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Happy New Year

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A Happy New Year to my couple of readers, and to start 2014 here’s a picture that was released near midnight from Marvel. It’s the first official photo of the cast of The Guardians Of The Galaxy, one of Marvels Phase 2 movies for this year, and one I am very excited to see.

 

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Opening Soon.

Hello interweb, well it’s been a while but I shall be putting a bit more effort into the site soon, so soon I shall put up a few reviews and a look back at the movie year of 2013, got a few films I want to catch before Christmas!

After last weeks little snaffo where i put up what I thought was the real trailer for the final installment of Harry Potter, and it turned out it was a fan made one. Well now we have the official trailer and I have to say, it looks amazing. I haven’t read the books so am looking forward to seeing how it ends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mObK5XD8udk&feature=player_embedded

Manners!!

I apologise at the start of this if it comes across as a bit ranty, but it’s something that really annoys me!  As I have mentioned on here before, during the early 90’s I was lucky enough to get a job working at my local cinema. Was the most enjoyable job I ever had, but didn’t pay well. It wasn’t just because I got to watch a lot of films, but i enjoyed the whole audience atmosphere. One of my audience highlights was standing at the back of a screen full with over 700 people watching Jurassic Park, and watching the whole screen jump out of their seats as the Velociraptor pops out of the pipes behind Ellie. It was great!  Back then you would have to watch the film all the way through and make sure the audience behaved themselves and didn’t ruin it for other people, which brings me to my rant. Where have the manners gone in the cinema?

  Even after I stopped working at the cinema I still visited it at least once a week, and there was nothing better for me than sitting and watching a new film. Then a few years ago something seemed to change. The audiences seemed to be getting noisier, and the bane of my life started to rear it’s ugly head, the mobile phone (cell phone for US readers!). At first it was the odd call ringing out, whilst watching Face/Off one patron thought it was alright to have a conversation whilst the film ran!  Then with the invention of the touch screen films, it is now light pollution. It’s been very rare for me to go to the cinema nowadays and not be distracted from the screen by these glowing lights. It has even caused me to be accused of being a paedo for asking someone to turn their phone off! Seriously!!  That incident whilst watching Toy Story 3 led me to write to the cinema manger about people using phones during the film, and what they were going to do about it! The reply from the cinema, nothing, zero, zilch!  I even contacted head office and was fobbed off. It is becoming clear that the cinemas don’t care. i suppose why should they, they still have people filling their screens, and buying their over-priced sweets.  I think one of the problems is the lack of staff in screen. When I worked at the cinema there was one person assigned to each screen so you could keep an eye on it and deal with problems. Now they have 2-3 people covering 7 screens! 

   On their Radio 5 show Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode brought out a list of cinema etiquette, which was brilliant, if a bit harsh on some things, only soft food! It’s a shame the cinema chains don’t join together and do something similar. In terms of phone use, a slightly funny advert from Orange telling people to turn their phones off doesn’t work. They should threaten people with expulsion and bans from future performances. I even suggested they could class phones as recording devices which are banned under copyright laws. Unfortunately nothing will happen until it starts hurting the chains pockets. With home cinema systems getting better, and dvd releases coming even sooner after cinema release it’s got to start affecting box office takings. I know I am not the only one getting fed up with having my cinema going experience ruined by the selfish few, but until there is a big change in the cinema chains attitude I for one will not be going as often as I used to. It has to be something special to get me into a cinema now, and with the fantastic format of Blu Ray I can get a better looking and sounding experience at home without the annoyance of others to ruin it!  We can now get 3D in the home which was the one thing the Cinema chains were hoping would bring people in rather than watch at home, yes they are expensive, but like most tech the prices will drop.

  There is also the piracy issue. Me personally, I would never and have never downloaded a film off the net. I love films and want them to make more, and by not putting money back in just seems wrong to me. Having sat through some noisy distruptive screenings I can see why some people download!

  For the cinemas, I think it’s time you pulled your head out the sand and looked at the future of your business, soon films will get day and day releases on home as well as the big screen and unless you start treating your customers properly, they will vote with their feet and stay at home.

  Films are the one thing in my life that have always brought me a lot of joy, but for me the Cinema experience is dying. RIP Cinema.

Rant over!

Reboot a-coming

If by some chance you have been checking on this blog for the last few years I will hopefully start writing some stuff again soon.

Iron Man

 As you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I LOVE comic book movies! As I don’t really read comics I wasn’t that aware of the story of Iron Man that much apart from he was a guy in a metal suit.  Know I feel I know him a lot better.

 Iron Man is a huge summer blockbuster but is also a huge gamble, not in that the film will be terrible but that it is Marvel comics first self funded movie. In the past they have lent the license out to other comapnies to make the film, but with this one they have gone it alone and put their own money into it and it shows. Marvel Studios have made some choices that most studios wouldn’t. Firstly the director, Jon Faverau. He is more well known as an actor appearing in Swingers with Vince Vaughn and then poping up in smaller roles in other films like Daredevil, as well as the ultimate fighting boyfriend of Monica in Friends. His directing duties have also been quite small, the biggest films being Elf and Zathura, nothing that would hint at a film of Iron Man’s size. The second risk is Robert Downey Jr. as a superhero, but like Michael Keaton with Batman it’s a surprise move that works.

   Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark a billionaire weapons manafacturer who is in Afghanistan showing off his new uber weapon, the Jericho. On his way back from the demonstration the convoy is ambushed by terrorists,  with everyone killed and Stark critically injured. Waking up in a cave he finds himself wired up to a car battery which is powering a magnet that is preventing shrapnel from entering his heart. He is ordered by the terrorists to build them a Jericho missle from the various assortment of his weapons they already own. With the help of a fellow captive he agrees but instead starts creating a metal suit to break out of the base. Nest thing you know he’s kicking terrorist butt and is left in the desert waiting to be rescued. Back in the US he decides to change things, no more weapons, and also to develop his suit idea. This change of direction isn’t welcomed by his company director Obidiah Stane, played by Jeff Bridges and his personal assistant Pepper Potts, (Gwyneth Paltrow) is worried he is losing his mind. After redesigning his chest magnet device he realises that this could produce a lot of power, enough to power a full flying suit. The designing of this suit produces some very funny slapstick sequences where everything seems to go wrong. It’s not long though before it starts to come together, and the classic Red and Gold suit is flying through the air.

  The casting of Downey Jr. is this films jewel, he was born to play this role of the cocky, playboy, billionaire who doesn’t really care what anyone thinks of him. In some ways he’s similar to Bruce Wayne but a lot more flashy.  His presence in the central role seems to have brought everyone together. As Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow is great bringing a real fun and sexiness to the role, and the chemistry between her and Stark really works as she obviously wants more than a working relationship.  Starks best friend is Jim Rhodes played by Terence Howard, who works for the military and provides another great funny sequence as he talks to Stark on the Phone! (In Comic book history he later become War Machine who works with Stark and there is a little nod towards that in this film!)  Jeff Bridges isn’t bad in the is he/isn’t he a villian role but doesn’t get a huge amount of screen time. As always there is the Stan Lee cameo and it’s pretty good one.

  Some of the reviews of the film have been a bit harsh so far, but I can’t see what they didn’t like. This is your typical summer blockbuster but rather than being all bangs and action this one has great characters and is very funny. It’s not very often I find myself laughing out loud at the cinema but this one did on nuemrous occasions. The action sequences don’t make up the whole film but the ones that are there are pretty good. It is obvious that this is just the Origin Story film and is setting it all up for the inevitable sequel and unlike some sequels I really can’t wait to see it. I hope that Marvel keeep all the crew together and like this first one let the director take chances, because with this film they really paid off.  This is hopefully the start of a great franchise! (Marvel Studios have announced that a sequel is being looked at for a same day release in 2010) Rating 8/10

This week, the kings of animation, Pixar held a press conference announcing their schedule of films up to 2012 with a few surprises. The first big surprise was that after Wall-E’s release all their films will be in 3D! Two of the biggies of these 3D films will be the re-releases of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, it will be great to see these on the big screen again, but especailly in 3D!

The big Pixar film for 2009 is called ‘Up’ and follows a 78 year old man who abandons his mudane life and sets off on an adventure with an 8 year old wilderness explorer. Sounds a bit different to their usual stuff, but it is Pixar so no need to worry. 2009 also sees the 3D re-release of Toy Story.

2010 will bring the film that everyone hoped for but always looked unlikely, Toy Story 3! This time the horrible day that they hoped would never happen has arrived and Andy has gone off to college and the Toys are out in the cold. I’m so glad that Pixar are doing this, as when Pixars deal with Disney was over the mouse house threatened to make their own third film as a direct to DVD sequel without the the same voices, which would have been terrible. 2010 will also see the 3D release of Toy Story 2.

2011, sees Pixar really spoiling us with two films. First up is ‘Newt’, which sees the last male and female newts of the species put together in a laboratory to hopefully mate and save the species. The problem is they can’t stand each other! It’s directed by the guy who made the ‘Lifted’ short you might have seen before Ratatouille.  The second offering is ‘The Bear And The Bow’, which sees a royal in a mythical Scotland decide to try being an Archer but ends up putting her father and mother in peril. Featuring the voices of Resse Witherspoon, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.

Finally 2012 see’s a real surprise sequel, ‘Cars 2’! Of all the Pixar films you would have expected a sequel I would have thought the Incredibles would have been obvious, not the film that was slated, though personally I really liked Cars, it looks fantastic on Blu Ray!  No news on the story or which characters are returning but it has apparently got a international feel.

 

The Force Returns!

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In a shock bit of news, though it has been rumoured for a few weeks, George Lucas has announced that there will be a new Star Wars film out in August. Before you wonder how they managed to make a new film without anyone noticing, well we did know but it was only going to be a tv show. Star Wars: The Clone Wars was going to be a CGI animated series following on from the hand drawn cartoon that came out a few years ago. It’s is set during the afformentioned Clone Wars and set between Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith. Now it seems that Lucas is so impressed they are going to release a feature length version followed by the TV series. The US release is on August 14th with no news on a UK release yet. If that wasn’t enough there is a live action Star Wars series in the making as well! Can’t imagine it will hurt Mr Lucas’s bank balance!

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As a child of the eighties the one toy I have fond memories off were my Transformers, I think I still have a few kicking around somewhere. Well it’s time to dig them out. The battle for next summers box office has already started, firstly with the Spidey 3 trailer earlier this month, now with have the first proper trailer for the Michael Bay directed, Spielberg produced Transformers movie. Unlike the first trailer which showed zero, this time we get to see the robots in their full glory, even a glimpse of Optimus Prime. Have to say they look great and a film that I wasn’t that excited about, has now got me looking forward to next summer, check it out at the following link.

http://uk.promotions.yahoo.com/transformers/

Hot Fuzz Trailer

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After bringing their excellent take on the zombie flick with Shaun Of The Dead, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are now tackling the cop movie, and here for your delictation is the new trailer for Hot Fuzz. Looks great.

http://www.workingtitlefilms.com/trailers/hotfuzz_trailer_xlarge.php