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Monday, 30 June 2008
Apparantly she's not going to be a major player in the film, but will have a pivotal role.
For those of you who saw it you will know that it was a glorious mess. Torchwood, Sarah Jane, Martha Jones, Rose Tyler all made an appearance and it resulted in a blinder of a cliff hanger. If it goes the obvious way then the BBC and David Tennant have managed to keep this under their hats so well. Basically, the Doctor gets shot by a Dalek and the episode ends with him beginning to regenerate. However, as it is a Russell T Davies episode and he likes his reset buttons (maybe the Osterhagen Key mentioned in this episode) we shall have to wait and see.
The point of this post is to give my idea as to what is going to happen. Firstly, I'll just list a few things from within the series. This episode made a point of reminding us that the Doctor's hand (which had been cut off in The Christmas Invasion) was still on board the TARDIS. There have also been mentions throughout the series that Donna is more important than we realise. Dalek Caan mentioned the Threefold Man and the fact there will be everlasting death for the most faithful companion (out of the current crop of companions I'm going to say Donna is the most faithful as she has never left, or it could be K-9). Donna zoned out at one point during the last episode and we heard the slow beat of a drum or footsteps getting closer, she was also wearing a large ring. This all ties in with the previous appearance of the Master.
Outside the series there have been rumours that John Simm would be returning as the Doctor and apparently Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy were on Dr Who Confidential.
Okay all that's done. My theory is that the Master is coming back and is either Donna or is using her as a host. As the Doctor regenerates the Master will absorb this energy and return condemning Donna to an everlasting death. This would mean the Doctor is effectively dead. However, his hand may be effected by the regeneration and basically regenerate the Tenth Doctor (this could also side step the fact Time Lord's can only regenerate a limited number of times, basically resetting the clock) who will step in and save the day. However, the regeneration may be effected by the Master and bring back various aspects of the Doctor (the Threefold Man) meaning we could see the a few familiar faces as mentioned about.
Just a theory and we've got to wait a few more days to see. What do you think?
Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.
Heath Ledgers performance as the Joker is raved upon saying he brings the menace and insanity that has been missing from previous outings (check out the graphic novel, The Killing Joke, by Alan Moore for one take on the Joker's origin).
The reviews also state that this isn't like other comic book movies in that the ending is darker and deals with more realistic situations.
Another plus is that Batmanuel (Nestor Carbonell) from the ill-fated Tick live action series is in the movie. He's a funny guy and looks as if he'll be playing the Mayor in The Dark Knight.
The film looks really good. Lots of car chases, fights and guns. About what you can expect from a Bond. It's a direct sequel to Casino Royale which is unusual for a Bond movie but, should hopefully, lead to a more satisfying cinema experience.
Here's the trailer. Let me know what you think.
Sunday, 29 June 2008
The trailer is a thing of beauty. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Johnny Rico is heading back to the screen. That's right, Casper Van Dien is starring in Starship Troopers 3. Take a breath you Van Dien fan. This time Rico is going to be a Colonel taking on the bugs and they've got power armour as in the book. (Un)Surprisingly this piece of work, subtitled Marauder, will be direct to DVD on August 5th.
Todd McFarlane has been talking about the possibility of Spawn heading back after the recent succes of Iron Man. Apparantly it would be an R rated reinvention. Read more here.
Rumours abound on a sequel/prequel to 300. Zack Snyder has said he'll be directing it and Frank Miller is writing a new story for it. Is there a need for it though?
Naomi Watts has joined Anthony Hopkins, Gwyneth Paltrow and Keira Knightley in King Lear. Paltrow, Watts and Knightley will play Lear's (Hopkins) three daughters.
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Click here to see more.
Friday, 27 June 2008
The adaptation of "World War Z" is in and done. Everyone is very happy with it, and now they are figuring out the best marketing campaign for it, since it is a political/thriller/zombie movie, which is not something you tend to see a lot of. That is for Brad Pitt’s company.I can't wait for this movie. I just want to see the scene described by the astronaut stuck on the International Space Station as he watched the huge zombie herds move across America, or see the submarine move through the masses of zombies walking across the ocean floor. So many good sequences in the book that will look amazing on the big screen...as long as it is done right. I have high hopes.
It is therefore, with some embarrassment, that I have to admit that I had not heard of the Hack/Slash series by Tim Seeley until recently. However, having heard about it and thinking it sounded pretty cool I caught up with as many issues as I could find and enjoyed every single one. The reason I'm mentioning it now is that it is apparently being turned into a movie for a 2009 release. If done well it should be one to watch.
Okay, for those not in the know, the story follows the adventures of Cassie Hack and her hunt for the undead creatures known as Slashers. These are basically twisted individuals who may have been serial killers back in the day. They were then caught and killed but were reborn as Slashers to carry on their dastardly work. Basically, people like Freddy Kreuger, Jason, Chuckie, etc (infact many of these movie icons crop up in the comic book). Cassie was picked on as her kid so her Mum killed the school kids who did this and became known as The Lunch Lady. When the police came for her she killed herself and was reborn as a Slasher. Cassie found out about this and killed her resurrected mum before heading out into the big wide world and he quest to kill all known Slashers. All well and suitably twisted. She's joined on her quest by the hulking, disfigured, Vlad who wears a gas mask to hide his face and he's very good with a knife.
The comic from Devil's Due Publishing itself is very funny, bizarre and messed up. Well worth picking up if you can. Turning it into a movie should result in some celluloid gold spattered in blood. I shall keep you posted on its development as and when I find out anything new.
Thursday, 26 June 2008
The remake stars Jason Statham (The Transporter, Crank) as the eponymous hero, Frankenstein. It also stars Tyrese Gibson, Joan Allen and Ian McShane.
I enjoyed the original starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone, but I'm not at all optimistic about this remake. Paul W.S. Anderson directed Soldier, Alien vs Predator, Resident Evil and Event Horizon so that may well colour your expectations.
It was presented to Syd Mead (he helped design the look of Blade Runner) by Lego when he attended a design summit.
Boing Boing have more info on it here.
AICN have got a first review for Guillermo del Toro's latest movie and it sounds rather splendid. Ron Perlman and Doug Jones are back as Red and Blue (this time Doug is able to provide the voice of Abe Sapien). They are joined by the cloud of ectoplasm in a power suit that is Johann Strauss. He's voiced by Seth McFarlane so all you Family Guy, American Dad fans should enjoy it.
The big bad this time is an elven Prince played by Luke Goss (who was pretty good as the big bad in del Toro's Blade 2).
Check out the review for more information on the film. There are a few spoilers so beware.
It includes the first Hulk movie, The Mummy Returns, Pearl Harbour and The Polar Express.
I'd have to go along with a lot of their choices, particularly The Mummy Returns.
Do you agree with their picks? Have they missed anything out?
Cheers to Andy D for sending me the link.
Kevin Smith has done a very touching tribute to the great George Carlin.
Hamm the Piggy Bank "is a villain in the beginning... [but then] becomes a superhero" says John Ratzenberger about his character in "Toy Story 3".
A script review of David Goyer's draft of "X-Men Origins: Magneto".
What will happen to Stan Winston Studios with the passing of Stan Winston? Quint over at AICN has the details.
John Landis says that he'd certainly be up for a remake of his classic "An American Werewolf in London".
An early review of the scriptment for James Cameron's upcoming sci-fi actioneer "Avatar".
Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" scored a PG-13 rating, meaning the much hyped about threesome scene between Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johannson, and Javier Bardem is extremely tame.
Have a look at the Spanish Blu-ray steelbook edition artwork for "Iron Man".
Frank Miller has updated his blog for "The Spirit" and talks about the level and detail of CGI involvement in the production.
Ray Wise has confirmed that he completed a table read last Monday for "Jeepers Creepers 3".
Mark Millar says that a sequel is already in the planning stages for "Wanted" but a lot will depend on this weekend's box-office for the film.
Pixar is doing a short film entitled "Burn-E" about a robot with that name which will be included as an extra on the "Wall-E" DVD.
Richard Kelly's sci-fi thriller "The Box" is tipped to be released on September 11th 2009. A test screening however will take place later this week.
Warners will release New Line and Ed Harris's "Appaloosa" on September 17th in limited release. Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger, Harris, Jeremy Irons and Lance Henriksen star.
Mike White confirms that he has just finished and handed in a script for a sequel to the Jack Black comedy "School of Rock".
Watchmen - Zack Snyder's fighting hard to keep as much as he can from the comic in the final film. From the sounds of it the studio has been concerned with the edgier elements and the runtime which he's still pretty dead-set on keeping at 150-180 minutes theatrically. He said that the production should easily make the March release date, whilst the DVD - with the Black Freighter add-on - could hit 210 minutes or possibly higher.
From Dark Horizons.
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Toby Jones, Andre Braugher
Running Time: 125 minutes
Not to be confused with John Carpenter's The Fog, this is an entirely different sort of beast (although one dealing with a weather condition similar in form). Based on a 1980 novella by Stephen King, this is a horror movie directed by Frank Darabont. As he also directed the superb Shawshank Redemption, also based on a King short story, you have your seal of quality right there (On a side note the original novella apparantly inspired the computer games Half-Life and Silent Hill).
The film is set in King's favourite haunt, Maine, and deals with a small town and the aftermath of a storm. While checking out the damage caused to his house by the storm, David Drayton (Thomas Jane), and his son, Billy (Nathan Gamble) notice a thick cloud of mist heading towards town across the lake. Thinking nothing more of it they head into town with their neighbour, Brent Norton (Andre Braugher), for supplies. While in the supermarket, they hear sirens and look on as a man with a bleeding head, Dan Miller, runs into the shop screaming about something dangerous in the mist. Shortly after the town is swamped by the mist and they hear strange noises and screams outside. Then all goes quiet before the store is hit by an earthquake. Not sure what's going on most of the people in the supermarket stay put while a couple head off to find out what has happened to their loved ones.
The rest settle down to see what happens. While getting something for his son in the supermarket's warehouse, David Drayton hears something large banging against the door of the loading dock. Telling some of the others about this they go to investigate. Opening the door of the loading dock they let something in and then things get really bad for them.
Meanwhile, Mrs Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) is convinced that all of the recent events point to the end times and that it is all Gods will. As events progress more and more of the survivors begin to side with her and listen to her cries for a sacrifice. David and his friends then have to not only survive the monsters in the mist but also the more dangerous human ones within.
Now this is a great little movie. I say little as it had a small budget but this was used brilliantly. The first few scenes did give it the feel of a made for TV movie, but my worries soon lifted as they headed into town. The tension is raised throughout the film and the horror you feel as Mrs Carmody's influence begins to take hold of some of the survivors is almost as bad as that felt whenever someone heads out into the mist. Characterisation on all involved is pretty good, and you are never sure who is going to make it to the end of the movie. All the actors involved are brilliant and really help you buy into their plight.
The monsters in the mist are, on the whole, weird looking and spooky (Bernie Wrightson helped in their design). Some of the CGI is a bit ropey, but this never really detracts from the film itself as the beasties are only a small part and are often hidden within the mist. In fact the effects seem to get better as the film progresses. It must be noted that Frank Darabont originally wanted the film to be in black and white which would probably make the CGI blend in even better. In fact the special edition DVD has a B&W version, but I have yet to get hold of that.
There is not much music used throughout the film but when it is it just rips the emotion up to another level. In particular the use of Host of Seraphim by Dead Can Dance near the end of the movie is abso-bleedin-fantastic. The whole feel of the movie is quite unlike that of most Hollywood films.
Speaking of the end of the movie, I guarantee it will stay with you for a long, long time. It works really well and although different from the end of the novella, Stephen King gave it his blessing and apparantly wished he had thought of it.
To sum up this is a great horror movie that may leave you feeling like you've been punched in the gut, but in a good way.
The film is released in the UK next month. Go check it out.
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Thursday 26 June 2008
Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The (PG)
Friday 27 June 2008
A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures (18)
Female Agents (15)
Wednesday 2 July 2008
Friday 4 July 2008
Death Note: The Last Name (12A)
Kung Fu Panda (PG)
Love Story 2050
Mes Amis, Mes Amours (15)
Mist, The (15)
Visitor, The (15)
Wednesday 9 July 2008
Forbidden Kingdom, The (12A)
Friday 11 July 2008
Apartment, The (Reissue) (PG)
Csny Deja Vu (15)
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D
Memories Of Underdevelopment (Reissue) (15)
Saturday 12 July 2008
Origin: Spirits Of The Past (12A)
Friday 18 July 2008
City Of Men (15)
Donkey Punch (18)
Ikiru (Reissue) (PG)
Mad Detective (15)
Meet Dave (PG)
Standard Operating Procedure (15)
Summer Hours (L'Heure D'Ete) (12A)
Friday 25 July 2008
Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging
Before The Rains
Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame
Dark Knight, The
Lou Reed's Berlin
Money Hai To Honey Hai
Quiet City & Dance Party
Starring: Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti
Running Time: 144 minutes
A boxing movie based upon the life of Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) who could have been a contender but had to give up his dream after breaking his hand during a fight. To make matters worse the Great Depression kicked in, he lost everything and had to work on the docks to support his wife (the hamster faced Renee Zellweger) and 3 kids. Then, due to a cancellation from another boxer, his manager (Paul Giamatti) gets him another boxing match. He goes up against the number two heavyweight contender and, to the surprise of everyone, beats the crap out of him and becomes an inspiration to the disillusioned American public. This then leads him to confronting the World Heavyweight champion, Max Baer (Craig Bierko), who is said to have killed two men in the ring.
That this is a Ron Howard movie is as plain as plain can be. He ticks all the right boxes and pulls all the right strings to make you totally buy into the character and the crappy times he goes through and that's no bad thing. He makes good, solid movies. The Great Depression truly was a bad time for most people and the way they kept going was truly something special. The scenes with Jim Braddock and his family just eking out a living while everything is against them show exactly what he was fighting for when he got his second chance. The boxing scenes are also done well with the flashes of the news cameras working well for the white outs experienced after a blow to the head. However, they don't have the immediacy of the fight scenes from Raging Bull, but still have a slightly more realistic approach to those of the Rocky movies (don't get me wrong, I really like Rocky as well).
Russell Crowe is brilliant as James Braddock. Often his real life seems to overshadow his acting work and it is easy to forget how good an actor he can be. Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Shoot 'em Up, American Splendour) is once again brilliant. As for the lollipop headed, squinty eyed, perpetually pouting Renee Zelleweger, she just gets on my nerves in every movie she is in, but I managed to overlook that and enjoy the film regardless. I just wish she would stop pouting!
Craig Bierko as Max Baer is almost unrecognizable from his previous roles in The Thirteenth Floor and The Long Kiss Goodnight (he was also Dave Lister in the US remake of Red Dwarf). He makes the final fight all the more thrilling and you are cheering Jim Braddock on to beat the living crap out of Baer.
Like Seabiscuit this movie gives you a snapshot of the Great Depression and the people who suffered through it. Like Seabiscuit it also shows how one thing (person, horse, etc) could bring hope to the people in the most difficult of times.
Well worth checking out.
Toy Story - 10/10 - Genre defining animated kids classic. RR
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - 8/10 - Whip cracking classic adventure. PS
Jumper - 5/10 - Matrix-lite with angstridden bullied teenagers. AD
Karate Kid - 7/10 - Bullied boy comes good. PS
Batman Begins - 8/10 - A dark worthy opener. PS
Toy Story - 7/10 - Genre defining, caters for adults. AD
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - 4/10 - Genre destroying, sick burn for adults. AD
Mars Attacks - 8/10 - Hilarious retro alien invasion tom-foolery. AD
Monday, 23 June 2008
SPIDER-MAN 4 - According to E! Online, producer Laura Ziskin told Nevada and California theater owners that "Spider-Man 4 won't hit theaters until at least 2011. She said there is no script yet and neither Maguire nor director Sam Raimi have signed on."
THE GREEN HORNET - What's that? An official teaser site? Cool ...
BILLY BATSON AND THE LEGEND OF SHAZAM - Director Peter Segal talked to FirstShowing.net about bringing the wizard and the hero to the silver screen. "We're still working on the script," Segal said. "An interesting little development, but it's an annoying one, is that after a strike there are residual effects and one was that everyone who was a writer suddenly had a back log of assignments as did John August, so we started to do our re-write process but he had to service some of these other prior commitments. So now we're kind of waiting in line to get him back but it's worked out okay because we've been working on the marketing of this and getting this going, so we've been doing enough to keep ourselves busy and as soon as this movie gets released then we're going to focus again on 'Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam.'"
KICK-ASS - Creator Mark Millar told CBR News a little about his next cinematic endeavour.
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE - Musician Will.I.Am spoke to MTV about his involvement in the Hugh Jackman-fueled spinoff. "I'm a teleporter. ... I'm here, I'm there, I'm everywhere. Boom, boom, boom!" he said. "My character's name is John Wraith. He's a black Texan. He's not a cowboy, but his gear suggests that he is. He's just a bad ass who'll whoop your ass."
THE SPIRIT - You've seen the posters of the lovely ladies in the Will Eisner adaptation ... but now they talk to you? Just run your cursor tenderly across the images on this new page at Yahoo! Movies and hear the actresses speak their lines.
INCREDIBLE HULK BOX OFFICE - The word from Comingsoon.net (domestic and international results) is that "Incredible Hulk" has pulled in $96.5 million, about $4 million behind the previous "Hulk" movie five years ago. Internationally, "The Incredible Hulk" finished a close second by grabbing $23.4 million at 4,700 theaters from 50 territories in its second weekend. "Hulk" has raised its totals to $63.3 million overseas and $159.8 million worldwide.
Deception: "A nonprescription alternative to Ambien." -- Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST
88 Minutes: "Will be hard-pressed to last much longer than its title in theaters before doing time on DVD." -- Michael Rechtshaffen, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Never Back Down: "Speeds up and slows down as though controlled by a director in the grip of competing medications." -- Jeannette Catsoulis,
Superhero Movie: "Writer/director Craig Mazin took the screenplay for Spider-Man, propped it up next to his MacBook, and just went through it, inserting fart gags, pratfalls and the lamest of jokes." -- Peter Howell,
NEW YORK POST
College Road Trip: "Better than most Martin Lawrence movies, much as strep throat is better than malaria." -- Kyle Smith,
10,0000 BC: "Apocalypto for pussies." -- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE
Cinderella Man - 9/10 - A punchy fairy godmotherless movie
Spider-Man - 6/10 - Tame introduction to Marvel legend
Atonement - 8/10 - Strangely depicted but surprisingly captivating
Into the Wild - 10/10 - Journey of discovery, never forgotten
Sunday, 22 June 2008
Recent rumours have said Leonardo DeCaprio is in the lead for the role of Steve Rogers. In my opinion that would be horrible. He just doesn't have the look or, more importantly, the presence that Captain America needs.
So I open the comment boards to you dear readers. Who do you feel would make a worthy Captain America?
WatchmenComicMovie.com works on re-bunking some rumors still floating around about the project.
Actor Max Thierot talks about the plot details of Wes Craven's "25/8" which deals with multiple people with multiple personalities.
Seems that due to a legal settlement, Rockstar Games isn't allowed to make a feature film based on their mega-hit video game series "Grand Theft Auto" as that title is owned by Fox Atomic who've been developing a remake of the 1977 Ron Howard directed film of the same name.
Clive Barker's not happy about Lionsgate's treatment of the film version of his "Midnight Meat Train" story and talks about what you can do to complain.
Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer have just started their "contractually obligated" rewrite of the "Conan the Barbarian" remake script.
John Cleese and his daughter Camilla are penning a musical adaptation of his much acclaimed and very popular heist comedy "A Fish Called Wanda".
It opens with footage of people out in every day life. Christian Bale voiceovers something like:
"I always knew it would happen"...
Than a pause...
"They told me I could stop it."
The same people begin looking to the sky....
"That I could save us".
Looks of horror come across their faces as he says,
"They were wrong".
Music rises as we cut to black for a second. The Terminator theme starts, with the duh duh,duh, duh, duh.
NEXT SUMMER appears on the screen...
We get a quick shot looking out over a sunny desert, and then a shot of Bale, in badass commando uniformand very recognizably the same guy who plays Batman, being lowered into a huge bunker of weapons.
THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE rolls across, and we get mixed clips from inside one of the survivor bunkers as seen in Terminator 1 - but they look more concentration campish; very crowded, shots of Bale walking with a large crowd. And then the word... BEGINS.
The music quickly rises as we get shot of a huge truck racing down a high way, a shot or two of a helicopter flying mixed with more close ups of the actors when Bale whispers, "They're coming".
It all goes quiet.
Massive drums blare the beginning of the theme (again) but this time much louder, more pumped up, as we get a metallic silver T that morphs into a 4.
We then get the big money shot of the trailer. Its Bale on a motorcycle with some girl on the back.They speed through a door of what looks like a warehouse toward us. As soon as theypass the screen, a huge terminator on wheels, a lot like the one they battle in the first one, smashes through the wall, chasing them. It looks awesome.
It then says:
Memorial Day 2009.
I was not a big fan of T3 aside from the ending, but this looks really good.
Ace Hunter via Aintitcool.com
Friday, 20 June 2008
Starring: Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, Chris O'Neil, Timothy Hutton, Joely Richardson, Rainn Wilson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Patrick Gilmore
Running Time: 96 minutes
I watched this the other week with my wife (C) and son (D) during one of our semi-regular family movie nights. The popcorn was popped and we sat down to watch the film that none of us knew much about (not sure if that last sentence makes much sense, but I hope you know what I mean).
It starts off in the distant future where a teacher tells her class the story of how the World was saved. Turns out mankind's DNA had been dangerously effected by pollution resulting in the possible extinction of the race. Therefore, they sent Mimzy's (nanotechnology disguised as toys) back in time to get some pure DNA so they could rewrite the sequence and get rid of the bad mutations. We then skip back to the present day and the effects the last Mimzy has on the children who find it.
The kids in question Noah (Chris O'Neil) and Emma (Rhiannon Leigh) discover a box on the beach containing some weird rocks and a cuddly rabbit called Mimzy. The toy rabbit apparantly speaks to Emma telling her how to use the rocks and other items they find. Through the use of them the kids intelligence increases and they develop powers of telekinesis, teleportation, levitation, controlling spiders and other psychic abilities. Needless to say this rocks their world and disturbs their parents, David and Jo (Timothy Hutton and Joely Richardson), who aren't sure what to do with them. One of the toys that Noah builds results in a city wide black-out that brings in the FBI led by the hulking figure of Michael Clarke Duncan.
The family are brought in for questioning and tests and then the race is on to escape and get the Mimzy back to the future.
As this brief synopsis shows this is a family film that deals with some big grown up ideas (nanotech, time travel, psychic abilities, diamond bridges spanning galaxies, etc) and it does it rather well. D is 9 years old and he understood everything that was going on and all the concepts involved (mind you he did explain to me the time discrepency experienced when travelling at light speed while we were watching Forbidden Planet so he has that kind of viewpoint for science fiction movies - yes I am immensely proud of him). Plus it has some good levels of suspense once the FBI get involved and the kids try to get away. Regarding Michael Clarke Duncan's character as the FBI Special Agent Nathaniel Broadman is all seriousness and threats when with the kids but we are shown him previously with his wife being all nervous and joking when he realised the enourmity of the situation before him. A nice touch which brought some humanity to what could have been a standard government bad guy.
The child actors are pretty good and don't have any of that cloying all American get up and go that kid actors often have. Instead you go along with their journey as they develop their new powers and abilities. At one point both me and C wondered what way the story was going to take as it could have easily switched to a tale of the kids being totally taken over by the future tech and have become a bit of a Sci-Fi chiller. Being a kids movie it didn't go that way but the slightly ambiguous development of the powers added a bit more depth to the proceedings.
The visual effects were well done and fitted in nicely with the story. The teleportation grid or web that Noah sees was particularly good and well implemented.
The general feel of the movie was kind of a cross between War Games and ET (spookily enough, when the movie finished War Games was just finishing on Film 4) and was enjoyed by all of us. Recommended to anyone who wants a good film that will appeal to child and adult alike.
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 3/10 – Was this an Indy spoof?
Transformers - 5/10 – Eye candy but little more!
Schindler's List - 9/10 – It doesn’t get much better!
Enter the Dragon - 8/10 – Long live the classic fu-films!
Terminator - 8/10 – Who needs green screens!
Starring: Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend, Shane West, Jason Flemyng, Richard Roxburgh, Max Ryan.
Running Time: 110 minutes
People who know me will be aware that am a big fan of comic books and comic book movies. In particular I enjoy those comics written by the genius that is Alan Moore (Watchmen, The Killing Joke, Swamp Thing etc) who wrote the mini-series upon which this movie is based. I could review this film by comparing it to the comic book, but I won't as the differences are too many and painful to list.
When I first watched this when it first came out I really enjoyed it. There was a pulp novel sensibility to the proceedings and the many characters meant there was always something else to look out for. However, having it watched it again on DVD (for the purposes of later comments I'll mention the fact it was a normal DVD played on an Upscaler DVD player and viewed on an LCD TV) I realised that it is an absolute travesty of a movie.
Basically, a few fictitious characters (Allan Quartermain, Capt. Nemo, Mina Harker, an Invisible Man, Mr Hyde, Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer) are recruited by the British Empire to combat the villianous plans of the mysterious Fantom (Richard Roxburgh).
The characters are all introduced bit by bit and say something humorous and then an bit of action happens. All the characters appear to speak with the same voice with a constant quipping at every encounter. Their lines could be pretty much interchangeable. There is also no consistency with their characterisation. For example, Mina Harker (Peta Wilson) is at first all distant and mysterious about what happened then at the first sign of trouble she Vamps up and rips out the neck of a generic guard. She then whackily licks the blood off her hand while tidying herself up in a compact mirror. There is a tiny bit of exposition about this and then on with the story as if nothing much happened. It just doesn't make for a convincing character portrayal. The characterisation of all the characters is similarly poor.
Then there is the all pervading presence of Allan Quartermain (Sean Connery) who basically sorts everything out while the rest of the team don't do much apart from take out the generic guards and be the source of copious amounts of exposition.
The effects, particularly the CGI, are pretty much rubbish and stick out like a sore thumb which good effects should not do. The compositing of the building blowing up near the start of the film is atrocious. As for the Mr Hyde costume/effect, at first you think it is pretty well done, then the more you watch it the more you realise how embarrassingly stupid it really is. It looks like a load of balloons covered in skin. The Invisible Man (Tony Curran) effects aren't too bad until you notice that the white face paint he applies to make himself visible keeps changing from a few bits slapped on his face to his whole head being covered and then back again (plus if he is naked when invisible why does he leave bootprints in the snow?)
The sets themselves are okay and quite detailed, particularly the portraits in M's meeting room that show previous incarnations of The League. However, Dorian Gray's (Stuart Townsend) library appears to have been designed purely for the arrival of gun toting generic guards to stand in the gaps between the bookshelves. This is lazy plotting and design to make the environment fir the fight scene. Just one of those faults that niggles at you.
All of this could maybe have been lifted if the bad guy had been a great one. They don't really come much better than the criminal genius of Professor Moriarty, but this film would make you think the total opposite. At first Richard Roxburgh plays him as The Fantom a basic 1 dimensional scarred bad guy and then shows no menace whatsoever when he shows his true face. I assume this was the start of Mr Roxburgh's career suicide which was completed during his camp portrayal in the dreadful Van Helsing movie.
I could go on about how Tom Sawyer (Shane West) was shoe horned in to give Allan Quartermain a surrogate son and also appease the American audience by giving them an American hero, or how they wasted the character of Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah) by having him do a bit of kung fu but whose basic function is to get the team from point A to point B. I could go on but I won't. I think you get the picture.
Needless to say the reported conflict between Sean Connery and the director during the making of the movie will have contributed to some of the disaster that appears on screen, but the scriptwriter, effects people and other actors must take some of the blame.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Producer - Alfred Hitchcock
Starring - James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr
Running Time - 112 minutes
Score - 10/10
Now I've only seen a handful of Hitchcock movies (North by Northwest, The Birds, Vertigo, Psycho, The 39 Steps, and Rebecca) so I wouldn't say I am an expert on them, but this is one of my all time favourite movies.
James Stewart star as L. B. Jeffries, a photo journalist who specializes in taking photos in dangerous places. His last one, at a race track, left him with a broken leg and confined to a cast and wheelchair for the past few weeks. As the movie begins we are told numerous things through the slow pan of the camera (not like in some modern movies where we are told basic information through a voice over or text scrawl) treating the audience intelligently and bringing us into the claustrophobic world of L. B. Jeffries and his apartment. To keep himself entertained while stuck in the wheelchair Jeffries watches his neighbours in the surrounding apartment blocks (The heat wave that has hit New York makes this all the easier as all the windows and shutters are open). There is Miss Torso, a dancer who practices in her underwear, Miss Lonely Heart who makes candle lit meals for her imaginary lover, and a pianist who is stuck on his latest composition (it is this last apartment where Hitchcock makes his cameo, a feature in all his movies, winding a clock) amongst others. Across the way lives a salesman (Raymond Burr) and his bed ridden, nagging wife.
Watching the comings and goings of his neighbours Jeffries drags his physiotherapist, Stella,(Thelma Ritter) and high society girlfriend, Lisa Carol Fremont, (Grace Kelly) into his voyeuristic world.
As the film progresses the odd behaviour of the salesman leads Jeffries and the others to the awful conclusion that he has murdered his wife. This leads to them investigating and getting awfully close to the possible murderer.
A fantastic movie with strong performances by all involved. James Stewart is especially amazing as he is in a wheelchair for most of the movie. The actors portraying his neighbours do an amazing job drawing you into their world and telling you everything you need to know about them in a few short scenes. The sparse soundtrack is also provided via the various radios around the apartments and the occasional interlude by the frustrated pianist.
Hitchcock's direction and use of the camera is great and ratchets up the suspense as only he can. The scene where Grace Kelly is looking through the salesman's apartment while James Stewart and Thelma Ritter look on in impotent horror as the salesman returns is particularly gripping. The huge set should also be mentioned for being a brilliant supporting actor to the unfolding drama.
It has also been retold and spoofed many times - a remake starring Christopher Reeve, Disturbia starring Shia Lebouf, The Simpsons etc
Everything about this movie works well and nothing is wasted, hence, the top score. Nothing more can really be said apart from watch this film. You won't be disappointed.
Basically, me and a bunch of friends will review movies (both old and new) for your amusement. There will be lengthy reviews going into great detail, 5 word reviews just to get the feel of a film and round robin style discussions amongst the reviewers. There will also be the occasional bit about upcoming movies. Plus, if a film is based on another form of media, there may well be a review on that as well.
Plus there will be the opportunity for you to leave your thoughts in response to what you have read.
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Thanks for your time.