Category Archives: Film Reviews

Interview | Hans Zimmer Talks 12 Years A Slave, Superhero Scores and More

Scott:

Zim, Zimmer!

Originally posted on AMONymous:

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A look through Hans Zimmer’s discography reveals a truly staggering body of work; The Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Knight trilogy and countless other films have been blessed with his gift of musical storytelling. Now a 30 year veteran of the industry the film composer is still at the top of his game, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I was lucky enough to chat with him ahead of the home entertainment release of the brilliant 12 Years A Slave.

So vast and varied is Zimmer’s catalogue and so excited was I to to speak with him that the 15 minutes I was granted felt like 5. Nonetheless it was a fascinating conversation, and here he speaks about working with Steve McQueen, the challenges when coming up with superhero scores and a special edition re-release of his work on The Lion King. Have a read below.

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The Problems Of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ (SPOILERS)

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Evening all. Some people reading this will know, from my activity on Twitter and on the Bastnerds podcast, that I have been an avid Spider-Man fan for the best part of 25 years. I recently took part in a spoiler podcast with Chris Byrne, Christopher Ejizu and Amon Warmann for Marc Webb’s latest effort – ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′.

On the recording, I was pretty critical and decidedly negative about the movie as a whole. Give it a listen here.

Now, instead of a review. I decided it would be more ‘my style’ to basically talk about why I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as others. There are more issues than what I talk about here. These are the worst offenders, in my opinion.

So here it is, my ANAL-sis for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′. Yes there are SPOILERS, so don’t moan.

 

1. Jamie Foxx’s character is fucking wasted…. And I don’t mean drunk.

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Jamie Foxx plays electrical engineer Max Dillon at Oscorp, later transformed into the villain ‘Electro’. From the marketing (extensive within the first 6 months of promotion) of the movie, Electro is extremely prominent and was confirmed as the ‘lead protagonist’. However towards the tail end of the marketing campaign, I noticed that the focus shifted from Electro and more prominently to Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan) and Oscorp. This seemed odd – but I remained excited to see the final product.

Now I’m not saying that Electro is a BAD character, or that Foxx doesn’t do a great job. Quite the opposite actually. The issue with Electro is that his character is built up to absolutely be a potentially awesome and dangerous villain for Spidey (Andrew Garfield) – but as soon as he’s built up, he’s left hanging in limbo. While Osborn’s ‘sickness’ plotline is fast-tracked through the movie’s midway point (more on that later). Dillon is the sympathetic, misunderstood man that becomes endowed with immeasurable power while struggling to fit in with the norms of society. Max, through his own admission,  just wants to be noticed. In terms of personality, being polar opposite of Spider-Man is a potentially fruitful plot device – As we could potentially see the character gradually unravelling through his jealousy of Spidey’s attention – THEN develop him into Electro, powers and all. Give him something to run with first. The direction they took the character was rushed and half-resolved until a convenient way to bring him back into the narrative was presented through Harry Osborn.

*Side note – that whole Doctor Kafka/Electro conversation felt completely ill-judged and seemed to be hammed up as fuck.*

 

2. Uncle Ben’s murderer…. Yes, remember now?

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Ben Parker (portrayed by Martin Sheen) is the moral compass and strongest paternal figure of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. So whether you’ve seen the comics, the cartoons or the movies themselves, you know that he’s a prominent fixture in Spidey adaptations.

Marc Webb’s first Spider-Man movie was pretty much a retread of Raimi’s original in regard to Peter and Ben’s relationship. Culminating in a robbery that Peter had the opportunity to stop, electing to ignore it. Which in turn resulted in the fatal shooting of his dear old Uncle. In ‘ASM 1′, there’s a meaty sequence where we see Peter attempting to find the killer, using a likeness as a template. Unfortunately, there’s no resolution. And Peter vows to find his uncle’s killer. So were we expecting to see this plot point, this massive part of Peter’s life at least continued? Of course……..

Barely even mentioned. That’s right.

 

3. Hollywood 101 – Using the last shot in the movie as the last shot in a trailer.

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Paul Giamatti’s  Aleksei Sytsevich is introduced at the top of the movie. Attempting to steal plutonium (why? who cares!), and is quickly and effortlessly thwarted by Spider-Man (again, spoiled by the trailers and tv spots). At the film’s end, we find out Oscorp made a big robot suit, and apparently Sytsevich is qualified to operate it….. Enter ‘Rhino’, his giant robot suit and its Transformeresque nonsense that pulls Spidey out of the doldrums and back into saving the day mode. Cue the dramatic final shot…. That we’ve all seen months prior. Killing any anticipation for the next movie.

Way to go guys, you fucking turnips.

 

4. Harry Osborn and The Mystery Of Harry Osborn.

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Dane Dehaan’s casting as Peter Parker’s best friend, Harry Osborn, was particularly one of the movie’s strongest. Dehaan is absolutely commanding in his conveying of emotionally tumultuous characters. He does indeed showcase this as the young Osborn, later as this movie’s incarnation of The Green Goblin (never Christened/labelled). But like Max Dillon’s character, it’s underdeveloped and a hugely missed opportunity to demonstrate one of the key relationships in the life of Peter Parker. Harry just appears out of nowhere after a decade (?) away and there’s no real in-depth insight into their friendship or what’s been going on with Harry himself – the whole thing feels rushed and only as a servant to get things moving with the Sinister Six development. This becomes more apparent when Harry’s ‘sickness’ conveniently becomes more aggressive after his father Norman (Chris Cooper) is killed to death by the unnamed genetic disease. Peter and Harry’s brief time together feels vacuous because we, the audience, have seen Peter go through these differences and changes in his life, without Harry around. For the friendship to look and feel natural and resonate – Harry needed to be a figure in Peter’s life during the events of first movie.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies showcased the pair as school friends right from the get go. We knew exactly what motivations Harry had for going after Peter by the third movie, and it was an actual, properly constructed plot that made sense in terms of the story and its development of the characters. Here, it’s condensed into about 30-40 minutes.

 

5. Richard & Mary Parker Became Sony’s Bitches

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Maybe not everyone felt this way.

We know Richard and Mary were both involved in Oscorp and the experimentation that was going down. Spider-Man himself being a successful result of this. To me, this all seemed irrelevant to the story as a whole. Peter just wanted to find out why his parents had to leave him and to understand the reasoning behind it. Now, as the second movie progresses, we find out that Richard worked with Norman on many ‘cross species’ experiments in aid of potentially curing Monster Mash and his fingernails. Eventually leading to Richard removing himself from the project and thus getting ‘removed’ permanently on an airplane during the film’s opening sequence.

From this, and the subsequent reveal of Oscorp/Ravencroft’s intention to create a group to, I dunno, take over the world… It felt like the true nature, the raw humanity and the effects of the Parkers’ absence from Peter’s life had been substituted, or rather discarded in favor of just a cheap. convenient method of pushing the establishment of more villains. Sequel bait, folks! $$$$$$$$$££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$ 

 

 

 

So there you go. Anyone agree? Disagree? Send me your thoughts.

 

Love you lots.


Special Feature | Summer 2014 Blockbuster #AMONTAGE

Originally posted on AMONymous:

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Hey readers!

Once again, summer blockbuster season is upon us! As the summer blockbuster mash-up I did last year proved quite the hit, I’ve decided to make it an annual fixture. For the past three months, I have toiled over the 2014 edition, and it gives me great pleasure to post the finished version today, EXCLUSIVE to AMONymous.  Enjoy, comment, share, and most importantly…ENJOY THIS YEAR’S SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS!

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Six Of The Best Literary Adaptations

Originally posted on Charlie Derry:

(Written for HeyUGuys)

If you’re a fan of literary adaptations then no doubt you’ll currently have your head stuck in a copy of Joyce Maynard’s emotional coming-of-age novel Labor Day, Nick Hornby’s heart-warming suicide drama A Long Way Down, or maybe even Veronica Roth’s debut dystopian Divergent. What we’re looking forward to most, however, is Richard Ayoade’s upcoming adaptation of Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s dark comedy novella, The Double.

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Film Review | Khumba: A Zebra’s Tale

Scott:

Next up – ‘Foodfight!’ (Hopefully)

Originally posted on AMONymous:

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★½☆☆☆

As the recent critical and box office success of both the Oscar-winning Frozen (2013)  and The LEGO Movie (2014) can attest to, animated movies have seldom been more popular than they are today. Though noble in its intentions, Anthony Silverston’s Khumba (2014)  – the sophomore effort from the Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios – is a substandard digimated excursion that’s all the more dissatisfying when compared to the films that inspired it.

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Trailer Tidbits – March/April 2014

 

Greetings, fatherfuckers. Here’s a little recap of some of the hot new trailers to hit the net.

 

‘Godzilla’ – Trailer #3 (Dir. Gareth Edwards)

Here’s the latest trailer for the 2014 Godzilla movie starring Walter White and the Maximoff Twins. No, but seriously – this is gearing up to be one of most anticipated movies of the year. And tonally, the ‘Monsters’ director seems to have nailed a gritty, realistic feel as opposed to the Emmerichian approach of the ’98 movie. There’s a couple of shots of new footage in this one, but all in all it’s very much of the same we saw in the second trailer.

 

‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ – TV Spot #1 (Dir. Matt Reeves)

More monkey magic! Take a good look at Caesar and his chimp chums in this first TV spot for the sequel to the surprisingly decent Apes reboot.

 

‘Lucy’ – Trailer #1 (Dir. Luc Besson)

Fresh off the heels from the recent release of his crime/comedy ‘The Family’ – Parisian writer/director Luc Besson gives us a first trailer from his upcoming sci-fi thriller – ‘Lucy’. This one could be shit fucking hot, people.

 

”Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ – Trailer #1 (Dir. Jonathan Liebesman)

Aaaand finally. This is the long awaited first glimpse at the new TMNT movie as produced by my main man – Michael Bay. Starring Megan Fox (ugh) and Will Arnett (hooray!) plus a load of unknown actors that we don’t care about…(yeah). I’ll be wholeheartedly honest, I’m not really digging the baby faces with the nostrils thing. BUT, I am very much looking forward to seeing the movie. Plus of course more trailers and promo material.

 

 

 


Inglorious Bastnerds Spoiler Podcast: ‘Captain America – The Winter Soldier’

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It’s time once again for another spoiler special for myself and the Bastnerd boys. Chris, Ian and I (@Celluloidical) are joined by regular guests, film journos – Amon Warmann and Mr Christopher Ejizu as we dive deep into the latest Marvel Studios outing – Captain America – The Winter Soldier. Which opens in the US on April 4th. (Sorry guys. We got there first – again!).

Aside from the obvious spoiler warning. I say this. Unlike Total Film, we actually have varying opinions. As opposed to just bitching and moaning. So, yeah.
Anyway, follow the guys and rate, subscribe to the podcast/sites and leave a review. Thanks and enjoy.

Click here to visit the podcast page.

 

@CinemaTronix (www.cinematronix.co.uk)

@i_nesbot (www.redbubble.com/people/inesbot)

@awarmann (www.amonymousblog.com)

@movieumpire (www.movieumpire.com)

 


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