Wednesday, October 31, 2012

QUESTION: Best Daniel Craig film?

With Daniel Craig bringing an emotionally brilliant performance in the latest Bond movie Skyfall I thought it would be good to look back at some of his films and decide what we think is his best. Before he became Bond he was relatively unknown but now he has propelled himself into the Hollywood stratosphere. He has had many supporting roles in the past, I have watched many films where he seems to appear in the background, but I want to look at the films he has made within the last ten years where he plays more of a lead. Have a look at 5 choices below and let us know what is Daniel Craig's best film?

1. CASINO ROYALE - Craig's first outing as Bond was a fine performance in a fine film indeed. It can be seen as one of the better Bond's to date. In the film we go back to the beginning and witness how he undertook his first mission which pitted him against LeChiffre who is using poker winnings to fund terrorism.

2. COWBOYS & ALIENS - Released only last year Craig plays a cowboy with a severe case of memory loss who is hunted by Harrison Ford's badass outlaw, however they soon become allies when the Old West is threatened by aliens.

3. DEFIANCE - Here he stars as one of a set of Jewish brothers in Nazi occupied Eastern Europe. He leads many Jews into a forest to build a new village to keep them safe from the dangers that are around them.

4. LAYER CAKE - Playing the man with no name Craig is a drug dealer who wants to retire with the small fortune he has made himself, however a bigger fish than him soon asks him to take on one last deal which causes him to fall into a triangle of sex, betrayal and death.

5. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO - Another released last year. A remake of the Swedish version and an adaptation of the popular book Craig plays journalist Mikael Blomkvist who is hired to find an elderly man's niece who disappeared many years ago. In order to find her he has to hire an expert computer hacker; a mysterious woman with obsolete social skills.

There are 5 to pick from then and I have to say 3 of them are very good films, the other 2 are slightly average but definitely have their audience. Anyway let me know what you think then, what is Daniel Craig's best film?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New on DVD this week: Red Tails

Not many films will be new to your local Blockbusters this week with only two to be released and neither of them really being highly marketed when they were in cinemas. One had an official release but failed to really stamp its place despite being attached to George Lucas' name, and the other had some good reviews but was only released for an indie market. I have seen neither of these so can't really comment but if you are thinking of renting or buying this week have a look at what is new below.

RED TAILS - The story of a crew of African American pilots segregated from other pilots in training due to their race, leaving them on the ground during the War, however with the air force depleting they are called into action to finally make a name for themselves.

Red Tails trailer

THE HUNTER - Willem Dafoe is a hunter sent into the Tasmanian Wilderness by a mysterious biotech company who want him to bring back the last remaining Tasmanian tiger.

 The Hunter trailer

Monday, October 29, 2012

SKYFALL - The old dog is still full of tricks

The new James Bond film has been highly anticipated by fans and viewers who are just happy to watch a good action movie. I think it is safe to say that even people who aren't too bothered by James Bond were quite looking forward to this one. Of course I don't know if that is entirely true but I want audience members who aren't Bond fans to realise that this is not a standard Bond film! Gone are the cheesy lines. Gone are the baddies who can't shoot straight. Gone are the invisible cars that are just not plausible. This is Bond down to Earth, grounded in a real society. Fair enough some action scenes still stretch your sense of believability but Skyfall has one thing that (Casino Royale aside) the other Bond film's don't have; emotion. This is the Bond film that will change everything.

You can still expect the usual elements for a Bond film. It does have the girls who he undoubtedly will sleep with. It does have the exposition heavy scenes in-between the glamorous sights and fist fights. And of course it has the excellent action sequences that show Bond still is the best for action scenes. We open with a chase through Istanbul where Bond attempts to retrieve a hard drive containing the names of all agents in undercover operations across the globe. This finds him on a motorbike, in a digger, on a train, and even in a digger on a train however this time he doesn't escape unscathed. He first takes a hit from his nemesis before being shot of the roof by his partner shooting from some distance; an accident of course but a judgement call made by M back at base. This information must be big news if she was willing to risk her best agent's life. So with Bond presumed dead he hides away on the other side of the globe trying to forget the life he lead, that is until M is threatened and a bomb explodes in MI6. Cue Bond's return, but this time he isn't the perfect agent we are used to seeing. He is unshaven; he wears tracksuits instead of suits, and can barely even shoot straight. He even fails a standard word association test by a psychologist. This is Bond at the lowest we have ever seen him. Despite this M puts her faith in him and sends him off to find out who planted the bomb. He follows a potential lead to Shanghai before meeting the first enemy he has ever had trouble staying ahead of. This 'baddie' Silva has a vendetta against M and won't stop until she has suffered like he did. Bond must adopt a different approach as this isn't a mission about world domination this is one that is personal.

The synopsis alone shows that this is a different take on Bond. Many have believed that this is Bond back to how he should be but I have to disagree, I think this is the Bond that connects the poor Quantum Of Solace back to how a Bond film should be. This one is completely different as this time it is personal to Bond and we even learn more about his character and childhood, something we have rarely done in the previous 22 outings. Normally Bond becomes entangled in a plot for global domination; here we have the standard man on man protector vs. assassin. Here Bond is not so much a MI6 secret agent as he is a bodyguard for his mother figure of M. This is Bond stripped down to his emotional core where we learn more about his connection with M and what makes them work. This film barely even uses the typical Bond girl formula. Neither of the two main girls have much screen time and instead M is the Bond girl, withdrawing the sex of course. This time she has more of a role to play in the field as for the first time we understand who she is. Emotion is exactly what has adapted this version of Bond from its predecessors. There is also plenty of emotion from the villain in Javier Bardem's Silva (who is excellent and creepy), with his motives really being felt. He also shows us a side to him that is frightening that many will not see coming, I only wish they had used more of it. The acting, the depth of story, and the cinematography (especially in the fantastic Shanghai scenes) is just brilliant. Sam Mendes should be thanked for bringing Bond into a new era.

The theme of the film is also much deeper than what we will have known from a Bond film. It looks at how Bond and M have become too old for this way of the world and that is highlighted many times such as when he meets Q, who looks far too young to be so clever, we also see Bond suffer and struggle to keep up with tougher opponents. Even M is accused in court of being behind the times. In a final shoot out, which takes us all the way back to the beginning, we learn that it is the old ways that are just as important and I feel that this entire film was a statement in that direction. Many fans complained about Bond evolving into this century and there are so many in jokes here that say that this is Bond evolving but we will always hold on to what was important. This is the Bond that has set a stall for the Bond's of the future.

One or two negatives aside, such as a few unoriginal plot twists, this is one of the better films we have seen this year. It is packed with so much emotion, depth, and adrenaline that it is so difficult to not like it. Skyfall is a new era for Bond but still has enough in the way of a typical Bond formula to keep those usual fans happy. This is the bridge between old and new and Mendes has created a great way of doing that. This isn't the Bond film where he prevents the World from collapsing, no this is the Bond film about M; causing Bond to become more of a side character in order to grow and bring himself into this new way of the World.

Pros: Depth and emotion in the story as well as your usual Bond action.

Cons: A couple of unoriginal plot twist.

8.5 / 10

Top 10 of 2012 so far:

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10 
2. Skyfall     8.5 / 10
3. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
4. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
5. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
6. Looper     7.5 / 10
7. Ted     7.5 / 10
8. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
9. Lawless     7 / 10
10. The Expendables 2     7 / 10

Friday, October 26, 2012

DAYBREAKERS movie review


Starring: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan

Running time: 98 minutes

Year: 2009

Directed By: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig

Written By: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig

A bleak future is on the horizon if Daybreakers is anything to go by. A film that shows the world only seven years away (ten when the film was released) run by vampires with only a few remaining humans still fighting for the race. Starring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe this vampire flick is like no other where it is more unusual to be normal than it is a blood sucker.

In 2019 95% of the population are vampires who feed off human blood. With only 5% of the people on Earth being human their major source of food is on the verge of coming to an abrupt end, meaning the vampires will die out by becoming mutated savages through their un-quenching thirst. Edward Dalton (Hawke) is a scientist drafted in by corporate boss Charles Bromley (Neill) to create a blood substitute so the vampires can survive. His company hooks humans up into giant machines and farms them for blood and his is one of the only companies who still charge top money for 100% pure human blood as opposed to others who have rationed their supply out. When a trial on human testing goes horribly wrong Edward starts to question if there is a cure for their kind instead of a substitute. He sympathises with the humans especially since he used to be one. After a close encounter with a mutated vampire craving human blood he is approached by Audrey (Karvan) one of the last remaining humans. She claims to need his help to rebuild the human race. Edward agrees to help when he meets Elvis (Dafoe) who was once a vampire himself only to find an unusual way to cure himself and change back. The humans hope that Edward can recreate the device to cure the vampires in order to keep alive their race but the group are hunted down by the army who want these humans for food, and Bromley who is desperate to prevent a cure.

The film is full of some really interesting ideas. It is an unusual take on the usual vampire flick and Hawke makes us sympathise with a blood sucker. The blacked out windows on their cars used to protect them during the day, the curfew an hour before sunrise, the human blood farm, the coffee shops that sell blood with their coffee are all a good way of imagining if the world was actually run like this. The vampires are the dominant race and going to work or catching the train is an everyday thing to them and the world has adapted to meet their needs instead of humans. The Spierig Brothers have given us a vampire film which looks at ethnic cleansing, curing disease, and corrupt business moguls who only care about money. In a supernatural world they have managed to ground it to be about human aspects.

The colours of the film are amazing and reminded me of a film noir with a twist. In the vampire world everything is done at night and the colours are neon blue on a dark back line. It is really prominent and stands out making the vampires look pale and cold and it really works. If anything that is all lost when we see the humans as their world isn't like that. The cinematography is very crisp and adds to the look and feel of a future which has evolved. The human blood farm is a good idea and looks frightening when seeing live humans hooked up to a giant machine whilst their blood is pumped from them. There are many good ideas within this film that erase the memory of any terrible vampire films made over the past few years.

There are many good points but unfortunately there are just as many bad points. The acting for starters is alright but nothing is going to blow you away. The dialogue at times seems fairly unrealistic and too many lines are explaining to the audience what is going on instead of the characters just inhabiting their world. The music is uninspiring and seems completely out of place in this futuristic world. It is a score we have heard many times before in old school action or drama films and instead of drawing me in actually pushed me out of the action. The music is good when it goes unnoticed; here it was the only thing you could hear as it didn't feel right. In the end the film also turns into a bit of a typical shoot out which is a shame when so many dark themes had been explored. It was as if the writers felt without these action moments no one will be interested. I was the opposite and found the dark drama elements of the film the much more pleasing to watch and wish it hadn't of taken a generic route.

It is an enjoyable film and really could have been more than that. For the first time we see a vampire film that isn't typical and explores areas that were never even mentioned in others of the genre. If the film had remained like the first half of it then it would be a hell of a lot better but unfortunately in the second half it loses the dark depth it had at the beginning. So in the end we have an intriguing idea that, although directed well, has as many good points as it does bad.

3 / 5

Next film to review: BROTHERS


In Cinemas This Weekend: Bond, James Bond.

Just the one major film to be released this weekend then and I have to say I'm not surprised other films aren't being released this weekend as I have a feeling this film is going to be huge. By all accounts in some cinemas the entire weekend's showings are already fully booked, now that says something. I'm sure all of you will know what the film is, with my heading above and the constant marketing being plastered about, but have a look below for a short synopsis and the trailer.

1. Bond 23 is finally being released. SKYFALL had many problems during production but it is now finally here, once again with Daniel Craig as James Bond. In this outing M comes under scrutiny after losing a hard drive containing a list of MI6 agents causing Bond to erase the threat against them before they announce this information worldwide. Also starring: Helen McCrory, Javier Bardem, & Berenice Marlohe. Could this be Bond's toughest mission?

Skyfall trailer

So just the one mega film out this week then and I'm sure I will be batting you all off to get in the cinema to see it. From the trailer it looks fantastic and as if this time Bond may have met his match. Enjoy this weekend.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

NEWS - Full Iron Man 3 trailer arrives online

For those of you who follow movie news online religiously I am sure you have already seen this insanely brilliant trailer, if you haven't click on the link below to witness the first step in the second phase of the Marvel Universe. This will be the first time we see one of these characters since The Avengers.

Iron Man 3 trailer

I have to say to start with that the trailer looks great. The music, the intrigue, and the small shot of each supporting character really suggest this could be back on track after the disappointing second instalment. This trailer is actually better than Iron Man 2.

Many questions are raised by this trailer which is exactly what we want. For starters is Stark suffering from the actions of The Avengers? Has he become paranoid and devised his own team of robots to protect Pepper only for them to turn bad? We also have glimpses of Guy Pearce who looks smarmy and with a hidden agenda, and Ben Kingsley's Mandarin who is seen with his infamous rings. There is a lot of action going on in this and much of it seems to be going against Tony Stark. He appears to be facing internal crisis as well as external and for a change he doesn't seem to be so selfish when it comes to Pepper. Anyhow I don't want to over analyse this, I'm sure another trailer will come out in the next few months and will change everyone's theories thus far so just enjoy the trailer for what it is, an insight to the next step of the Marvel universe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

QUESTION: What is the scariest movie monster?

Hotel Transylvania brought something relatively fresh to the cinema audience last weekend in that it gave us a nice side to the monsters parents tell their children about in ghost stories. It was good to see them as loveable characters as opposed to ones we are all afraid of. Spinning it back on its head then I have decided to ask what is the scariest movie monster, but the choices will be from the character types that were in Hotel Transylvania. Look below to see which monsters were seen in a lighter way in that film and which ones in reality would scare you the most.

DRACULA - A legend of a vampire who would need to drink human blood through his pointy fangs in order to feed. He could also disguise himself as a bat in order to escape deadly situations and creep up on his prey.

FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER - Many get confused between which one Frankenstein was, he was the Doctor not the monster. The monster was a creation made out of random deceased body parts and then awakened by a lightning bolt. He then went on to despise humans due to the neglect from his creator.

WEREWOLF - A giant howling wolf that would howl during a full moon. The werewolf would then take human form until the following full moon where he would hunt for humans to feed.

THE MUMMY - A deceased human who was bandaged from head to toe and place in a tomb like coffin in a way of punishment during Egyptian times. The Mummy is one of these who have come back to life and exacts revenge on the human population.

ZOMBIES - Dead humans that have come back to life and stalk the living. They would kill by delivering a single bite that would transform the victim into a zombie.

There are 5 of the monsters portrayed in Hotel Transylvania that are given a gentler more comical side. Many will still imagine them as scary beings and that is probably how they are best known, so tell me which one was always the one you were most frightened of?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New on DVD this week: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Three movies hit shops this week and they all were slightly underwhelming when they hit the cinemas. One of them had a great premise that failed to deliver; it is actually in my bottom 10 films of the year so far. Another had a great cast and comedy potential but had poor reviews at the box office. And the final one had a director who achieved a hit with his debut film only to disappoint slightly in a complex movie. Two of these films have been reviewed on this blog although neither being highly scored. Have a look at what you can rent or simply catch up on Bond ready for Skyfall hitting cinemas on Friday.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER - A great premise for a movie. When he was a child Mr Lincoln witnessed his parents being slaughtered by vampires so he vows to seek revenge with the help of a vampire hunter. As he enters politics his obsession dies down until he realises they are also a reason behind slave labour so he attempts to take down both issues at the same time.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter trailer

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING - An all star cast in a film about pregnant women. The movie interweaves different stories of different women's progress through labour be it struggles with their partner, struggles with the situation, or struggles with each other.

What To Expect When You're Expecting trailer

RED LIGHTS - Robert De Niro stars as a blind illusionist who is under investigation for fraud by Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy, however his power is fuelled by the investigation and he must use all his tricks to knock his pursuers off his trails.

 Red Lights trailer

Monday, October 22, 2012

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA - Monsters have feelings too.

With a poor week of cinema releases, and not having seen the other Paranormal Activity films, we ended up going the completely opposite end of the spectrum and saw a children's animation film. Now over the years children's animation films have got better and better. Since Toy Story the cartoon films have been more popular and appealing within a large array of audiences, not just the children. Hotel Transylvania is another of these films that is based mainly for children but had more than enough appeal for the adult viewers. With a great voice cast, including Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, and Steve Buscemi, this film was put out there to bring a different take on a story just in time for Halloween. With all the ghost, ghouls, and goblins soon to be on show, and all the horror films being released, this felt like a fun version of it all.

The story follows the world of Dracula, voiced by Sandler. After the death of his wife he has hated humans with a passion. So much so that at all costs he attempts to keep his daughter away from them, even by telling her they may be hiding under your bed at night. Over the years Dracula has spread stories that humans hate monsters so much that they will kill them if they have the chance, so to help his fellow beings Dracula creates a hotel hidden in the wilderness which is for monsters only. No humans allowed. Each year he celebrates his daughter's birthday in style and invites the usual guests to his hotel. We have Frankenstein, Mummy, Wolf, Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, and many more who wish to get away from mundane life, much like humans do, and spend a weekend with their kind. Dracula's dream hotel however finds a problem when his plan to frighten his daughter off wanting to see the world inadvertently allows a human into the hotel. Jonathan is his name and he literally wants a bed for the night as he is tired of following the lights that lead him to this hotel, but Dracula can't allow this. If the monsters found him they would feel unsafe, if he threw Jonathan out he would tell others, and if he kills him he would ruin years of his legacy. The only option is to disguise him but all goes wrong when Dracula's daughter begins to fall for him.

Watching the trailer I thought this seemed like a really interesting premise and could be a lot of fun. Granted it has a slight hint of Monsters Inc. with the monster being afraid of humans aspect, but it is fun to see all the usual monsters people tell their children about in stories on the screen feeling just the same about us. These aren't the scary monsters people think of, they are ordinary in their world. Everything they do is human like, even the Father Wolf who is kept awake all night by his children and when he finally falls asleep the alarm goes off. A lot of it is true to real life but not in the way we know it, with a big twist. It does work in that sense and the characters are really likeable and the voice cast are all pretty good. It has some great in jokes also that will tickle an adult audience watching. There are the usual visual gags that will have kids in hysterics but there are jokes that refer to Twilight that will have the adult audience chuckling in appreciation.

Despite it being fun and a good story it does fall short in the final third. The rest of the film is a laugh and it is nice to see the direction these characters are going, and the visuals also look good, however the film takes a sudden corny turn towards the end of the second act and it becomes a typical cartoon film with a hidden message whereas before that it wasn't slapped across the screen and thrown in your face. The final third's dialogue became 'on the nose' and 'moral meaning' when the rest of the film was just plain fun and that is what lets this movie down. Not many animated films seem to live up to the ones that are already made and unfortunately this one that starts so promisingly also doesn't make the cut.

It is easy to see why this was made, an interesting idea, some moments stolen but told in a unique way, some good visuals, and some great voice talent on show, it is just disappointing that a film that had such great reasons to be made turned out to be a slightly average cartoon flick, one that won't really be remembered and will be overshadowed by many other cartoon films coming out around this time. It will give children everything it needs to and it has an easy to follow story from a child's perspective so in that sense it works but as an adult watching it slowly became too easy and the story was spelled out for you. This is what made the likes of Finding Nemo, Shrek, Toy Story, Monsters Inc. etc so good; they appealed to both children and adults where Hotel Transylvania got to the halfway point and decided that it had done enough work and unfortunately it hadn't.

Pros: Nice idea, good voice talent, and some good chuckles along the way.

Cons: Lost its way in the second half and became corny and cliched.

5.5 / 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. Looper     7.5 / 10
6. Ted     7.5 / 10
7. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
8. Lawless     7 / 10
9. The Expendables 2     7 / 10
10. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10

Friday, October 19, 2012

THE WRESTLER movie review

The Wrestler

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis

Running time: 109 minutes

Year: 2008

Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

Written By: Robert D. Siegel

In 2008 Darren Aronofsky helmed the movie that would bring Mickey Rourke's career back to potential stardom. The Wrestler is a film about a former legend refusing to accept when his time is up and would rather be respected for something he can't do than be forgotten for something he can. It is a powerful, moving story that simply uses wrestling as a way to highlight the obstacles that approach a man who has lived life from the inside out.

We open watching Randy 'The Ram' (Rourke) preparing for his next match up. In the title sequence we see that he was once a top wrestler, one of those ones we all gawp at on the television, now twenty years later he is performing in front of a few hundred in a sports arena as opposed to the millions in front of a TV camera. We witness him and his opponent going through the motions of their fight back stage and then we see the real thing. It may be fake, but boy it is still brutal. The wrestlers cut themselves with razors in order to gain affect and literally talk to each other so they know the next move. Even the poor referee gets in on the action. This is Randy's world. This is where he is appreciated. We later see him meet the woman he desires in Cassidy (Tomei), a stripper at his local bar, who he sees as a sounding board for all of his wrestling experiences. He used to have it good and he wishes to one day get back there, but his crippled body now sees him struggling to pay rent and having to take on a part time job at a grocery store. His next fight pits him against the 'crazy one' who uses staple guns to hurt his opponent. This is a bloody fight and although premeditated they really are hurting each other. So much so that once the fight is over Randy suffers a heart attack. After being told he can never wrestle again Randy cancels his big comeback fight and settles for attempting to woo the affections of Cassidy and renew the friendship between him and his estranged daughter, but he soon realises that without the ring, without the cheering, without the bloodshed he can't cope with life and the temptation of one day fighting again is just far too much.

The first thing that deserves a mention is the personnel involved. Mickey Rourke is fantastic as 'The Ram'. He isn't playing this character, he is this character. It was rumoured that Nicolas Cage was first in line for the role and I am so glad Rourke got it as he is the only one you can really see playing it. The long bleach blonde hair, the fake tan, the steroid induced body all work when it comes to Rourke's style and look. He is Randy 'The Ram'. When he isn't kicking lumps out of fellow wrestlers, Rourke pulls us into his trouble personality with an emotional turn at the midpoint. His world is on the up and he is enjoying his new found life, but when it all turns bad Rourke's performance makes us feel his pain. Emotion is his pain not the ass kicking in the ring. Tomei is also brilliant and very daring in a role that has her wearing nothing but a tiny g-string. She is 'The Ram's' sounding board although they are very similar, she is the female version of him in a different world but manages to handle it a whole lot better. Evan Rachel Wood is also affective as his daughter but doesn't have as much screen time as the others.

Aronofsky's direction is also top notch. This man has always delivered fantastic films (Requiem For A Dream being one of my favourites) and he delivers yet another one here. His decision to not show us Randy from the front until at least ten minutes is a great one. At first we see a fighter but when we finally see him for what he is a lonely old man. The choice to give us many following tracking shots also works. Many of them are following Randy as he walks through corridors, through the shop, through the woods, basically through life, and it makes us experience his world. The best piece is when we hear the crowd as Randy prepares for his first day on the Deli Counter at the grocery store, only for the crowd cheers to disappear when he enters the deli instead of the ring. It's such a meaningful shot.

The story feels like that of a prisoner who struggles to live outside of a jail cell. This is the sort of man Randy is but his prison is the ring. He doesn't know how to be or how to act when it isn't in spandex. This set up and story arc leads us to a powerful ending that really shows how a man can struggle through life when he has tasted something he loves. It is emotional, it is powerful, it will make you understand the world of a onetime hero, Rourke and Aronofsky are to thank for that. Don't be put off by the fact it is wrestling, there is a much deeper story and his profession is simply the rope he leaps off to find himself in a troubled world. This is a must see.

4 / 5

Next film to review: DAYBREAKERS

In Cinemas This Weekend: A Frankenstein like mutt.

Four films are released this weekend but there isn't much of a range to choose from. If you don't like children's films or horror films then you are out of luck as really that is all we have on show for you this weekend. Like I said last week, we seem to be having a lot of children's films being released at the moment. I suppose they are about 'monsters' but with Halloween on the approach I much expected some frightening horrors to be bursting into cinemas. We do have one horror film out this weekend but that franchise is slowly turning into a fans only zone. A bit like the Saw movies did in the end. I'm sure you will find something among the releases but this week is once again a poor one. Probably be a kid's film for me this weekend then.

1. The first release of the week is Tim Burton's animated movie FRANKENWEENIE. The story of a young boy, named Victor, who has the idea of bringing his favourite dog Sparky back to life using the power of electricity. After he does however things aren't as joyful as they used to be. Starring: Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, & Martin Landau. Is he alive?

Frankenweenie trailer

2. A horror franchise releases yet another instalment in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4. A bit of a no-brainer really knowing the success of the others. Same formula takes place here, a handheld camera recording the moves of the occupants of a house when spooky goings on begin to take place. Starring: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively, & Brady Allen. Will the truth come out this time?

Paranormal Activity 4 trailer

3. Four cheeky animals are back in MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED. The lion, hippo, giraffe, and zebra all return as they continue their journey back home, only this time find themselves stuck in Europe. Starring: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, & David Schwimmer. Will they ever make it back?

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted trailer

4. A young girl searches for her lost mother in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. When her Father attracts a mysterious illness their homeland is threatened by rising creatures and melting ice caps, meaning this young girl must find her lost mother in order for her to survive. Starring: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, & Lowell Landes. Will she learn the ways of courage and love?

Beasts Of The Southern Wild trailer

That is that then. Four films for you to pick from for this week's cinema trip. It is a tough one to pick a winner and I may find myself watching a kid's flick. Not that I mind but it's the odd looks I get when I'm in there! Hopefully that won't happen this week and most of the parents have abandoned their children to go see Paranormal Activity 4 instead.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NEWS - New teaser poster for Carrie remake; First image arrives from The Evil Dead remake

The news for this week comes from two horror remakes that are due to hit cinemas next year. It once again raises the question of whether remakes are needed and whether or not they ever live up to the original films. It does seem rather pointless releasing a film that has been done so well before but I suppose as long as people are buying the tickets they don't really care.

New teaser poster for Carrie remake

First piece of news is the teaser poster that has been released for the remake of Carrie.

Looks full of blood and gore and stands out as that is Chloe Grace Moretz who is lathered in it. You don't seem to get many A-list stars signing up for these type of remakes (some may have started their career there, Jessica Biel) so that should mean it was an attractive project for these stars. Could that mean this one may break from the norm of bad horror remakes? With Julianne Moore also starring perhaps it could be.

The poster tells us what we already know about Carrie. We will know her name by the end! The film is due for release 5th April 2013 in the UK. If you can't wait take a look at the picture below from the film or rent the original to gain an initial feel.

First image arrives from The Evil Dead remake

Another remake another image, although this one I'm sure will find it harder to please fans. The original Sam Raimi classic was such a genre defining piece that it may struggle to gain the same respect being brought out in today's world, especially after The Cabin In The Woods poked so much fun at the concept used in this film.

However let's not judge until we have seen. Mr Raimi, although not directing, has had a major influence on the production and he won't want to see a bad remake. Plus Bruce Campbell has said we will love it. We shall see.

The image gives us a sneaky look at a young 'dead' girl emerging from that hidden basement. Now what could she be doing down there?

The film is due for release on 12th April 2013 in the UK, so exactly a week after Carrie. Could mean a good couple of weeks at the cinema then, as long as they don't venture into the poor remake genre!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

QUESTION: Who is Will Ferrell's best movie character?

With Will Ferrell giving us a fairly unforgettable character in The Campaign, which is disappointing as he had potential, I thought I would remind people of some of the excellent characters he has played over the years. Many have sprouted lines that have had many of you re-quoting in the pub on a Friday night and others have been so loved that sequels have been put in place due to public demand for this character. Of course he has had some poor ones but Ferrell has to be known for giving us great characters that we can all laugh along with and believe in within an unbelievable world. Your choices are below; who is Will Ferrell's best movie character?

1. BRENNAN HUFF (Stepbrothers) - Ferrell gives us the 40 year old son who has refused to leave home or get a job. When his Mother remarries they move in with her new husband who also has a 40 year old son who refuses to leave home or get a job. Cue sibling rivalry between two fully grown men. "You can call me Nighthawk!"

2. BUDDY THE ELF (Elf) - Raised as an Elf in the North Pole, Buddy travels to New York in order to find his Father, however in a large city Buddy finds it very hard to go unnoticed. "Buddy the Elf what's your favourite colour?"

3. FRANK THE TANK (Old School) - Not playing the lead but the supporting role, Ferrell is Frank Ricard, better known as Frank the Tank, best friend to Mitch who moves onto a college campus after splitting with his girlfriend meaning they are going to party like they were back in school. "We're going streaking!"

4. RICKY BOBBY (Talladega Nights) - Ricky Bobby is a NASCAR racer who is the best there has been until a new international driver joins the team and causes Ricky to have a terrible accident. Ricky must learn to fight the fear and come back as the best driver there has been. "I'm on fire!"

5. RON BURGUNDY (Anchorman) - The legend that is Ron Burgundy, a news anchorman who struggles to cope when a woman is being promoted through the ranks to work alongside him. "Damn I look good. Hey everybody come see how good I look."

There are five of his best characters, all with one of their best lines. Ferrell is known for bringing larger than life characters even larger than life and this list shows it. Some great characters and some great films but which is your favourite?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New on DVD this week: Wrath Of The Titans

Even though there are 3 films released this week, available for your DVD collections at home, it is safe to say that none of them has had particularly fantastic reviews to make you queue up to go and purchase it. One of these films I have reviewed here on this blog and despite the strong cast and highly acclaimed director it still languishes in one of the poorest films I have seen this year. Also a sequel to a 2010 film, which was also poorly received, was trounced by critics and struggled to make back its money. I don't want to hit on these films too hard as of course they will have their fans out there but it is disappointing to see a week which releases films for home entertainment that star the likes of Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liam Neeson, and Sam Worthington, can't make me want to get off my butt and go and rent them. Oh well if you are interested in what films these are then take a look below.

WRATH OF THE TITANS - Sequel to 2010's Clash Of The Titans, Wrath stars Sam Worthington once again who must venture into the dangerous underworld to rescue his father Zeus from the hands of the deadly Ares and Hades.

Wrath Of The Titans trailer

TOP CAT: THE MOVIE - Top Cat returns to the big screen where he and his gang must face a new police chief who doesn't approve of Top Cat's antics.

Top Cat: The Movie trailer

DARK SHADOWS - Remake of the old TV series, Dark Shadows stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, a man cursed to the ground by the envious Angelique sometime in the past. In the present day Barnabas rises from the dead, now as a vampire, and upon returning to his home finds it has been taken over by his ancestors and that the devious Angelique is still alive and attempting to bankrupt their empire.

Dark Shadows trailer

Monday, October 15, 2012

THE CAMPAIGN - This political satire benefits from a strong cast and not a strong plot

With very little being released in cinemas this weekend we decided to return to a film released a few weeks ago, one that the cast list alone had got us excited about. Let's face it a film that headlines Will Ferrell Vs Zach Galifianakis doing battle via politics can only mean a hilariously funny comedy filled with re-quotable lines and the begging of a sequel in years to come, well that certainly isn't the case. An incredible premise, that although not original, mixed with the perfect comedy cast is let down by a weak regurgitating plot and unenthusiastic direction. Oh what could have been for this film, the Anchorman style comedy you may have been expecting really isn't ever on show.

Will Ferrell stars as Cam Brady, a Congressman in a Northern Carolina district who is about to be re-elected for his fourth term because no one wishes to run against him. That is until in a late night drunken call to a wrong number, Mr Brady leaves an explicit message meant for his girlfriend on a devout Christian family's answering phone. Smelling weakness for the first time in years a mega wealthy pair of brothers, the Motch Brothers, decide to fund an unknown to run against Brady so they can use the district to open a factory run by the Chinese in order to cut shipping costs for products from China. Their man to run against, Marty Huggins (Galifianakis), a local tourist guide who has very little ambition to become a politician but more so to impress his Daddy. As Huggins political campaign gets going he is allocated a mentor who has him throw out any foreign influences in his life, including his two cute pug dogs, and make him into a typical American family in order to gain the backing of the public. And then they are off, doing battle in every sense of the word to gain the most votes before Election Day. We have trash talk at a debate, snake handling at a religious event, baby kissing during a tour, and rifle shooting in the woods, all in order to gain the upper edge to control this state.

The set up of the film really feels like it could go places. Two heavyweight comedians doing battle on one of the most corrupt circuits should spell comedy gold but the problem is it never really takes us beyond a little chuckle. There are some great moments, the phone call to the religious family is hilarious, the baby punching followed by dog punching is something new we haven't seen before, and if it wasn't for the trailer ruining it the recital of the Lord's Prayer could have you giggling but other than this the comedy is too and far between with the plot going down a route of self awareness and people being willing to 'do the right thing'. It is as if the film decides to take itself too seriously by the end, instead of delivering on its promise of an outrageous comedy. It all becomes slightly repetitive. It is literally the two candidates doing all they can to top the other but none of it is that outrageous that we are glued to watching it. At times it becomes a little boring, which is not a word you expect to be associated with a film pitting Ron Burgundy against Alan from The Hangover.

The direction could be an issue with that as it seems like Galifianakis has been asked to reign in his usual crazy approach. Ferrell brings his usual proceedings to his character of Brady and from what could have been his next memorable character alongside Burgundy, Ricky Bobby, and Frank the Tank, turns out to be a flat boring character that we can never care about or laugh along with. The direction has stripped these actors back from being their usual outrageous personas and we never really get a film about them and instead something that is more giving a message to the affairs within American politics today. What I'm sure most people would have rather seen is these two going head to head in some of the most mental situations you could expect from them. I mean come on these are two comedy geniuses who have either run the streets naked or masturbated in the back of a car in order to gain a laugh and none of this kind of antic is on show here which actually makes this a really forgettable film.

I have to say I left the cinema rather underwhelmed and fairly disappointed. It did have its moments but, other than one or two situations near the beginning, it never really got going. All the talent on show from Ferrell to Sudeikis to Galafianakis to Jay Roach (director of films like Austin Powers and Meet The Parents) have all performed much much better elsewhere and the simple premise plus the stars on show never lives up to the potential it could have had. If you want to see Ferrell at his best rent Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Stepbrothers, or Old School because you really won't have missed out if you give this film a miss.  

Pros: A few funny moments but....

Cons: ....should have been much better.

5.5 / 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. Looper     7.5 / 10
6. Ted     7.5 / 10
7. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
8. Lawless     7 / 10
9. The Expendables 2     7 / 10
10. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10