Tag Archives: film

5 Reasons Why ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Rocks My Proverbial Socks Off

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***SPOILER WARNING***

Grossing over $90 million dollars on its opening weekend in North America. ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’, the 7th entry in the Fox Studios’ X-Men franchise, based on the Marvel comic book characters/books of the same name – Has received global acclaim. And in my humble opinion – richly deserved.

Here are 5 reasons that Days Of Future Past absolutely killed it for me….. Killed is good in this context, by the way.

 

1. THAT Quicksilver Scene.

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Fuck, I really hate saying it that way. ‘THAT’ Quicksilver scene… Ugh. It’s a great moment for not only the movie itself, but for the cast too who had really supported and pushed out just how good Evan Peters’ performance as the mutant speedster was. Though we can all say how shite his character design was (Singer….), it truly was a great demonstration of his abilities, his personality and the use of pop culture – As Maximoff’s walkman plays out the delightfully apt ‘Time In A Bottle’ by Jim Croce. Evan Peters’ performance throughout his time in the movie was no less greater. Leaving a lot for Joss Whedon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s depiction of the character to live up to in ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’.

 

2. Wolverine’s Role

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Hugh Jackman – The cornerstone of the X-Men franchise. Appearing as a lead character in 6 of the 7 movies to date. With a cameo in First Class, simply because – because… Yeah.

I’ve always found issue with Logan in these movies. Not only are the movies marred by the sheer amount of focus that is lavished on the character, alienating others. But also because it almost becomes detrimental to the overall story. In DOFP, the movie progresses and develops through the narrative and each character is a driving force for that. Though we closely and prominently follow events and actions of certain characters – namely Charles (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) – Wolverine is without question the lead. However he is part of the story, rather than the story being a part of him. His scenes with Charles and Hank (Nick Hoult) after his initial regression to 1973 are some of my favourite moments in the entire film. There’s great chemistry between the 3, and this is much more apparent after Logan manages to convince Charles to get his shit together. I also found the much maligned ‘swap’ between himself and Kitty (Ellen Page) had proven to be a great move on the part of Singer and Kinberg.

 

3. The Screenplay

"X-Men: Days Of Future Past" World Premiere - Outside Arrivals

Simple as it seems. And is… Simon Kinberg wrote one damn good movie. Within the X-Men community, I’d argue that First Class is the superior film based on writing – Perhaps due to the more traditional, linear plot. With DOFP, there is so much going on that you could easily be stepping into Last Stand territory. It just felt from watching though, that everything had its place within the story – it was relevant, cohesive, served purpose and ultimately wasn’t wasteful fanboy nonsense thrown in for acknowledgement. I’d wholeheartedly recommend a second viewing if this wasn’t your immediate conclusion.

 

4. The ‘Reset’

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Spoilers ahead. Of course, you’ve all seen the movie by now? Before production had completed, director Bryan Singer went on record to say that the beauty of time travel movies is that there is scope to undo, change or get rid of certain elements from the established timeline. In other words – He brought back Cyclops and Jean! So what does that mean for future appearances for people like James Marsden, Famke Janssen and Kelsey Grammar? Well we know now that younger versions of original trilogy characters will appear in the next movie ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. Though we’ll never know for certain until that time, it was still great to see those characters back  – almost a sigh of relief. Especially after the massive injustice done to Cyclops in all the movies prior.

 

5. Groundwork For The Future

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Though I was pretty disappointed in the shelving of half the cast of First Class. Carrying over James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nick Hoult to DOFP in hindsight is a great sign of potential things to come. With Charles and Hank seemingly becoming more reliant on each other from events prior to the movie, and Erik and Mystique being ‘set loose’ essentially to build ‘The Brotherhood’. We could potentially see some great stories featuring these characters at loggerheads once again. Because of the dynamics and events that have occurred within the relationships of these 4 – I think we should anticipate for much more emotionally driven, tense and personal X-Men sequels. Here’s to 2016, and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ .


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)

 


‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ – My Thoughts

"Gard Gard Gard Gard..."

“Gard Gard Gard Gard…”

So it’s been a little over a week since the long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s much-adored ‘The Hobbit’ (Part 1, mind) was released, and I’ve been itching to give my opinions on Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth…….

Spoilers ahead, here are the moments of greatness, and in some cases – shiteness of ‘An Unexpected Journey’…

 

What Was Great.

1. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

A given, right? After the announcement of ‘The Office’ alum’s casting, I never stopped thinking it was nothing short of genius. His performance is laced with an air of naivety, disengaged charm, and an almost sense of self-preservation at the film’s beginning. Freeman captured everything I wanted to see in this character, and the encounter with Gollum and subsequent conclusion of the movie was some of the most entertaining and highly focal points for me.

2. The Design

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A lasting impression of the LOTR trilogy was the design work inspired by conceptual artists Alan Lee and John Howe. Their astounding and beautiful interpretations of the various locales, architecture and characters of Middle Earth are further realised in ‘The Hobbit’, and will receive a whole new audience of fans. Much to thank those guys for.

3. The Trolls Scene

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Take Freeman’s Bilbo, throw in a few ponies, add a couple of daft, bumbling Kiwi trolls with a hunger for bearded midgets…. And you get one of the most endearing, faithful sequences in the entire movie. Grinned from ear to ear during this one!

4. Gollum and The Return Of Andy Serkis

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How could I do this list without citing Gollum and Andy Serkis in some form…? I’d be lying to myself if I ever did. The show stealer in the LOTR trilogy, and the catalyst of the events that lead up to the epic Jackson saga returns to give us an uncompromising reminder of why he is such a memorable part of modern cinema. It’s weird to think that I will never see Gollum again on-screen in this capacity, so I’ve really taken Serkis’ performance in this film to be somewhat bittersweet. Alas, it’s an amazing reprise from Andy.

5. The Location Shooting

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Since the release of ‘The Return Of The King’, the influx of green screen and blue screen has contributed to the exhausting cookie-cutter popcorn flicks that have littered Hollywood for a decade. However Peter Jackson, his team at Wingnut, New Line and WB persevered to keep the grandiose and breathtaking scale that the LOTR trilogy took on. The location shooting vlogs that were posted through the early parts of last year, gave us an incredible insight into the huge amount of work that is put into such a mammoth task. What we see on-screen are the fruits of that labor. Beautiful stuff.

What Didn’t Cut The Mustard (My opinion…)

1. The Dwarves (SPOILER ALERT)

"Hugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub"

“Hugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub”

Yeah, I know. Old record, old record. Certainly with the amount of characters that ‘The Hobbit’ boasts – it would be pointless to have a gripe about screen time for 13 dwarves. But mine isn’t about that – it’s the execution. Of the Company, with the exception of Thorin (Richard Armitage) – Balin (Ken Stott), Kili (Aidan Turner) and Bofur (Jimmy Nesbitt) are the dwarves with the most screen time/dialogue in the movie. We are also given a slight nod as if to suggest that these characters will be much more prominent and of greater importance in at least the second movie. What actually frustrated me was how forgettable they all were. Next to no characterisation for most of the Company, and when we do see some it’s either far too early in proceedings or just too little too late.

2. Old Bilbo (As Played by Ian Holm)

GRGR4

Love Ian Holm – let me make that perfectly clear. Awesome beyond belief in the LOTR films, and perhaps one of my favourite actors of the entire trilogy. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing him return briefly in his scenes with Frodo (Elijah Wood), which allowed a nice bridging point between the LOTR movies and these new films. But something really bugged me. It’s a small nitpick – but it’s so fucking unbelievably obvious.

It’s the hair.

Ok, yeah – “What the fuck, Scott? Get over it…” – Well I fucking can’t, ok?

It’s been 12 years since we last saw old Bilbo in Bag End. So Weta digital have used their magic to ‘de-age’ the veteran act0r to make him look more similar to his younger self. The hairpiece however, is not Holm’s own hair we can easily assume. So why did they do this….?

Yeah, really... I'm moaning about this

Yeah, really… I’m moaning about this

I’m a big continuity buff, and a confessed moaner. But come on, really? The hair is completely different. The reference points are in the DVD cabinets of nearly every single person that worked on the movie!

On the left, a still of ‘Fellowship’, the hair is bushy, almost feathered, also fairly thick and at cheek length. On the right hand side, we see Bilbo as he appears in ‘The Hobbit’. The hair is thinner, lank and also nearly at CHIN length. Bilbo’s appearance in the new movie is one that precedes events in ‘An Unexpected Journey’ – but also takes place in the same time line period as the beginning of ‘Fellowship’… e.g THAT PICTURE ON THE LEFT. Come on, now. It’s a silly mistake that shouldn’t have been made. It’s absolutely glaring.

Meh…. Next….

3. The Seemingly Non-existent Use of Human Actors for Goblins/Orcs/Trolls/Whatever

Looks stoopid

Looks stoopid

I was excited to see more of the amazing work from Weta’s visual effects and makeup department. But sadly, we weren’t so lucky this time around. The creatures that are featured in the movie are beautifully realised. However it just didn’t have that same magic as having real actors in the performance. It didn’t really tarnish the film on an enjoyment scale, rather just made me question whether Jackson is heading down the same dark path as another certain filmmaker did a long, long time ago.

4. The Film’s Opening Hour

"WE ARE LAUGHING!"

“WE ARE LAUGHING!”

‘An Unexpected Journey’ has a run time which may agitate and even frustrate some theatre-goers. But personally, I didn’t mind it at all. But the first adventure of Bilbo and the Dwarves has such a slow build up, it really did test my patience for the first 45 to 60 minutes. In particular the meeting at Bilbo’s house. Christ… such… a…. fucking…. drag…. Leave already!

5. The Smaug Money Shot

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After a successful third act. I really was looking forward to finally getting a glimpse of the dragon, Smaug in all his hellish glory. This was not the case.

With the extreme lengths that Weta went to prevent us viewing folk from seeing the antagonist during the (seriously too long) prologue, I was convinced that we’d get to see him rolling around in his gold like a pig in shit. What we got was an eyeball…. Haha, a great eye. Maybe that was a little joke on their part. Well, you got us. Fuck you anyway :-)

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Let’s just be clear on one thing…. I LOVED this movie. Thank you to everyone that worked on it!


Best & Worst Of 2012

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No filler. Let’s do this.

Here are my Top 10 Worst films (viewed by me) released in the United Kingdom over the last 12 months. My review of the movies (if applicable) can be found at the link after the title/director

 

1. ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ (Paul W.S. Anderson) http://boxd.it/uIU3

2. ‘Friends With Kids’ (Jennifer Westfeldt) http://boxd.it/j4Hh

3. ‘Twilight – Breaking Dawn Part 2′ (Bill Condon)

4. ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (Genndy Tartakovsky) http://boxd.it/uxt1

5. ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ (Nicholas Stoller) http://boxd.it/j4FP

6. ‘Prometheus’ (Ridley Scott)

7. ‘A Thousand Words’ (Brian Robbins)

8. ‘Snow White & The Huntsman’ (Rupert Sanders)

9. ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ (Henry Joost/Ariel Schulman)

10. ‘Dark Shadows’ (Tim Burton) http://boxd.it/ebrb

 

With the proverbial turds flushed down the commode. Here are my favourites :-)

Celluloidical’s Top 10 Films Of 2012

1. ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ (Wes Anderson) http://boxd.it/eMBH

2. ‘The Avengers’ (Joss Whedon) http://boxd.it/btpr

3. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (Christopher Nolan) http://boxd.it/jSSp

4. ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ (Peter Jackson) http://boxd.it/BvJZ

5. ‘Looper’ (Rian Johnson)

6. ‘Dredd’ (Pete Travis) http://boxd.it/rLKz

7 ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (David O.Russell)

8. ‘End Of Watch’ (David Ayer) http://boxd.it/zzsT

9. ‘Skyfall’ (Sam Mendes) http://bit.ly/ZLxnIf

10. ‘Chronicle’ (Josh Trank)


Trailer Tidbits #3 (December 2012)

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Been a little while since my last recap. So let’s make this a gooden! On the radar today is Star Trek sequel – ‘…Into Darkness’, M Night Shyamalan’s latest excuse, ‘After Earth’. And finally, the highly anticipated Superman film – ‘Man Of Steel’.

 

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ – Dir. J.J Abrams

Much to speculate of course, and many will. But right off the bat I’ll say this is probably the one I’m holding out for next year. The standalone voiceover of the antagonist, whoever it may be, Benedict Cumberbatch, and escalating score really does build this one way way waaaay up. Great stuff. Draw your own conclusion at the trailer’s close.

 

‘After Earth’ – Dir. M. Night Shyamalan

Without question, this could easily be the biggest flop for next year. Haven’t we seen all this before??

 

‘Man Of Steel’ – Dir. Zack Snyder

Ok, Zack, I’m sold. Taking an enormous cue from producer Christopher Nolan, and a nuance that only could be attributed to the work of Terrence Malick – this retelling of the Superman origin could possibly surprise many. It’s not the most action packed of all trailers, but it goes more along the lines of building character and outlining what could be a very interesting and engaging screenplay. Cavill looks the part indeed, and we’re given brief glimpses of Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Michael Shannon as the incomparable Zod! Check the fuck out!

 


#26 ‘Skyfall’ (2012)

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Cast:-

*Daniel Craig

*Judi Dench

*Javier Bardem

*Naomie Harris

*Ralph Fiennes

*Ben Whishaw

Director:- Sam Mendes

(Not much plot retread, only my thoughts)

Skyfall is undoubtedly one of the biggest revelations of the year for me. Ignoring the reviews and opinions of the many users on Twitter – I went into this with a horrible taste in my mouth left by the sleep-inducing entry that was Quantum Of Solace. And with expectations low, i was conpletely won over.

By almost literally going back to basics, and learning from convoluted mess made by the last few Bond films, Sam Mendes has effectively brought the elements of vintage James Bond – and seamlessly integrated them into the modern broken and fallable incarnation of the spy.

Sure, this film is ‘big’, but it’s only in small doses, and does more than compensate. The action is story driven, and actually plays out for audience and character reaction. Something sorely misused and underplayed during previous films (sorry, Brosnan). The direction of action is steady, crisp and not rushed (unlike others) – which makes the film all the more enjoyable and doesn’t affect the run time negatively.

Daniel Craig’s Bond is a lost soul more than ever but it’s this dark, deep-rooted pain that encapsulates him that makes him probably the most interesting and connective Bond that we have seen on screen. The suave, sexy, cool facade is all there, however Craig conveys the apparent tumultuous internal conflicts of 007 quite effortlessly. He is far more comfortable in the role.

At the films opening we are diverted away from the quote on quote – typical Bond opener. As a shadowed Craig walks through a dimly lit walkway, eventually meeting the camera with his trademark icy blue stare. It’s instantly memorable and a testament to the old adage ‘less is more’ – and indeed it is.

Though the story is generally reminiscent in some parts to ‘Goldeneye’, the exposition clearly takes the motives of the film’s principal villain, ‘Silva’ (Javier Bardem) to a sinisterly twisted level. Adopting a sadistic, perverted lust for revenge against former ally ‘M’ (Judi Dench). The character is also unquestionably a stark reminder of what James Bond himself could become if he continues down the path he treads. Conclusively, Skyfall is what I’d call Bond’s ‘crystal ball’ movie.

Saying that, however – the film is also 007’s story of resurrection and redemption – both literally and figuratively. All tying up at a showdown at Bond’s childhood home. Leading to an extremely familiar set up at the close of the film – a promising and exciting prospect. Coupled with a tag line of ‘James Bond Will Return’ – it gets you frenzied with anticipation.

Suitably polished off by the reintroduction of ‘Q’ – portrayed eloquently by Ben Whishaw and a particularly impressive turn of ‘will he, won’t he’ from Ralph Fiennes’ Gareth Mallory, chairman of the Intelligence & Security Committee and somewhat overseer of MI6. Fans of new and old will find something to sate their appetites.

Beyond that, there is so much to behold with Skyfall. I implore any film fan to give this a watch.

;

8/10


‘The Shining’ (1980) – Screening Reaction

“Are we there yet?”

So last week I was fortunate enough to get tickets to a special screening of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’. Here are my thoughts after my first rewatch since buying the DVD.

An undeniably perfect example of pure terror and the degeneration of the human psyche. Jack Nicholson carries the weight with conviction and ease. Littered with allusions and unanswered questions – it’s a testament to modern horror. It instills fear, it instills dread. With an absorbing, but blank setting that in itself becomes characterised through the unravelling of events – The Shining culminates in one of the most memorable climaxes I’ve witnessed in any movie. Giving audience perspectives of the 4 main characters without losing any sense of atmosphere or tension of whats to come. Simple, but effective editing and cinematography used intelligently.

Beautifully photographed and amazingly acted. A Kubrickian classic.

9/10


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