NonSuper Heroes

NonSuper Heroes

As my last post seemed to hint at, this blog post that follows the superhero trend was going to be about my favourite villains. However after what has happened in Brussels today; celebrating acts of terror, even if fictional, doesn’t feel right. Often we use films to escape from the horrific truth about life. That horrendous things aren’t contained to the big screen, but happen every single day. They often happen in areas of the world that our media doesn’t care about, because they don’t fit the narrative. Today however, as on November 13th it’s happened on our doorstep again. First and foremost I wish to send every positive thought I have towards the people of Belgium today. However I also want to say don’t allow this to warp your life view. Don’t become Katie Hopkins who demands we #StopIslam. Don’t be like Donald Trump, blaming the attacks on world leaders who allowed refugees in. Keep in mind, a lot of refugees are innocent Muslims who are fleeing the exact horrors we witnessed today. Also keep in mind the good in the world. The messages of love and support that are being spread across social media from people of every kind of background shows that this world isn’t full of villains, but in fact most people are inherently good. So in that vein I’ve changed this from a post that looks at the bad guys in my favourite films and also isn’t looking at the superheroes, with their money and powers. Instead I want to look at the fringe players in these epic tales. Regular human beings who are just inherently good. Taking on the world without the powers and money is much braver.

5. Lois Lane – Man of Steel

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Unlike anyone else on this list Lois Lane isn’t part of an army, or doesn’t wield a badge. She is just a journalist. I guess rather than bravery, due to her line of work, morbid curiosity would probably be a more accurate term. Still, chasing down someone she senses is a super-powered alien, then wanting to just sit and talk to them, that takes courage. Then let’s not forget getting on to Zod’s ship, and conspiring with the memory of another dead super-powered alien to take down a bunch more super-powered aliens. Basically Lois Lane is without a doubt one of the most stupid people on planet earth, but at the same time one of the bravest and badass people.

4. Agent Phil Coulson – The Avengers

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For Thor, staring down Loki took strength as he was his brother. For Tony Stark, it was bravado, he always knew he could whip his suit out if necessary. For Agent Coulson, a simple human being, to stand up to and take a pop at someone who is basically a god and low key (geddit) an ice giant could be seen as pure insanity. Rather than leaving it all to the big supercharged heroes surrounding him, he saw his chance and he took it. As Tony said “He was out of his league, he should have waited.” He knew The Avengers needed something that would rally them together. In sacrificing himself, he managed to do what Fury couldn’t and that was to get all of these gigantic egos to work together and without that, Loki would have won. He’d certainly be higher on this list if it wasn’t for the fact he had an entire army behind him. Makes him slightly above a normal human.

3. Peggy Carter – Captain America: The First Avenger

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Again someone else who had the Army behind her and also I’m kind of cheating a bit here. Most of her astonishing and brave accomplishments come in the TV series Agent Carter. However still in Captain America she runs head first in to battle without a small bit of hesitation and also supervises a bunch of young men in the army, punching one who tries to undermine her authority square in the chops. To be a woman in the army at this period of time, never mind one with her bravado and lack of thought for the rules takes bravery on it’s own. But to plan a secret mission involving a super solider and an eccentric billionaire genius, that could have easily lead to the end of her career took gumption. Like I said however, slight cheat here, the reason she beats Coulson is her almost single handed attack on Hydra in Agent Carter.

2. John Blake – The Dark Knight Rises

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I refuse to call him Robin, up until that little line at the end of the film he was John Blake and he was a cool, moral badass and that’s the character I’m talking about. First of all he gets a mention in here, because he’s the most intelligent person in Gotham. He manages to figure out Batman’s identity! I mean who’d have thought the man with a tank and helicopter would end up being the richest man in town! He is the man who wasn’t afraid to shout down the police commissioner, argue with Catwoman and just hands down take on an entire militia with nothing but his service handgun and a stupid amount of bravery. He is basically Bruce Wayne, but without the money and a fraction of the anger. Most of all however he was concerned with saving the orphans and the city that helped him when he was in need. In the end he had the bravery to drop the badge that has protected some of his more morally ambiguous decisions and go it alone. As he describes it, dropping the shackles that stopped Gordon and becoming the figure that gets their hands dirty.

1. Commissioner James Gordon – The Dark Knight Trilogy

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James Gordon has been one of the most common characters in Batman folklore and has always been a fan favourite. Arguably he has never been portrayed better than Gray Oldman in the Dark Knight trilogy. A figure who has set out to take on Gotham’s underbelly in all forms. This doesn’t just means trying to fight the mob bosses, the insane villains and the thousands of henchmen. It also means fighting his own. With a massively corrupt police force both underneath him and above him. Other than Alfred he could be the only person Batman trusts. He fakes his own death, shoulders the burden of the true story of Dent and attacks the mobs where it hurts them, their wallets. In this he arguably neglects his family a little bit, but surely it is worth it. Other than Batman, Gordon has done more for Gotham than anyone else and that is why he will forever be a fan favourite for time to come and I can’t wait to see how J.K Simmons handles the weight of the role.

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The Bad Good Guys

The Bad Good Guys

Just one week and a few hours until Batman kicks Superman’s kryptonian arse. Of course we all know they’ll end up the best of buds by the end of it, but still everyone wants to see Batman win this alleged greatest battle of all time. At the start of the week I wrote about my top five favourite superhero films. The more I think about it the more wrong it feels that I didn’t include Batman Returns. The reason I say returns is, because of how amazingly well Danny DeVito played The Penguin. Growing up watching the cartoons and reading the comics, The Penguin never captured me as a proper villain. Just some chancer gangster who was easily disposed of. DeVito took that thought and stamped all over it. He brought a chaos to the role that made him just as exciting Joker. He is what I would describe as a good bad guy. Someone who takes a bad guy and makes you love them. Molina as Doc Ock, Ledger as Joker and James Spader as Ultron. Then you have the other side of it. The bad good guys. Now I don’t want to blame this entirely on the actors involved here, although they shoulder some blame. I’m talking more about the films that drop a deuce on the heroes. This is the list of the five worst superhero movies, starting with the fifth worse, to the absolute worst and believe it or not, I’ve not included Daredevil!

5. Spider-Man 3

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I’ll start this off by saying I hate Tobey MaGuire. You rarely see an actor that you genuinely think is stealing a living, but he is one. Somehow he manages to be at his absolute worst in this movie. Emo Parker is pretty much all I have to say about this film to warrant it’s inclusion on this list, but I’ll say more. Any fan of the comics couldn’t wait to see Venom, he is one of the coolest comic book characters around. Then they cast the weird kid from That 70’s show and gave him one of the worst reveals of all time. Sandman is not a villain I was looking forward to seeing, but then he too managed to disappoint me. When you go in with very low expectations and somehow still manage to be pissed off then they’ve done a poor job. I never sensed any real chemistry beween Dunst and MaGuire in the first place, but by this film you have to question whether the actors even liked each other as people. Redeeming feature however. J.K. Simmons was born to be J Jonah Jameson.

4. Green Lantern

Green Lantern

This one often gets mentioned when people talk about terrible superhero films. Ryan Reynolds of course has played multiple comic book characters, finally getting it right with Deadpool this year. I basically tossed a coin over whether to slate his Wolverine Origins version of  Deadpool or his Green Lantern in this list. Wolverine would have finished a healthy number six on this list. Lantern wins out on being a loser however, because it has taken one of the most interesting superheroes, with some of the coolest powers and cheesed it up. They made the dialogue corny, toned down Reynolds trademark wit and charm and cast Blake Lively as the most two dimensional woman I’ve seen in a film for a long time. I mean this and The Town is all I’ve ever seen her in so I wont judge her as an actress, but this performance was dire. The effects where over the top and cheesy, having a CGI suit was just silly, but that could all be forgiven if it wasn’t so boring. Just pure unadulterated boredom.

3. Kick-Ass 2

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Kick-Ass was a funny and charming as well as having some cool and exciting fight scenes. This film was the complete opposite. It was crude, a little bit creepy and went for shock in the fights rather than creativity. Jim Carrey distanced himself as far away from this film as possible. Once this franchise lost Matthew Vaughn it was always going to struggle. What I didn’t expect was them to overly sexualize a teenage girl, to just go for out and out brutality and violence rather than clever exciting action scenes and also dumped most of what was funny, Kick-Ass and his friends interacting. Instead it made Kick-Ass a bit of a dickhead to his friends and family. I just felt uncomfortable for the whole film. I mean I’m not a prude and I don’t mind violence, but she was a teenager, it’s just sick. Violence can only be over the top when it’s done very well. Like Tarantino for example. Otherwise it’s just like the comedian who says something racist for the shock laugh.

2. Ghost Rider

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This could be the worst screenplay ever written. Corny line after line from the most uninspiring and ridiculous superhero to have ever existed. The special effects on his face just look ridiculous. Nicolas Cage is obviously either the best actor to have ever lived or the worst. We’ll never figure out which, but if you’d only seen this film you’d go for the worst. The sequel I’ve heard is worse, but I didn’t give it the time of day to find out so I have to go with Ghost Rider. Eva Mendes on the other hand is usually quite a solid actress. I’ve never been blown away by her, but fairly solid. In this she just pips Lively for personality in a photo finish. My brother once took quotes from this film and commented on a lot statuses on my Facebook account. All that says to me is this film popped in to his head for being the most ridiculous film he could think of. One thing I would say about it though is if you want to watch something ironically, you can’t really do better.

1. Batman and Robin

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This piece of shit. The film that almost killed superhero films. A massive critical and financial failure. I mean if you look at the cast of this film, plus it’s Batman. Everything about it should have worked. It took cheese to a whole new level, it took consumerism to a whole new level and it just wiped its arse with any decent Batman story in the past. The film consists entirely of puns, one liners and shameless plugs to merchandise. The way they depicted Batman himself makes it appear as if no one attached to the film had ever seen a single thing to do with Batman. Even Adam West and his TV series managed to more accurately reflect what the character is all about. Writing about why I hate these films has been easy up until this one. It is so fundamentally bad on every level and laughs in the face of something I have loved since being a child. It would enter my list of the top five film I hate of all time, never mind managing to top this Superhero list. Joel Schumacher apparently defends this film and took to the internet to argue his case. Now that is a real life super villain.

 

 

Batman V Superman V Captain America V…

Batman V Superman V Captain America V…

When the credits rolled on The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 I felt incredibly sad. Not just at the kind of lame ending, because I could forgive that as I really enjoyed the rest of the film. I felt sad, because we had waited eight years for a Batman film to come around after the misery of Batman & Robin. Nolan delivered across the board with a top quality trilogy from my favourite superhero and it was over. Would I have to wait another eight years to see Batman again? Of course that was stupid. Of course I wasn’t going to have to wait that long again, because of Nolan. Back when Burton tackled Batman superhero films were a novelty with a niche market. They were often camp, cheap and a lot of fun. Nolan made these films serious films, to be enjoyed by serious people. Oscars for superhero films didn’t seem that weird anymore. It was no longer geeky or weird and instead it became a major part of the mainstream to be a fan of these films. Since then we have seen an entire film and television universe created in front of our eyes over at Marvel and in doing that they have made an absolute killing at the box office and in merchandise. So it’s not surprising really that at midnight next Thursday I get to see Batman back in a film that is set to open up the DC universe in the same way. So I am not sad anymore. Far from it, between Star Wars and all these superhero movies I have become a fan of the blockbuster again. After years of Michael Bay movies and over the top disaster films I can actually enjoy going to the cinema outside of awards season again and I couldn’t be happier. I decided in celebration I am going to spend this week posting about superhero movies and the joy (and sometimes not so much joy) they have brought me. To start on a high note, this post right here is about my top five favourite superhero films of all time.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy

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As I said before, Superhero films became very serious really quick. We saw Tony Stark battling PTSD for example. This was good in a way, but for a while I felt like the fun was on it’s way out. Guardians for me stopped this from happening. Casting Chris Pratt of Parks & Rec fame as the lead man led to some seriously fantastic comedic moments. This film took a lot of people by surprise. How can people like a film where two of the main characters are a racoon and a tree? Turns out very easily and I personally stated that it was easily the most enjoyment I’d had in a cinema for a long time. That is one hundred percent the reason this film makes my top five. No pretentiousness surrounds this film, it exists so that children and adults alike  will leave with a grin on their face having had a seriously enjoyable time.

4. The Avengers

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I wasn’t sure whether to add this one at first, originally having wrote down Batman Returns. Then I had a think back to the day I went to see it. Then I had to include it and not even at the bottom of the list. It has its flaws, it’s all very grandiose and Loki, although brilliantly performed by Hiddleston, never felt that powerful to me. However the goosebumps I felt when seeing all of these characters, fighting together for the very first time overshadowed every single flaw to the point where they don’t matter. This film was a thing of dreams. Now with Civil War coming up and Batman V Superman it’s easy to forget how iconic this film was. To get all of these superheroes, with all of these actors and the budget for the effects required was just amazing and probably scared a lot of studio executives. If this film had been a flop, either critically or financially then it would never have been tried again. So thank you Whedon. You gave me Buffy and you’ve also given me this.

3. The Dark Knight

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I often say, the hero matters, but it’s the villain that makes it. So to have the best superhero (I’m not interested in any arguments against this, Batman is the best, just accept it) and the best villain on screen, being directed by one of the best directors around. It was really just a case of how, not if, good this film would be. Turns out absolutely amazing. Heath Ledger nailed The Joker better than anyone else ever has done in my opinion. I wasn’t a fan of Nicholson’s joker, believe it or not. It felt like they had to force some kind of motive behind his actions. That isn’t what the Joker is about for me. Every other bad guy has a reason. The Joker doesn’t need one. He is just an insane, disturbed individual who only exists, because The Batman exists and Ledger got that down perfectly. It is the greatest single performance to have ever happened in a superhero film and that is why The Dark Knight is in this list.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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This film was the biggest surprise I’ve ever had watching a superhero film. I never really liked Captain before, I didn’t dislike him, but I was never as excited by him as I was Iron Man or Batman. This film changed that. It didn’t just address Steve trying to adjust to his new life in the present day. It also looked at adjusting to new methods of war. With conspiracy, secrets and surveillance running alongside his battle with The Winter Soldier it felt more like a spy film with a super twist. It changed the landscape of the Marvel Universe and did so in a very entertaining fashion, with some of the cooler fighting scenes, involving The Captain’s shield being utilised in a very cool way. The brilliant chemistry between Evans and Johansson added another element as well. Probably the first depiction of two attractive people working together and it not becoming a romantic sideshow, but in fact just a great partnership between two powerful heroes. It’s always the film that comes to mind when I think of the one that gave the MCU a solid foundation to push off from and start exploring different genre conventions and interesting stories.

1. Watchmen

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Following Batman Begins and Dark Knight’s success, It’s no surprise that Hollywood execs started looking at what other dark comics could earn them some cash. They didn’t find that in Watchmen, with the film hardly breaking even. A lot of critics hated this film. A lot of fans of the graphic novel hated the film. Well now here I am an ameteur critic and a fan of the novel, putting it on top as my favourite Superhero film of all time. The film just blew my mind. The aesthetics of each scene was spectacular. Comic book films feel real now a days. They felt campy and faker than a comic in the past. This film has hit the middle ground that it looks and feels like a comic, but isn’t surreal at the same time. It’s as if this is just another universe that is running alongside ours and we’ve picked up a documentary that has fell through a wormhole. The score/soundtrack is one of the best from any film. The X-Men films have tried to address the whole, hero is a perspective thing, but still we consider Xavier the good guy and Magneto the baddie. This film we truly don’t have anyone who is all good and anyone who is all bad. Other than Dr Manhattan who is someone above us all observing humans, the heroes are just a lot of flawed humans who thought they were doing right and how they interact with each other. Which at the end of the day isn’t that all that any of us are.

Mothers in Cinema

Mothers in Cinema

Happy Mother’s day one and all. Whether you have a mother, are a mother or are missing your mother, today is a day to appreciate everything they have done for you and show it in any way you can. Clean the house, cook a meal, take a moment to remember them. Just whatever you can do to let them know you care, get off your arse and do it. A lot of people see this day as created by the same minds who formulated Valentine’s Day. Just invented to sell cards and that may well be true, but the idea behind the day is nice. In a hectic life it can be hard to let people know how you feel about them, so setting aside one day to make sure you do that is all well and good with me.

Now I’ve seen blog posts about good mums in cinema and bad mums in cinema today. I’m going a different way. I don’t know anything about parenting so I am not going to judge someone’s ability to parent even if they are a fictional character. Instead I want to look at some of the best performances by actresses when their main role in a film is someone’s mother. I guess it will become clearer what I mean when I have some examples. I have chosen five top performances from some amazing actresses and at the same time if you haven’t seen the films themselves then I fully recommend you go ahead and watch them all.

5. Molly Weasley – Julie Walters – Harry Potter Series

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Molly Weasley for me was the purest character in Harry Potter. Everyone had their motives for how they were with Harry. Dumbledore knew the prophecy and was helping it become fulfilled. Sirius was replacing James for Harry, he missed his friend. Snape was in love with Lily and was doing it all for her. I could go on, but the point is Molly Weasley gained nothing from her relationship with Harry. She already had children who she loved very much so she didn’t need a surrogate child. In fact it led to a lot of pain and suffering, but she didn’t care. She cared for Harry like she was her own just, because she loved him. Not to mention the cheesy sweaters and constant yelling (With Love) Julie Walters did a fantastic job at keeping this purity in my opinion. Particularly in her argument with Sirius about caring for Harry.  I think most people felt the same pang of emotions that Harry did.

“Not my daughter, you bitch!”

4. Sarah Connor – Linda Hamilton – The Terminator

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This is an interesting one. We never really see her do any parenting until the second film, but she is important mainly, because she is John Connor’s mother. Not in a sexist “women exist to give birth” kind of way though. Obviously that’s key to the whole thing, but mainly she actually created John Connor. He wouldn’t have become the leader of the resistance if it wasn’t for her. Sarah Connor was the hard as nails woman who really started the resistance. A bit of knowledge about the future is all she needed to become a gun toting badass who basically becomes the mother of the entire resistance. Arnie is the draw to this film, but Hamilton was the heart. Her chemistry with Michael Biehn in the first and then the tension with Arnie in the second make this film series very human for a franchise about robots.

“In the few hours we had together, we loved a lifetime’s worth”

3. Amber Waves – Julianne Moore – Boogie Nights

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Amber Waves has lost custody of her child. A life of sex, drugs and more drugs has led to her son being taken from her. This of course led to more sex, more drugs and also a very interesting thing happening. Working in porn and being in a relationship with the world’s most famous porn director meant she met a lot of young men and women just breaking in their industry. She sort of adopted them as her new children that she also slept with both on and off camera. She introduced them to drugs, taught them their trade and became their confidant about their thoughts and feelings. Julianne Moore is arguably one of the best actors on this planet at the moment and possibly of all time so it’s no surprise that she was amazing in this. She plays the disturbed and the vulnerable better than anyone and this is up with her best.

“Let me just check on something. This is a giant cock”

2. Mrs Robinson – Anne Bancroft – The Graduate

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The word cougar probably derives from Mrs Robinson. I have no proof of that obviously, but their have been no better depiction in cinema of an older woman seducing a young man. Stifler’s mum doesn’t come close to the sexuality that Anne Bancroft brought to this role. Mrs Robinson was a complex character brought to life by an actress who has appeared in some absolute classics, none of which can top this. When Benjamin starts to date her daughter is when we fully see that there is so much more to this sophisticated and sexual woman. She is also a spiteful and vindictive woman who doesn’t care for anyones happiness, but her own. Her husband, her daughter and Ben are just pawns in her game that she plays with great skill. We never fully understand why she does this or even discover her name. I guess the mystery is all a part of her attraction.

“Would you like me to seduce you?”

1. Olivia Evans – Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

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Patricia Arquette has been a fixture in film and cinema for years and a very well respected one at that. Which is odd that up until 2015 she had not one Oscar nomination. In fact she had a Razzie nomination for Little Nicky (working with Adam Sandler will do that to you). So when Boyhood came out and she won for best supporting actress it was about time. Kind of. Boyhood may have mainly depicted Mason growing up, but it wasn’t about her for me. She should have won leading role as it was all about her. We see her battle through a broken home, balancing school and family, domestic abuse, another arsehole husband and ulitmately dealing with her life as not being a mother anymore when her children fly the nest. Arquette is what you should think about today as she has perfectly depicted the sacrifice and struggle that your everyday mother goes through. The reason I have picked Olivia Evans as first is due to the fact that she’s not slaying robots or seducing young men. Arquette hasn’t just captured a mother on screen, but in fact all mothers and in that she wins by a landslide.

I knew this day was coming. I just… I didn’t know you were going to be so fucking happy to be leaving.”

Rebooting…

Rebooting…

Today the Ghostbusters trailer came out. No we’ve not gone back in time. This is the all female version, remade and repackaged for the 21st century. Now the first thing on my mind when I heard this was why? Not due to the fact it was women, in fact I absolutely love Kristen Wiig in almost everything she has done and although she has done some awful roles, Melissa McCarthy is one of the greatest improv actors since Bill Murray himself. Mainly I thought why, because the original holds up. Despite it’s shoddy effects, the comedy and the story still feels fresh. Then today the trailer dropped today and it looks like the film will be a lot of fun and it made me think yeah the old one is still awesome, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this new version as well.

However talking about the Ghostbusters isn’t why I’m writing today. It’s reboots in general I want to talk about. In winter we are treated to the films that have excelled at festivals, have been made by critically acclaimed directors and will be up for awards. In summer we generally see a huge line of people queuing up for the latest installment in a franchise, animated films from our favourite Pixar and our less favourite Dreamworks going toe to toe and more recently, reboots. If the internet has revealed one thing is that even people my age are nostalgic for some reason. The phrase “only 90s kids will remember lol” is scattered throughout Facebook daily. So the brilliant minds in Hollywood have decided to cash in on this, remaking superhero movies over and over again, getting Chris Pratt to train some raptors and now McCarthy and Wiig crossing streams.

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The world let out a huge sigh earlier this year when Marvel finally got the rights to stick Spiderman in to their films. My reaction was mixed, I’d just got over how bad Tobey Maguire was in such good films and how good Andrew Garfield was in such bad films. I also know how crucial the character is to the storylines coming up so I was looking forward to it (especially when I thought Donald Glover was going to get the role, but the less said about that the better). Everyone lost their shit when Ben Affleck was cast as another Batman, saying Bale has nailed it and Affleck killed Daredevil and the world was over. After Tim Burton shit all over the original Planet of the Apes people kicked off royally when Rise of was announced. I mean I can go on, but you get it. People hate the idea of reboots, but will be the first in line to see the latest regurgitation.

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In the end Rise of was actually a really good film, thus far news is how good a job Affleck has done. The jury is still out on Tom Holland of course and thats probably why people will always go. Jurassic World was a really enjoyable film, the reboot of Total Recall was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Dredd was awesome, it felt like a westernised The Raid, but it was still incredibly enjoyable. King Kong was panned in to oblivion (although I have a soft spot for it.) That is the interesting thing though these are all household names that people get up in arms about and then like every other film ever made it could go either way, despite your love for the original. People often forget about the more subtle reboots of films that the general public consider to be the only version now a days.

Scarface was not originally the horrific blood bath starring Pacino. It was in fact a Howard Hughes production in 1932. When you hear the name however all you can imagine is Pacino wielding a Tommy Gun. The Departed which finally won Scorsese the Oscar was actually a remake of the film Infernal Affairs from Hong Kong. People who don’t like foreign movies will only ever think of Matt Damon and Leo going toe to toe. (By the way I suggest you watch Infernal Affairs 1 and 2, both fantastic films). So when you hear the word reboot or remake don’t jump to the cliché anger or bewilderment. Don’t say “urgh, no one has any original ideas anymore, scoff.” When someone takes inspiration from something you love and wants to do something with it, odds are they love it too and possibly something beautiful can come out of it.

Hollywood. Panda’s. Superheroes

Hollywood. Panda’s. Superheroes

After the wasteland of February (apart from the brilliant Deadpool) I am hyped for March to say the least. Coupled with the fact I have just become an Odeon Limitless member. Here are a few of the films I can’t wait to see!

Hail Caesar! –  4th March

I am such a huge fan of the Coen Brothers and everything they direct is must see! I have not only seen all their films but I also own them all. I would easily put them in amongst the best filmmakers of all time. The film is a comedy set in 50’s Hollywood and is about the kidnapping of a famous movie star of the time. With a stellar cast list that only the Coen Brothers can draw in and their insanely brilliant body of work, I could make a case for this being one of my most anticipated films of the year, let alone the month!

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Kung Fu Panda 3 – 11th March

As with most film-lovers we all have films or a series of films we have a genuine soft spot for but can’t fathom why. Well this is one of mine. Since way back in 2008 when I saw the first Kung Fu Panda I have to admit I loved it. Jack Blacks performance as Po is brilliantly comic, witty and full of genuine heart. The films have truly gorgeous visuals, a great message and amazingly well done action set pieces! After loving the first two and seeing them numerous times I hope this one lives up to my expectations!

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Anomalisa – 11th March

Animated films are one my favourite mediums and I truly believe some of the best films of the past few years and throughout cinema are animated. My favourite film of last year was Inside Out and I have high hopes for this one too. Although not a Pixar creation, this animated film about a middle aged man exploring the mundanity of his life has had some of the best reviews of the year in America last year. Charlie Kaufman who wrote and directed the film is one of the best creative minds working in Hollywood today. His last work was the truly staggering screenplay for Her (highly recommend by both Paul and I) so his creative genius coupled with the endless possibilities of animation should make this film incredible!

10 Cloverfield Lane – 18th March

This film is one of my curveballs this month as up until recently I didn’t even know it was being made let alone released so quickly. From what I have gathered from the trailers it is a follow up to 2008’s Cloverfield which personally I like and think is underrated, but at the time had so much hype it was never going to live up to it. What makes me so fascinated to see this film is the fact that it has gone under the radar and has been marketed in the totally opposite way of its predecessor. It also stars John Goodman, how can you not get excited!

High Rise -18th March

Ben Wheatley is one of the most promising British directors of the past ten years. His films have been critically acclaimed whilst also stirring up much debate. Kill List (2011) is well worth checking out and is one of my favourite British films of the past five year. His latest High Rise stars Tom Hiddleston (who is AMAZING in BBC’S new drama The Night Manager. I urge you to check it out!) and is centred around the lives of people living in a tower block in London. The trailer makes the film look like its set in the near future or could be surrealist version of London. Like his previous films Wheatley likes to keep his cards close to his chest but as the “arty” pick of the month my money is on this one delivering.

Batman V Superman – 25th March

The most hyped film of the month for sure! Midnight tickets have been booked IMAX 70mm I personally cannot wait for this! It’s the FIRST meeting of BATMAN AND SUPERMAN ON THE BIG SCREEN……..EVER! Need I say more! The trailers have completely sold me on Ben Affleck as Batman who I hope knocks it out of the park! Zack Snyder directing his second DC Extended Universe film and our introduction to the Justice League. After this film drops the landscape of comic book movies in Hollywood will be changed forever! Let’s hope this one lives up to the hype.

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Oscar Predictions 2016

Oscar Predictions 2016

Only one day to go until the night now. In the spirit of competition Sam and I have wrote down our predictions for the winners of each category (apart from short film categories). On Monday I will calculate the score out of 21 and the winner will receive a shiny five pound note from the loser. I figure the best way to not allow any cheating is to stick our predictions up here for you all to see.

Best Picture

Sam – The Revenant

Paul – The Revenant

Best Director

Sam – Alejandro González Iñárritu

Paul – George Miller

Best Actor

Sam – Leonardo DiCaprio

Paul – Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Actress

Sam – Brie Larson

Paul – Bria Larson

Supporting Actor 

Sam – Sylvester Stallone

Paul – Tom Hardy

Supporting Actress

Sam – Jennifer Jason Leigh

Paul – Rooney Mara

Original Screenplay

Sam – Spotlight

Paul – Straight Outta Compton

Adapted Screenplay

Sam – The Big Short

Paul – The Big Short

Animated 

Sam – Inside Out

Paul – Inside Out

Foreign Language Film

Sam – Son of Saul

Paul – A War

Documentary

Sam – Amy

Paul – Amy

Original Score 

Sam – The Hateful Eight

Paul – The Hateful Eight

Original Song

Sam – “Writing’s on the Wall” – Sam Smith (Spectre)

Paul – “Writing’s on the Wall” – Sam Smith (Spectre)

Sound Editing

Sam – The Revenant

Paul – Mad Max

Sound Mixing

Sam – Mad Max

Paul – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Production Design 

Sam – Mad Max

Paul – The Martian

Cinematography 

Sam – The Revenant

Paul – The Revenant

Make-Up & Hairstyling

Sam – Mad Max

Paul – Mad Max

Costume Design

Sam – Mad Max

Paul – The Revenant

Editing 

Sam – Mad Max

Paul – Mad Max

Visual Effects

Sam – Star Wars : The Force Awakens

Paul – Mad Max