So we have reached the second half of the year and blockbuster season is in full swing, but we start with a comedy.

This Is The End 11/7/13

This Is The End

The film that was ironically the last film you could rent from Blockbuster before they closed, but a fitting send off, as it is pretty damn funny. Jay Baruchel comes to LA to visit Seth and gets dragged along to a party at Franco’s ridiculous house during which a new take on the end of the world happens, and for a change it goes for the religious one, but with ejaculation jokes. The film could have been a back slapping ego trip for the cast but they all play off the public image of themselves and in some cases destroy that image, especially Michael Cera. Have to say it was one of the funniest films I’ve seen this year, as a film fan I got a lot of the jokes they were making about each others careers, and look out for an hilarious cameo towards the end, this in a film full of famous faces.

Monsters University 3D 12/7/13

Monsters University

The first of what turned out to be a monster 3D double bill day for me. I have managed to see every Pixar film at the cinema since Toy Story, this year will be empty without one, and as ever the quality shines through. A prequel to Monsters Inc. which shows us how Mike and Sully became the best friends and ultimate scare team they would become.  Following the first film was gonna be a challenge and this one suffers a little because we know where they end up. It does play up the college frat culture we’ve seen in everything from Animal House to Old School, but with a monster edge. It was very enjoyable and did make me laugh quite a lot, shame the projectionist forgot to turn the lamp up a bit as it was a bit dark!

Pacific Rim 3D 12/7/13

pacific rim

The second of the monster bill, but with added giant robots. Guillermo Del Toro, after dropping out of The Hobbit, went back to the old school monster movies of his childhood and produced this massive movie. After a portal between worlds opens up at the bottom of the Pacific the human race finds themselves at the mercy of the Kaiju, giant monsters, and to fight back they create giant robots called the Jaegers, controlled by two pilots. That’s all you need to know about the plot, giant robots fighting giant monsters, and it’s that simplicity that made this great entertainment. The dialogue was a bit cheesy and Top Gunish but I went to this film to see the visuals and as always Del Toro provides. This film has some of the most breathtaking scenes of the year, a fight that takes place in Hong Kong in the rain is simply stunning, and the 3D added so much in terms of giving scale to the size of the protagonists. I have already watched this film a couple of times at home and it stills looks great on a tv.

The Worlds End 19/7/13

the worlds end

Right this is where I am going to lose a lot of people and probably get a lot of stick, but this film disappointed me a lot, and it left me cold, which surprised me a lot. I absolutely love Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, they are great, funny films that I have watched numerous times, so I was looking forward to the finale of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. It seems the problems started when I saw the trailer, something about it didn’t feel right, I don’t know what, but I even mentioned to a friend that it didn’t get me that excited. I put these fears to the back of  my mind and went to watch it, and when I came out a couple of hours later, as said earlier it had left me cold.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the film, it did make me laugh but I just couldn’t get past Simon Pegg’s character of Gary King, he is such a dick, and I know he’s supposed to be, but I just couldn’t understand why the other four would agree to get back with him on a pub crawl when they clearly don’t like him. I also had a problem with the end as well, but I won’t spoil it. I had a similar problem with Edgar Wright’s, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, but when I watched it a second time I thought it was genius, so I bought the Three Flavours boxset and gave World’s End a second chance, but it unfortunately didn’t make any difference. Maybe in a few years I’ll go back and try it again and like it, we’ll see.

The Wolverine 29/7/13

the wolverine

When I first saw Bryan Singer’s X-Men, the one stand out for me was Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, I didn’t know anything about the character, but he stole the film and as we now know, has been the catalyst for the whole franchise. So it was in 2009 that he got his first solo movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, now unlike a lot of people, I actually quite liked that film, it had it’s problems, but it was okay. When talk began a few years back of a second solo movie, a lot of the feedback was negative, but I was keen and when they started talking about a darker film I was especially interested. I hadn’t read the Wolverine comic book series this film is based on, I have since, but the idea of him amongst the Yakuza and ninjas sounded great. This film has surprised a lot of the nay sayers, as Logan heads off to Japan, called over by a man whose life he saved in WWII, but soon finds himself as a guardian. Taking Logan out of the X-men universe into his own story works really well, Jackman gets to show a lot more emotional range in the character as he tries to deal with not only protecting the daughter of his friend but also the death of the woman he loved, Jean Grey.  The action also doesn’t disappoint, though the cinema cut does lay off the blood we were hoping we would see more of in this harder take, though if you get the 3D blu ray it comes with a much longer and bloodier cut, which is actually better.  There is already talk of a third solo film, and if you stay past the credits you get a sneak at whats to come this summer in Days Of Future Past.

Elysium 16/9/13

elysium

Back in 2009, a small film came out, from a pretty unknown director and became my favourite of that year, the film was District 9 and it’s director was Neil Blomkamp.  He’s waited a few years to follow it up, but it was worth the wait. The film is set in a future where the world has succumbed to poverty and climate change, leaving a dry arid, polluted planet, but not for the rich. They have all moved to an orbiting space station called Elysium, where they have a privileged existence, and machines that can cure any illness. The design of the Elysium space station, has a bit of irony, in that it looks a lot like the Halo space station from the game of the same name, which Neil Blomkamp was going to direct the film version of, before it was scrapped and he instead made District 9.  Down in the slums of Earth the poor dream of getting to Elysium, and among them Matt Damon’s Max, but after an industrial accident leaves him with days to live, the need to get there becomes urgent, and into the hands of the criminal world. The film also stars Sharlto Copley, who came to fame in District 9 as Wickus, the prawn relocation officer, but this time he plays all round nasty piece of work Kruger, Jodie Foster’s operative on Earth doing all the dirty jobs for her.  On first viewing I enjoyed it but didn’t think it was anywhere near as good as District 9, the story didn’t seem to flow as nicely and was missing some of the charm of Wickus. On second viewing though it seems to a tight action thriller which rockets along at a good pace. On both viewings though the visuals are great, Blomkamp has a great way of making the unbelieveable seem very real, we don’t get the sleek Apple style technology of Oblivion but a dirty and damaged realistic style. I cannot wait to see where Blomkamp goes in the future as I think he is going to be huge.

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