Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Avenger Trailer

So the big news of the week is a trailer that was released only a few hours ago. From the titled of this you'd have deduced that I am of course talking about The Avengers and so what do I think of it? Eh.

Let me give some background, I am a huge supporter for this film. I cannot freaking wait for it. Marvel is producing some of the best films at the moment so I have high hopes for this film. Here is my opinon on the five build up films they released. Iron Man: I'm one of the few people who enjoyed it but didn't love it. I though it felt slow and the final fight wasn't as entertaining as it should have been but utterly and absolutely adored Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. The Incredible Hulk was one of my favourite films of 2008 and is credited as the one that got me excited for The Avengers. Iron Man II was a much better improvement from Iron Man and was much more entertaining. Thor did its job but wasn't anything special and Captain America is my favourite out of the lot. Thats how I feel about the build up films. Now onto The Avengers trailer.

So the trailer starts out with a voice over from what I'm assuming is Loki saying "You were made to be ruled" followed by massive amounts of explosions and people running scared. We then see him in a new costume and looking much darker than he was at the end of Thor about to take down several guards in a strange looking room. The trailer then cuts to Nick Fury arriving at SHIELD and saying they need to get ready. Cut shot of all the heroes getting their costumes and having Nick explain that SHIELD has been preparing the heroes for a day when SHIELD couldn't do something. Then we start to get some banter between Captain America and Iron Man before we get some action cut scenes including a scene where it appears that Thor is going to turn on Captain America and the SHIELD headquaters is going to be infiltrated. Following this is a line from Stark saying "If we can't defend the earth, your doing to be damn sure we'll avenge it". It cuts to the title and then one last scene with Tony giving Banner some crap about him turning into an out of control beast before a three second shot of Banner actually doing so.

Read of that description of the trailer again and you will notice one thing. We still don't have a plot. I don't know what this movie is actually about. Now I'm not saying I wanted a full blown plot summation from this trailer but I would have liked at least an idea of what is going to happen in the film. This trailer doesn't really explain anything except that Loki may be the villain and that the team is going to get together but may have trouble working together. That isn't enough and I would have liked to know what Loki is doing that makes it urgent for SHIELD to get all the superheros together.

Another massive problem with the film I have is at the end I don't have that "I need to see this" emotion. I have this "cool, I might see that". Of course if you know me I'll be there first day, first session and probably first in line but that's not because of this trailer. This trailer doesn't bring the epic factor that it needed to have. It feels just like anyone superhero movie and not the event that it needs to be. No-one has ever tried this before and it comes across that the filmmakers are a little scared.

This isn't a terrible trailer but it isn't nessassrily one that screams must see. Its just very underwhelming. I'm still looking forward to this movie but now I'm a little cautious of it. Some of the humour and banter between Captain America and Iron Man felt forced as does much of Fury's dialouge.

So have you seen the new Avengers trailer? If so what did you think of it? If you haven't I've left the link below check it out then come back and let me know. Til next time I'm the Mad Movie Man and I'll see you at the cinema


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

October Movie Preview

So I missed out on my September preview because by the time I wrote the thing it was already nearly two weeks into the month and I'd seen some of the films I'd talked about (One Day) and they just weren't as good as I hoped they would be. Though never fear because here is my preview of the redeming month of October. The one that basically apologises for putting us through the horror that was September. Also because of the loose nature of Australian release dates, these could change very easily (like Green Lantern did).

October 6

Footloose. A remake of the 1984 classic that made Kevin Bacon a star, this actually looks like it could be a good film. I'm saying could very loosely because there are elements that show it could be a cliched and boring film with horrible acting but there are also some moments that look like it could be a really fun and enjoyable film. I'm not sure about this but I'm looking forward to it. It could be a fun time at the movies and a good bit of escapism.

Real Steel or as it should be called, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. This looks like it could be fun or really cliched. The plot has been seen before and done to death but you never know. The key to this film will be the fighting scenes. If they are done well and there are plenty of them then the film will work. If the fighting is rarely seen and it instead focuses on the relationship of the boy and father then its not going to do as well because the trailer shows that this kid can't act. Who knows, I'm hoping it's good considering the trailers have been teasing us since last year.

October 13

The Thing. A prequel to a clut-classic remake. This doesn't look good at all, the acting is wooden and the plot device about who can you trust and who can't you has been done to death. If this film has any chance at being good it needs to brign some type of twist to it. It can't be the obvious person like love interest or something. The film will play up that it's one person and then the twist will reveal it to be another. The key to make this film work is make that other person someone completely unexpected. Personally I would love it if it turns out she's actually the thing and she's just been playing everyone but I highly doubt they will take that route. My guess is that it will be the Joel Edgerton character but hey I could be wrong.

The Three Musketeers. Oh lord help me. This looks laughable its so bad. I mean what do these actors thing they are doing? This is a post-modern steampunk version of the novel and it is an insult for them to promote this as an adaptation of said novel. Paul W.S Anderson has yet to direct a truely great action film, his best being Death Race (no I don't like Resident Evil) which was barely passable. This simply looks like a film appealing to thirteen year olds except thirteen year olds aren't going to want to see this because of the period piece setting. Maybe it'll surprise me but I don't think it will.

What's Your Number. You know what, I actually think this could be funny, it won't be original or classic by any standards but I think we're looking at another Friends with Benefits, a fun, light hearted romantic comedy. Yes it looks predictable as all hell and you can tell from the trailer who she will end up with but I really like Anna Farris and Chris Evans and I think they could pull this off. Hopefully this is enjoyable and funny.

October 20

Contagion. Finally, the first time on this list that is already out in the States. I'm looking forward to his but reviews have said that while its premise is terrifying and the film is scary, over-crowding characters and plot threads hurt the film.

Paranormal Activity 3. Ok so I've never seen a Paranormal Activity movie, but before this film comes out I'm having a marathon and getting scared, hopefully. I can't really talk about what's going on mostly because I don't get it, but I know the film is a pequel to the first two, apparently they keep going backwards so chronology so maybe it'll be good.

October 27

The big week, the one I'm looking forward to the most and here is why.

Drive. This looks as thought it's going to be the serious version of The Transporter. A film about a getaway driver and the implications that can have on him when something goes wrong. My only hope is that this doesn't follow the cliched love interest storyline. It can be a part of the film but I hope they don't make it the focus, well only if it's told in an interesting and original way. Some reviews have compared this to Pulp Fiction and if that's the case then this could be a very great film.

Shark Night 3D. Yes I know I said before that I was looking forward to this weekend but there is always the exception that proves the rule and this is that one. This looks bad, really bad. I know why it was made because Piranha 3D made a fortune so this is just jumping on that band wagon but the reason Piranha made so much money was because it was; R rated, stupid, gory and filled with sex. Shark Night is M and doesn't have any of the features that apparently (I haven't seen Piranha 3D) fun. This film will bomb because it won't have the same enjoyment factor that it wants to have.

In Time. I'm on the fence with this one. On one hand I love the idea and the premise and I really think that this could be a great original sci-fi film. My fear is that it will take the cliche route and become just another typical action film. The trailer makes it seem like it is and I'm really worried that it's going to follow the same storyline as The Island. Go watch The Island and then watch this trailer and you will see the similarities in the story structure. Hopefully I'm wrong and this film is completely original and becomes a huge hit. Here's hoping.

Warrior. Oh my god I cannot wait for this film. The trailer first came out towards the end of last year and ever since I have been excited. Yes it looks like it could be cliched but I don't care it looks like it could be an awesome film. I love how the trailers have made it look as though you could pick either side, you could go for either brother. The only problem I can think this film will have is going to be the ending. If they do follow this idea where you can pick either side then the ending of who wins the fight could be done badly. Hopefully it's done well and I'm still extremely excited for this film.

So that's October, hopefully we have a much better month than September (despite it having two films that should be on my top ten of the year list). This looks like it could be filled with some great movies and hopefully they don't disappoint. I'm the Mad Movie Man and I'll see you at the cinema.

Monday, 5 September 2011

A Little Bit about Me...The Worst and Best of Me

So at the insitance of some of my readers, I have been asked to share my own personal movie experiences, like what movies inspire me, what movies changed or challenged me and what movies just really pissed me off. Word of warning, this is a LONG post, I just love movies that much.

Ok so I don't really have like a Top 10 Worst Films of all time list because I don't really remember the bad films I see. If I did make a list right now it would mostly be of films made in the last two years and that's not really an accurate representation of the films I don't like, so I never really bothered trying to think of one or do one. That being said I do have a few films that I absolutely hate.

Lets begins at the bottom of the barrel with last year's Worst Picture "winnner" The Last Airbender. I remember going to see this film with a bunch of friends who absolutely adored the TV series. Personally, I'd never actually seen the series and this film didn't do it any favours. I can distintly remeber that this film had the magical ability to make all four of us, at the same time scream "oh fuck" within the first 30 seconds of the film. I can't find the scene on the internet (ok I looked for thirty seconds, sue me) but it's simply a text scroll. Yes, a black and white (I think it was black and white) text scroll with a voice over. It was here that we all knew this film was going to be horrible when the lead female character (don't know her name, can't be fucked looking it up) said the word "Arvatar". No that's not a type, she literally added an R into the word. At this point one of my friends turned to me, pointed at me and loudy said "fuck you Jacob, fuck you" (They wanted to see Easy A, but I just got out of that film and didn't particularly feel like seeing it again). Nothing in this film works, even if you are a fan of the show. The action is horribly shot and there isn't enough of it to be an action film, the acting is some of the worst I've ever seen and the script, oh my god, the script. That's the worst part! It's so badly written that it makes Avatar (the blue people one) look like a freaking masterpiece of originality. Everything about this film is so poorly put together and it would be safe to assume that directer M. Night Shamylan just used the brand name of the show to make a $200 million film. What's worse is that it worked. Please god I hope there isn't a sequel.

Next on my most hated films list is the worst film I have seen this year (So far...but if anything can beat it then I'm scared). Yes those of you who know me I am of course talking about Your Highness.
I feel as though I put this film on prematurely, mostly because well I haven't seen all of it. I actually walked out of the session because 1. I was bored and had better things to do with my time ans 2. because I was the only one in the theatre and it felt weird. I generally try and see film opening day, if not at least opening weekend and sure enough I did that for this film too and I saw a prime time session too. That doesn't really inspire much confidence in a film when during opening weekend the film ended up playing for literally no-one but I degress. My hatred for this film doesn't come because I was offended or anything (Films don't offend me ever), it because of how pathetically stupid the film is. In my original review I claimed it to be the worst film I have ever seen. Since then I have retracted that statement because I've realised that this film really isn't anything in the grand scheme of things. I went into it expecting it to be bad because the trailers never made it look good and I really, really hate Danny McBride as a comdian. He can do drama pretty good (see Up in the Air for proof) but his humour is so strange that it never works. The jokes me makes would appeal to twelve year olds and children, expect they are so ranchy and inapproprate that twelve year olds would either not get the joke or wouldn't be allowed to see it because the films he's in are R (Australia's version of MA 15+).

I hate this freaking movie, it just annoys me but its not the worst film I've ever seen. For that to happen, I've got to at least expect something good, and by god did I have it coming...

Its June 23rd, I can still remember the day I saw it. A thursday at 2:30PM. I may even still have the ticket. My hopes were beyond high, I was completely in love with the first film and the trailers made this one look absolutely amazing. My friend and I had just received some horrible news and figured that seeing this would restore our hopes...how wrong we were. I am of course talking about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I hate this movie, I can still remember in my original review I wrote so long ago, that I wrote in the hate about fifteen times. I've since lost that review but I can still remember the feeling of anger I had while writing it, I've never had that same anger towards a movie since. This movie still annoys me to this day and everytime someone brings it up I will nearly always argue about it. I hate it that much. The fun that was the first film was now gone into the strangeness that is Revenge of the Fallen. I've never been able to explain in detail why I hate this movie so much because there is simply far too much too hate. This film has nothing going for it, it's boring, the script is horrific but worst of all is the fucking run time! 2 hours and 30 minutes!!!! Forget the god awful humor, that's my biggest problem with the film. It's just boring. These two videos from The Distressed Watcher sum up my feelings towards Revenge of the Fallen so perfectly. I can't link them into the actual video because its not apart of YouTube (oh Google how I hate you some days) but I'll just give you the two links.

Transformers Review Pt. 1

Transformers Review Pt. 2

I'd show you the trailer, but that just makes the blow and awfulness that is this film worse, because the trailer looks fucking awesome. I just hoped the third one would be better and thank god it was (but it's not hard to beat the fucking piece of the shit film that was Revenge of the Fallen). You know the movie is shit when even the directer comes out and admits that it was shit. So that's my most hated film of all time, is it the worst I've ever seen? Probably not, but it is the one that I hate the most and that makes it the worst film I've ever seen.

So that's the films that I hate but I you know, I don't actually enjoy talking about horrible films, so to counter the three films that I just talked about lets talk about the ten films that I completely and utterly love with all my heart.

Ok, I actually have a top twenty list, but that's just going to make this post far too long, so instead I'll just give you the outside ten as a quick list.

20. The Usual Suspects (best ending to a film EVER)
19. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original one not the shitty Tim Burton one)
18. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
17. Sweeney Todd
16. The Truman Show
15. The Princess Bride
14. Star Wars
13. Up In The Air
12. How To Train Your Dragon
11. Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Number ten is my favourite of the Pixar films and I know its cliched and overused but I've got to go with Toy Story. I remember watching this as a child and how much I loved it. While I don't have the same admiration for it as I did when I was say eight or nine, I still love it for its nostalgia factor. If I was to have a current personal favourite of the Pixar films it would probably Up but I feel like I should only have one Pixar film on this list and Toy Story is the first film that I can remember absolutely loving.

This next film may actually shock a few people, not because its not the list but because of how "low" it is. Number nine is Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. This film shows how great a Batman film can be made. The tragicness of the character is really played up and the emotional impact of what it means to be Batman is the centre point of this film. The questions of moralistic control is front and centre of the film and it really plays out like a greek tragedy. Not to mention an unbelievable amazing performance from Heath Ledger and The Joker makes this one of my favourite films.

Number eight on my all time favourites list is easily the best of the Disney films, Beauty and the Beast. Words cannot describe my affection for this film. I love absolutely everything about it; the music, the characters, the story, everything. My favourite song would either be "Be Our Guest" or "Beauty and the Beast". Normally I only ever recommend watching the theatrical version of any film but with this one if you have the extended edition it's actually pretty good, the only thing adding being a really good song. What more can I say I love this movie; its fun, entertaining but most of all it's something special.

Number seven is easily my favourite Jim Carrey movie and no it's not one of his comedies. It's a little film that was made in 2003 with Kate Winslet that begs the question; If you could erase your ex from your mind, would you? Yes I am talking about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Ok the film is much deeper than that questioning relationships and science and going much deeper into the emotion of relationships and how we as people deal with heartbreak. In a sense the film takes place backwards but within a forward momentum. Jim Carrey plays Joel Barish who has found out that his girlfriend Clem (Kate Winslet) has gotten her memory erased of him and their entire relationship. In a fit of distress he get the same thing and begins to live his relationship backwards, starting with the moment and reason for his break-up and ending with meeting her...all before losing complete memory her. I think this works really well because it reflects what most people are like when it comes to heartbreak. They rush out and get rid of everything that reminds them of the person and hate them completely because they can only remember the ending of the relationship, they don't see the full relationship. There are some problems with the film like the side story involving the people doing the memory wipe but not enough to ruin the film. I love this movie it deserves a spot as one of my favourite films of all time.

Now we're getting into the good stuff, the films that have really had an impact on me and changed my outlook on the idea of film. The strange thing in saying that is that number six is actually a really recent film. The best film of last year it's David Fincher's The Social Network. People often say that talking is boring and it can ruin a film. That's true for an action film (unless your name is Quentin Tarantino) but for something like The Social Network the dialogue that makes the film. Based on the wonderful novel The Accidental Billionaires, The Social Network essentially tells the story of the creation of Facebook but that doesn't mean you have to be on or like Facebook to enjoy the film. On paper it sounds boring and in the hands of someone else it very well could have been but Aaron Sorkin finds a way to make the film a tragedy. The tragedy of the film is that for a website about connecting people together it cost a friendship and the film shows that extremely well. The highlight of the film for me is Andrew Garfield, who I believe is the heart of the film. He plays his character with such distinction and compassion that it's impossible not to feel for him later on in the film. That being said, Jessie Eisenberg is wonder at portraying the film version of Mark Zuckerberg. I say film version because this is not the real Mark obviously, it's a dramatisation of the character to help tell a better story. Everything about this film is very well done to the point of near perfection. I remember coming home from seeing it and not being able to write a review for it because I was so taken back by it. I loved it all. Even now after more viewings than I personally care to admit it still feels fresh and original, something that I can't say for most films.

Moving along and into the top five with American Beauty. I've never really understood why I love this movie so much, because I can't re-watch it over and over again. It's not one that can be played continuously and have that same impact every time. This is a subtle movie, on that requires complete attention to what his happening on the screen and what is going through the minds of these characters. The character of Lester Burnham is brought to life wonderfully by Kevin Spacey and he really is the heart of the film. In the wrong hands Lester could be see as extremely unlikeable (I mean his goal in the film is to have sex with his daughter's bestfriend) but because Spacey plays with with such empathy the audience see everyside of him and understand all aspects of his life. The films central theme of beauty and it is within everything is one that hits home while watching it and stays with you long after the end credits. The emotional scene when Ricky opens up to Jane about the most beautiful thing he's ever films is incredibly moving and extremely well acted. There is so much more I can say about this film and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys good storytelling with wonderful acting.

When asked what I think is the greatest film ever made my answer is often The Shawshank Redemption. Now to anyone whose seen the movie, its easy to understand why but to those who haven't it's a film that really requires you to sit down and actually watch. This isn't my favourite film of all time but it is the greatest one I have ever seen. While watching it you are completely engrossed in the film and whenever I see it on TV or something I'm hooked and can't take my eyes off the screen. I love this movie beyond all belief because everyone in the film brings their A game and tells the story nearly perfectly. Scratch that, it is perfect. For me this is the perfect film because its accessable to everyone, there isnt a soul in the world who would not enjoy this movie (ok maybe one or two who only want sex and action). The greatest film I've ever seen and it would have been the reason I'm so passionate about movies...if I hadn't seen another film before it which is to come....

Ok now we're getting into the top three and these three films don't really represent great films in the original sense but are more personal films that I hold dear to my heart. At one point in my life all three of these have been number one, and they all have the ablility to swap around but I've had this order for awhile and for me it works. So what happens when a pumpkin grows tired of Halloween and instead tries to takeover Christmas? We get an insight into one of the greatest things to ever come out of the mind of Tim Burton with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Surprisingly I actually discovered this film late in my life, I never heard or watched it as a kid and by the time I did hear about it I was in that stage where you simply don't care about kids movies anymore. I remember my friend egging me on to watch it and when she told me that it was an animated-musical my feelings didn't change at all. It even sat on my desk for nearly three months before I actually watched it by god was I an idiot. How could I possibly have doubted this film? From the opening monolouge to the closing frame of Jack and Sally I was completely hooked to the film. I loved this film so much I wouldn't give it back to my friend until I had my own copy, which I did about a week later. Today the film still holds up and the success of the film is the musical aspect. The first three songs are that good you become completely hooked while watching that you don't want to turn it off. I cannot give enough credit to this film, it's the reason I become so in love with animated films again and I will always love this film from the bottom of my heart.

Second is probably the film that is going to annoy a lot of people who are reading this because it's not very liked among people. Despite having a 88% approval rating on RottenTomatoes and being nominated for two Golden Globes, people generally have a great displeasure for this film. There is even a ten page recap that I read about it once that is dedicating to bashing it. I am of course talking about Mark Webb's directional debut (500) Days of Summer. I remember seeing this film at the theatres with one of my friends and just completely loving it because of how much I could relate to the film. I had been Tom and I had had I reckon 70% of the conversations that are in the film with my friends. Tom is perhaps the most relatable character in recent film history because generally everyone has been in one of those relationships. The one where you are completely in love with the other person who only sees you as a friend. When watching the film you completely understand where Tom is coming from, his motivations and his reasonings because you've had those reasonings before. I love a scene late in the film where Tom is on a blind date and he's talking about Summer and the girl asks "well did she break your heart or did you?" and you relate because you ask yourself the same questions. I will admit that there are faults with the film but they come simply out of people who can't relate to Tom. If you can't relate to Tom, you will not enjoy this film because its his story. I think this is an amazing and wonderful film that while not for everyone is certainly a film for people who've ever had their heart broken.

And here we are, my number one film. It's been quite a journey and I'll admit that this film will never change as my number one film because its the film that changed me. It's the one that showed me that film can be taken seriously and can tell thought provoking stories with actual acting. At the time I saw this film, my favourite film of all time was the last one I saw at the theatres. Yes I was one of those people at some stage in my life and the film that changed it, the one that got me into watching film and falling in love with was of course Good Will Hunting. When I watched this for the first time it was about 11PM at night on a Friday night and being my usual bored fourteen year old self I was flicking through the channels trying to find something. Then I saw it, a Robin Williams and Matt Damon movie. Now at fourteen I knew Robin Williams was hilarious and Matt Damon was in great action films. I honestly thought this would be some action-comedy. I'll admit the first time I watched it I didn't really care for it. I went to bed at 1AM thinking about how boring that movie was but slowly it came to the forefront of my mind. I would be in Bockbuster and walk past it and smile every time. The shitty action films that I used to love so much were now not as good. The comedies that I loved weren't funny at all anymore because I could see through them. It was weird. I watched Good Will and ever since I've just loved it. To this day I've never been able to explain what it is about this film that is so good, what about it makes me happy and why it changed my worldview on film. I mean it's not like Citizen Kane or The Godfather, films that changed movies and honestly it's not that great of a film but for some reason whenever I watch it I just walk away happy. I want to do better and try better. I'll never explain the absolute and deadset reason as to why I love this film so much and that could be one of the reasons why I love it so much; I can't explain why.

So that's my movie life in a nut shell. What movies I love and what movies I hate. I warned you this would be a long post but now you know a little more about the reasonings behind why I am the movie nut I am. I'm the Mad Movie Man and I'll see you at the theatre

Friday, 26 August 2011

Summer Season Recap

Ok I know the title of this post is a little strange considering we're about to leave winter not summer but any movie fan will know that the American summer season "offically" finished when Conan and Spy Kids 4 bombed last week. So lets have a look back before I give my top five summer films.

Overall the summer season was much better than last year and generally held a decent amount of films that were good, ranging from some very good ones to one of the worst films I've seen in many years.

Coming in at number five for the WORST film of the Summer Season is...

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. Ok you all this was coming and this is mostly because of how long the film is. I read a review a few months after the film came out that I think sums up my feelings perfectly. See this movie, just come an hour and a half late so you can see the extremely impressive Chicago set piece. The last hour of this film is visually amazing which is the only recommendation I can give the film

Number four of the WORST films of the Summer Season is...

Green Lantern. For what was meant to be the Ryan Rynolds summer, it really hasn't panned out to well for him with This barely making $200 million worldwide (much lower than it's budget) and The Change-Up opening fourth before dropping down to tenth. Green Lantern has the problem of not knowing what it wants to be. The opening makes it seems as though it wants to be an epic superhero film in vein of Spider-Man or Superman the problem is the script which is mostly lame jokes that don't work. Ryan gives a decent enough performance and there are a few laughs but it never builds up to what it could have been. This is one film that a sequel or remake is needed because its more of a missed oppurunity rather than a bad film.

Number three of the WORST film of the Summer Season is...

The Hangover Part II. I loved the original The Hangover; it was funny, shocking and an overall fun time. The only problem I had with it was it does't really have repeat value. I didn't enjoy it the second time as much as I did the first and by the time I'd seen it four or five times I was really over it and ended up not enjoying it at all (my friend were in love with this movie and always forced me to watch it). So when the film's sequel is basically a remake of the original with many of the same jokes, I don't have fun at all. Another one of my problems and it was  the same one I had with Due Date is that Zach Galifianakis is given the same joke over and over and you just get sick of it. He is a very talented comedian but unfortunately he keeps using the "child in a grown man's body" joke and I'm over it.

Number two of the WORST films of the Summer Season is...

Cowboys & Aliens. Again this is a missed opportunity. This could have been a really fun and exciting adventure and one that I was actually looking forward to. The problem it has is that it's not engaging at all. The action in the film is the biggest let down, everything is just really badly shot with uncoherient editing that your not pulled into the screen and you don't engage with what is happening. It's boring. Also the story is a huge problem in that I didn't care for any of the characters at all. Olvia Wilde's character is so pointless and unnessassary that everytime she's on screen I zoned out. Then again I zoned out for most of the film. Like I said, it's just boring.

and the worst film of the Summer is...

Your Highness. Ok I know, I'm cheating with this one a little but technically it didn't come in Australia until May which is when I saw it so it counts. To quote the Joker "Where do we being?" This film is just so horrendously bad that there isn't anything to really say without me sounding like I'm going on a rant. If there was ever a movie to show that the actor or actress is simply doing it for a paycheck, this was it. I mean what were James Franco and Natalie Portman thinking? They just came off of two Oscar nominated performances (with one even winning the bloody award). Sorry I'm starting to rant, this movie just annoyed me because it shows everything I hate about bad films. It doesn't know who it's target audience is. The script is filled with f words and things that get the film an MA rating (R if your American) but then the humor is so childish that its target audience couldn't get in to even see the movie. I'm going to stop now before I do sound like I'm going on a rant. My original review is here which sums up how I feel about the film. The only redeming factor is that it bombed and didn't make back it's budget.

Ok so that's the shit that came out this season, let's talk about the good stuff because surprising enough I actually go to the movies to see good films.

Number five of the BEST films of the Summer Season is...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. I know shocking right? Actually probably not but what may surprise some is how low it is on this list. I'm putting it at fifth (despite beinging a huge Harry Potter fan) because it is the second part of a larger film and so despite it being a great way to finish the Harry Potter series, the other four films on this list all stand alone as their own films which Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 can't really do. Anyway enough of me justifying its so low on my list and lets move on.

Number Four of the BEST films of the Summer Season is...

Source Code. What I loved about this film was that it was able to tell its story in such a fast-paced manner and didn't take away from the film. Too often films are slow to begin with and then really fasten the pace up towards the end and it feels disjointed. Source Code didn't and it really shows by how well the film comes across. The action is really well shot and edited, the acting supurb, the story while not overly orignal works really well and the script is really well written. This is a near perfect film. Yes there are some issues with it like plots holes and the film taking a bit of every other film of this genre but hey you forgive it for this while watching it because its fun and that's what I love about it. It's a cross between Inception, Groundhog Day and a touch of Deja Vu that makes Source Code an engaging and thrilling ride.

Ok these next three are in an order because they have to be I mean any one of them could be number one it just depends on when you ask me. Right now however is this list.

So Number Three of the BEST films of the Summer Season is...

Captain America: The First Avenger. I went into this movie a little cautious. I'd heard reviews from all over the place with some calling it cliched and corny while one calling a near perfect film so I was a little concerned. Thank god my worries were put to rest because I loved every second of this film and the reason is because director Joe Johnson understands how corny the character of Captain America is and he tries to make it realistic. The way they handle him becoming Captian America so is well done that spoiling it would be a crime. Chris Evans drops his usual cocky and sarcastic attitude to play Steve Rogers and does so with such conviction that it believable that this guy would go all over America just to get into the army. All he wants to do is fight for his country. That being said the highlight of the film of course is Hugo Weaving as Red Skull. What is it about villains that makes films so good? Captain America is lifted on the strength of it's villain, which was another problem I had with Green Lantern whose villain was annoying. What more can I say other than Captain America is a great time at the movies and one of the best films of the Summer.

Coming in at second of the BEST films of the Summer Season is...

Ceaser...i mean Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Ok yes I have talked about this film to death and it probably surprises a few of you that it's not number one but I fucking loved this movie and its all because of this guy here.

Andy Serkis. He made this movie. This is Ceaser's film from the moment we are introduced to him and I'm glad that the film didn't try to take it away. I've talked to death about this performance in another of my blogs so I'm not going to talk about it here. What also makes the film great, because you know one amazing performance doesn't movie, is the story and how it's told. Many people didn't believe that this film would work because humans have guns and there is no way apes could rise up and kill everyone. Yeah, watch the film and you'll see how they can do it. (hint; 28 Days Later...just saying). Is there anything else I really need to say about this film that I haven't already said? If you haven't seen it, go now, just go see it. You will not regret it.

And the BEST film of the Summer Season is...

X-Men: First Class. Honesly this is probably the best film of the year (yes more than Adjustment Bureau which I freaking loved). It had everything I wanted in an X-Men film and is by far the best one of the lot. I freaking loved this movie, from start to finish every second and every moment of the film was amazing. Michael Fassbender needs some type of award for this film, James McAvoy needs something too, everyone does. I'll be very surprised if they do but they really deserve it. There is something special about this film and yes I know there are a lot of continuity problems but to be honest who cares, the third and fourth X-Men films don't exist anyway. The thing that really impresses me about this film is how it was done with absolutely no time at all. This is one of those few time where lighting just strikes and something magical comes out afterwards. If you are on the fence about seeing this one go see it, I cannot recommend it enough. It is the best film of the Summer and if something if something comes out that is better than it I'm really looking forward to seeing that.

So that my list of the Summer Season, sorry for it being so long. So comment below and let me know some of your favourites. My "Fall" preview post will be up shortly and til then I'm the Mad Movie Man.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Drama Winning Box-Office?

Hello dear readers and welcome to another exciting entry into the wonderful world that had become the mind of The Mad Movie Man. Today my thoughts are turning towards something I'm actually quite happy about surprising enough, yes there are good things we can talk about when it comes to the world of film. Following last weeks box-office results (August 19 - 21) in which The Help beat out the four new releases that were opening and won with an impressive twenty million dollars, it has gotten me thinking; are audiences starting to actually spend there money on good films in the cinema?

Ok I know that statement is rather cynical of me but what I mean by that is simple. Since Jaws, which is considered to be the film that started the now common blockbuster, studios have pumped out blockbuster after blockbuster films in an attempt to win audiences over with their special effects and impressive visuals (hense why Transformers 2 was one of the highest-grossing films of 2009). I know I'm not really breaking any new ground by saying this but what is interesting is that before Jaws, the highest grossing film of all time was actually a drama film called The Godfather and before that was Gone With The Wind. Yes, for many years dramas were the films that won the box-office and captured everyones heart and now I'm beginning the think that maybe this momentium is coming back with The Help winning the box-office this weekend.

Before you say anything like it's only been a week or anything I know and I'm not judging this based solely on The Help. No I've had this thought for awhile and it started earlier this year when I learnt what the thirteenth highest-grossing film of 2010 was...The King's Speech. That's right, a drama that cost shit all to make ended up grossing over four-hundred million dollars. Of course the questions that follows that statement is why and the answer is simple; story. The King's Speech had an absolutely amazing story behind it and the film was simply a good time which made people want to go see it. Another piece of evidence which shows you that people may be starting to accept drama and go see them in the threatres is the film that ended up seventeenth last year; Black Swan.

Most movie fans would know of the troubled shoot this film had because of how low the bugject was, Natalie Portman reportedly had no trailer for most of the shooting because the cost of it was used to hire a first aid officer. Yet the film ended up grossing over three-hundred and twenty million dollars. Yet films like Green Lantern or Conan the Barbarian are given a ridiculous amount of money and they have been both claimed and the greatest bombs of 2011, these and Cowboys and Aliens.

I don't mean to sound like I'm beating a dead horse but this comes back to the old cliche of "good story, good film" and I think people are starting to accept that most Hollywood blockbuster's that come out recently have been quite awful and therefore are more willing to see these independent and cultural films because they aren't satisfied with the stuff they are getting. Granted everything I've been saying can be undone by easily mentioning that The Smurfs has been in the top five every week since the day it opened but hey, every film deserves a chance.

So am I jumping the gun and looking to much into it or do you believe that audiences have begun to accept that a good story usually means good film? Comment below let me know. As always, I'm the Mad Movie Man and I'll see you and the cinema

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Motion Capture and The Oscars

So today I'm going to do something a little different. I'm going to bitch abotu a film I actually loved. Ok well not really bitch about the film, but what is going to happen now because of this film. Yes I am of course talking about Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the first film I have seen this year that I honestly think, in a world of ten nominations, has a shot at being nominated for The Academy Award for Best Picture (The Tree of Life you can go to hell). Now while I do have some personal problems with the film (seriously I'm still not over that ending scene, god it pissed me off), I did completely love the film and as I said in my review, it was all because of the performance by Andy Serkis.

For those of you who do not know Andy Serkis played Ceaser, the genius ape who begins the revolution against humanity and is the cause of the entire film. When the film was said to be in production, everyone I'm pretty sure believed it to be a bad idea. When the first trailer came out and it showed all the signs of being a cliched disaster movie, my expections were dropped further. Then of course I see the film and I'll be the first to admit the cliches are present, but you know what as an audience member you don't care. Also the idea of making apes you know actual apes and not human in make up like every other Planet of the Apes film was a great idea and is the only reason this film works. The foundation of the film is Andy Serkis performance, it's the best performance I've seen all year and if there is a better one then I'm excited because this one is some tough stuff to beat, but with that comes the question of how much is Andy Serkis and how much is CG.

The role of Ceaser was created using the same techology used for Gollum and King Kong (both played by Serkis, the motion capture king), but that shows that it's a computer based performance. Now don't take me into thinking that I'm against Andy Serkis, I believe that it was 100% him all along and he deserves full credit for the role, but I don't vote on the Academy Awards and therefore will not be able to nominate him for the Oscar which he completely deserves. Yes I'm already, in August of 2011, five months before the nominations come out, talking about Andy Serkis being snubbed for Best Actor at next years Oscars. This is one of the greatest performances I have ever seen, I'll say it's better than Gollum (there I said it, happy?), it could even rival Colin Firth's performance last year from The Kings Speech, and I am not the only one who agrees on this. So why won't the Academy regonise it next year and give him the Golden Statue? Because it was a computer based performance and the Academy are elder snobs who don't like new techology. That's why The Social Network lost to The King's Speech last year, because The Social Network promoted an interest website, something the Academy is too old to use.

So why am I writing this? Well mostly because I couldn't think of anything else to write and I am already two days behind (sorry guys but don't worry I have a massive article about the films that inspired and changed me coming soon) but also because I believe that The Academy should start to regonise these types of performances. Serkis should have been nominated years ago for Gollum but for him to not be regonised this year for Ceaser would be a travisty, even if it is an honorary Oscar. He deserves it. I'm the Mad Movie Man and I'll see you at the cinema.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer Breakdown

Ok I mentioned in my previous blog that I am actually looking forward to the new Spider-Man film and since then a trailer has been released of what the overall feel of the film will be. The trailer itself has sparked a little debate on the ending but I'll get into that later. Now I'm just going to talk about what I think of the tone and hints at what the story is going to be.

So the trailer starts out with Peter (we don't know it's him but its fairly safe to assume) being told by his dad that they have to go away for awhile and it feels as though this could be an espionage movie and a lot of people have said this is stupid and blah blah blah. Guys, this is keeping with the original comics. In the comics, Peter's parents worked for S.H.I.E.L.D, yeah S.H.I.E.L.D you know those guys from the last four Marvel Studio films. The ones that keep setting up The Avengers? Those guys. Which leads to tell us that (once legal right and what not get out of the way, Spider-Man is owned by Sony not Marvel Studios) Spider-Man could end up being in The Avengers sequel. I know I'm reading into this way too much but I love that opening and the implications that it could set up...and that's just the first thirty seconds we got a whole other two minutes to deal with.

So after that we see young Peter grow up into Andrew Garfield. Those of you who know me will know that I absolutely love Andrew Garfield and the fact that he was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor last year is something I will never really understand. I say this because I believe that he will be a great Peter Parker.

So we get another 30 seconds establishing that Peter is a bit of an outcast and strange kid. Keeping with the comic-book lore, it seems like Gwen and Peter are close friends and also that her father George has angst with Peter. There is then a lot of quick flashes and cuts that build that Peter is a little geeky and it all builds up to the moment that we've been waiting for...the scene when Peter gets bitten. I'll admit this look pretty weird and I'm interested to see why he's in that room let alone what that room actually is. Remember this is only a trailer so you can forgive it for not giving us all this information. I will also say that I love the opening score. It works really well for the trailer, not sure if it will for the film but in this trailer it works great.

From here we get the montage of Peter discovering his powers and its all building up to the final climatic scene, with voice-overs from I'm guessing Rhys as Dr. Conners/The Lizard. The line "Are you ready to play God" makes me believe this. I hope the film do The Lizard justice and really play up the tragicness of the character. In the comics, Lizard is more of a Jekyll and Hyde character where he'll change into the Lizard at unexpected moments before changing back to Conners and trying to live a normal life. I hope they do this, because Lizard is a great tragic villain and those who know me know how much I love tragic villains.

We then get a first shot of the back of the Spidy Suit and I know a lot of people have a problem with it but, I kinda like it. It's not as campy or well made as in the first three Spider-Man's and this works because it looks like something a teenager would make, not something a costume department with an unlimited budget could do. I really like this...if the trailer cut there it could be a near perfect trailer, but no it doesn't. Instead we get one of the strangest sequences I have ever seen.

I am hoping, really hoping that this sequence is a trailer only one. Yes I have seen it in 3D and it doesn't work as well. The shot where he looks down at the streets below looks pretty cool but it still looked pretty cool in 2D but I'm not here to rant about how ineffective 3D is. My problem with this ending is not that it's in first person. I like that it's in first person, I think for the most part it works and we can somewhat feel the thrill that Spider-Man has when he's running. I love that, I think its great. What I don't like about this sequence is the effect. That's what they look like, effects. They don't feel real...it's really weird. I know everyone has made this comparison but its true, it does look like Mirror's Edge but I digress. Let's move on to the last line.

"We all have secrets, the one's we keep and the one's that are kept from us" I'm sorry but what the fuck does that mean? This line does not feel like it should be in a Spider-Man movie. It seems like that line is meant to represent what the plot might be like, I don't know all I know is that I hate it. It doesn't work and I hope that the film actually works on it because while I may hate it I can't deny that it's left me intrigued.

Yes I'm really excited for The Amazing Spider-Man and yes I think it's going to be extremely good. I'm hoping that it really is good just to shut all the haters up. Those who believe it's been too soon since the last one for a reboot, it's been 5 years, that's still pretty long for a film franchise especially for Spider-Man.

So that's my take on The Amazing Spider-Man, comment below and let me know you're thoughts. I'm the Mad Movie Man and I'll see you at the cinema