malkovich tells his wife that he has quit his job and will begin writing his memoirs. Not taking this too well she heads out to begin divorce proceedings against her husband and hopes to run off with Clooney.

Alongside this we find ourselves in a gym, whose workers are Frances McDormand's lonely and unhappy with her looks Linda and scatty and off his head Chad played by Brad Pitt. Linda is clearly looking for love and spends her spare time searching internet sites for dates, which she seems to never find a perfect match, and being rejected for plastic surgery due to money issues. Her luck soon changes however when Chad finds a CD revealing Malkovich's memoirs in the ladies changing rooms, to which they use in an attempt to blackmail him. To bring the entire ensemble full circle Linda's next date from her website is with Harry (Clooney), with whom she begins a full blown affair. It is highlighted quickly that he is a serial cheat. From here the film twists and turns between the leads and the entire plot comes round full circle, although not everything seems to really be cleared up.

There are moments in the film that seem to make little sense. Unless I'm missing something I don't understand the point behind the invention Clooney has built in his basement, and if anything I found his character a little bit of a throw away. To me the main plot was with Pitt and McDormand blackmailing Malkovich, and Clooney never is involved with this story thread. The ending is also skated over, and practically omitted in the same way Llewellyn Moss's fate is decided in No Country For Old Men. Perhaps this is a typical director trait.

Despite the few issues with the plot the acting talent do help this story along. Each of them are brilliant in their roles and they do not disappoint with their involvement in the film. Special mention should go to Pitt and Clooney for their against type turns. The script is also a good part of the film with the dialogue being original and free flowing. The problem however is the mess of the storyline which seems to go off in unnecessary tangents and at times becomes slightly boring. It does have its moments but they are few and far between. It has been stated that the Cohen brothers were writing this at the same time as No Country For Old Men and would alternate the days for which one they would work on. It seems like one of them got priority.

What makes this film most disappointing is the actors and directors are great at what they do, but they all seem wasted in this film. The actors are actually what make this film a bit better than rubbish, whilst the directors don't seem to bring their usual excellence to the proceedings. It is a shame really as there is so much that draws you to this film and the problem is that you will watch it and feel slightly bored and over expectant of what is coming next, because quite honestly nothing ever actually comes about. The ending is also just thrown in and suddenly happens out of nothing. If you are a fan of the Cohen's you will either love this as you feel you should or you will be disappointed as it does not live up to their previous work. If you are unaware of these two great directors then hire the other film I have mentioned a good few times in this review, and give the film I'm actually reviewing a miss.

1.5 / 5

Next film to review: COLOMBIANA

Friday, August 17, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: A new breed of super agent.

Finally we find ourselves at a weekend with a variety of films being released in the cinemas. We have moved on from the odd one or two that have been released over the past three weeks and this week we find ourselves with six releases, that's right SIX, and I tell you what I think I'd see them all each for different reasons. Have a look at the large selection below and decide which avenue you will take this weekend.

1. The first release of the week is a Bourne film without Bourne. In THE BOURNE LEGACY we are given Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross who is another agent in a parallel timeline to Jason Bourne, showing us that Jason Bourne was not the only super agent! Also starring: Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, & Scott Glenn. Is Cross tougher than Bourne?

The Bourne Legacy trailer

2. Pixar's next major film is also released this weekend and we find ourselves being taken to the Scottish mountains for BRAVE. Kelly Macdonald voices Princess Merida who decides to defy her hierarchy and live life the way she wants to. Of course however a curse is cast upon her and she must fight to rid it and live her own life. Also starring: Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, & Julie Walters. Can Pixar do it again?

Brave trailer

3. Sylvester Stallone's action, macho man ensemble are back once again in THE EXPENDABLES 2, with this time his team having to face villain Jean Claude Van Damme who plans on holding the world to ransom using plutonium. With Arnie and Bruce on board can Sly and his team save the day? Also starring: Liam Hemsworth & Randy Couture. Will there be enough fighting?

The Expendables 2 trailer

4. Dim-witted comedy THE THREE STOOGES is up next. Moe, Larry and Curly must raise enough money to save their childhood orphanage but accidentally find themselves intertwined in a murder plot and a reality TV show. Expect a seriously slapstick comedy. Starring: Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso, & Jane Lynch. Tickle that funny bone?

The Three Stooges trailer

5. Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen star in TAKE THIS WALTZ which is about a married woman who falls for the artist who lives across the street. Expect some humour from Rogen and some drama from Williams. Also starring: Sarah Silverman & Aaron Abrams. Something a little more subtle?

Take This Waltz trailer

6. Up finally from the director of Calendar Girls is THE WEDDING VIDEO starring Robert Webb as the groom to be married and Rufus Hound as the best man filming everything that leads up to the wedding and the day itself. With these two involved expect to laugh a lot. Also starring: Lucy Punch & Miriam Margoyles. The build up to the big day?

The Wedding Video trailer

A large variety to choose from this weekend then, plenty for everyone I have to say. Leaves me in a slight dilemma of what to see but unfortunately I won't be going to see any of them until next week so you will have to come back for a catch up review in a double bill in a few weeks. Enjoy your choice.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

NEWS - Jesse Eisenberg & Dakota Fanning in talks for indie thriller; Night Moves; Brilliant new trailer for Looper

A piece of potential casting news and a fantastic new trailer for a Joseph Gordon Levitt film are the two top pieces of news to bring to your attention this week.

Jesse Eisenberg & Dakota Fanning in talks for indie thriller; Night Moves

Cropping up on a few websites this week has been the news that Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning may be starring in a new thriller, Night Moves. Eisenberg has been rumoured to the film for a while and I have noticed his name being possibly attached to it on a few websites recenty, however Dakota Fanning's name is a new one. Kelly Reichardt is to direct the film which is about three eco-terrorists who are plotting to blow up a dam. Already set to star as one of these is Peter Sarsgard and Eisenberg and Fanning are touted for the other two. More on this in the upcoming months.

Brilliant new trailer for Looper

To be released on 28th September is Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt. A trailer has already been released for the film but the new international one can be seen at the link below:

Looper trailer

The plot of the film is based around time travel where in the future people are sent back in time to be assassinated by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, until that is his next target is his future self played by Bruce Willis. The premise sounds great and Levitt looks unrecognisable as the makeup crew have tried to make him look like Willis. I have to say nice work. Anyway I will be queuing for this one. See Levitt also in Premium Rush set to be released on 14th September.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

QUESTION: What is your favourite Disney Pixar movie?

Disney Pixar have made some fantastic movies, starting with Toy Story, which is fair to say has ended up being one of the best trilogies of all time. Last week we saw a cartoon film and this week we see the release of the next Disney Pixar film Brave, so I thought it would be an idea to ask you which Disney Pixar film you think is your favourite. As usual I have listed 5 below but please add more if you feel your favourite isn't there as I can't go listing them all. Take a look and cast your vote.

1. FINDING NEMO - The story of the clown fish, and how a clown fish Father swims across the world in order to find his son Nemo who was kidnapped by humans and placed in a fish tank.

2. RATATOUILLE - A rat becoming a chef is the story here. Remy is a rat with high ambition and when he finds his puppet in an untrained chef he begins to train the boy to become the best chef in the country.

3. TOY STORY - Like I said before probably one of the best trilogies ever made. Woody and Buzz are two toys that come to life when humans aren't around, and lead a host of toys on journeys only a small toy could make.

4. UP - Sad and lonely after the death of his wife an elderly man fulfils his wife's dreams by attaching balloons to his house and flying off into the sunset, that is until he finds a young boy has accidentally strayed on board and they have ended up in a dangerous place.

5. WALL-E - The story of a single robot left on Earth to clear up after the mess humans have left. When a spaceship lands he finds himself on board and transported to a world where humans are now too fat to move and travel around in hovering wheelchairs.

There are your five to get you started but there are so many others that I could have chosen. Each of these films is fantastic in its own right, and all hold a message which is great for children and adults. This is why these films are so good in that they are great for children and adults. Anyway let me know which is your favourite Disney Pixar movie.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New on DVD this week: This Must Be The Place

There is only one release on DVD and Blu-Ray this week but I thought I'd bring it to your attention despite it not really getting much distribution across the UK in terms of a theatrical release. The film stars a very well known actor in a very strange role. Have a look at it below and see if it suits your fancy. This is the second week now where barely anything is being released, hopefully there is more to come in the upcoming weeks!!

THIS MUST BE THE PLACE - Sean Penn stars as a retired rock star in this comedy drama. Looking very much like an ageing gough, Penn travels across the U.S to hunt down the former Nazi war criminal who is responsible for his Father's international humiliation.

This Must Be The Place trailer

Monday, August 13, 2012

THE LORAX - Dr Seuss is back with a pointless creation.

I haven't announced what was to be released in cinemas this weekend. One reason being that I was away and the most important one is that there was nothing out to tell you about anyway. The only film to be released, that was high profile anyway, was Step Up 4 which is an avoidable film if you ask me. So as there wasn't much on, with nothing having been released and everything else having been seen and reviewed, we decided to see The Lorax, the next cartoon creation based on a story from Dr Seuss' collection. I've not seen many of the films based on his creations and I have not read any of his work so for me this film was no better than an average tale with stuff which can be classed as a yay, and stuff which could be classed as a big fat nah.

For starters this is a cartoon film which I'm sure most of you are aware of, and it is about a strange little creature with a moustache called the Lorax. The instant problem with the film is that there is actually no need for the Lorax at all. He does resemble the themes that are involved within the film but the story is more about a kid called Ted and his quest to find a living tree. This leads him to a man called the Ounce-ler, who tells the story of how it was his fault all the trees are gone and instead people breath artificial air supplied by corporations. The only way the Lorax becomes involved in this is because he was summoned once the trees were destroyed, and told the Ounce-ler that what he was doing was wrong. He may have sent a message for the children who were watching but I don't really understand why the film would be called the Lorax when he is really just a supporting character.

It plays out like an older version of a cartoon film, in that it sends out a very strong message and every twenty minutes there is a musical number. Not saying that this is a problem but in cartoon films of today we don't have many musical cartoons other than the old fashioned Disney's. The issue I sometimes have with the sing-a-longs are that they become cheesy and the songs are so catchy that I sing them for the next week!! Luckily not many of the songs are overly good enough to continue singing. The message left by the film seems to be about large corporations running the way the world works, and how important nature still is in our lives. In the story we see a plastic town in which most of the population live in, and they have never seen anything like a real living tree. This film will really send out a strong message to children and I do think it is a good film for kids.

The voice talent is good enough. DeVito is strong as the Lorax but he doesn't seem to be in it anywhere near as much as you may think he will be. Ed Helms plays the voice of the Ounce-ler and fits in with ease, even playing two different voices for the older and younger versions of his character. Taylor Swift and Zac Efron play the voices for our love chasing teen central characters and due to their age aren't miscast but they don't have to try very hard to really convince.

The final thought of the film is that it is simply OK. It is a bit of fun but there are some terrible moments. I haven't read the story before and maybe I am missing something but even if I was up to scratch with the original material I still don't think it would be a great film. With some of the cartoon films being released in this era, The Lorax falls way short and being familiar with source material is not going to change that. Overall it is simply just a film that was watched due to there being nothing else on worth watching that I haven't already seen.

Pros: Strong message and good for kids.

Cons: Not enough Lorax, and some awful songs.

5 / 10

Top 10 films of 2012 so far:

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10
2. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
3. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
4. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
5. Ted     7.5 / 10
6. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
7. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
8. The Grey     7 / 10
9. Prometheus     6.5 / 10
10. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World     6.5 / 10

Sunday, August 12, 2012

TED - A live action Family Guy

There has been a slight delay in me bringing you my review on the film we saw last weekend, but I have finally found time to sit down and tell you what I thought of Ted, Seth McFarlane's first attempt at a feature film since his success with Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. For starters let me say if you are easily offended with fat jokes, toilet humour, racism and subtle 9/11 remarks then I can not suggest highly enough that you do not see this movie because that is the basis of what makes this film so funny.

The story is fairly simple with a child wishing his teddy bear could talk and low and behold that is exactly what happens. After a few years of celebrity stardom for Ted, being the first talking stuffed teddy of course, his fame has worn away and he struggles through life much like other celebrities who did very much the same thing. Patrick Stewart highlights this in some great narration. Twenty odd years later and the child is now Mark Wahlberg and he still has his talking teddy, only now he is a potty mouthed druggy who charms his way around women. This is just too much for Mark's girlfriend Mila Kunis and she demands Ted leaves which is tough for Mark considering he grew up with this Teddy. Other than this we have a slight kidnapping subplot which seems slightly thrown in but you forgive it due to Giovanni Ribisi's great portrayal of the kidnapper, creepy he certainly is.

Right lets get down to the main question: is this funny? Well i can tell you now it sure as hell is! Perhaps it isn't quite as funny as the trailer suggested but it still has some genius moments. Some of the best of these moments are during Ted's interview for a job or his unashamed interaction with four hookers in his apartment. There is also a very good sequence evolving around Flash Gordon which ties in with the theme of not being able to grown up, considering there is so much reference to the 70's and 80's. The film also is very much like an episode of Family Guy. Someone will talk about a moment in the past and we get a cutaway to said moment which is hilarious in it's own right. This is very clever as it works so well for Family Guy, but one of the problems with this is that the humour doesn't really interact with the story and instead we have random lines thrown in which although funny don't serve much purpose to the story. We also get many jokes which could go over some people's heads as they reference many famous people or are self-referenced such as when Ted claims he doesn't sound like Peter Griffin. There are others but I'll let you find that out for yourselves.

The casting of Mark Wahlberg at first had me slightly baffled but I have to say I have grown to actually prefer him in comedy films than I do in his typical generic action roles. He brings a likeability to his comic performances and here he is very believable as a man with a taking teddy. He also performs some scenes better than I could imagine anyone else to. The star of the show is Ted though, voiced by writer and director Seth McFarlane. Each time Ted comes on screen you are instantly hooked and it is generally him, or his scenes with Mark, that are the comic moments. Thankfully there isn't much time when Ted isn't actually on screen. McFarlane has done incredibly well in altering his writing to feature film territory and has created a character that everyone will just love despite his crudeness. Although at times the dialogue becomes a little cheesy, McFarlane still manages to please us with lines such as; 'back off Susan Boyle.' You'll have to watch the film to understand the context.

Overall then we have a film that has certainly come up trumps. I personally was a little disappointed in it but I was expecting it to be mindblowingly funny, and I still have never laughed till I cried since Borat and I expected that here. However talking to various people they found it better than they were expecting so I think it is safe to say it is one of the better comedy films to have been released this year. Perhaps I am being harsh on it but this is probably due to the typical comedy trailers that seem to take away all the funny bits. Please do go see this film because there is plenty more funny to be seen, just don't go in with ridiculously high expectations like me and I'm sure you will come out loving it. I was slightly disappointed and still found it ace.

Pros: Original idea and a great character in Ted.

Cons: Some of the shocks are given away in the trailer.

7.5 / 10

Top 10 films of 2012 so far:   

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10
2. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
3. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
4. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
5. Ted     7.5 / 10
6. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
7. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
8. The Grey     7 / 10
9. Prometheus     6.5 / 10
10. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World     6.5 / 10