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 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

Film Review: The Mummy 3 – Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Sequels are fantastic things because they offer something more about something you already like. However trying to use, or recreate the same ‘magic’ that made you like the original is trickier creating something widely liked from scratch.

The first Mummy film was fantastic. The Mummy Returns felt to me like another adventure in the series and was about as good as the first. This third film, whilst it was goods in it own right, does not do the other ones justice. I however would like a forth film, (the hot Coyote Ugly owner) Maria Bello, stated in an interview that “absolutely” another Mummy film will be made so I look forward to having 2 sets of Mummy films in my collection as that is really how I see them, 2 distinctly different series both of equal rating to the other.

Continue reading Film Review: The Mummy 3 – Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Film Review: Superman Returns – The IMAX Experience

On the doomed planet Krypton, a wise scientist placed his infant son into a spacecraft and launched him to Earth.

Raised by a kind farmer and his wife, the boy grew up to become our greatest protector… Superman.

But when astronomers discovered the distant remains of his home world, Superman Disappeared.

This was my second viewing of this slice of cinematic history, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the 3D effects though, either it was the glasses being bent out of shape, just plain ineffective or my position in the theatre but I really didn’t feel part of the film. Falling with the plane as Superman tries to correct it’s tail spin was completely wasted on me and it all as a bit of a blur.

Continue reading Film Review: Superman Returns – The IMAX Experience

Film Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Wowzers, good sequel. Its not quite what I expected through, I anticipated a movie that felt like the first half of an adventure not an enduring quest that draws out the action. What I mean is the punches felt spaced out rather than a rapid succession. The first film was and still is a swashbuckling adventure the second more of a journey across middle earth to save the entire world.

In most cases where sequels are desired but the companies funding them are unsure of their success endings aren’t left closed. The creators have always said they wanted to make more than one but obviously they didn’t thread the first stories into the sequels. This often leads to sequels having stories that are a little far fetched, they twist the facts to account for the past film and leave out others. Dead Man’s Chest marvellously takes off exactly where you would expect Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Ms. Swann to be after such an absence.

The entire film cried quality, I ask, if there were any special effects (besides the monsters) I couldn’t see them. The digital stunt doubles were seamless unless they got actual people to do the stunts in which case I’m insanely happy because you don’t get that enough these days. Sound was beautiful, I love a good score to a film especially when you get to hear it in full dolby surround sound!

Towards the end it seemed like they were trying to do too much, the 3 way sword fight for example. Not quite as entertaining as the sequence in the first film in the blacksmith forge, the snappy dialogue and movement around the environment, floor, press/furnace, rafters kept it interesting whereas going around and around on the watermill and standing in the middle of an expansive beach didn’t quite get my juices flowing. Admittedly the beach sequence was ‘dull’ to not distract from the ‘humour’ being spouted by Ms. Swann but it just wasn’t funny enough.

The ending was colossal, such a grandiose finale for Jack and a surprise I never saw coming. Certainly kept me interested in returning to see the 3rd instalment and hopefully not too long a wait a la Matrix Reloaded to Revolutions (6 months give or take) in comparison to the Lord of the Rings’ 12 months.

Rating: 88%