Archive for November, 2016

Alpha 5 is ALIVE!!!

Posted: November 30, 2016 in Movies
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Check out Alpha 5’s radical (but still somewhat iconic) look for the new Power Rangers movie. I love the heck out of this. I think it nails this more “these are alien like/otherworldy” beings tone the movie seems to be going for. Of course we’ll have to wait to see the little guy in action but he could be a real standout from the movie.

Bill Hader was announced earlier in the year as the voice actor for Alpha.

What do you guys think? Are you happy with his updated look or would you have preferred his more classic robotic look?

Power Rangers hits cinemas next March!

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I love how simple and scary this poster is. That tag line is all we need to know about the tone of the movie and I think this first poster nails it.

Alien: Covenant has had a release date bump. Originally the film was due for release in August and as we can see from the art above it’s now making it’s debut in May. This is great news for fans.

Sir Ridley Scott directs once again with Prometheus stars Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace returning as android David and scientist Elizabeth Shaw. Alien: Covenant tells the story of the ship Covenant and it’s crew who find a planet which they think is paradise only to find out that horrors await!

No word on a trailer yet but…I reckon we might get one if not this week then next. Usually what happens after a poster debut.

 

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There are no details on who Clarke will be playing.  Earlier reports stated actresses Tessa Thompson, Zoe Kravitz and Naomi Scott were under close consideration for a role but if that’s the same one Clarke has got or a different character altogether is not known just yet. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn the Solo movie has two or more main female roles so there is still a chance either Kravitz, Thompson or Scott could be added to the cast.

The great Donald Glover (Community) was cast a little while back as Lando Calrissian, joining Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street masterminds Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are directing with a script from the father/son team of Jon and Lawrence Kasdan. Needless to say the film seems to be in good hands. Do I think the world NEEDS a Han Solo spin off? Nope. I don’t. But it makes total sense from a marketing point of view and if the film is great then everyone wins.

As for Clarke, well I like her in Game of Thrones. She’s pretty good in that show. The only other thing I’ve seen her in is Terminator 5. She was okay. Seemed to be giving it her all throwing herself into the action and all of that so I think she’ll be a good fit for the Star Wars universe.

It’s not out for ages either. 2018. Sorry.

This is what you call a contrast. The difference in tone between the teaser trailer and this final trailer is a surprise. As soon as the great John C. Reilly pops up the jokes come in and I wasn’t expecting it. From the first glimpse we got of this movie I was expecting a serious and dark (not full on Apocalypse Now dark) take on Kong with the Vietnam war as the backdrop.

I’m glad I saw the new trailer because now I have a much better idea of the sort of movie we’ll be getting next March. Hopefully it proves to be decent and now I guess FUN! adventure monster movie. I just wonder how serious it will get when it needs to and how it handles the humour within the narrative. I love the look of Kong. He looks great. Not too sure on those other things…they look like some random threat from any Syfy movie of the week (not the CGI, just the actual design of them).

Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) directs a stacked cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Tom Wilkinson, John C. Reilly, Tom Hiddleston, Tian Jing and Brie Larson.

 

Ghost in the Shell trailer

Posted: November 14, 2016 in Movies
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Ghost in the Shell is the live action adaptation of the famous anime which first drew world wide attention in 1995 with the release of the first Ghost in the Shell anime movie. Another two anime movie and several series  would follow. One can not imagination Ghost in the Shell not coming to mind when one mentions classic anime movies.

The Hollywood feature is directed by Rupert Sanders, best known for 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. That was a movie I couldn’t get into. So as this is only his second feature film I’m willing to give Sanders the benefit of the doubt. The footage on display certainly promises something unique and exciting. Scarlett Johansson leads a worldwide cast that includes Juliette Binoche, Takeshi Kitano & Michael Pitt.

Ghost in the Shell is released March 31st 2017

Batman Forever

Posted: November 11, 2016 in Movies
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Back in 1995 Batman Forever’s release was a massive event, the toys were hitting the shelves, you had the excellent Batman: The Animated Series on TV and the comics of course. Batman was everywhere that summer. Even the music charts with both U2 and Seal having contributed two massive songs to the Batman Forever soundtrack. The film was a gamble and fans held their breaths as the third film in the Bat-series had not only lost visionary director Tim Burton but the star of the previous two films in the form of Michael Keaton.

Warner Brothers went with Joel Schumacher to direct and Val Kilmer as their new Bruce Wayne/Batman. Schumacher had many hits (The Lost Boys, Falling Down, The Client) already under his belt by the time he took on Batman. Like Burton, Schumacher had made a name for his unique visual style. Kilmer was making a name for himself as a character actor able to vanish into roles similar to Keaton. The studio brought in two heavy hitters for the villains with Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face and 90’s breakout super star Jim Carrey as The Riddler with Chris O’Donnell on board as Robin and Nicole Kidman as Chase rounding out the main cast. It seemed like a win win movie with a exciting director and a stacked cast bursting with name talent.

What we got was a fun if problematic Batman movie. I like this film but it’s at times a bit too camp for it’s own good. Often the film feels like a feature attempt of the 1960’s TV show. Based on your taste that’s either a fun call back or a total tonal disaster after coming off the Burton/Keaton gothic and darkly comic previous films. Jone’s Two Face is more over the top villain than serious character portrait and that is a shame when you think of what Jones would have been capable of if given the chance. Carrey is totally off the crazy leash as Riddler but he’s so committed to it that I found myself loving him in this movie. I think Carrey’s The Riddler is one of the main reasons I like the film as much as I do.

On the hero side Kilmer does not fare as well as Keaton. Kilmer is a talented guy but he was probably not the right fit for the cape and cowl. O’Donnell’s Robin is good, one thing that bugged me was he’s not really given that much to do until the film’s last act and his reveal as Robin didn’t feel earned. He’s just like “Here I am!” it’s SO throw away but this was the 90’s so…we kind of all went with it. The standout is Kidman as Chase because she manages to inject charisma and depth to what could have been a throw away ‘love interest’ role. The fact Chase is a psychologist means she has tons of fun interacting with both Bruce and Batman and she even fights her own battles when up against some goons.

Action wise there’s a few cool set pieces. The opening of the film, when I first saw it twenty one years ago, was really good but the CGI doesn’t hold up. It’s cool seeing Batman trapped in the acid vault as Two Face hauls it through the skies of Gotham via chopper. Back then that sort of thing was impressive. Same applies to a random car chase, it’s cool seeing the Batmobile go vertically up the side of a building and I can dig those touches. I’d have liked to have saw more well thought out hand to hand fights but that’s probably just because I’m used to stuff like The Raid (I know right haha, not a fair comparison) and Civil War.

Should state the other star of the movie is Schumacher’s neo noir style before it went even crazier and more NEO!!! in the next film in the series. Gotham is a vibrant, neo-gothic city that manages to keep in step with what went before but show evolution in it’s style and scale. It’s a shame the script, considering how many people had a hand in it, provided an as not stable template than what came before. It’s not horrendous no, but it’s just a bit too comic book like with a lot of WOW and big villain schemes both of which would probably have worked better in the 1960’s than in 1995. Too harsh? Depends on what mood you’re in. Sometimes I can loose myself in Batman Forever and appreciate it for the camp-tastic comic book fun it attempts but at others I have to question if the studio was focusing more on bigger and better and how many toys they could spin off from this movie.

 

Luc Besson’s passion project will be with us next summer but for now feast your eyes on this out of this world teaser trailer. The effects work and sheer level of awe on display here is mucho akin to the feeling I got when I first saw footage from Besson’s 1997 classic The Fifth Element.

Valerian is based on a French comic series Besson has long been a fan of and has seeked to adapt to the big screen for some time now. Well it seems modern filming technology has finally caught up to the directors vision. The film follows two galactic special agents who must maintain order throughout the cosmos. Starring in the film is the very talented Dane DeHaan as Valerian alongside Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Clive Owen, Rutger Hauer and Rihanna.

It’s a stunning trailer and really shows why Besson should never be underestimated when it comes to vision. That said his most recent effort Lucy left me a little bit disappointed because of the very abrupt ending. Hopefully Valerian is more 90’s Besson than Lucy.

 

 

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If it bleeds she can kill it!

Olivia Munn. Big fans of her here at Hella Movies thanks to her great turn in Aaron Sorkins’s HBO show The Newsroom. Munn popped up earlier this year in X-Men Apocalypse as mutant ninja Psylocke and sadly didn’t get that much to do :/ So here’s hoping Black makes better use of her talent in The Predator.

I should point out that Munn is “in talks” at this stage and although it’s looking likely she’s in her casting is not 100% a lock. Last month Benicio Del Toro was set to star in the film and that deal fell apart due to schedules so until the cameras start rolling I’d say anything could happen!

Munn’s character is one of the films leads who is said to be a scientist type, who if you asked me to put money on it, will probably end up transforming into some sort of warrior woman in the films third act.

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1997 was the year the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers changed from Zeo and shifted into TURBO! In the second movie the Rangers have to set out on a worldwide adventure and save an alien wizard from space pirates!

I said I would and I have and so here is my review of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. To be honest it’s not too bad. Look, this is a movie that takes place within the canon of the show (unlike the first film) and is aimed at that fan base. Kids. At best Turbo is an okay-ish adventure movie that introduces a new set of ‘Turbo’ powers, a new nemesis in the form of the cartoonish Divatox (funnily enough the new re-design of Rita in 2017’s Power Ranger movie kind of looks similar to Divatox! Haha) and two great extended cameos from original Rangers Jason and Kimberly (the original Red and Pink Mighty Morphin Power Rangers).

I was 14 when Turbo was released and at this stage in my life I wasn’t tuning into the Power Rangers. I’d outgrew it. I’d tried to watch Zeo (boss opening theme!!) but Power Rangers just wasn’t Power Rangers anymore as far as I was concerned. My favourites had bid farewell to the show and to Zordon and Alpha 5 so there was little reason to stick around. During French class this other kid told me he’d seen the new Power Rangers movie while we were discussing movies (probably Scream 2! Haha) and he mentioned Jason and Kimberly where in it so I knew I’d have to see it. Eventually.

At it’s worse Turbo is a feature length TV episode in the form of a movie. This is probably why fans and audiences didn’t show up for Turbo. It never got the push the original movie had, in 1997 Power Rangers was not what it was in 1995 and if you look at the team in the movie it’s devoid of classic Rangers. That’s probably why the filmmakers asked Austin St. John and Amy Jo Johnson to come back. By the time Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had become Turbo fans had sad goodbye to Zack, Trini, Billy, Jason, Kimberly and Aisha. Rocky is written out of the team in the opening for crying out loud! Maybe the actor wanted to leave or the producers felt they needed to add a kid to the team but it just further pushes the team away from what they were into something different and I don’t think necessarily good.

Jason David Frank as Tommy is the one last link to the original Rangers and his short interactions with Jason and Kimberly are good but make you wish the entire old crew were still running around together. Ironically it’s Jason and Kimberly who get stuck into the action more than most of the Turbo Rangers in the films last act despite no longer being Rangers. There is a decent fight on a ghost ship (this film is nuts) but it serves to mostly allow Tommy and the woefully underused Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch) to show off their serious fighting skills. Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy return as Bulk and Skull and smartly their scenes are mostly linked to Jason and Kimberly which only helps to bring home the shades of the original ensemble.

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie isn’t a great film. It’s hard to recommend it even to big fans of the original show but it’s probably not as bad as you’ve been led to believe either. I’ve seen worse; a lot worse and as a final hurrah for Jason, Kimberly, Tommy (all of the Rangers would shortly leave the show after this movie), Zordon, Alpha, Bulk & Skull it’s not the worse way to go out.