Friday, November 30, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: Fairy tale guardians - assemble!

There are many, many films being released into cinemas this weekend. So many that even Bond and Twilight are losing screening times and are being shown like any other film. There are 8 films just being released this weekend and that is on top of some pretty great films already being shown. Plenty to pick from then so there should definitely be something you are willing to watch. As usual there are a couple of foreign films that will only be released in Independent Cinemas but if they suit your fancy I'm sure they will be easy to find. Take a look below at the long list of movies coming to you today.

1. A child-like, animated Avengers from DreamWorks comes first in RISE OF THE GUARDIANS. Santa Claus must round up his fellow guardians; the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost, and Sand Man to help him do battle against an evil spirit let loose on Earth. With the Guardians being the protectors of all children, they must stop this evil before it ruins their imaginations forever. Starring: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, & Chris Pine. Can they protect the kids?

Rise Of The Guardians trailer

2. James Patterson novel are famous for one of his greatest characters, and despite once being played by Morgan Freeman, is getting a reboot. ALEX CROSS will now be played by Tyler Perry who must do all he can to stop a skilled serial killer who deals in torture. Cross finds himself more involved in this one case when he learns that a family member who was murdered had connections to this killer, and Cross has vowed revenge. Also starring: Matthew Fox, Rachel Nichols, & Giancarlo Esposito. Would you cross Alex Cross?

Alex Cross trailer

3. Clint Eastwood is back on the screen for the first time in four years in TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE. He plays a baseball talent scout who is past his best as his eye sight is shot and he has trouble following the ball. With his reluctance to retire keeping him going his daughter quits her job to go on a scouting trip with him in the hope she can help him make the correct judgement call. Also starring: Amy Adams, John Goodman, & Chelcie Ross. Can they make the correct call?

Trouble With The Curve trailer

4. Next we have another take on the classic tale GREAT EXPECTATIONS but this time it is directed by Mike Newell. The story is still the same only with a more up to date cast. This version stars Ralph Fiennes as an unknown benefactor to an orphan who helps him in time of need. Watching from the shadows he then sees this young boy grow into the perfect gentleman with the aid of his riches. Also starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, & Jason Flemyng. Will he live up to expectations?

Great Expectations trailer

5. A lonely teacher is at the heart of THE HUNT. After fighting for custody of his son, to which he loses, this teacher's life takes time to get back to normal. When he finds love it all starts to change but it is all too good to be true and an innocent white lie about to resurface is on the brink of shattering his new found happiness. Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, & Lasse Fogelstrom. Could a lie shatter you?

The Hunt trailer

6. YOU ARE HOME is a Turkish romantic drama that begins after a painful separation. We then follow a broken-hearted girl who returns to her parents to recover. Her authoritarian Father has never forgiven her for leaving with the man who broke her heart and she faces more struggle in reconnecting with her suffering family, especially when she meets another man who her Father doesn't approve of. Starring: Ozcan Deniz, Gizem Denizci, Fahriye Evcen, & Ozay Fecht. Is home really the safest place?

You Are Home trailer

7. Polish comedy drama MY FATHER'S BIKE follows the story of three generations of family who take a road trip across Poland when they receive some tough news. For the first time in years the family begin to connect and it has all come with a price meaning, they are unsure whether to be happy or sad. Starring: Michal Urbaniak, Artur Zmijewski, Krzysztof Chodorowski, & Witold Debicki. Can tragedy be a blessing?

My Father's Bike trailer

8. Finally comes the next feature film from Brit director Ben Wheatley. SIGHTSEERS is the tale of a couple venturing on a caravanning holiday during the summer. However things take a sinister turn for the worst and the couple, due to high tension and pressures, find themselves on a killing spree across the scenic countryside. Starring: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies, & Richard Glover. What flips your switches?

Sightseers trailer

We are at the end then, finally. This has to be the most films released in one week for a long while. I've done some research into local cinemas and 5 of these 8 will be shown in mainstream cinemas, with The Hunt, You Are Home, and My Father's Bike being found in the smaller theatres within your town. Lots to choose from, lots to enjoy and lots of catching up to do as you won't see even half of these in one weekend. See you next week.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NEWS - Fox plans Susan Boyle biopic; New synopsis for Star Trek Into Darkness; Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen join X-Men Days Of Future Past

There has been plenty of film news over the past week, some of it absurd and some rather intriguing. I have brought you a few pieces I found either highly entertaining, intriguing or indifferent and thought it would be good to highlight them to you and see what you guys think. Be warned some of the following news could be shocking! It was for me anyway.

Fox plans Susan Boyle biopic

Did it make you shudder? It did me. This is a piece of news I really don't understand. The story of Susan Boyle?! Can this really go anywhere? Can it be exciting, enthralling, and entice people into the cinemas? I'm afraid I can't see how. The film will follow her life from her infancy in Scotland to International star. It will be crammed full of music mixing some songs from Les Miserables where the song she originally sung on Britain's Got Talent, I Dreamed A Dream comes from. So it is a musical about Susan Boyle!

Nothing else on the project has been announced so we look forward to hearing who has the dream of playing the leading lady herself. I can't help but think this will fall in the vein of the Paul Potts film (the other singer from BGT, not the Cambodian cleanser) which also seems like a dull film. At least that one will star James Corden. I've got it Ruth Jones for Susan Boyle anybody? Keep the Gavin And Stacey cast going? Anyway I hope you look forward to this film as much as I do.

New synopsis for Star Trek Into Darkness  

We finally have an outline for the next Star Trek film then. The only problem is it still doesn't highlight Benedict Cumberbatch's character and all we get from the synopsis is that he will be particularly bad ass. I loved the first Star Trek film back in 2009 and I advise people to see it whether you are a fan or not, as I hate Star Trek but still loved the film. The sequel is one I'm very excited about and even more so now that Sherlock Holmes will be in it as the big bad wolf. Have a look at the synopsis below:

"When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organisation has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
"With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.
"As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew."
What do you think? Sounds interesting if you ask me although would love to know the ins and outs of Cumberbatch's character. The film stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and Karl Urban, all who are returning from the first, and is due to be released in May 2013.
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen join X-Men: Days Of Future Past
More news regarding the next X-Men project then. With Bryan Singer now on board to direct he has quickly added two major cast members from his version of the franchise. With the plot line involving time travel, and a mutant finding out the future and reporting it back to the younger X-Men who must prevent it, I'm presuming that the actors will play their usual characters only in the future threads of the film. This may reduce them to cameos but they should still be noticeable. 
I'm not too sure if this is a good one or not. With the amount of X-Men movies coming out it may become slightly confusing if they all start crossing over into each other's films. For the Avengers it worked as it was set up to do that whereas now I wander if it will take away some of this new versions credibility. I liked the idea of Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class being a completely different world to the previous films but now it seems like it will all be interconnected. I know Hugh Jackman had the smallest of cameos in First Class but it was nothing big enough to really get in the way. On other news with Jackman it has also been reported that he is joining this film so he will be playing Wolverine twice in one year in two completely separate films. All of this may become confusing and I wish they had kept these new versions as standalone to the older films. First Class was better than the others and showed the characters in a different way and now I'm slightly worried it will become a mess. We will have to wait till 2014 to find out however, and I hope I'm not right. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

VALENTINE'S DAY movie review

Valentine's Day

Starring: Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba

Running time: 125 minutes

Year: 2010

Directed By: Garry Marshall

Written By: Katherine Fugate

Valentine's Day is one of those really typical films that uses a well known day across the globe to stitch together a host of famous actors/actresses and thread them loosely together using very thin story threads. Here we have Julia Roberts, Jamie Fox, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Ahston Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Queen Lafitah, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Garner, and Topher Grace all in the same film. The surprising thing is despite the amount of names I have just reeled off; there are other well known faces among the crowd. Does this then make Valentine's Day a good film? The answer is no. Does it make Valentine's Day a fun film, which I let wash over me? Yes.

The plot interweaves many of these characters so that they all have some connection to each other no matter how small it is. The main thread though seems to be with Ashton Kutcher's character Reed, who proposes to his girlfriend Jessica Alba on the morning of Valentine's Day. She says yes before realising she has made a mistake and leaves. Reed owns the florist in town and it is here that he mopes about his situation and also comes into contact with many of the characters. Here is my attempt at how these threads connect, without giving too much away; Ashton is best friends with Jennifer Garner who is in a relationship with Patrick Dempsey but doesn't know he is married, however Ashton finds out and tries to tell her. Jennifer is the teacher of a young boy whose grandparents are looking after him. This boy has also met Ashton as he is trying to get a bunch of flowers sent to his valentine. Jennifer is also friends with Jessica Biel, who hates Valentine's Day, and is the PR for Eric Dane's pro-footballer who announces he is gay. Due to this Biel is chased by news reporter Jamie Foxx who wants an exclusive. Eric Dane's agent is then Queen Latifah who employs as her receptionist, Anne Hathaway who moonlights as an adult phone entertainer. Hathaway is in a new relationship with Topher Grace who ends up meeting the young boys Grandfather. On top of this we have school kids attempting to lose their 'v' plates and two people having a chance meeting on a plane. I hope that was easy to follow. There is no major through thread other than that all these people's stories interconnect. It seems to start on Kutcher but there is a big gap in the middle where his thread isn't seen so perhaps they just got his part out the way first.

The connections are done rather well but they are slightly generic and something a British audience would have seen before in the much better Love Actually. The stories fail to ever really connect emotionally other than a smaller one right at the end. If anything the better threads are the daft ones such as Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift's relationship which is just kissing lots in the school field, or Emma Robert's pursuit at losing her virginity. The stories that are supposed to tug at your heart strings don't so much and instead seem rather contrived. I may have said the connections are done well but that is only with some of them, others are done so blatantly in order to get them to meet and seem very set up. Then again there are a ridiculous number of stories they are trying to connect.

Some of the emotional problems come from the fact that the actors aren't in the mood to step it up a gear. It is one of those typical films with a large cast who have such little screen time that they just play their own selves. It really seems like the performances are for the pay check instead of the morality. One thing that really annoyed me was the scene with Jamie Foxx playing keyboard when it was obvious he wasn't playing it. Why have him act like he is playing the keyboard when you can quite simply remove the keyboard playing all together. It is moments like these that show the lack of enthusiasm gone into the film.

It is a bad film but I did watch it not giving much of a care, meaning that I actually quite enjoyed some moments. There are a few laughs to enjoy and some emotion right at the end, involving two characters that seemed throw away at the start. If you watch this expecting to see something good you will view it as garbage but if you view it expecting garbage you may find it to be alright. It will never win any awards, or many plaudits, but to watch if you're chilling out as a daft naff film that you like than you won't be so disappointed.

2 / 5

QUESTION: Who is the most up and coming young actress?

Jennifer Lawrence has recently hit the ground running when it comes to performing in Hollywood films. Since starting out in smaller films, such as Winter's Bone, she has gone on to be cast as recurring characters in two major franchises, X-Men and The Hunger Games. As well as these she has given a star turn in this week's release, Silver Linings Playbook. She really is a major star for the future. Looking at Miss Lawrence then I thought I would ask who else there is who is being shaped to become a future star. There are several young actresses ready to pounce onto the big stage and stake a claim to remain there. Have a look at five potential candidates below and start looking out for their movies, as they will definitely be moving on to bigger things.

1. JUNO TEMPLE - Recently had a small part in Christopher Nolan's final Batman epic and has also acted alongside James McAvoy in Atonement and Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe. With 9 films already announced, or completed, expect to see much more of Juno in the next few years.

2. ELIZABETH OLSEN - Often the forgotten Olsen sister but if anything has shown she is actually the better actress out of them. Recently she has been a huge success, giving great performances in Silent House, Martha Marcy May Marlene and had a support role in Red Lights. For the future she is slated for 4 films with one of them being Spike Lee's Oldboy remake.

3. HAILEE STEINFELD - In her first major film debut she was nominated for an Oscar for her brilliant performance in the Coen Brothers' True Grit. She hasn't graced the screen quite so much since but that may be due to her being involved in 6 films, all to be released within the next two years. She is also the next female to portray the character of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet's next big screen outing.

4. CHLOE GRACE MORETZ - Will be remembered by most for dropping the 'c' bomb when she played Hit Girl in Kick Ass and although she is returning to that role, she could well be remembered now for portraying Carrie in the remake of the older film. As well as these she has played a werewolf and a vampire, whilst also being Joseph Gordon Levitt's younger sister in 500 Days Of Summer. Out of these five she is probably the most known and will be seen in no less than 10 films over the next few years.

5. SAOIRSE RONAN - Starred alongside Juno Temple in Atonement and also gave a great performance in The Lovely Bones. Saoirse is still building her portfolio but it already includes playing an assassin and a ghost trapped in the afterlife. Expect to see more of her as she is soon to hit screens in The Host, from the author of the Twilight books. If this is another potential franchise let's just say she will have a good few films coming her way.

These are possibly the 5 I would suggest have the most potential. As always there will be others out there who are just as good but these gals all have many films soon to hit screens and have already given great performances in the ones they have been seen in. Anyway if you haven't heard of one, keep an eye out for them after this as I'm sure you will now be able to spot them and understand why they are ones for the future.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New on DVD this week: Ted

A couple of rather crude films to be released on DVD this week, along with a spandex wearing, white sticky stuff throwing superhero (and that one isn't meant to be crude). To top off the clearly adult theme of DVD releases this week we also have two children's films coming out. I have never seen such an array of movies brought out in one week. Let's hope the parents don't get the DVD's in the wrong cases before they leave the store. The last thing the children need is to see the crudest talking teddy bear to grace this Earth. Anyway they are some delightful choices with one of the films being in our top 10 and another as our worst of the year so far. Take a look below.

TED - Seth Macfarlane of Family Guy fame writes and directs his first feature film that tells the story of a teddy bear that comes to life after a young boy's wish comes true. However as the child grew up so did the bear and now he is a pot smoking, prostitute using, foul mouthed cashier at the local supermarket and he's getting in his owner's way.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID 3 - The wimpy kid returns and this time he is full to the brim of plans to fill his summer vacation, although when they all fail he is stuck with very little to do and has to find other ways to entertain himself.

MAGIC MIKE - Strippers is the plot behind this movie. Channing Tatum removes his clothes for a living and introduces a new friend to his line of work, but when Tatum meets his friend's sister he begins to realise that there is more to his life than taking off his clothes.

BRAVE - Disney Pixar bring out their next addition in Brave. Set in Scotland the film follows a Princess who defies her tradition which brings disgust from her people causing a beastly curse to be set on them. The Princess must perfect her archery skills and return home in the hope of saving the people she loves.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN -A reboot of Sam Raimi's Spiderman films is also released. This new direction takes us down the mystery of Peter Parker's missing parents before he is bitten by a spider and turns into New York's new superhero, where he must stop the evil plans of his Father's former colleague who has turned himself into a giant lizard.

The Amazing Spider-man trailer 

Monday, November 26, 2012

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - A slow starter that picks up speed and eventually grips you until the credits roll.

Silver Linings Playbook was a film I only ever really wanted to see because of the actors playing the leads and that it was directed by David O. Russell, who directed The Fighter. For my partner she was desperate to see this due to its look into the sufferings of people with mental illness and how they internally struggle to overcome obstacles many of us don't see. The story to me didn't seem entirely interesting but I was more than happy to give it a watch and to see how some top actors could portray people with serious issues, especially Chris Tucker who is back on the big screen in a film that doesn't involve the words Rush Hour. By the end of the film I was gripped into the relationships, the illnesses, the conflicts, the disillusions, the performances, and most of all; the story that left me leaving the cinema with a big smile on my face.

The story centres on Pat, a former school teacher who was placed into a mental institute after beating his wife's lover to a pulp. 8 months later and the doctors are happy he can try life on the outside again and off he goes with his Mother to move back home. When Pat gets back home he unveils to his family his plan of action to help beat his illness. First off is to drop all medication, second is to get fit, and third is to prove to his wife he is better again and is willing to take her back. The problem though is that his wife has moved on, she's frightened of him and his unpredictability. Restraining orders are set out against him meaning he can't go near any of the people he may have offended, and that is a lot. During his rehabilitation he goes for dinner at one of his closest mates, the main reason being because he sometimes sees Pat's wife and he wants to get a message across. Whilst at dinner he meets his friend's sister-in-law, Tiffany who has got as many problems as he has. Her husband was killed and ever since she has resorted to sleeping with many different men so she doesn't feel lonely. Tiffany sees something she likes in Pat and wants to become his friend but she can only persuade Pat when she tells him she can get a note to his wife. Pleased to hear this Pat is quick to become friends but there is a catch; he has to be Tiffany's dance partner at a competition coming up. Accepting it in order to get what he wants, Pat learns to become closer to his new friend and find new ways to control his temper, ways his family, friends, and doctors don't agree with, by befriending a woman with as many emotional constraints as he has.

The story is very dry and very simple. It isn't one that is going to bend your mind in many different directions. It is more of a character study into two very different characters with the same emotional problems. The performances in the film really add to the relationships that drive this story. Bradley Cooper is brilliant at Pat, performing in a very different way to which we are used to seeing him. Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as Tiffany who in facial expressions, delivery of dialogue, and dress sense really highlights a troubled mind. Robert De Niro is also on good form as Pat Senior, a man so obsessed with his local football team that his superstitions are getting out of hand. And finally, and something I never thought I'd say, even Chris Tucker is pretty good in his performance as Pat's mate who continually manages to con his way out of the mental home. The performances really are ace but the direction and writing by David O.Russell are also spot on. The story is predictable but the dialogue and plot threads are so well done that you're too invested to care. One of my favourite scenes was with Pat fighting at a football game in a rowdy brawl only for it to cut to a lone figure in Tiffany waiting to rehearse their dance. The direction here really added to the feel.

The film builds to an emotionally pleasing climax. The B story, with Pat Snr's OCD and gambling problems, drive us to this end. His addiction leads him to gamble on his son at this competition, even though he disagrees with his reasons for doing it. Pat Snr shows as many mental illness elements his son does but is never judged like his son. Pat calls this in an opening exchange with his doctor where he states, 'my Father beats up many at a football game and is banned for life, I beat a guy who I catch sleeping with my wife and I'm labelled insane', I thought this line was brilliant as it really highlights his frustrations and to how he is more similar to his Father than either of them think. All of this builds in the second half and once it does you breeze through to the end as it really does captivate you, however the first half is a little slow, and I was willing it to move on a little quicker. It does establish the characters well but, in the first half mainly, it was really missing a Christian Bale type character like out of Russell's previous film The Fighter. That being said thought the second act is so good, a high point being a scene in Pat's family home where all the characters are involved, that the qualms I had with the first half were instantly forgotten.

This won't be everyone's cup of tea. It explores themes that aren't always explored in these types of films, and it does it in a slightly comedic way. I have seen it be billed by some people as a romantic comedy; I can assure you now it is not. It is a drama with some black comedy involved. If anything the comedy mainly comes from the bluntness of the two lead characters as they both struggle to cope in social situations. It isn't supposed to be a comedy it is more a light-hearted take on a rather serious matter. Silver Linings Playbook is a very different film from ones I have previously seen this year. I would highly recommend it and ask you to go in with no judgement. If you sit down and enjoy it you will be guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face as it shows you no matter what your troubles there is always a silver lining.

Pros: The performances, direction, script, and character relationships that catch your attention.

Cons: The first half is a little slow.

8 / 10

Top 10 of 2012 so far:

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: There's always a silver lining no matter how messed up things seem.

Happy Friday everybody. It's that time of the week again where new films come rocking into your local cinema. I'm quite excited about the films this week as we now have a few to choose from. Over the last month we've had some pretty big releases that have flooded the cinemas but now we are hopefully going to be getting back to having a wide range of films to choose from. This week we have 5 brand new films released and all of them look rather splendid.

1. First up sees Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star as two individuals suffering from mental illness in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. The pair grow close through their issues, and use it as a way to connect and help them through the difficult times in their lives. Also starring: Robert De Niro & Jacki Weaver. Will they find their silver lining?

Silver Linings Playbook trailer

2. Colin Firth takes on a different kind of role in GAMBIT. Fed up of his unpleasant boss, an art curator (Firth) attempts to seek revenge by conning him into buying a fake famous painting, but in order for his plan to work he requires the help of Cameron Diaz's eccentric cow girl. Also starring: Alan Rickman & Stanley Tucci. Will the crazy scheming work?

Gambit trailer

3. The writer of Training Day writes and directs new police drama END OF WATCH. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as two traffic cops wanted by a notorious drug cartel after they confiscate a stash of money and weapons during a routine spot check. Told in a documentary/handheld camera style to really pull you into the action. Also starring: Anna Kendrick & Natalie Martinez. Can they escape the murderers who want them dead?

End Of Watch trailer

4. In preparation for Christmas David Tennant stars in NATIVITY 2 playing a new teacher lead on a school field trip which is taking the children to the National 'Song For Christmas' Competition. Taking his pregnant wife along with him the group find themselves trekking through fields and experiencing episodes not too dissimilar from the story behind Christmas. Also starring: Jason Watkins, Thomas Ainge, & Adrianna Bertola. Can they go all that way and leave with nothing?

Nativity 2 trailer

5. Finally is little known film STARBUCK. Starbuck is one man's code name when he used to donate sperm twenty years ago, however when his new lover falls pregnant his name resurfaces and 142 of the 533 children he created in the past are all desperate to meet their biological father. Starring: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand, & Dominic Philie. Can you imagine having 533 illegitimate children?

Starbuck trailer

5 films then, 1 movie to choose, which one will you go for? Of course you can see more than one if you please but what would be your top choice? Hopefully the above will give you some idea into what you could be seeing with all being intriguing in their own way. After Twilight weekend last week I am pleased to announce I am excited to go back to the cinema again.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NEWS - Jesse Eisenberg stars in first trailer for Now You See Me; Fox cancels Independence Day 3D re-release; The Rock fights drug dealers in the new trailer for Snitch

Lots of movie news has hit the web this week and it has been hard to choose which bits of information to bring to your attention. What I have gone for then are two trailers that I thought might suit your fancy and some news from Fox on the cancellation of a big re-release, this could be a good or a bad thing I'm not so sure.

Jesse Eisenberg stars in first trailer for Now You See Me

The first piece of news which was brought to my attention at the beginning of the week is the first look at the Jesse Eisenberg lead Now You See Me. Eisenberg leads an all star cast, including Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine, in a film revolving round a giant illusion. Jesse and his team rob banks whilst being live on stage and give the money out to the audience; only Mark Ruffalo's FBI agent is determined to get to the bottom of their trick. Prepare to be amazed I say. Take a look at the trailer below.

Now You See Me trailer

The trailer makes it look intriguing, the cast are all marketable, and the idea builds to a possible shock ending however I can't help but draw parallels to The Prestige. There is even the voice over by an all time acting legend, who describes the trick whilst we watch it. Despite the fact it looks good it will still have a lot to live up to and I can't wait to watch it and find out if it amazes me like The Prestige did.

Fox cancels Independence Day 3D re-release

This is the news that is debateable whether it is a good thing or bad. One it would be great to see on the big screen once again, but two it may run what was great about it by converting it to 3D. Not too much has been mentioned regarding the why it has been cancelled but it could be due to the other films Fox is releasing next year. I have read that potential clashes with White House Down starring Channing Tatum, and After Earth starring Will Smith have lead Fox to believe Independence Day may fail to be a success.

As well as having troubles re-releasing the original it is fair to suggest that maybe there are also problems with the development of the two sequels Roland Emerich has been lining up. If I'm honest I can't see where sequels to Independence Day can take us considering the first one basically blew America to bits. Anyway I'm sure if they are made I will be joining the line to go and watch them. Maybe Fox are shelving the 3D version in preparation for the sequels release??

The Rock fights drug dealers in new trailer for Snitch

Having just watched the trailer for this I'm a little bit in shock. It looks a lot better than I was first expecting. Now I don't mind Dwayne Johnson. Some of his films work and some don't. If I'm honest this looks like it will work. It does have a Jason Statham feel to it, and seems very much in the same action mould as one of Johnson's previous films Faster. This one though looks like it may have a little more heart. Take a look for yourself.

Snitch trailer

Does it look better than you though? As surprised as me? Could be an entertaining few hours. Anyway the films released on 21st February 2013 so it isn't really that long to wait.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

QUESTION: Worst Kevin James movie?

As usual I'm directing my question towards the film I saw in cinemas last weekend, unfortunately though that film was Here Comes The Boom. After watching it I realised that I can't remember a good movie that Kevin James has been involved in, where we see his face on screen that is. When he was Doug Heffernan in King Of Queens I thought he was great, and I really enjoyed the sitcom, however since he has made the step to film he has failed to keep us all laughing. Hitch is probably his best film to date and is the only role he has played that isn't typical him but when I researched his other films all have had bad reviews and are all rated 6.0 or lower on imdb. Not good for an actor that had a long successful sitcom. So to look at his films I found it too hard to pick a best so thought it would be better to let you pick the worst. 5 films below; what is Kevin James worst?

1. GROWN UPS - Some thought this was good I thought it was bad. James plays one of a group of friends who get together for a weekend after spending the years since school apart. The group ditch their partners and end up enjoying the same activities they did when they were kids. Now what could be more fun?

2. I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY - Teaming alongside friend Adam Sandler, James plays a fireman who loses his insurance once his wife dies. The only way he can get it back is to pose as a homosexual with his colleague Sandler but can they keep up their facade when a detective and smoking hot lawyer are on their case?

3. PAUL BLART: MALL COP - I really thought this would be better but as per usual the trailer took away all the good bits. James is Blart, a mall cop who wants to be a policeman. He gets his chance to convince when the mall he patrols is taken hostage and he is the only means of escape.

4. THE DILEMMA - Playing friend to Vince Vaughn, James is the unsuspecting man whose wife is having an affair. With Vince knowing he must decide whether it is best to tell his chum or let him remain happy.

5. ZOOKEEPER - When a zookeeper (James) threatens to quit his job in his search for love, the animals break their code of silence and attempt to talk their favourite zookeeper into keeping his job and finding love at the same time.

Now there are 5 pretty bad movies. I feel bad bringing down an actor I always loved as I was growing up but his turn into film has really not gone his way. He is becoming the go-to guy when Sandler may be too expensive and I can't help but think he is in his shadow. Go back to the beginning Kevin and show the world you aren't another Sandler and please stop doing such abysmal movies. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EDGE OF DARKNESS movie review

Edge Of Darkness

Starring: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic

Running time: 117 minutes

Year: 2010

Directed By: Martin Campbell

Written By: William Monahan & Andrew Bovell

Before we begin I would just like to state that I am fully aware this film is based on a English television drama, but as I have not seen it some of my points in here may seem wrong to someone who has watched the 1985 series, which was also directed by Martin Campbell. I have to say though after watching this I fully intend to watch the series especially since I have heard it is better, although if I'm honest it wouldn't take much to turn out better than this feature length version.

The film stars Mel Gibson as Boston police officer Thomas Craven who is looking forward to the visit of his daughter to his home. When she arrives she becomes rather ill and then continues having nosebleeds and fits of sickness over the course of one night. Hoping to find out what's wrong the pair decides to get themselves to the hospital but as they leave the house his daughter Emma is gunned down by a man in a ski mask. Despite having an emotional connection to the case Thomas demands to take it and sets off to unravel the mystery of who killed his daughter. Despite the press announcing it was a hit on Thomas gone wrong, Thomas is determined to prove that, that wasn't the case and begins to seek out the people who meant something to Emma, leading him to a conspiracy plot that Emma had got on the wrong side of. Meanwhile Darius Jedburgh (Winstone) has been hired by the government to sort out the mess and destroy the evidence that could possibly lead Craven to understand what was really going on in his daughter's life.

When I first sat down to watch this I was fairly excited to watch Mel Gibson taking on the role of a cop once again and to see him work as a detective in linking pieces of a bigger puzzle together. The trailer showed plenty of action and plot twists to make me think I was about to watch a film I could really sink my teeth into,  unfortunately though I felt the plot of the film to be fairly flat and with very little really going on. It was like a conspiracy film that had been done so many times before but with a different title and a different lead actor. The way Mel tracks down the conspiracy seems a little too easy considering this plot has been designed by the government to erase anyone who could potentially threaten what they are doing. Mel also seems to have plenty of help from people willing to tell him what is going on instead of him ever really having to do much detective work. It all came about a little too easy and as if the writers of the film were being a little lethargic with the script. To me Winstone's role had very little to do with the overall picture and his character could have been cut. I know this character was a big part in the series but I'm pretty sure he had more to do than he does here. It is as if the character had been written in because he was in the series instead of because he was actually needed to be there. I have read that the series has the same plot and I can only hope that, due to it being a longer running television series, Thomas Craven has to work a lot harder to achieve his goals and that the conspiracy is much better that it needs longer to be explained. This ended up feeling rushed and a little pointless.

There are some rather tense moments in the film but not nearly as many as there should have been. One part where a speeding car heads straight for Mel but ends up in the lake is fairly impressive, as is Mel's escape from two government agents tracking him down. There was however one part that could have been great with Mel being handcuffed to a hospital trolley and doctors coming into him as if to operate despite them being in an abandoned warehouse, however this scene is over all too quickly and might as well have been cut altogether. The narrative seemed to be too generic and scenes like this were placed in after three or four scenes of exposition. There really wasn't much for an audience to get their minds working in order to keep up and I was hoping for something that could have turned out quite dark and tense. Winstone's character had the potential to do that but it never really paid off, and his final involvement in the film is nothing short of confusing.

Overall I was disappointed with this film. It had some good scenes but it never managed to hook me in. The opening with the daughter's death was over far too quickly and I never felt sad at Mel's lost. This wasn't particularly the acting but I felt it came about all too quickly. By the end I was shocked at how easy it all became for a battered Gibson and with the people being behind the conspiracy being so tough it seemed daft how one man managed to put their plan to bed. It is also blatantly obvious from the start who the mastermind is and as an audience you will never have to work hard to put together the mystery. All I can say is I will be watching the series and hoping that it is much better than this turned out to be.

2 / 5      

New on DVD this week: The Lorax

Two cartoon flicks for you on DVD this week, perhaps there is a call for getting children in front of that television on these cold, dark nights. The two films both had mixed reviews with one having been reviewed on this site. The other was actually released a year ago in cinemas just in time for Christmas and it seems like they have held it off to use Christmas again as a selling point. Can't say I'm surprised considering it has the word Christmas in the title. Any way here are the films below.

THE LORAX - An animated take on Dr Seuss' famous tale. A twelve year old boy must discover the story of the Lorax in order to win the heart of the girl he loves. To do so he must leave his town which runs on fake air and venture to the dried out land beyond its walls.

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS - Released a year ago Arthur Chrsitmas follows the story of the title character who is related to Father Christmas. Arthur believes in bringing joy to everyone on Christmas and when he realises a poor girl has been left off the list he does all he can to bring her the present she wants.

Arthur Christmas trailer

Monday, November 19, 2012

HERE COMES THE BOOM - Lacks the killer punch

Not being a Twilight fan myself it meant that there was very little to pick between regarding movie choices for our cinema trip this weekend. Each year when Twilight is released it takes over cinemas leaving very little else on. It also doesn't help that we have seen the few films that remain playing alongside it, which meant Twilight was considered as a film to watch; however there was a little film starring Kevin James that I thought would be perfect for getting away from the 'twi-fans'. This film was Here Comes The Boom that is your very typical Kevin James movie where he plays a down on his luck loser and through a crazy source turns out to be a man full of morals and inspires loads of people. It sounds everything I dislike in a movie but seemed ideal for the weekend where I wanted to avoid screaming teenage girls. I have to say it was not perfect. Here Comes The Boom basically reiterated everything I dislike about these types of film. They're corny, unbelievable, daft, and not as funny as what they possibly could be. My partner thought it was hilarious so perhaps it was my preconception of the film that tainted my vision, who knows? All I know is that this is just a typical comedy film that was so old school I had seen it a hundred times before.

Kevin James stars as a biology teacher, Scott Voss, who has lost all enthusiasm for the job. Ten years ago he was voted teacher of the year and he still tries to live off that achievement. His class dislike him as do his colleagues. He is a teacher who openly admits everything they learn is unnecessary. His one friend among the teachers, Marty (Henry Winkler), is a music teacher who is fantastic at his job and has produced some wonderful talent; however he is told his job is to be cut due to budgeting issues. After hearing Marty's wife is pregnant (a ridiculous sub plot considering the guy is in his sixties), Scott vows to help raise the money to keep the class funded. To start, Scott takes on a job teaching immigrants how to pass the citizenship test and upon doing this meets a man who was once a Mixed Martial Arts cage fighter. Whilst watching a fight with him one evening Scott learns that even if you lose a big fight you will be paid ten thousand dollars so Scott decides to take it up. His immigrant friend Niko and Marty help Scott on his journey from fighting back stage with no holds barred to pushing himself to fight against one of the best fighters alive. Not all teachers can show this much passion about their school.

The idea is very simple so it isn't a film you have to take your thinking cap to. Instead it is just a film of a bumbling idiot being beaten the hell out of for sixty minutes and somehow managing to get a top billed televised fight. These are my sort of issues with these films. The way they turn out is ridiculous. They're unbelievable, corny, and have little relevance to the real world. I understand not all films are real but at least the writer and director make me believe in their world. Here I never believed anything that went on as it all seemed silly. In all fairness the world wasn't ridiculous enough to make the film work. In my eyes if they had made it sillier it could have been better.

The best laughs come from the fight scenes, which is the areas I would have highlighted if I made this film. What I wanted to see was fat Kevin James fighting other fat useless people who don't belong in the ring. The one time this happens in a rain soaked fight it is funny but the film then starts to take itself too seriously. By taking the mick out of the world it could have been hilarious but all too quickly Scott was thrust against fighters doing it their entire life and he was beating them. It was ridiculous. Yeah it showed he had heart, courage, passion but this needed to be a film that stayed silly in order for us to like it. This is why Winkler is good in this film and the funniest. His character is daft and we can believe it but I can't believe a useless school teacher goes from climbing in the school window late for class to a MMA Champion in a semester. For me it took the wrong direction.

It does have one or two moments, one being when Marty forgets the stool for the breaks inbetween rounds so he ends up on all fours posing as a bench, and the film really would have benefited from more of these. Unfortunately they are few and far between. People did laugh out loud in the cinema but for a top billed comedy starring Kevin James I expected to laugh more. I don't mind Kevin James, although feel he has never hit top form since King Of Queens or Hitch. I actually think he has come to play the same character in every other film he has done. The potential for this to work could have been there and it was lost at the very first progress of development. We saw a tight and tense MMA film last year in Warrior so we should have seen a ridiculously silly MMA film here that could have been the polar opposite. Instead with it taking itself too seriously it just brings out similarities to Warrior which is a far, far superior film in every respect. These are connections I shouldn't be making and if the development of Here Comes The Boom had gone a different route then I wouldn't be making them. In the end we have Kevin James starring in an Adam Sandler movie without Adam Sandler in it.

Pros: One or two laughs especially from Henry Winkler.

Cons: Too generic and (in case I haven't said it enough) took itself way too seriously.

4 / 10

Top 10 of 2012 so far:

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

Friday, November 16, 2012

In Cinemas This Weekend: The saga is brought to an end.

This week sees one of the biggest films of the year released. Now before I go into too much detail with that let me add that the film is the biggest not because it will be particularly award worthy, not because it will be one of the best of the year, and not because everyone loves it. No the reason it will be so big is that this film's fan base (ladies you know who you are) will swamp cinemas for the next few weeks to witness two 'heart throbs' removing their shirts. Now for me this just doesn't cut it as a big film but in terms of money I can understand why the producers would do it. The film is bound to bag loads of cash for the companies who made it regardless of if it is any good so that is why it is seen as one of the biggest films of the year, unfortunately. Due to this then nothing much else is to be released but there are 2 that may interest you. Have a look at them below.

1. Ok so for those of you who aren't aware, that big film I mentioned is THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN - PART 2. Back, and now as a vampire, is Bella who has become the number one enemy of the Volturi when they hear her baby is mortal. Werewolves and vampires join forces to protect the girl who has been the centre of a love triangle since the beginning. It all boils down to one epic conclusion. Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, & Peter Facinelli. Can they protect their offspring?

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 trailer

2. As well as Twilight we are given a sweet foreign film brought to us Michael Haneke, director of Funny Games. AMOUR is the story of an elderly couple, both of whom were music teachers, whose relationship becomes strained when one of them falls severely ill. Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, & Alexandre Tharaud. Can their love last?

Amour trailer

3. Finally we have MENTAL a film evolving around a suffering relationship due to the husband's political ambitions. With the couple struggling to be there for their children they hire a nanny who transforms the families' ways with her crazy personality. Starring: Liev Schreiber, Toni Collette, Caroline Goodall, & Anthony LaPaglia. How crazy can it get?

Mental trailer

That is that for this weekend then. Expect your local cinema to be absolutely rammed with Twilight fans because theatres are designated for them this weekend. Causes pain for many of you I know but hey they've got to make their money somehow. It leaves not much for the other cinemagoers though so I suggest the brilliant Argo or Skyfall to fill your time. If you're planning on seeing a smaller film please ring in advance as last year they were cancelling films to show more Twilight. Just gives us another reason to dislike it. Anyway enjoy whatever you see even if you succumb to peer pressure and join the girlfriend in viewing vampire love.