Archive for April, 2018

Scream 3

Posted: April 30, 2018 in Movies
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Aw you guys Scream 3. When I was a teenager the Scream movies were MY movies. How bad is that? I felt like I had this ownership over them, you know that feeling when you get a movie you flat out adore and just can not comprehend anyone else being as big of a fan of them as you are? Well that was me with Scream and Scream 2. Once 1998 came along and the sequel came and went I spent most of my free time, seriously, hunting down news and rumours about Scream 3. What would it be about? Who was in it? When did it start filming? I was manic. I got all my answers too. Eventually. Alas Scream 3′s journey to the big screen would not be as smooth as the previous two films.

Scream 3 was supposed to be written by Kevin Williamson, who created the hit slasher saga, but due to his television commitments Williamson was not able to meet the script deadline for this third entry. With a filming date looming, two leading ladies who needed to fullfill other film and TV show commitments and no finished script the powers that be decided to go with a different writer named Ehren Kruger. My young heart was broken. Kevin Williamson would not be the one to bring his slasher trilogy (we thought then) to a close. Thankfully the series main players were all back and the great Wes Craven would once again be directing this Hollywood set slasher sequel.

Sidney, our Scream heroine, is living off the grid and working for a women’s crisis centre out in California and trying to get over the events of the previous two movies. That’s not easy though when you got Hollywood making yet another movie – STAB 3: RETURN TO WOODSBORO – about the real life horros you lived through. Sadly for Sidney, Ghostface isn’t finished with her yet. A spree of killings tear through the set of Stab 3 and drag not just Sidney but Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley and the cast and crew of Stab 3 into the killers sightline. Everyone is a suspect, anyone can die and as for the rules well you can forget about them!

The most glaring issue with Scream 3 is the tone. These movies were always darkly comic but the comedy is much more obvious this time out. I felt that was a mistake. Craven is on record as stating they wanted to make this entry lighter in tone due to horror movies coming under fire in the news during the filming and release of this movie. The film goes as far to touch on that very subject too. So despite a tone shift it still feels like this entry had somthing to say about blame and responsibility when it comes to life imitating art and I respect that. Gale (Courteney Cox) seems softer too. Cox has established comedy chops and she strecthes them here more than in the other Scream movies but it’s, at times, at the cost of Gale’s more harder edge. I loved how Gale, despite having a good heart, was pretty much out for herself for the most part but that is played down here. One reason could have been the fact Sidney probably has the least screentime here than she has in the other movies and Gale and Dewery pretty much lead the film. They needed the leads to be more likeable? I also felt like they missed a treat with the idea of Stab 3. It would have been cool to see more of the movie within the movie being made and the Stab actors playing the characters we know and love.

When the film works it really works. The Hollywood setting is fantastic. Seeing the sets in Stab 3 recreate areas from the original movie is boss. A chase sequence that takes place on the set of Stab 3 is one of the best in the series and plays with the audiences expectations in a great way. The script is as meta as ever. Jokes fly left and right about the rules of a trilogy, online culture ruining movies and film refrences galore. The new additions to the cast are fun and do good in their roles. The standout being the ace Parker Posey as method actress Jennifer Jolie who plays Gale in the Stab movies. Posey is a real scene stealer and brings a great energy to the flick. She and the real Gale do not get along but are thrown together throghout the film and provide some of the most fun parts of the movie. The eventual killer(s?)reveal and twist is also shockingly well thought out if slightly over explained. There’s a big mysety running through Scream 3 that really does keep the pace of the film flying along despite being on for just on two hours. It sure does fly by.

When I first saw Scream 3 I liked it but I was dissapointed. I knew it wasn’t as good as the excellent first two movies and it was obviously lighter in tone. Over time though I’ve grown to enjoy it a lot. The fact Scream 4 eventually came around and marked a return to more serious tone certainly helped. Had this remained the final entry in the series it would have been bittersweet. As it stands it’s a fun, if different, approach to Scream (more like a violent episode of Scooby Doo) and worth a watch for fans of the series.

 

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Ten years in the making. Can you wrap your head around that? Back in the late 00’s Marvel took a gamble with the first Iron Man movie and the rest is history. Avengers: Infinity War is here at last. I won’t be going into spoilers nor plot details that are not already featured in the trailers. If at all. Any plot points will be vague at best, so please read on and rest assured my thoughts on the film are spoiler free.

If you have been keeping up with the MCU movies you know what the plot of Infinity War is. Thanos, the mad titan, is fed up waiting around for his goons to bring him the remaining Infinity Stones. If you want somthing done right you do it yourself right? That’s just what Thanos decides to do. Along with four of his most deadly henchmen Thanos embarks on a quest to complete his Infinity Gauntlet. A weapon so powerful it’s very existance threatens the entire universe. It’s up to the Avengers, earth’s mightest heroes, to stop Thanos from getting his hands on the stones and completing the gauntlet.

I guess the big question is does Infinity War deliver? Yes it does, without a doubt it does. Look. It’s not perfect but what it achives is somthing no other movie in this genre has been able to pull off as successfully as this one does. You get Iron Man, Dr Strange, Black Panther, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Thor, Vision, Scarlet Witch, War-Machine and Falcon to name just a few of the heavy hitters and to see these characters not just interact but team up and face a common foe is awesome for fans of these movies. The film is full of excellent banter, arguments, genuinely heartbreaking shocks, surprising team-up’s and each of these elements carry weight due to building blocks of this universe being laid with such care and attention over the last decade. The action on display is great, I’ll be honest, it’s nothing groundbreaking in execution like “Wow! I’ve never anything like this” but it is amaze in the way we’re getting so many iconic characters fighting not just for the universe but their lives and as a united front. General MCU fans who may just love the movies will be delighted but if you are like me and love the comics and the movies well I’m happy to say you’ll be going nuts over the fantastic encounters throughout Infinity War.

The cast deliver and honestly you wouldn’t expect less from the talent Marvel always succeeds in locking down for the MCU. What’s vital for this movie is that Thanos works and thanks to actor Josh Brolin and some ace special effects work he does. Before the release of Infinity War the Russo brothers stated Thano is the main character in the movie and he is. This is a movie about Thanos and like the best villains this guy doesn’t see himself as “the bad guy” and he believes in what he is doing for the greater good. His arc through the film is one of the strongest elements and had that not been as good as it is the film would not work as well as it does. Will you side with him? Doubtful. He’s nuts. But you MIGHT find yourself saying “I can see where he’s coming from”. The direction from the Russo brothers is legit. These guys clearly have a handle on this universe and thier love of it and it’s characters is clear to see. The pace of the film is on fire, it’s never slow (which I feared ’cause it’s two and half hours) and all the mayhem and action is clear and easy to follow.

What are the less successful parts? Okay. There’s a few issues. On the action front there were a few characters I wanted to see more of. You know like throwing down and kicking arse? Yet that’s the nature of the beast isn’t it? With this many characters to service not everyone is going to be laying waste to the bad guys throughout. The ladies…I wish they’d got more to do action wise. Don’t get me wrong. Pretty much EVERYONE fights in this movie but it did feel that most of the heavy lifting was left to the guys and I found myself thinking how the MCU defo needs more arse kicking females front and centre. Another issue is how the film was marketed. If a certain character “maybe” isn’t in the film I felt the team should have just came out and said “Nope. Not in this movie” because otherwise you’re going in with expectations and there’s no pay off within the film. The secrecy stuff goes a bit over the top I think but that’s more to do with the marketing but it can still have an effect on the film.

I’ve seen some stuff online with reactions saying how this all feels too episodic in how it’s presented but look man these are comic book movies. Comics are episodic in nature. Some headline was going on about this being “Half a movie” It’s isn’t! When you get to the final shot of this flick it’s done and it’s story is complete. Infinity War by what is has acomplished has laid the benchmark for it’s peers and possibly for Marvel. You can go bigger than what’s on display here but to do so as great as this? That’s a hard act to top but if anyone can do it I’d bet on Marvel.

 

Generation X (pilot/TV movie)

Posted: April 25, 2018 in Movies
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In 1996 FOX was riding the wave of X-Men on the small screen thanks to it’s massively popular cartoon series. The cartoon, which is awesome, was my gateway into the world of not only the X-Men but comics in general. I leaped into comics just in time to get excited about the launch of Generation X, created by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo, the series was to be the latest comic spin-off from the main X-Men titles. Think New Mutants but for the 90’s. I got into Generation X big time and had tons of issues. The series fosued on popular X-Men character Jubilee who joins a new class of mutants at the Xavier Institue with both Banshee and villain turned hero Emma Frost as thier co-headmasters.

FOX saw an oppertunity with the Generation X property to test the waters with a live action version of Marvel’s mutants. This TV movie, from Jack Sholder, the director of The Hidden and Eric Blakeney, one of the writers behind 21 Jump Street (the show) , was to act as a pilot. It didn’t work. Which is a pitty because had this come out post 2010 I think the show would have got a series order. Faults and all.

Generation X is quite faithful to it’s comic roots. Jubilee, Banshee, Emma Frost, Mondo, Skin and M made the cut from the comics. Sadly, due to serious budget woes, popular characters such as Chamber, Husk, Penance and Synch got cut, replaced by two new characters Buff and Refrax. For established fans of the comic that must have been a blow. I know I was slightly gutted those characters weren’t included. Chamber is a boss, he has this fire that grows from his mouth and has to keep it covered at all times, unless he’s kicking someone’s arse. Husk sheds her skin (!) and Penance was this awesomely odd mutant. Her whole body was razor sharp. It made sense then that Skin (his skin stretches) and Jubilee, along with her firework looking light powers, would lead this pilot in displays of power budget wise.

After a prologue that sets up the threat the film focuses on Jubilee and Skin as they discover their mutant abilities. Faced with a choice of a government placement camp or the Xavier School the two teens agree to go to enrol at Xavier’s school so they can learn to better use their mutant abilities. At the school they get to meet their class mates, get into fights with one another and the locales and must learn to work as a team in order to bring down the pilots big bad Russel Tresh, an over the top but good Matt Frewer, who is a mad scientist mixed with a dose of Freddy Krueger.

I know I’m delluded when it comes to 90’s nostalgia but in hindsight this pilot works more than it doesn’t. The cast is good. Finola Hughes is probably the best live action Emma Frost/The White Queen we’ve had to date. Better than any of the other live action attempts. She’s shockingly good. Annoyingly Jubilee isn’t Chinese-American. The actress, Heather McComb, is caucasian but she does a solid job of bringing Jubilee to life. The director has stated the casting sheet that went out didn’t specify Jubilee’s race. To lay the blame for that at the actress wouldn’t be right and she does good. Obviously I would have liked to have seen a more racially accurate Jubilee though and clearly that sort of careless casting wouldn’t fly today.

The rest of the cast do good work.

It’s the look and feel of the film that I liked. The previous year Batman Forever had made big bucks at theatres, with it’s crazy colourful sets and over the top celebration of it’s comic roots and Generation X, whether this is for you or not, follows suit. Contrasting with those comics asthetics is more adult themes and in some scenes this pilot gets quite dark. Jubilee drops the F bomb TWICE and I gasped each time! Haha. The special effects aren’t that bad either. Remeber this was a TV show in 1996. Be kind. Sure the dreamcapse showdown showed off the low budget but it got the point across and added to how weird it all is.

I think I’m clued up enough to wade through what had potential and what was outright shite. Generation X had potential and I still reckon had this come out now the show would have went to series in the blink of an eye. Yeah…this pilot is rocky. Some of it is a bit TOO weird but had it been given room to breath and develop I think it would have been a great ride. Parts of it deal with racisim, abandonment and body issues. Stuff teens could relate to and WAY more compelling than any of the romance of the week stuff the current CW shows are full of.

Imagine watching an episode of this back to back with the X-Files back in good old ’96. That would have been a cool TV night. Sadly comics weren’t as mainstream as they are now back then.

If you read Generation X back in the day check this out. I honestly don’t think you’ll find it as bad as some people make out. It’s no Legion. I’m not trying to say it’s great but it had a fun foundation to build upon. Or, if you don’t like it, like a lot of fans don’t, I guess you can say FOX learned a lesson on how not to do mutants in live action and the pilot was a lucky mistake. Either way this is worth a look in the history of the X-Men on screen.

 

New Venom trailer reveals the alien!

Posted: April 24, 2018 in Movies

I am a happy Spider-Man/Venom fan. Look I liked the last TEASER trailer for Venom. Key word being “teaser”. Lots of kick off online after that came out a few months ago over the fact it didn’t show it’s star in all his glory. Well now we get a first proper look at Venom and he looks awesome.

Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is directing. With Zombieland he showed he had no issues mixing genres to deliver a fun movie. Venom looks more serious than Zombieland but there are shades of humour in the scenes shown in the trailer of Eddie conversing with the alien symbiote that may hint at a film that has more darkly comic moments than you’d think.  Oh and just who is Michelle Williams playing? Surely an actor as talented as she isn’t simply playing a damsel or love interest? I would guess there’s more to her role than what the trailer suggests.

One slight concern is, according to the IMDB, the film has several writers! That’s usually not a great sign. So keep that in mind.

If Tom Hardy wasn’t enough the film also features Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Woody Harrelson and Tom Holland. Venom hits cinema screens this October.

Batman & Robin

Posted: April 23, 2018 in Movies
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I ain’t going to take a crap on Batman & Robin. I know that sounds nuts. I’m kind of not going to defend the film either. Well I am sort of. See I have a bit of love for this movie. Am I alone?

Here’s a quick recap of where we were with the Batman franchise in the summer of 1997 when this fourth entry was released. Val Kilmer had opted not to come back as Batman. Taking over the role was 90’s heartthrob and budding big screen leading man Geroge Clooney. Batman & Robin marked his most high profile role to date. Alicia Silverstone, who had gained a massive following after comedy hit Clueless, was onboard as Batgirl. Batman Forever‘s Chris O’Donnell was back as Robin along with director Joel Schumacher. On the villian side of things Pulp Fiction breakout Uma Thurman was Poison Ivy and the biggest addition was without a doubt Arnie Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze. Batman Forver proved a massive hit and was generally well recieved by critics and fans. Seemed like a another hit was on the horizon right?

The plot is just there, like with most of these films based on comics (yeah even the MCU ones guys). You got your heroes – Batman, Robin and Batgirl – and you throw them against their latest threat which in this instalment is Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze. They want to take over Gotham City. Batman and co. has to stop them.

I can remeber seeing this film at the cinema. Back then there was no Twitter or massive online community. So there were no early reactions except in the movie magazines like Empire and Total Film. I had read the Empire review (they gave it an okay-ish review if you can believe it) and my buddies had seen it before me so I got some idea of the film. Me and another of my pals went off to see it one night after school. Fourteen years old. When the credits rolled we both looked at one another. Not quite sure how to put into words what we had just seen. Batman & Robin was like Batman Forever on drugs. In a bad way. An explosion of neo colours coated a camptastic Gotham City and was unlike anything that had come before it.

Even understanding the films failings (on the nose dialogue, a clearly uncomfotable George Clooney, slapstick humour and WAY too many plot points) I would come back to this entry again and again. I own it. In it’s own sickly beautiful way it’s a stunning looking film in places. Gotham City has never looked more epic, Mr Freeze looks excellent and you can see every pound of the budget up on the screen. From the massive and impressive sets to the costumes and wide array of Bat-vehicles. Arkham Asylum is beyond gothic. Visually the film is never a bore. I’ll argue the film is not a bore at all. It’s just extremley messy and as I said (and it bears repeating) it is very camp.

The camp factor, I think, is kind of why I like this film. I’m not the first fan to say Batman & Robin shares a strong string of DNA with the vibe of the 1960’s Adam West show. I love that. That TV show was my first introduction to Batman and his world. Yes it’s camp and would look odd to fans who grew up on Batman Begins and the Nolan movies or the new darker recent Justice League and Batman vs. Superman iteration but that’s just one of those things. Being a fan of Batman is awesome because there are SO many falvours out there in film, TV and the comics.

The difference between the 60’s series and this movie is one was a half hour slice of entertainment and this is a two hour movie with that camp style stretched out throughout it’s running time and I get that is not going to be for everyone. The issues don’t stop there either. There’s too many characters in this movie. Check out Batgirl’s arc and eventual introduction. It’s laughable in how it’s handled but that absurdity only adds to the films charm for me. Arnie and Thurman, seriously now, are GREAT in this. Their performences are beyond over the top. Arnie woefully miscast but, for me, it just all works.

The film is a beautiful disaster. I get it. I’m not crazy. I know fans, die hard fans, must have been throwing up seeing Bane, another iconic villian, portrayed nothing like his comic counterpart. I see this film’s faults (how can’t you?) but I like it anyway. It’s not the best entry in the Batman on film saga but if anything it’s one that plays a vital role to future creatives. Bigger and bolder isn’t always better when you’re riding the wave of success

 

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Brace yourselves slasher fans because Halloween has not only finished filming it’s now only six months away until the film is released this October. Jason Blum, he of Blumhouse films, has now seen the film TWICE! How lucky is he? I guess the fact his company is producing the movie kind of gives him the right. So it’s cool. Also, check out that poster? To the point right? Very spooky. I like it a lot.

Usually, this is just me throwing this out there, when ya get a poster a teaser trailer (!) isn’t that far away. Soon as one drops I’ll have it up and post my thoughts.

Seems like this sequel has had a lot of trailers in a short amount of time? Is it me? Hopefully none of ’em have been showing too much of the good stuff. There’s nothing too spoiler filled in this final trailer. What you do get is a clear outline of the plot, the threat (which is interesting) and the formation of X-Force.

I know I haven’t had any reviews up this week but it’s been a busy one where movie news and trailers are concerned. Rest assured I’ve got plenty ready to go.

Deadpool 2 hits theatres May 18th.

 

Fallen Kingdom is almost upon us. This latest look at the sequel to the box office smash Jurassic World will hit screens this summer and puts to rest fears it will be a rehash of the last movie. Fallen Kingdom will tackle animal rights and genetic engineering all mixed up in the black market in what looks like a pretty wild and darker ride.

As a MASSIVE Jurassic Park nut I think this looks bloody brilliant. My only worry is that I’m going to be in floods of tears once the credits start to roll. I love don’t want to see my fave dinosaurs being wiped out. Kill the humans! Save the dino’s!

Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom is directed by J.A. Bayona and stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, B.D. Wong, Jeff Goldblum and will be in theatres June 6.

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Exciting news guys. After a long search James Cameron and Tim Miller have found the actress who will lead the brand new “Terminator” movie. Her name is Natalia Reyes and she is from Colombia. Reyes is unknown in Hollywood but is already established on both television and film in her home country. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “True Detective” breakout Gabriel Luna has also been added to the cast and will take on the role of one of the films lead characters.

Both actors join the already confirmed Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Diego Boneta and Mackenzie Davis. All of the actors will soon begin training for what will no doubt be an action heavy shoot, which is due to kick off next month.

From what I’ve been able to gather about the film – and holding back on some stuff  – this new entry in the series will take place in Mexico City,  be more akin to the original movie and will focus on Reye’s “Dani”. There’s info out there on who Davis, Boneta and Luna are playing but if I was you I’d try and go in knowing as little as possible. Unless the trailer decides to give everything away. I will say expect a lot of strong ladies kicking all kinds of arse.

Tim Miller and James Cameron’s untitled “Terminator” movie will hit screens late 2019.

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Okay guys here are some exciting updates for two of (my) most anticipated films of 2019. First of all let’s take a look at “Terminator“. The reboot is due to film this summer, despite Arnie having a small health scare recently, casting looks to be going full steam ahead. Diego Boneta (Scream Queens) has joined the cast in a undisclosed role. I think he’s the male lead. Would make sense right? Time will tell. Boneta, who was decent on Scream Queens, joins the already announced Arnie, Linda Hamilton and brand new lead Mackenzie Davis.

Terminator is said to be the “true” sequel to James Cameron’s T2 and will be directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller.

Meanwhile over at New Line cinema It: Chapter 2 is currently location scouting, eyeing a filming start for July. Andy Muschietti returns to direct. According to the Hollywood trades Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader are each in various stages of “talks” to join the sequel as adult versions Beverly, Bill and Richie. Great choices but as they’re “in talks” don’t get too excited because one of ’em might want too much money or schedules may not work out. We’ll see.