Before Snow White

Fairytale characters have never looked so lovely. Following on from 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, there’s just a whole bunch of gorgeousness coming our way with The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Not only do we get the return of Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth (he really should try and copyright that half-turn to camera, “wet” hair look – he’d make a bloody fortune!) and Charlize Theron (nice to see her hair grew back after all those Mad Max antics), we also get the equally beautific Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain (who’s probably had enough of the sci-fi thing for a while).

Here’s a trailer just to prove how eye-wateringly good looking they all are:

As if that weren’t enough, here’s some character posters to gaze upon:

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is released today, April 4th.

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

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A Ghostbusters remake? With women?!?

Goodness gracious me. You’d have thought some kind of atrocity had been committed! To think that a studio has the gall the remake a classic!?! And not only that, but to recast the principles with an all-women line-up!?! That’s it! My childhood has been destroyed!

What. Utter. Tosh!!!

1984 was a water-shed year for my 14-year-old self when it came to cinema-going and Ghostbusters was right up there. Do I feel like my childhood has been defiled? Of course not! If you’re one of those people who do, you really do need to get out more. There’s a whole world out there don’t you know?

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Paul Feig is a good film maker. Bridesmaids, Heat, Spy, they’re all fun films and he clearly likes working with Melissa McCarthy, who I like very much. Along with Kristen Wiig and Chris Hemsworth, there’s a lot going right for this remake in the casting department. It’s also got a few returning actors in the shape of Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Sigourney Weaver as well as Annie Potts and Enrie Hudson, so it’s ticking a fair few boxes as far as I’m concerned. So let’s just wait until it’s actually been released before we make a judgement, shall we?

Now, I’m not one to trumpet announcement trailers. You know? The little “clips” telling us when the actual trailer is going to be released, but the thing about this one is the 5 note refrain at the end of the piece. It made it worth the watch! Take a gander…

So there you have it. We’re going to have to wait until next month to get a good look at how this particular production is shaping up. But with a 15th July 2016 release date, not too long after that to form an actual opinion.

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

In the Heart of the Sea – Enthralling

I’m not sure what the Empire reviewer was watching as he/she only gave it 2 stars, but I thought Chris Hemsworth’s latest offering was a good watch. Perhaps I was more interested in the story of The Essex than most of the press that have derided this piece of Hollywood storytelling.

Ron Howard is a solid filmmaker and with a cast that includes Ben Wishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker, In the Heart of the Sea delivered for me. Oh and by the way, this is far, far better than the travesty that is Black Hat, so thank you Mssrs. Hemsworth and Howard!

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

One Word Review recap – February 2015

In case you’ve missed any, here’s a list of the films I reviewed in February. If you click on any of the titles, it’ll take you straight to that particular review.

Big Hero 6 poster v01

Big Hero 6Touching

Interview poster

The InterviewPuerile

Jupiter Ascending poster v01

Jupiter AscendingBoring

Focus poster v01

FocusTransparent

Shaun the Sheep poster v01

Shaun the SheepAppealing

Cake poster v01

CakeWorthy

Blackhat poster

blackhatTripe

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

blackhat – Tripe

blackhat banner

I was looking forward to seeing Michael Mann‘s latest offering, blackhat, thinking to myself, “here’s a director who knows what he’s doing“. The relatively poor critical reception wasn’t something that overly bothered me; I was hopeful. What I’d forgotten to remind myself was the misstep that was Miami Vice, “conveniently” forgotten in favour of such cinematic fayre as Heat and Collateral and Ali. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Blackhat poster

Like that carb-eriffic overdose that sits heavily in the digestive tract or the “full fry” that happily clogs up the arteries, blackhat fed my cinematic malaise, constipating my creative juices to a point where writing was never an option. Drastic action was required – blackhat had pulled my cinematic heart out of my chest and stomped all over it for 133 minutes. I needed to watch a couple of films to restore my faith in filmmaking; an effort to expel the “blackhat experience” from my system. That plus a day spent with my lovely wife and an evening watching my (English) football team play some fantastic football. I’m back on point people!

bh Hemsworth and Davis

Chris Hemsworth & Viola Davis. He must be good, he’s working on four screens at once!

It didn’t start that well. The first scene involving the “higher-ups” in Chinese law-enforcement was an odd affair. I like films that use the native language of whichever country is being depicted, with the appropriate use of subtitles. It tells us the filmmakers are aware that the audience is intelligent enough to read them. But when said scene appears very poorly dubbed you’ve got to wonder what’s going on. I spent more time looking at the out-of-synch lips than reading the subtitles! Very off-putting. So I put that to one side for a moment, thinking that one early “error” does not condemn a whole film. It didn’t get any better. Here’s the highlights.

  • The acting is entirely wooden and wholly unconvincing.
  • The overall story and its telling is dull, with clunky exposition.
  • I felt the referencing to 9/11 with one particular character was odd and at one point the use of symbolism within this framework was totally out of kilter.
  • Michael Mann’s attempt to replicate Heat‘s street-bound gunfight falls completely flat. I wonder if that’s down to him or whether the writer threw it in as an homage to said film in the hope Mr. Mann would eventually direct his script.
  • Are we really expected to believe that one of the world’s foremost hackers is also eye-wateringly good-looking and an utter beast in hand-to-hand combat?
  • Viola Davis seems to be wearing cinema’s most unconvincing wig.
  • Holt McCallany (yes that guy from Blue Bloods) appears to mumble his lines in the vain hope that nobody will recognise him.
bh Hemsworth Wei and McCallany

If I hide in the background and keep my mouth shut maybe no-one will see me.

I’d say to check your brain in at the door before watching blackhat, but in all fairness whether you do or you don’t, nothing will really help. blackhat is neither worth your time or your money.

As for the films that reawakened my belief in cinema? Here are my One Word Reviews for them, just in case you’re interested.

End of Watch poster

End of WatchMesmerizing

Way Way Back poster

The Way Way BackDelightful

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

A Little Extra Christmas Present!

Firstly, I hope you and yours are enjoying this festive season. It’s just after 0900 here in the UK, the bird is in the oven and veggies are being prepared. The presents are, as yet, untouched and the general mood is one of contentment, tempering the inevitable excitement of wondering what lies under the festive tree.

I was indulging in a quick surf of the Wobbly Wide Web and came across this simply stellar piece of cinematic promotional art; so I felt I needed to share. It’s for the forthcoming In the Heart of the Sea starring none other than the eye-wateringly gorgeous Chris Hemsworth. So without further prevarication here it is, together with the latest trailer, released a few days ago. I’m on board and I hope you are too. Enjoy.

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Happy Christmas and thank you for reading πŸ™‚

“We’re back, we’re bad…” blah, blah, blah

Lazy

Apathy is a dirty word, but one that I’m familiar with. You just have to look at the time it’s taken me to update this Blog to understand my ongoing battle with the “A”-word! So, firstly an apology to my hardened followers for this inexcusable lack of cinematic updates… I’m sorry. Looking back at what I’ve missed in the intervening months I have to be honest and say “not too much”! Although the obvious omission would be Gravity. It’s not that I haven’t seen anything though. Let’s start with…

SEPT. 2013

After Elysium I went to see Riddick and perhaps that’s where it all started. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far better than the second installment of the current trilogy, but quite frankly is a retread of the original. Worth a watch but nothing more. Didn’t get round to seeing Rush and I blame Riddick for that – the rot had started to set in! Nor did I catch White House Down and I did want to see that one. I do enjoy a bit of Roland Emmerich carnage. I did however see the other one on Sky TV. Now for all the cack most people think Gerard Butler has been in, Olympus Has Fallen isn’t one of them. A highly entertaining and hugely violent piece of nonsense; pretty much what I was/ am expecting from White House Down. We’ll have to wait and see. Wild horses couldn’t drag me to see Diana, so you can thank your lucky stars you weren’t subjected to any kind of diatribe regarding that release! R.I.P.D. looked interesting but seemed to be a bit of a misstep for Mssrs. Bridges and Reynolds, so once again I won’t lose much sleep about not seeing that one. Huge Action in Prisoners and the Affleck/ Timberlake two-hander Runner Runner didn’t float my boat either and so on we go to…

OCT. 2013

We have to get to 18th October before there’s a decent film to see this month! Prior to that, Filth, Machete Kills, The Fifth Estate or V/H/S/2 weren’t really floating my boat. It was worth waiting for though. Captain Phillips was a triumph and I’d be very surprised if Mr. Hanks doesn’t receive another Oscar nom for his troubles. The Stallone/ Schwazenegger vehicle Escape Plan escaped my attentions as did Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Ender’s Game. We’ve got to wait until the end of the month to get our latest fix of the Marvel Universe in the form of Thor: The Dark World and we’re clearly doing away with those stupid number things and being all colonated with our future releases…so there!! That being said, Thor 2 (see what I did there?) was very good and yes Chris Hemsworth is still total eye-candy! That leaves us with…

NOV. 2013

Missed Philomena, and out of all the films I haven’t seen between the end of August and now, that’s the one I’m sorry I didn’t catch. Having not seen it, I’ll still stick my neck out and say that Judi Dench should get a nod from Oscar for her role; as too should Sandra Bullock for Gravity. There’s one film I am glad I saw at the flix and is without doubt one of the best films I’ve seen this or any other year! And while we’re mentioning Oscar, I’d like to put it out there that Emma Thompson‘s portrayal of P.L. Travers is definitely worthy of a nomination. Saving Mr. Banks is a delightful film and a welcome treat for us Tom Hanks fans. I have also seen Hunger Games: Catching Fire and thought it was a worthy sequel. It’s about time Hollywood got a best-selling novel adaptation right and they have so far with the first two films of this trilogy. Here’s hoping they don’t drop the ball with the third installment! Of those I hadn’t seen during November, Carrie is a notable mention, but once again, one that I’m not too fussed about viewing. Honourable mentions should be made to Don Jon – I do like Joseph Gordon-Levitt – and The Butler, but I’m sure I’ll catch them on Sky in the New Year.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

So there we have it – a 600-ish word prattle regarding the whys & wherefores of the last three months in cinema that have passed this blog by. Oh, before I forget, I also saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at a screening for Cineworld Unlimited cardholders a couple of weeks ago, but that can’t be watched by mere mortals until Boxing Day. Suffice to say it’s a triumph – Ben Stiller captures the narrative with aplomb through his stellar performance and wonderful direction. Justice would also be served if Mr. Stiller were nominated for an Oscar in either a Director or Actor role or even both if they were feeling generous. We’ll have to wait and see!

I’ll try not to keep you waiting three months for the next update! Thank you for reading πŸ™‚