Film Season 2009 is here, part 3

Here we are approaching the end of this summery season of films, for those needing a recap part one highlighted the top films out each week in may and part two highlighted most of June and now we’ll round up with July.

19th June – Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen Film Poster

I was in awe of the first Transformers Movie, with 15 years of speculation I expected a lot and I wasn’t disappointed. (Although I apologise for the poor quality of that ‘review’ I had only just got back from the World Scout Jamboree, still neat little wallpaper by me). With any film great enough to warrant a sequel you don’t often get a better product hopefully at an epic 150 minutes long we’ll have a large quantity of quality to satisfy our appetite for a spectacular autonomous film.

26th June – Year one

Year One, Jack Black, Michael Cera, Film Poster

Hopefully the bullet dodged by Angels & Demons won’t ricochet and hit this gem. This film follows 2 Neanderthals as they search for purpose in their lives by travelling the world in biblical times. Hopefully something intend as a fun family film won’t be slated just because Moses

Harold Ramis and Judd Apatow (Freaks’n’Geeks,Knocked Up) should in theory make an excellent film, and with Jack Black dishing the jokes and Michael Cera lapping them up I can’t see why it won’t be great.

1st July – Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs Film Poster

There have been so many entertaining computer generated films I’d be hard pressed to rank my favourites, the Toy Story films would be at the top and probably a few others underneath them I’ve place the Ice Age films. I never felt they were entirely aimed at Kids unlike most other CG films although they all usually have some adult jokes thrown in I feel these were films for films sake rather than films for kids. Either way I’m going to enjoy watching Diego and Sid getting upto some new antics.

10th July – Bruno

Bruno Film Poster

Ali G didn’t help society in the nineties, most people thought what he was doing; mocking policemen, speaking incorrectly and sensationalizing drug abuse was ‘cool’ and those not already doing it copied him to also be ‘cool’. It’s surprising how many people today realise that he was actually mocking the type of people he was impersonating, those the slung their fingers around where all victims of one of the largest practical jokes of all time, which is hilarious to those that didn’t join in. Years later Borat was released and very few, if any epitomized his character, was it because his character was portrayed daft and they didn’t want to be thought of similarly or was it because kids of the same age got the joke? Either way Bruno has some interesting character exaggerations

15th July – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince Film Poster

I can’t remember when, where or with who I saw the first 4 Harry Potter films but I absolutely remember how I saw Order of the Phoenix. It was at a world Scout Jamboree Build weekend, I’d gone with a Go Jamboree crew to spend 6-8 hours putting up tents, I particularly remember the chain of people across a large field passing out poles for each tent…I digress. In the evening myself and about a dozen other people bundled into our cars and head to the nearest cinema still in Scouting (and Guiding) garb. It was interesting to see the rest of the audiences reactions. Now 2 years later I will be going away again with some of the same people and some new ones to work upon another campsite for far less grander reasons but for just as much fun. Then in the evening we’ll be going again. Hopefully I’ll get to do the same thing for the final two parts of Deathly Hallows aswell!

That just about rounds up all the summer films I’ve had my eye on since January, the dates have changed around a bit but they are mostly all there. I only really have my eye on one film before autumn and thats G-Force so for me this season of film is over. Certainly been fun through writing on a theme over several posts, I’m probably going to do this again which means I’m going to need a better system for linking post series, but that’s what all this site is about, trying new things!

All release dates are UK based, they may vary in your country.

Film Season 2009 is here, part 2

This is the second part of 3 of the incredibly long season of film 2009, you can catch the first part here. These are all good films but with the exception of Terminator if they came out the same week as any last month they would get top billing from me here. All this being said Universities and some schools are breaking up for bit so there should be more people available to go seem them. I guess we’ll see in the end of the summer film rankings.

29th May – UP

Up Pixar Film Poster

Unlike the other big family film this season (Coraline) there isn’t another big hitting film like Star Trek trumping its place in the charts. I hope children today appreciate how spoiled they are with regard to entertainment these days, when I was little film-makers dreamed of making a feature length stop motion or CGI production, nowadays its a common occurrence.

Up is the endearing tale about a Grandpa who wants to see the world and by using what he did for living as a balloon seller is able to attach enough balloons to his house and float away unwittingly taking a chubby 8 year old along for the ride!

Lefts hope the boys (and girls) at Pixar haven’t popped under the pressure of living up to there reputation.

5th June – Terminator: Salvation

Terminator Salvation Film Poster

In the beginning there was one Terminator, when preventing the first judgement day there were 2, when the second judgement day came there were 2 and their creator and now John Connor and the human race are up against an entire army of murderous machines.

I remember the first time I saw the 1984 original, sure the stop motion animation of the endoskeleton was a bit corny but the idea was a frightening one, hunted by a machine that would never sleep, would never rest and whose sole intention was to wipe you out for something you hadn’t done yet! T2: Judgement Day is the mother of all sequels, the bad guy was just as ruthless and still better than the protagonists protector.

Technology certainly improved, as already mentioned the first metal skeleton was stop motion models, in T2 there was some CGI but the T1000 death was still drawn frame by frame as computers couldn’t morph the liquid metal appearance. And when the Machines rose it was a combination of the two.

If you haven’t gotten what I’m hinting at yet then here it is, the Terminators films are great and have gotten better in terms of action, content and effects. I doubt T4 will be the one to break the mould.

12th June – The Hangover

The Hangover Film Poster

When “What happens in Vegas” and “Bachelor Party” are taken what are you going to call a film centred around the aftermath of a Stag-do in Las Vegas? Its another one of those post modern slap stick comedies for the audience of new dating relationships, the ones where you have compromise to a very mid-line film for fear of alienating the person you’ve recently charmed. Last weeks Terminator is too boyish and Up has a cinema filled with children so cuddling is a little in appropriate.

I would choose to watch it, I wouldn’t choose to pay ¬£6.80 to watch it at the cinema when a much much better film is coming out next week. I imagine it’ll be a very enjoyable film to watch, Bradley cooper has never disappointed and Heather Graham is very elegant with comedy. Guess we’ll have to wait and find out!

All release dates are UK based, they may vary in your country.

Film Review: Angels & Demons

Angels and Demons Half Angel, Half Demon Statue Wallpaper

Angels & Demons was regarded by the Vatican as harmless, unlike the Da Vinci Code which jabbed at the righteousness of the Church. What I do find shocking is that whilst Catholics, or generally those of the Christian persuasion get in an uproar about their religion being badmouthed Scientists haven’t been outraged (as far as I know) about the potential dangers of Antimatter and the Science Fiction surrounding its use for nefarious purposes in this film. If I were to play devils advocate I would say that maybe Science doesn’t need defending because its right and religion is just mumbo-jumbo but I know that to be mostly wrong, those with religion keep it very close to their heart and as such its easy to bruise both at the same time. Still, maybe if there wasn’t a kerfuffle at every little bruise then the world wouldn’t have seen so many wars and would be a happier place, I digress.

Summary: An ancient secret society called the Illuminati steals the antimatter created a CERN and hides it Vatican City. Its container will fail in 24 hours causing an enormous explosion, with the Pope having recently died, the four Preferiti missing and the papal conclave in progress with the highest order of Cardinals in attendance the entirety of the catholic church is in Danger. To track down the Illuminati Robert Langdon is summoned to follow the Path of Illumination to the societies secret meeting place hopefully where the bomb can be found and the antimatter contained.

I enjoyed the Da Vinci code for its fast paced adventure and the educational parts, which is why I didn’t enjoy Angels and Demons as much. Dan Brown’s (quoted below) thrillers are written to interest and entertain which is why I’m surprised the dynamic of the film changed so much. If they are going to make a third around 2012 I hope that as a compromise they render the plot somewhere between outrage and bland rather than toward the extremes where I feel they’ve played so far.

“My goal is always to make the character’s and plot be so engaging that readers don’t realize how much they are learning along the way.”

The writers and director most likely scaled back the religious intrigue and subsequently the characters. Watching Tom Hanks’ port ail of Robert Langdon I felt for the entire film that he was holding back for something, I continued to sit on the edge of my seat taking note of each Chekhov gun waiting for all or many of them to be explained beautifully with illustrations, alas it never happened. Coincidently I feel guilty for Ayelet Zurer whom didn’t have much dialogue to work with unlike Audrey Tautou’s Sophie Neveu whom Langdon conversed with often.

As a standalone movie I enjoyed watching this quest but when compared to the sight, sound and experience to the The Da Vinci Code (2006) I find it vanilla. Take the soundtrack for example, in the first film the sound rose from your toes all the way to your ears, especially the part called Chevaliers De Sangreal played whilst by the Tomb interred by a pope, whereas the soundtrack doesn’t enhance A&D it is a mellow accompaniment.

The small and medium visual and special effects where well concealed, but the larger stunts, particularly the ones to risky for a actor to perform where of a similar quality to the Matrix fight scenes from 10 years ago which were the peak of their time, surely they can be outdone now.

Perhaps this is a trend we can come to expect from sequels, Quantum of Solace was similarly inoffensive compared to Casino Royale but then again The Dark Knight surpassed Batman Begins greatly. Despite all this I recommend paying out to see this at the cinema but if you’re only going to see 3 movies I’ve see Star Trek, Transformers 2 and Harry Potter.

  • Picture: 9/10
  • Sound: 6/10
  • Effects: 8/10
  • Story: 7/10

Film Season 2009 is here, part 1

Film season is here! Yesterday the log awaiting visual spectacular Star Trek prequel film was released in the UK, also in this long series of expected blockbusters are X-men Origins: Wolverine, Robert Langston in Angels & Demons and Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. This is going to be the first in a summer of awesome films. Enjoy.

1st May – X-men Origins: Wolverine

X-men Orgins: Wolverine, Gambit, Sabertooth Film Poster

This was the first film this season, this film chronicles the life of Wolverine before the X-men film Trilogy. There are hundreds of comics detailing the life of Logan, and its not surprising considering he is over a hundred years old! You gotta love mutant powers!

8th May – Star Trek

Star Trek Ship Construction Motorbike Film Poster

The original series was set in 2266, 300 years after the first broadcast. This film is set 8 years before the original series in 2258 which would’ve made the original air date of December 2008 250 years before its setting. This is all a little confusing, the prequel is going to happen sooner than the original. Regardless the film has been aimed at wide audience, the trailer on the TV gets you thinking its a slick action film then right at the very end does it say “star trek”, its a cleaver marketing gimmick as I think a lot of people would immediately loose interest at a mere glimpse of the vessel itself. I hope its not going to suffer from what Simon Pegg said in ‘Spaced’: “That every odd numbered Star Trek Movie is crap”.

15th May – Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons Statue Film Poster

An adventure with Robert Langdon before the Da Vinci Code, this time hunting down the supposedly defunct Illuminati. Hopefully you should remember the Illuminati from the 2001 Tomb Raider film, they are a secret organisation intent on acquiring power whether it financial, spiritual or physical. They are used frequently in film in subtle and not so subtle ways Buffy the Vampire Slayer, From Hell, Eyes Wide Shut, National Treasure, Anatomie, The Ant Bully… The list goes on, keep an eye out for their symbol the pyramid with an eye on it.

Link to my film review of Angels and Demons

20th May – Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

Night At The Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian Film Poster

The first film was a great dive into what I imagined actually happened in museums when nobody was looking although as a child I didn’t dream up the conflicts that show showed I just imagine all the exhibits having fun. Hopefully this film will go in some new directions and be just as entertaining as the original and not suffer from ‘sequelitous’ as most part twos do.

Link to my film review of Night at the Museum 2

The 2009 Film Season and planned Productions

This list is by no means exhaustive, merely a collection of films I’ve heard about or have a particular interest in for either content, continually or composition. I probably won’t go to see all of them at the cinema but quite certainly I will the starred ones, as such I wouldn’t mind accompaniment so let me know about a week or so before.

Dated

Film Review: Transformers

My toys when I had a single digit age were Transformers, I saw the amazing animated movie at the cinema and even dressed up as Optimus Prime for a Halloween. As such in my teenage years I daydreamed what a live action film would be like, drawing on conclusions from what I’d seen in the cinema that week, be it The Matrix, or Episode 1. As years passed I grew more and more doubtful anyone from my generation would write a screenplay to get it directed and produced. Now its 2007 and my extremely high expectations have just about been reached.

Whilst I didn’t expect blocky robots with grotesque transformations I never imagined that the Autobots and Decepticons would be depicted so authentically. All the internal parts of the vehicle modes are visible in the humanoid form which is absolutely breathtaking, I don’t care how much it cost to render all the frames at 38 hours each it was worth every penny. However, now that the initial thrill is over I bet in the sequel (and there blatantly has to be one) there are more panels covering the mechanical organs, probably ret-con’d in as armour now that they are warring again.

Showed me something uncommon then, and a rarity now; for once the good guys didn’t always win outright at the conclusion of that weeks episode but they did eventually triumph in that particular story arch which meant that anything could happen and kept me guessing each week and inspiring me to work it out with my toys. With the eighties show being so iconic I assumed that the film might do the same, whilst the tale didn’t regale me as a beloved intrepid leader falling at the hands of the enemy the special effects did, something progressively harder in these insensitive times.

As for the toys, I owned Optimus Prime, both the original version and the Power Master version. I did not have Megatron, which is easily forgiveable because his alt mode was a pistol and given one of them to a kid is not something I would be entirely happy with today, toys guns should look like toys, plastic and brightly coloured. Maybe I’m being to PC but there are many parents not being protective enough out there and others being too much, if I fall into the ‘to much’ category on this issue so be it. Anyway, with the detail on the transformations being so high I’m interested to see how they engineer the newline of toys…

Hopefully you’ve kept reading to this point and as such I’ll not keep your attention much longer. This film whilst not entirely faithful to the animation that I loved so much is a fantastic watch. An entertaining story, great effects and superb performances.
Rating 96%

Wallpapers: Standard (4:3) and Widescreen (16:9)