Tag 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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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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