Category Archives: Movies

An apology. And some films

So….it’s been a bit of a long time since I last blogged. I won’t try and excuse it by saying I’ve been busy (I haven’t) or that I haven’t had time (I have really), all I’ll try and do is blog even more than before now.

Anyway, the arrival of my Empire magazine through the post this morning made me realise what a potentially fantastic year this is going to be for films. So far we’ve had The Iron Lady, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Muppets, Young Adult, The Woman in Black, This Means War, Hunger Games, 21 Jump Street, Safe House, Underworld: Awakening and about 50 others that I’ve not mentioned. I’ve only seen a handful of the above films, including This Means War, Woman in Black, Safe House and 21 Jump Street, all four of which I really enjoyed. I’ve also seen a couple of really bad films this year, including Ghost Rider 2. And Underworld: Awakening. Which was ok.

What’s more important though, is what’s to come:

The Dictator (Released 18th May 2012 in UK)

Sacha Baron Cohen? Check. Larry David, his director in Bruno and Borat, as well as Mr Curb Your Enthusiasm? Check. Hilarious PR stunts, including Cohen nearly barred from the Oscars, and throwing ash all over Ryan Seacrest? Check. An awesome supporting cast, including Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, John C Reilly, and [less so] Megan Fox? Check. All in all this film looks like it could be incredibly funny. Could be famous last words, but I can’t see it going wrong…

The Bourne Legacy (17th August 2012)

When I heard that there was going to be a Bourne film without Jason Bourne/Matt Damon, I was immediately very sceptical. But I then heard that his shoes were to be filled by Jeremy Renner (seen in, amongst others, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Hurt Locker, The Town, and another of this year’s blockbuster movies..) and my ears pricked up. Then Ed Norton was cast as the bad guy antagonist and I decided that I had to see this film. It should be good.

The Amazing Spider-Man (4th July 2012)

When I first saw them, I hated parts 2 and 3 of the Sam Raimi Spiderman trilogy. Having rewatched them very recently, I realised that I was wrong about them. I was too harsh on Spiderman 2, it’s actually a very good superhero sequel, which is a rarity shared by very few films, The Dark Knight excluded, and the critics were too harsh on Spiderman 3. Sure, there were too many antagonists, and the dancing scene was horrible, but on the whole, it was still enjoyable, and a damn sight better than Superman Returns. But anyway, Andrew Garfield should play Peter Parker very well, and judging by the trailers, the sarcastic humour of the comics is back. I absolutely love Emma Stone, I think she’s amazing, in everything she does, even the otherwise disappointing House Bunny. And Marc Webb is an excellent director. Anyone who hasn’t seen 500 Days of Summer, shame on you. With Rhys Ifans in apparently fine form as The Lizard, this should be a good summer blockbuster, albeit shadowed by another two superhero movies…

The Dark Knight Rises (20th July 2012)

Anything I write about this movie will detract from how awesome it will undoubtedly be. The second sequel (threequel??) to two fantastic movies, the first a brilliant scene-setter, the second arguably the perfect superhero movie, the cast alone means that this film will be the film of the year. But everyone has known that for years.

Skyfall (26th October 2012)

I liked Quantum of Solace, but I’ve accepted that I was very much in a minority. I’m glad to see Daniel Craig still as Bond, and Sam Mendes should do a good job of keeping him grounded, not allowing the new Bond to lift to the lofty heights of invisible hands, as seen in the end of the Brosnan era. A supporting cast including the always-excellent Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Bond ever-present of late Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, and making the character’s return to the series as Q, Ben Whishaw, means that this film will do well in the Autumn release slot.

Brave (17th August 2012)

I saw the trailer, and it doesn’t interest me, I’m going to be honest, but it will probably do well as it’s Pixar, and they usually do well (Cars notwithstanding) and the 3d element should do well for the family element.

The Hobbit (14th December 2012)

I. Am. So. Excited. For. This Film.

Django Unchained (18th January 2013) I cheated by 18 days

I’m pretty sure that most people like Quentin Tarantino. Some people like him a lot. I love him. I’ve not seen a QT film that I didn’t really like, which includes his ‘flop’ Death Proof, and I don’t think that Django Unchained will change that. The plot surrounds a bounty hunter trying to rescue his wife, and the cast is typically brilliant, given that it’s QT. Samuel L Jackson is here (no one’s surprised), Christoph Waltz (he was brilliant in Inglourious) Jamie Foxx (he’s needed a big role for a while) and Kurt Russell (see Death Proof) are all part of the film, as are Joseph Gordon-Levitt (surprising role choice for him, but it seems that he’s branching out from indy-rom-coms) and Leonardo Di Caprio (leading role, just because he’s great) but the most surprising choice, for me at least, is Sacha Baron Cohen, but I don’t think it will be a bad choice.

Prometheus (1st June 2012)

James Cameron film, set in Alien world, possibly/probably a prequel. Great cast, including Noomi Rapace, Scarlett Johansson, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba and Michael Fassbender. There hasn’t been this much hype about a sci-fi film in a long time. Not much to say that hasn’t already been said. Anyone wants to know more, I’ll point you in the direction of someone much more versed in the Alien world than I.

There’s a whole host of other films that I’m not writing around coz I’m not that bothered (Snow White and the Huntsman, Men in Black 3, Battleship, GI: Joe: Retaliation, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Dredd, Total Recall) or that I didn’t have time to, but am interested in (Expendables 2, Paranormal Activity 4, Taken 2, Resident Evil: Retirbution, 47 Ronin (not really…haha))

And that’s it. Thought I’d get back to blogging, as it’s been a while, and just document my thoughts on what an amazing year for films this is going to be.

Thanks for reading (if you did)

Matt

Wait…I forgot something…

Avengers Assemble (26th April 2012)

Do I really need to say anything?? Just watch the trailer. Then watch it again. When you’ve seen it twice, leave it an hour, and watch it again. Then wait til April 26th (4 week today, by my reckoning) and cry with excitement.

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Empire Big Screen

Last weekend was a bit of a mad one for me. I had a wedding reception to attend on Friday, which went quite well, and it was then that a friend dropped a bombshell on me: he was attending Empire Big Screen, the 3-day annual event where they hold film premieres, secret screenings, Q+A’s with the stars and much more, as press the next day, and had a +1. Of course I bit his hand off at this opportunity, as any of you who know me will know that I’m a little bit obsessed with films.

 

Saturday comes around, I have a gargantuan hangover and have only slept for about 4 hours, but still, we make our way over to the O2, nee Millennium Dome, in Greenwich, to see what the metaphorical craic is. We make our way in, (the one thing I don’t like about the O2 is that they search you with a big metal detector, your bag goes through one as well, it’s like being at an airport. I completely understand why they do it, but it still annoys me) and make our way to the press office to collect our press passes.

 

The first thing we see once we’ve signed in, is a Q+A session with Roland Emmerich, director of, amongst other movies, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day! He wasn’t there to discuss those though, he was talking about his new film, Anonymous, which deals with the conspiracy theories that Shakespeare was not who he said he was, again, one of my favourite topics of discussion, so the film looks great, even if the Bard himself is being played by Rafe Spall, who I only know as Noel, the ‘you’ve got red on you’ guy from the Richer Sounds piss-take in Shaun of the Dead, and the Andy who wasn’t Paddy Considine from Hot Fuzz. To be honest, I can’t see how he’s anything like Shakespeare. But we’ll see!

 

Anyway, I digress, back to the Big Screen. After that we wandered round for a bit, I picked up a 12-month subscription of Empire for £20 (bargain!) and we were then offered a free screening of Troll Hunter, a film that I’d never heard about, but I am reliably informed, by both a Norwegian friend of mine, and the director and lead who had a Q+A before and after the film, that this is a Norwegian cult classic. I won’t go into much details about the film here, saving that for a later post, but let me just say that it’s pretty damn good!

 

We leave Troll Hunter happy, and are a bit bemused about what to do next. It’s getting late, and we thought that everything had finished. Oh how wrong we were, as we found out that there was a UK premiere of Cowboys and Aliens an hour away, and our passes would get us in for free! Again, Cowboys and Aliens will be dealt with in time, but let me just say that this is a proper summer blockbuster, and not to be missed!

 

Sunday wasn’t quite as eventful, mainly as we turned up super-late, meaning we missed, amongst other things, Q+A’s with Terry Giliam, Gareth Edwards (a name most of you won’t recognise, but if you have a chance, see his film Monsters, it’s great! He’s also directing the new Godzilla, which should be amazing,) a piece on how to become a screenwriter, a screening of The Guard, which is meant to be hilarious, and the premiere of Conan in 3D. Now whilst I’m genuinely gutted about missing all of them, we saw the final screening, which was the big one: the UK premiere of Fright Night, hosted by David Tennant. Again, check back here soon for my thoughts on the film itself, but I really enjoyed it. It felt like it should be a Vincent Price movie, even though it’s nearly 20 years after his last film/death. Guess that shows how much of an impact he’s had on horror films.

 

Anyway, all in all, Empire Big Screen was a great success, I really enjoyed myself, and recommend it to everyone next year!

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The Dark Knight Rises

I’m gonna start this piece with a statement that it’s taken me quite some time to admit to…I don’t see what all the fuss is about The Dark Knight. I didn’t think it was that good…

Nah, I’m just fucking with you!

The Dark Knight is actually one of my favourite films. Now I know that everyone says that, and that it’s a film that is pretty much universally loved. But when I say it’s one of my favourite films, I’m talking top 10. Top 10 films is really difficult with me, and I have to break it down into categories, Top 10 Drama films, Comedy films, Arnie films etc, but I can honestly say that Dark Knight is top 10, if not top 5, of overall films.

I can’t even put my finger on why I loved it as much as I did. I just thought it was perfect. Maybe it’s that one of my favourite actors, the criminally underused William Fichtner, is in it, even if for a ricidulously short amount of time. Any fans of his should definitely check out Drive Angry by the way, not a great film, but his performance is fantastic. Or maybe it’s that I have always, always had a thing for Maggie Gyllenhaal, telling people how beautiful she was from way back when, I’m talking Donnie Darko times, and in this film, she’s great Especially considering she replaces the travesty that is Katie Holmes. Or maybe it’s just that Christopher Nolan is a genius.

Anyway, the point of this is, that The Dark Knight Rises, the sequel to the Dark Knight, and the last remaining part of the trilogy before Batman is no doubt rebooted again, is coming out soon (I say soon, it’s pretty much a calendar year before it’s released…) and recently the first poster, and more importantly, first teaser trailer, have come out. All that the poster shows is Gotham, crumbling, from an amazing Inception-style worm’s eye view, and the trailer shows us that, well, it all ends here.

There’s a lot of stock footage reused from the earlier films, primarily Batman Begins, but Nolan uses the footage so well that you can barely tell it’s old stuff. The new footage is mainly just the absolutely fantastic Gary Oldman in a hospital bed, breathing through an oxygen mask, narrating the trailer, and a split-second view of Tom Hardy, who looks fucking unreal as Bane, if you’ll excuse my French.

Although it’s only a short trailer, just over 90 seconds in length, it tells us a lot about the film, and mainly how fantastic it’s going to be. And yet so much stuff is yet to be discussed. Is Ra’s Al Ghul returning? (I hope so, I’m a huge Liam Neeson fan!) And what of the new characters? Hollywood’s new star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a Gotham cop with a point to prove, if we believe what we’re told. Anne Hathaway, always stunning, as Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman. Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate. And the returning favourites, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Lost alumnus Nestor Carbonell, reprising his role as the Mayor of Gotham, are all fantastic actors.

All in all, I absolutely can’t wait for this film. There’s great films coming out between now and then, but I don’t think any of them will compare to this. I can’t wait. And hopefully, if you’re still reading by this point, neither can you. If you are still reading this, sorry about the length! Oh and the cursing.

 

EDIT: I knew there was something I forgot! The poster and trailer links!

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Ransom Notes: Cinematic genius, or out-dated rubbish?

Last night, whilst I was watching The Bodyguard (don’t judge me, it was a slow Wednesday night, ITV2 were showing it, and I had just been bored shitless by the Marseilles – Man U match) the scene where the killer is harassing Whitney Houston’s character with his letters came on, and it occurred to me: why don’t we see letters from antagonists, whether that be kidnappers or otherwise, written from newspaper clippings in movies any more? Whilst I can’t think of any direct movie references, excluding The Bodyguard, the image is quintessentially noir for me, and if I think of a kidnapper demanding a ransom, it’s pretty much the first idea that comes into my head.

 

I dunno though, maybe it’s a bit out-dated.

 

Thoughts? Leave ’em in the comments…

 

 

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Boston is a state of mind

Ben Affleck is a constant topic of discussion for people in the film industry. A quick look at his films shows us that he’s a sucker for big-money action thrillers, e.g. Armageddon, Pearl Harbour, The Sum of All Fears; that he’s open to most types of films, shown in, amongst others, his roles in pretty much every Kevin Smith film to date; that his radar on potentially atrocious films doesn’t work very well on occasion – see Daredevil, Gigli or Paycheck; and that he’s actually a hugely talented screenwriter (Good Will Hunting) and director (Gone, Baby, Gone) And so we come to his latest foray in the director’s chair, The Town. I’m not sure if there’s gonna be major *SPOILERS* or not in this, but I’m gonna go ahead and tag it so anyway.
Set in a slum of Boston, Massachusetts, this film concentrates on four friends who also happen to be thieves, primarily of bank delivery vans, or in some cases the banks themselves. It is one of these bank robberies that the film opens on, after the obligatory fleeting shots of Boston. Affleck plays the main flawed hero as well as being the director of the film, and this is quickly shown in the actions of the other three members of the gang around him, when, more often than not, they will do what they’re told by him, although not always quietly.
It is in this bank robbery where we meet Affleck’s love interest for the film, the impressive Rebecca Hall, working in the bank. I recognised her from Starter for 10 and The Prestige, the latter of which is a bloody great film that I recommend everyone to see, but a quick look at her IMDb profile shows that she has starred with a surprisingly wide range of actors, from working under Woody Allen and with Scarlett Johansson and newly-weds Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and with Michael Sheen and Kevin Bacon in Frost/Nixon, whilst one interesting pairing is her with Andrew Garfield, an up-and-coming actor who’s star of the Facebook film The Social Network and has just been cast as Peter Parker in the Spiderman reboot, in Red Riding Hood.
The chemistry between Affleck’s character Doug MacRay and Hall’s, Claire Keesey, is apparent from the offset, and the relationship that they develop is believable, which is rare in itself in movies nowadays. At the beginning of the film, I was drawing comparisons with Point Break, given that they’re both heist movies, and very similar in some plot points, including the disguises that both gangs wear, but to compare the two would be a disrespect to this. Point Break, of course, was directed by Kathryn Bigelow of Hurt Locker fame, which starred Jeremy Renner, seen here playing Ben Affleck’s best friend James Coughlin very well, exhibiting negative characteristics which will undoubtedly leave him labelled a bad character, a flawed individual who will probably be seen as the antagonist. Whilst this is slightly harsh, it is probably accurate, but his acting was very impressive, which pleased me given that, as regular readers will recognise, I picked up on when I mentioned Hurt Locker in a post back in March.
Concentrating on the rest of the supporting cast, some familiar faces pop up. Mad Men’s John Hamm plays a big role as the FBI agent tasked with finding the perpetrators who committed the robberies, and he impresses throughout. I’ve always found his acting first-rate, though I’ve not seen him in all that much, so I’m hoping that this is the start of him branching out into more main-stream movies. His partner at the FBI is played by Titus Welliver, famed for playing the ‘Man in Black’ in Lost, and he is criminally underused. Where we do see him, we can see flashes of his acting prowess, but, whilst he was never the best actor in Lost, he made the character his own, and unfortunately I don’t think he’s going to get the credit he deserves. We’ll see.
A somewhat surprising casting choice in this film, for me at least, was that of Pete Postlethwaite. Known primarily for his roles in The Usual Suspects and Alien 3, cropping up in a completely unrelated series of films like Solomon Kane, Romeo + Juliet and The Omen remake, and his prolonged portrayal of Hakeswill in the Sharpe series. Postlethwaite has never been described as a blockbuster actor, and yet he’s been in two of the best films of the year, this and Inception, and was also in Clash of the Titans. He’s an established actor, and his character had depth and an intriguing side to him, playing what he thought was a father figure to Affleck.
All in all, this was a great piece of direction from Affleck, leading on from his Oscar-nominated Gone, Baby, Gone, and he directs himself, as well as the rest of the ensemble cast, impressively. Very few of the actors on show here are household names, and yet what has been produced here is a two hour film that flies by, and is, as far as I’m concerned at least, one of the films of the year, and I won’t be surprised if, come February 2011, this has won another Oscar for Ben Affleck.

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It’s always about The Other Guys

Having seen the trailer everywhere for this film, I had high hopes, especially considering the cast, headed by Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, but including such names as Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, Dwayne Johnson and Eva Mendes, and the director and writer, Adam McKay, who, though having published mediocre comedies Step Brothers and Talladega Nights, also wrote and directed the hilarious Anchorman. The Other Guys, although slow in parts, on the whole did not disappoint.
Without giving too many plot points away (I best tag this as mild *SPOILERS* just in case) the film opens with Jackson and Johnson being shown as the best cops on the beat, and everyone else is pretty much shit compared to them, including the titular other guys, Ferrell and Wahlberg. Shortly after this, with Johnson and Jackson removed from the story in funny circumstances, Ferrell and Wahlberg are given what McKee refers to as the Call to Power, and the story moves into full force.
What follows is an hour and a half of a plot-driven story concentrating on a series of events which stem from a bank robbery, and is a voyage of discovery for our protagonists, both discovering where the paper trail leads to, and self-discovery, with both of them trying to deal with their respective demons, and over-coming their personal barriers to become good partners.
Steve Coogan also excels in this film, playing the fairly typical British billionaire who there is more to than meets the eye, and Eva Mendes plays her character as Will Ferrell’s wife well, with some funny scenes involving the two of them, and Ferrell understating her obvious beauty. The rest of the cast are faces that, although familiar, are not household names, people like Ray Stevenson, known for being Titus Pullo in Rome, Rob Riggle of Saturday Night Live fame, and Damon Wayans, Jr, who is more famous for his dad than him.
On the whole, Wahlberg and Ferrell are a combination that, on paper at least, should definitely not work. Will Ferrell is a Saturday Night Live actor who brings out amazing comedies every five years or so, and flanks those with a lot of filler crap. Mark Wahlberg is an ex-rapper (ahh Marky Mark, how we definitely don’t miss you) whose pattern of films is fairly similar to Ferrell’s, but in different genres, with his awful films (Shooter, Planet of the Apes) mixing with classics (The Departed, Boogie Nights) and watchable movies (Italian Job, as tragic as it is, We Own The Night, Three Kings.) The fact that these two polar opposite actors work together is itself testament to McKay’s skill, and the script is well-written, with moments of action throughout and some very funny sections. All in all, a surprisingly good film.

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Time to sort this out

Okay, so I’ve been away,not really been blogging much at all, which isn’t good practice. But I’m back now, and I’m not gonna bother with excused, I’m just going to blog regularly and do some selfless self-promotion elsewhere. First on the agenda is what’s been happening.

The last few weeks have been eventful, to say the least. I went to a seminar last week which, although informative, was not followed-up as it was promised, by no fault of my own, but there’s nothing that can be done about that. I also spent some time looking for antiques in Portobello Road, ate in possibly the nicest restaurant I’ve ever been in, had an interview for a recruitment company which didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, and have also seen a couple of new films, namely Iron Man 2, the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot, and The Losers, as well as being emotionally effected, if not a little disappointed, with the Lost finale. I’ll start with Portobello.

Portobello Road: the heart of Notting Hill

For those who don’t know, Portobello Road is a market in Notting Hill in West London which sells a wide range of things from old leather footballs to antiques to vintage clothes, and everything in between. To quote the 1971 Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks, “you’ll find what you want in the Portobello Road!”. I went there to meet a dear friend of mine, with her family, who had come over to London from her home town of Bergen, Norway, (see March 29th post) and to look for some antiques for my father, last Saturday. Whilst my search yielded unsuccessful, Portobello was definitely worth a visit, as it always is, and I would recommend anyone who hasn’t been there to go, immediately. Though I’m not sure the weather’s too nice for it today…

Having left Portobello, we went our separate ways and met later in the evening for a meal. The Wolseley came highly recommended, so we went there, despite my being put off by what I assumed would be high prices, given it’s location next to the Ritz. The food was possibly the best I’ve ever eaten, certainly the best steak to have passed my lips, and the prices, considering how nice the food was, were very reasonable. Another high recommendation here for anyone who needs a nice meal in the Green Park area.

And so, having left the Troye family to return to their hotel in Finsbury Park on that Saturday night, returning to Croydon for a few drinks before sleeping, my sleeping patterns were erratic to say the least, given that I was wary of needing to be up at 3am Monday morning to collect the Troyes from Finsbury Park, drive them to Gatwick, and return home, given that they had no way of making their flight otherwise, not only making me tired, but also meaning that I missed the finale of Lost, which was simulcast on Sky One at 5am, going out at the same time as it did in America. Needless to say I was not best pleased at this.

All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

Since it first aired, with the Pilot, shown on September 22nd 2004, I have been an avid fan of Lost. I am one of the relative few who stuck with it all the way through, excusing the dire parts, especially bits of Season 3, knowing that the bad parts would be immediately eradicated by the good ones, which certainly came in abundance during seasons 4 and 5, not so much in 6. The finale, when it came, was everything I expected, and yet nothing at all. I’m going to try and explain, whilst making sure I’m not putting spoilers in, mainly because those who saw it will know exactly what I’m talking about. It was a crash-bang-wallop ending to the emotional roller-coaster that has been the last 6 years, one that had been in the pipeline, if you believe what you’re told, for the last 6 years, and the ball had certainly started rolling a couple of episodes ago with some big events happening. The finale itself was a bit of a disappointment, given the hype that preceded it, for weeks beforehand, blogs, reports, tweets, clip shows, all telling us how amazing Monday 24th May would be, so that when it actually came, it was slightly underwhelming. I think I need to watch it again before I process a concrete opinion on it, given that I know people who felt it was the most apt ending they’d ever seen, some who felt it was absolutely horrendous, and some, like me, who just didn’t know. More to come.

1, 2, Freddy’s coming for you

Having not been a huge fan of the original Nightmare on Elm Street, other than Dream Warriors, I was quite sceptical when I heard there was to be a reboot, especially with an unproven director at the helm. There was a rumour that Jackie Earle Haley had been case as Freddy Krueger, which he denied, but did say it was a role that he would be very interested in. Ironically, it was then announced that, as a result of this rumour, he was offered the character and accepted. When I heard this my interest was immediately revived, as Haley has quickly cemented himself as one of my favourite actors following his performances in the brilliant Shutter Island as George Noyce and Rorschach in the much-maligned but thoroughly enjoyable Watchmen.

It was with this anticipation that I made my way to the Odeon cinema in Beckenham, Kent, a beautiful grade 1 listed building, joined by a regular film-watcher companion of mine, Jason, himself a huge fan of the Elm Street franchise, who knew that he would enjoy the film regardless of whether it was good or not. What followed was a standard, run-of-the-mill horror remake, following in the footsteps of so many other remakes in recent years, and a performance by Haley which, by no means bad, fell short of his performances as Rorschach and Noyce. The film lacked what the original had, and what is necessary in a horror film: actual horror. Whilst the original was tongue-in-cheek, cheesy horror, this just seemed watered down and pacified. Whilst still worth a watch, I’d recommend a rental on DVD rather than a cinema visit. 5/10

I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one.

The first Iron Man film was one of my favourite films of 2008, only championed by a handful of films, including Dark Knight, and another Robert Downey Jr film, Tropic Thunder. Fresh from his Oscar nomination in TT, and having played the classic literary character Sherlock Holmes prior to this, Downey Jr reprises his role as billionaire Tony Stark, here in a sequel which is nearly as good as the original, but for some wasted sequences detailing Stark’s battle with himself (RDJ method acting, maybe?). Mickey Rourke was good as Whiplash, but this portrayal was always going to seem inferior to his last major part, the Oscar-nominated Randy in the Wrestler. I, having not yet seen The Wrestler, hadn’t seen Rourke since, shamefully, the Keira Knightley-friendly Domino, and prior to that, two of my favourite films – Sin City and Man on Fire.

Joining these two are Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Samuel L Jackson, with Gwyneth Paltrow reprising her role as Tony Stark’s love interest Pepper Potts from the original. This impressive ensemble cast give a film which, although undoubtedly flawed, is an enjoyable ride, full of humour, action, and vague attempts at romance, and definitely worth a watch for fans of the original, though I must reiterate that it is not as good. 7.5/10 (only because the original was an 8)

You Don’t Give Them Orders, You Just Turn Them Loose

I didn’t have high hopes when I started watching The Losers. I didn’t expect Oscar-material, with an emotionally driven plot, and deep character development. I knew I was getting a weak action film with one-dimensional characters and I wasn’t disappointed. That’s not to say this film wasn’t enjoyable, but its a self-reflexive action film that doesn’t try to be anything else, which, as far as I’m concerned at least, is a breath of fresh air into a stagnant genre, full of action movies that try and put an emotional subtext, or a political subtext, and fail miserably at both. The Losers is an easy-going action movie, to watch on a rainy day inside, or when nursing a hangover. 6/10

And that concludes today’s update. Hopefully it won’t be as long until the next one.

Matt

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