The month of March sees the last of the major award ceremonies taking place with the Oscars being announced on the second. The release schedule reflects this. The past few months have seen all of the contenders movies hitting the screens and the cinemas packed with worthy and serious fare. This month sees a bit of a shift away from that. There is a lot more of the popcorn / blockbuster entertainment on offer to help relieve film goers of their cash. Continue reading “New releases for March” »
Tag: Samuel L Jackson
Remakes/reboots/re…whatever you want to call them, are generally met with scepticism and keyboard sabre rattling. News that MGM would be resurrecting the RoboCop franchise was met with similar disdain. With Darren Aronofsky attached to direct, interest in the project piqued as quickly as it fell at the announcement that he had vacated the role. Award winning filmmaker Jose Padilha was then revealed as the man who would reintroduce the franchise to cinema goers but enthusiasm was low. Stars such as Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson got people curious but Padilha’s film was standing in the very big shadow of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original. It was going to take something special for it to step out of the shade.
January was a month for the Hollywood heavyweights however February also brings with it some award hopefuls, along with some good old fashioned popcorn fodder.
I’m not ashamed that I judged and derided this film before seeing a smidgen of footage. There are some films you shouldn’t remake and Paul VerHoeven’s RoboCop is high on that list. Nothing about the new version sounded promising. The violence would be toned down, Murphy doesn’t die, they give him a motorbike etc. Despite my initial rancour however I have to admit this looks pretty sweet and my fear has turned to excitement. However I also remember saying the same about Superman Returns and Iron Man 3 and, well we know how they turned out. A stellar cast in Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton adds a hefty weight to a film that’s mere premise melts fanboy brains causing the blood to pour from their ears. Even if the film is terrible there’s always a silver lining. Continue reading “New releases for February” »
Ramping up the excitement for the remake takes the form of a second trailer for the RoboCop movie. This time around we get less of the origin story and more of the action sequences from the film. To be fair they look damn good and the trailer is made in such a way as to entice new fans into the cinema in a bid to revive the franchise.
As far as remakes go, RoboCop has caused much controversy among fanboys. News that Officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) wouldn’t be killed this time round frowned a few brows as did the blasphemous PG-13 rating that it would aim for. The original classic which deals with existentialist discussion of the soul amid a blood drenched satirical view of consumerist media looked set to be repacked as a soulless, kid friendly Christmas toy.
I wrote this article on the day that Warner Bros announced Ben Affleck would be the new Batman. I didn’t get a chance to publish it at the time, and after a few days wondered if there was much point as a lot of the issues had already been covered. However since the angry mob has not yielded, I don’t see why I should either.
A few weeks ago I had compiled a shortlist of actors who I felt would be suitably cast as Batman. This never went to publication as the time I’d finished it, Josh Brolin was all but signed up to don the mantle in 2015. My list was pretty good though. Alongside rumoured favourites such as Chris Pine and Ryan Gosling I’d thrown in some wildcards such as Aidan Gillan and Idris Elba. Ben Affleck never crossed my mind, and I was as shocked as the rest of the world when Warner Bros made the announcement. My first thought on it was “interesting” and a quick glimpse on Twitter led me to believe what I already knew. The fan boys were in meltdown. instinctively I felt I should leap to the defence of the two time Oscar winner who I’ve always felt was underrated as an actor.
Daredevil was instantly launched by the prosecution as the prime reason Affleck should burn in comic book hell and never be allowed near a masked hero again. I’m not going to defend Daredevil (it’s too difficult, even for arguments sake) or even Affleck’s performance, which wasn’t really that bad to be fair. Ask yourself, was he the prime reason the film is deemed so terrible? Director Mark Steven Johnson was lambasted, Colin Farrell was crucified and people forget Joe Pantoliano was actually cast despite being the best thing in it. By the same logic Nicholas Cage shouldn’t have been allowed near Kick-Ass for the cine-crime that was Ghost Rider (guess who the director was?). Cage’s portrayal of stunt man Johnny Blaze drew much criticism (although about 70% of that revolved around his wig) however it didn’t stop the plaudits from rolling in when he dressed up like Batman and called himself Big Daddy. Should Samuel L Jackson have been removed from Avengers Assemble because he was in the Spirit? Of course not, though all involved should have been severely punished in some way. There isn’t a rule that states that thou that portray one superhero wrongly shall be banished from wearing tights in the future. Which is a good thing, especially if you ask Chris Evans.
My defence for Affleck came in the form of one name…Heath Ledger. Back in 2007 when the Australian actor was announced as the Joker, there were calls to boycott the film and an overall consensus amongst fan boys that the movie would indeed suck. Well, we’ll let history be the judge of that one shall we? I can’t pretend that I was thrilled about the choice however my flatmate, and Heath Ledger enthusiast, was. He was right, I was wrong and the fan boys looked like the idiots they are.
Taste comes down to opinion and not everyone will agree on who is and is not a good actor. Believing he can’t act is one thing but some of the reasons for wanting rid of him borders on ridiculous. “He doesn’t look like Batman.” What I didn’t realise was that the Man of Steel sequel would be based on the real life crime fighting vigilante called Batman. And apparently he looks nothing like Ben Affleck. Anyone suggesting he doesn’t have the physical prowess to pull it off is clearly clutching at straws. At over 6ft he’s not only taller than Christian Bale, he’s pretty ripped as the Town highlighted. And even if he wasn’t, the studio can afford a personal trainer, they’re good that way. Good looking pretty boy with dark hair; sounds like Bruce Wayne to me. The fictional character that is, not the real life guy that looks nothing like Affleck.
Another reason I read was that Superman could easily kill Batman in a fight. Now, I know what you’re thinking here, that’s clearly a reason not to make the film. Nope, it was listed in reasons why Ben Affleck is a bad choice. Oh, and he has a beard, because as well as not knowing how to act he doesn’t know how to shave. Unlike Christian Bale.
Whether you agree with the casting or not, Affleck has matured as an actor over the years. He’s made smarter choices and looks to be improving with each performance. Will he be good as Batman? Time will tell, but will he be so bad that even if the film is awesome his performance will singlehandedly destroy it? Very doubtful. I’ve a feeling come 2015, many hats will be eaten and I intend to be there with the seasoning.
To say that the remake of Oldboy will generate some discussion would be an enormous understatement. The original is one of the most revered films of the last decade. A remake has been on the cards from almost the moment the Park Chan Wook original hit the international conscious after winning the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes film festival. Originally Justin Lin was scheduled to direct the American version of the film. After he dropped out to concentrate on Fast & Furious Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks took on the rights with Will Smith on board in the main role. The project died a death in 2009 after a dispute over the rights. In 2011 it was announced that Spike Lee was now in place to direct the film. Continue reading “Oldboy Red Band Trailer” »
Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s 7th outing as Writer / Director and takes us back to his love of the Spaghetti Western. It tells the story of the black slave Django’s escape from bondage in a pre-civil war america at the hands of the bounty hunter Dr Schultz. The two of them set off on a lawful rampage of bounty collection before venturing into the heartlands of Mississippi to find and liberate Django’s wife from the Candieland estate.
Down the years I have seen all of Tarantino’s films and this follows a very similar vein to the ones before it. Whilst I am not his biggest fan I have always enjoyed them (ignoring Kill Bill pt2 – snore) but never really felt the need to add any of them to my DVD/Bluray collection. In fact I think I preferred his early work to what has followed and nothing since Jacky Brown has warranted a second watch!
2012 has been a very good year for films, especially ones that appeal to me. When I compiled my top ten of last year I had maybe thirteen contenders for the list. This year in comparison had about twenty three films that could have easily been in the top ten. The criteria for the list is simple. The film has to be released in the UK in 2012 according to IMDB. It can be either a cinema or ‘video premiere’ release. Unfortunately these rules exclude my favourite film which was the fiftieth anniversary release of Lawrence of Arabia. A classic movie that will be the subject of a piece in the very near future. So, onwards to the list! Continue reading “John’s top ten films of 2012” »
A film with two people in a room talking to each other about their beliefs. In the wrong hands this could be a total car wreck of a film that no one would intentionally get to the end of. Fortunately for me The Sunset Limited was very much in the right hands.
The film opens with two men sitting at a table in a run down apartment room. Neither of them look particularly at ease. The more serene man (Samuel L Jackson) starts a conversation with the with the man opposite (Tommy Lee Jones). In the credits the actors are named as Black and White but they never address each other with this at any point. Black calls White ‘The Professor’ several times without any expalnation except that Black is a very clever and learned man. It becomes apparent the White is anxious to leave the room. Continue reading “The Sunset Limited” »