Sunday, 30 September 2012

Skyfall: Return of the underwater Bond fight…

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It’s probably one of those things that happens less often than you think; but if you grew up watching Sean Connery & Roger Moore on the TV, you probably feel like it isn't a real Bond film without some big water scene of some kind: preferably a tense (motion sped) underwater fight. Here we get a good look behind the scenes of Skyfall’s underwater fight sequence. As ever, watch at your own risk; these things are almost always more fun to look at AFTER you've seen the film / sow I question, but hey if it sells tickets…

The extremely highly anticipated Bond film opens in the UK on the 26th of October and North America on the 8th of November (IMAX only) / the 9th of November. Directed by the Oscar winning Sam Mendes and with arguably the most impressive Bond movie cast of all time:- Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Judi Dench  & Albert Finney.

“Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in Skyfall, the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time. In Skyfall, Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.”




Thursday, 27 September 2012

Bittersweet news for Marvel fans as Mark “Kick Ass” Millar “creative consults” on Fox’s Marvel movies; X-Men & Fantastic Four…

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Why bittersweet you say? Well ever since Marvel got their cinematic act together with  & The Incredible Hulk, Marvel comics fans have been daring to dream that film rights, characters such as Spider-Man, Blade and The –Men, would be bought back by Marvel. When Multi-gazillion dollar company Disney purchased Marvel in 2009 those dreams (unrealistically) surged to fantasy levels. Whilst characters Blade, The Punisher and just this past month, Daredevil have passed back into Marvel’s hands, The ‘Big Boys’ Spider-Man (at Sony) and X-Men and The Fantastic Four (at Fox) remain far too potent as potential money spinners to be allowed to fall back into Marvel’s hands: they also would be prohibitively expensive for Marvel, or their parent Disney, to buy back. So going to the trouble of hiring Mark Millar (writer on The Fantastic Four, The Ultimates & creator of Kick Ass, Wanted  & many more) to oversee / advise on the Fox Marvel properties, X-Men & Fantastic Four is yet further proof that IF those characters are to go back to Marvel it will be a long way in the future.

Of course the much rosier way to view this is that a modern comic book giant is going to be advising Fox on how to not get things so terribly wrong (Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four (1 & 2); and how to carry on doing the good things well. (X-Men: First Class, X-men, X2.) It will add to speculation that Fox will be able to meld their properties into a single film Universe (As Marvel have done with the MCU) with the X-Men and Fantastic Four films crossing over. However this remains something that we don’t know is possible; anyway Fox look to have their own version of movie melds with the characters of the X –Men films apparently set to jump into X-Men: First Class as they dabble with mind-bending time travel / alternate future tale The Days of Future Past. Rumours persist that the story of that film will make use of the “original” cast to play the future versions of the X-Men: First Class people; as opposed to aging make up or FX. These are rumours that have been casually swelled by the odd nod and wink from the likes of producer Bryan Singer (2, Usual Suspects) and director Matthew Vaughan (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class.) So even if you would rather all of your Marvel heroes were only on the big screen in actual Marvel movies, at least there’s a chance that Fox will improve their percentage of decent super hero films now.
Fox won't have anymore Daredevil related films.

20th Century Fox: licensed Marvel films...
North American Gross
International Gross
X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men: First Class
Fantatsic Four
Fantastic Four 2
* Shooting Budget – Does not include P&A costs

There are those who think, with the glorious benefit of hindsight, that Marvel were foolish to sell of the rights (well lease them) to so many of their characters back in the 1990s, especially given the success of the MCU, especially The Avengers, but that doesn’t take into account the historical context. ( A view enhanced by details like Marvel only getting about $62m from the $2b takings of the Spider-Man film, or $26m from the three X-Men films.) The fact is that Sipper hero movies wee very hit and miss, DC comics was owned by Warner Brothers and hence their major characters had a motion picture outlet readymade. For all the risk and ridicule that went with Marvel Studios taking out a loan of over $525m to make films of Iron Man, Thor & Co (characters considered ‘unknown’ or unloved), nobody was going to be lending Marvel money to make films in the 1990s. More than that the calibre of actor and director you can attract to these films now is of the highest order, and not to ham it up for a big payday either. (Just look at the number of Oscar & Bafta nominations racked up by the lead cast of The Avengers.) It took the success of Blade, X-Men & Spider-Man to manoeuvre the film business into a position where Marvel could make their own films in the first place. IT took the success of Blade to push Fox over the top into making X-Men. X-Men had a massive hand in getting Spider-Man to the screen, in a massive production. To quote the New York Times way back in 2004, when the referenced Blade and X-Men:-
“Together, the movies proved that even comic book characters unknown to the general public could become the basis for blockbusters.”

Monday, 24 September 2012

Les Miserables: A beautiful new poster and extended behind the scenes, for the film of Christmas 2012…

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There’s not much to say here, merely that this ‘live’ pic which mirrors the world famous theatre posters is simply stunning. It follows the release of some cool behind the scenes videos. I’m not a massive fan of musicals, but I have simply been looking forward to this fil with increasing anticipation since day one.

“Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Miserables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption--a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.”

Extended first look…

The cast is simply first Class (No X-Men pun intended.) Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried. The new method shown in the behind the scenes reminds me of the innovation by Katsuhiro Ohtomo with Akira. Where he did voice work and animation work in order to have the images look more realistic and "live" If you are not looking forward to this you simply must lack a soul and be getting coal for Christmas.

Les Miserables…

The Wolverine: Hugh Jackman looks pure Adamantium…

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I know there are a lot of people who walked out of Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine praying that Marvel would get the rights to Wolverine & The X-Men back. They walked out feeling bitterly disappointed and at a loss for where this could go from there. Now I’m also very, very aware that a significantly large number of people loved that film. (Yes they did, it is a fact, and they bought the DVD and the Blu-Ray). But whether you loved that film or loathed it, I defy you to see this picture of Jackman as Wolverine in the upcoming, hard core (we hope) stand alone Wolverine film, simply called – THE WOLVERINE. Expect the film to be out on the 26th on July 2013; directed by James Mangold who brought us one of the 5 best remakes of all time – 3:10 to Yuma.

Origins Wolverine...

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey…A new trailer for the first part of the trilogy…

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These statements are always tenuous at best, but for all the Marvel fans and regular Bods who helped The Avengers become the 3rd highest grosser of all time; for all the eager anticipation for Nolan’s final Batman, The Hobbit is the most eagerly awaited film of the year. There I said it, and I stand by it.

“The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever...Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.”

Anyone who doesn’t know about the enormous success of Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings Trilogy was likely born when they came out, or soon after. The films made unearthly amounts of money in cinemas alone (see chart below) and won a sackfull of Oscars, Baftas and other awards. (Let’s face it, there would have been more Oscars I mot for dodgy campaigns from A Beautiful Mind & Chicago nudging the “Let’s save the big Oscars for the third film, rather than  rewarding  each film on its own merits” nonsense.

The Lord of The Rings...
North American Gross
International Gross
The Fellowship of The Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of The King

The Hobbit…

Monday, 17 September 2012

Manimal is coming to the big screen! (What no Automan?!) Live action / CGI hybrid film on the way…

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I’ll bet $1m right now that he will turn into a black panther! (If you don’t get that joke you’re probably wondering what the Smeg a Manimal is anyway!) One of the bet bad TV shows from the 1980s, Manimal lasted a mighty 8 episodes before getting cancelled. Even so I’m sure Manimal, as played by Simon McCorkindale, must have curled his fingers and very, very, verrry slowly turned himself into a Black Panther at least 80 times! Apparently he was able to turn himself into numerous, possibly all, animals as he adventured and fought crime on a weekly basis.

Sony hope t turn this into a live action and CGI  movie, like the Smurfs but, er, not. I imagine this will allow for them to have him be more than a big Cat a hawk and a Dolphin this time. My hope is that they go all Marvel Studios and have Manimal and Automan form a classic 1980s crime fighting team alongside StreetHawk! It is very early days yet as Sony have merely secured the rights and are yet to find writers for the film.

Robocop: Poster promises something most believe won’t happen…

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“We’ve got the future sorted.” Well if the negative response to the new Robocop costume is anything to go by then they have anything but sorted the future of Robocop. Let’s be fair though, there’s almost NEVER been a uniform preview (dodgy long range internet pic) of a costume / uniform for a sci-fi film that hasn’t met derision online. X-Men, Spider-Man (both sets) , Star Trek (2009), Thor, Captain America, Batman, The Dark Knight and more. The films listed did just fine and had outfits that, when you actually watch the film, worked. There’s definitely a readiness to jump on top of any film before it’s even finished, let alone shown, so this deserves the benefit of the doubt, just as other films do.

That said I’ll admit that I’ not fan of what the appear to be aiming for with that new suit.. Sure the black actually makes him look more like a policeman than some kind of corporate security model; but again isn’t that missing the point. This Robocop will have to tell its own story, maybe it will be about something else other than greed, over the top capitalism and the like. Maybe the bio-suit look will better reflect the 21st century take on Robocop? I don’t like it, but in all fairness, I haven’t really seen it yet, have I?

What cannot be denied is that a top cast has been hired in support of (let’s face it a global unknown) Joel Kinnaman (Safe House,  The Killing) who is playing Murphy / Robocop: Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton chief amongst them. The film opens on the 13th of August 2013 and is directed by José Padilha (Elite Squad, Elite Squad 2)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Lincoln: First trailer for Spielberg’s, Vampireless, Biopic…

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Will people go to see a film about the president without vampires? Will they take it seriously? OK I am joking of course; this is a highly anticipated film. From a man who remains one of the greatest all round directors of all time, starring Daniel Day Lewis as the ‘Slave freeing’ President himself and due for release at the height of Oscar season, it is at the least a critic’s dream in waiting, but given that he is one of the American Presidents that non- Americans actually, know about, care about and, generally, like, it could be one of those biopics with a genuine shot at decent box office too.

“Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln," a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President's tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.”

Lincoln hits American screens from the 9th of November and rollsout across the rest of the planet from then.


Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2…Final trailer…

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If you’re not interested in the Twilight Saga, and you must surely know so by now, then why are you reading this? Everyone is coming back for the action half of the conclusion to the whole Vampire / Werewolf thing. (The Werewolves are best I tell ya!)


“The astonishing conclusion to the series, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN, PART 2, illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.”

The film is guaranteed to be a big hit when it opens in November, but will this final instalment become the highest grosser in the series?

The 2.5 Billion dollar Saga...
North American Gross
International Gross
Twilight Saga: New Moon
Twilight Saga Eclipse
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt.1
* Shooting Budget – Does not include P&A costs

Twilight Saa: BDPt.2…

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Taken 2: Watch this new trailer or Liam Neeson says he WILL find you…

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I just love Liam Neeson’s intro to this trailer, quality stuff and if it doesn’t sell you…well it was nice knowing you…

“Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a "particular set of skills" who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from kidnappers. When the father of one of the villains Bryan killed swears revenge, and takes Bryan and his wife hostage in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape. Bryan then employs his unique tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers, one by one.”

Taken may not be the most realistic action film you’ll see (sadly excepting the despicable “trade” in sex slaves) but it was certainly one of the most fun action films of the century so far. Taken 2 is definitely one to look forward to.

Taken 2…

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Kick Ass 2: Jim Carrey is confirmed as “The Colonel”…

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The rumours may have been flying around for some time, but a few minutes ago Carrey, a huge Kick Ass fan, was confirmed to be playing the role of The Colonel (As seen above in the camo gear); kind of the character Ernie Hudson was MEANT to play in Ghostbusters. A tough military type who whips the random  and disparate heroes into an efficient team of real life, and still power-lacking, super heroes. There’s little point in giving a full description of what happens to his character in Mark Millar’s superb follow ups to Kick Ass (Kick Ass 2 & Hit Girl) as the films follow a parallel path to the comics. Not exactly retelling the tale, but following the general shape and the spirit of the comics. Matthew Vaughan may be too busy following u p his excellent X-Men: First Class, to follow his very good Kick Ass as director, but this remains a film to look forward to. I have to say tough, when I read Kick Ass 2, Jim Carrey did not instantly spring to mind as my idea of The Colonel! But I'm sure he'll do a good job.

Kick Ass…