Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Recipe for Olympus has Fallen

The base ingredient - Gerard Butler will please the taste of some but not others as a convincing 'give it all you got' action hero. Take a good amount of Die Hard and add a dash of Red Dawn. Mix in a pinch of James Bond. Remove any Jack Bauer as he would have prevented any of this from ever happening to start with. Add more graphic violence and seriousness. Top off with a quality actor that everyone loves - Morgan Freeman and leave for 120 minutes. There you have Olympus has Fallen.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Trailer of the week

In this case two trailers as it's a White House action movie-off! Who will have the better film - Channing's or Gerard's?

We're off to see the Wizard in 3D

Should you pay extra to see the 3D version of Oz the Great and Powerful? I would strongly recommend it - Disney has the money to film in top quality 3D which it did! As with the ‘The Wizard of Oz’ it starts with a smaller size projection in black and white and even here the 3D is impressive with smoke and FX coming out beyond the border of the actual projection. Then we are taken to Oz in a similar way to Dorothy Gale, but with the 3D and the storm footage you actually feel as though you are traveling with Oz the "magician" rather than just observing.

Then we arrive in Oz which is such a visual treat: We explore the land a little before the story goes on, and with all the FX and technology we have nowadays the land of Oz is made to look even more impressive than you could imagine. The costumes are also amazing and there are so many nods to the Judy Garland film – the traveling bubble, flying monkeys, scarecrows and lions. Though strangely Disney was not allowed to use the same shade of green that Warner Brothers originally used for the witch - did you know you could actually own shades of colour?

When you watch this film there are a couple of things to look out for - the way to ‘China Town’ and what it's referring too (this actually just clicked for me after I left the theatre - doh!); Bruce Campbell; the intricately patterned boots that Theodora is wearing when she first appears - I've been looking online since and the boots just look black - I swear there was a pattern on them!

Whilst everything about this movie is great Michelle Williams did on occasion slip into her Marilyn Monroe accent and, as usual, a film directed by Sam Raimi will of course have a lot of his family members playing parts, including Ted. This is a film that most will enjoy and is also one of better 3D experiences.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Giant Slaying - not one for the (little) kids!

Jack the Giant Slayer has the word 'slayer' in the title for a reason. Whilst the trailer makes the movie look like it's all good fun about Jack, the beanstalk and some cool looking giants, parents who take their little kids to see this may be shocked. In the UK this movie is rated 12A which means kids under 12 must be accompanied by their parents as it is likely to scare them, so it's all down to their parents to decide what their kids can cope with. Well when we went to watch this the lady in front of us  brought along her 2 kids - their ages were about 4 and 6. The first half of the movie (no giants yet) the kids were bored and would not stop fidgeting. Then finally we get to some giant action, and about 15 minutes into that part of the film the mother promptly whisked her kids out of the cinema realising how violent it was for kids those ages!! So parents be warned, take the little ones to watch something Pixar instead.

The movie itself isn't a bad watch, but out of all the fairy tale films that have been released to date Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is by far the best, and a sequel has now been promised.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

G.I. Joe 2

I was a little concerned about how G.I. Joe: Retaliation would turn out. It had been delayed for a year as the initial test audience didn't like the fact that Channing Tatum is killed off early on in the movie. This means that the production company had a year to try and fix it, but with one complete version of the film would the final result feel like a hacked up movie? Well the good news is that they did manage to fix it. The film is good fun all they way through with a great fight/escape scene somewhere in the middle. You can see on Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's face that he is having a blast playing his role throughout the movie. Of course as the film is based on toys it gives us lighter action but is definitely worth a couple of hours of your time if you want your brain to relax.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Identity Theft - let's hope it never happens to you!!!

I wasn't sure what I'd make of this movie as I'm not a particular fan of Melissa McCarthy, but Jason Bateman is a pretty decent actor and has been on the acting scene for such a long time - can you remember his TV days in the series Valerie which then became the Hogan Family? And of course there's Teenwolf Too.

So the verdict? My friend and I found Identify Theft funny in places but it's one of those types of movies where it might be trying a little too hard to make you laugh, so much so that you aren't always sure if you should be laughing or not. Jason Bateman did an excellent job at portraying his annoyance at the antics of his co-star and in some scenes satisfyingly got his revenge. This film wasn't too original either as we recently saw a similar storyline in Due Date. The film's moral tone was one of sympathy for Ms McCarthy's character but by the end of the story did I sympathise with her at all? Not really!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

ET go home!!

A couple of sci-fi movies hit the cinema recently: The Host - Aliens conquer earth by taking over human bodies; Dark Skies - Aliens don't worry so much about conquering the earth as they are old-school aliens and still enjoy the reliable abduction methods. Were they worth seeing? Well ...

The Host was written by that lady (can't think of her name right now) who wrote the Twilight series - and as you might expect there was so much slush and romance and not much, hardly any in fact, fighting to save the planet. The film was very drawn out as well - everyone seemed to be delivering their lines super slowly, so what with that and all the romance this was a very long movie with not much excitement going on ...

... and Dark Skies - through it was a nice try, if you've watched alien abduction films before this one is very similar and nothing new. The trailer tried to make it out to be scary as well, it being from the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, but it was not. I'm also sorry to say that the 'twist' at the end wasn't much of a twist at all. So a fail for sci-fi movies so far this month, but fingers crossed that Tom Cruise's Oblivion will make amends!!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Nicholas Cage the Bank Robber!

From the movie poster and tagline ...
12 Hours, $10 million, 1 Kidnapped daughter, STOLEN
... you'd be right to guess that the film is about Nic Cage frantically trying to rescue his daughter within a 12 hour time frame for the sum of $10 mill ransom. But what the poster doesn't elude to is his type of character, other than making him look a bit like an action hero running away from an exploding car. Mr Cage has played so many different characters in the past, so it would be anybody's guess (if you don't head to IMDB beforehand) what he is portraying this time. All is revealed in the film opening and at that point we realise  that 'Stolen' is also referring to Nic Cage the expert bank robber.

Whilst in character he didn't really seem any different from the Nicholas Cage we know so well in his other films, and this one is equally as watchable though it would never be a big money earner and might be more popular on DVD. A special nod to whoever the make-up artist was in making one of the characters look as unwell as he did - I would say try and spot who I mean but that would be way too easy!! No wonder that character had 'issues' in the movie!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Arrested Development news just in!

If you're a fan of the Arrested Development series like me then you will be happy to hear that Netflix has set May 26th as the new season's air date. Not only that they have ordered another 5 episodes - which makes a total of 15 to satisfy our AD needs!! You may also have noticed that the Kickstarter Arrested Development documentary project has exceeded its meager request for $20,000, so it looks like that will go ahead too. :o)

How many days until the AD series is aired you ask yourself? No need to work it out - an Arrested Development countdown has been put online for us.

(If you haven't watched Arrested Development shame on you! You must get hold of seasons 1 - 3 so you can catch up with the rest of us asap.)