Friday, 30 April 2010

Iron Man 2

AC/DC’s new album has just hit number one in the UK as the official soundtrack to the sequel. It is more than clear that there is a lot of hype surrounding this film, yes my friends Iron Man 2 has landed.

The story revolves around Tony Stark (Iron Man) as we see his suite is slowly failing to protect his heart, on top of this problem he has to worry about a new evil “Whiplash” who’s seeking revenge after what the Stark industry did to his family. We also experience another threat “Justin Hammer” who wants Stark to hand his suite over to the government so that they can use it in the military, Hammer will do just about anything to get his hands on it and even recruits Whiplash to help. Basically Stark is still very busy.

There is literally too much happening in this film to take in, but for once that is a good idea, accompanying the plot is the CGI effects which will absolutely blow you away, and also happily prove that you still don’t need 3D to make it in the movie industry.

It is comforting to know that the director of the first one is behind the sequel, not only does Jon Favreau direct it, he stars in it, and that is always a sign of confidence in a project, we‘ve seen many directors fail to produce a worthy sequel, but Jon proves that it is possible to create something just as good, or even better than its predocessor.

World Famous Robert Downey Jr. is right on form just as he was in the first one, he portrays the big headed ego of Tony Stark perfectly. Mickey Rourke plays Whiplash just as good, when he unleashes his powers at the Monaco race track some of you may find yourself slightly taken back at just how brilliant he is in this role.

The Avengers will be hitting our screens in 2012, why am I mentioning this in a Iron Man 2 review? well this film will feature a whole bunch of superheroes including Iron Man, Captain America and many more all fighting alongside each other, and the exciting prospect about Iron Man 2 is you can already see their team leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruiting Stark, so keep your eyes peeled.

All that Is left to say is bring on Iron Man 3, as this is an instant classic.

Date Night

I attended this film with high expectations, Steve Carell who has recently made "The Office" in America a rather big success is also outstanding in the films "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Anchorman". Joining him is Tina Fey, for those of you who do not know she is the creator of the well established American TV comedy "30 Rock" and as well as this she also stars in the programme, so seeing both of these actors collaborating in one film can really not be anything less than superb.

It was indeed as I expected, based in the busy city of New York married couple Phil and Claire Foster are pretty bored with their relationship at the moment and want to find something that will re-ignite the flame. In attempt to do this they go to a high class restaurant in the city and discover it is booked out, instead of heading back home to look after the kids they decide to take someone else’s booking pretending to be them. The night soon escalates into a "exciting" disaster as two men come to the table claiming the Fosters have something they want.

What really sets this film apart from the rest is the wacky one liners, your find yourself laughing way into the next scene in which your start laughing again, keeping you constantly fixated to the screen.

Your discover Mark Wahlberg playing the half naked security guard who just might be able to help out the Fosters. To top this they even have Ray Liotta on board, after his performances in "Observe and Report" and "Youth in Revolt" he proves that his still got talent.

Steve Carell to me is one of those actors who can always bring a script to life, he makes comedy real, when he laughs it doesn't feel scripted, and it certainly doesn't feel acted, that is a brilliant skill to possess, and one he accomplishes with ease.

Personally I loved this film, great plot, great cast, great motion picture, simply, I really don't know what else you need. I recommend Date Night for fans of Pineapple Express and any Steve Carell film.


Many of us as kids read comics or watched superhero films and after escaping into these worlds, we would want to have superhero powers ourselves; this film is born of that motion. A young and somewhat overlooked highschool student Dave Lizewski has a massive love for comics. Bored with his life and the day to day pressures of school, he decides to become a superhero himself, though with no training and no actual powers it might be a bit tougher than he assumes.

Kick-Ass strips us to the bare bone of human capability as when a fight scene occurs Dave (now known as the hero ‘Kick-Ass’) doesn’t just beat everyone up with one punch like Batman, he takes a good couple of punches himself before he just about wins the fight. So that sense of realism this film brings is one of the coolest aspects about it.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad) does play a similar kind of character in all of his roles, but hey, he is brilliant at it. Acting as Dave‘s eventual rival ‘Red Mist’ who gives us some memorable superhero puns he adds a necessary backbone to the film creating a fun atmosphere. And hurrah! Nicolas Cage is finally back in good films; Wicker Man? Ghost Rider? I think we’ll be happy to let those bad memories go after his outstanding performance as ‘Big Daddy’ in this.

I guess you could state this film as being a superhero-comedy-action flick because at times you might feel like you’re in a Kill Bill movie as you see the young child, ‘Hit Girl’, cutting people to bits. At other times you will be submerged into a romantic or comedy scene, always keeping you hooked. As soon as I hear someone in the audience laughing while shouting, you know this film is surely going to be a favourite amongst many people. Check it out as I loved it and this film is defiantly what it says on the tin, kick-ass!!

Film Reviews May

Cinema Releases

Iron Man 2

Release Date: April 30th

Robert Downey Jr. is one busy man, working on Sherlock Holmes which was one of the biggest films of last winter (before Avatar that is) he was also working on the eagerly awaited Iron Man sequel.

So now that everyone knows that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is our masked hero “Iron Man” what will happen next ? Well as well as picking up a new rival called Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) Tony should also worry about the government who are trying to make a suite which is just the same as his to use in war type environments.

It is nice to see the admiring Mickey Rourke on board, after his outstanding performance in the wrestler he brings a brilliant bad ass image to the table becoming the perfect bad guy for Iron Man to face up to.

With an old school rock soundtrack that mostly includes the awesome AC/DC this is sure to be one of the most pumping! action movies of the year.

So I will conclude with this: After being completely blown away by the first one I am certain I know what to expect from this one, the exact same thing!

Robin Hood

Release Date: May 14th

Russell Crowe is finally back kicking ass like he did in the Gladiator/3.10 to Yuma days.

Ridley Scott is again behind the directing seat, the combination of Ridley and Russell is one of a kind, somewhat similar to the Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio duo.

Robin Hood tells the classic tale of an at first un known archer (Robin Hood) in King Richards Army. After his heroic acts he swiftly rises through the ranks and becomes legendary and well known throughout the united kingdom.

Robin Hood stories have been around for close to a hundred years now and to be honest we don’t need any computer graphics or high budget to illustrate this plot on screen. With that in mind I really don’t know what to expect, I hope this isn’t another Gladiator as that is something we have seen before, but saying that I sure hope it is just as good as Gladiator!

This film looks to be gritty, and adventurous at the same time, hold on to your seats, because Robin Hood is back.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Release Date: May 28th

Yes his previous character roles have witnessed the end of the world in the epic “The Day After Tomorrow” but Jake Gyllenhaal is now travelling back in time to play to the video game super star Prince Dastan.

Basically the plot is identical to the video game, to stop the crazed ruler Nizam from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world, the young Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) and Prince Dastan team up to stop his evil ways.

Joining this already awesome cast is Ben Kingsly who seems to be picking up some good scripts lately, after blowing us away in the mysterious Shutter Island lets hope he brings his unique craft to the table in this modern adventure.

From the team that bought us the world hit Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (soon to be quadrilogy ) this looks to be just as fun and a brilliant adaptation from the game. There isn’t many games that have been adapted well into the cinema screens, Silent Hill was one of the rare phew, films like Resident Evil have failed to please gamers across the world. I am hoping for a pleasant surprise and not something that turns out to be the next scorpion king, fingers crossed.

DVD Releases

Where the Wild Things Are

Release Date: May 10th

The child that is Max always craves to acquire enjoyment in his life, he feels much wiser than the ones that confine him, and also possesses an endless imagination. After a miss out on supper the disobedient boy that is occasionally Max is appointed to go to his bed, angered by this he instead decides to runaway from home, once he hops on his boat and rows to an unknown island the night advances and his surroundings begin to energize to life. Abnormal creatures soon grasp Max into the nightfall on an enchanting and inspiring journey.

Most of the population will maintain the knowledge that this is an adaptation from a children’s classic book penned by Maurice Sendak, which is just 48 pages in length. Accommodating spine tingling animation that will literally make you feel like your there, you will find yourself impressed by what will be a treasure for generations to come.

The Road

Release Date: May 17th

Set in the future where the world is gradually dying, we see a young boy and his father (you never find out their names) go about their day to day struggles of surviving, their looking to get to the south coast in the belief that they might be able to find food, or even set sail and discover another country which maybe has survivors. On the way, their only home is a trolley which holds all their supplies. At the same time they find themselves in various deadly situations; escaping gangs of carnivores is just one of these. The film also cuts back and forth between the times when his wife was alive and provides us the tensions and fears that mount up between them.

Okay, so maybe this film isn’t the most pleasant way to start the spring but I think in recent times we have discovered there certainly is an audience for post apocalyptic narrative: I Am Legend, The Book of Eli, both have massive followings and brilliant write ups and also may I add that Mad Max 4 is on the way again, affirming that this theme is more than catching along.

Up In The Air

Release Date: May 24th

Ryan (George Clooney) Bingham’s job involves him travelling around the world to fire people as companies are too nervous to do it themselves and as this happens, he finds himself almost never at home. This soon becomes history as a new girl Natalie (Anna Kendrick) joins the company and changes the way in which Ryan fires people, just by using the internet and a web cam she discovers that you don’t have to travel anywhere to do the job, you can just do it all from the comfort of your office.

This has drastic effects on Ryan's life as he is used to being isolated in hotels, partying until dawn, having the occasional affair and certainly never being at home. So once this occurs, he ends up at his sister’s wedding speaking to a family he has pretty much never kept in contact with, but saying this, Ryan is still needed to save the day.

This film really has nailed the idea of escapism, it’s modern yet timeless and a brilliant start to this decade for Clooney. The soundtrack is bizarre yet engrossing, the acting is outstanding and the film has already won an award for Best Screenplay. Reitman brings the atmosphere and humour parallel to Juno and you can't go wrong with such a perfect formula. So to put it simply, all these positives can only bring a positive result, and it sure did.

Andrew Dex

The Ghost

After being offered £250,000 by his agent to ghost write the memoirs of mysterious UK former-Prime Minister, Adam Lang (Pierce Bronson), our protagonist, known just as The Ghost (Ewan McGregor), is straight on the next plane to a secret hideout on a remote and unnamed island. As this is happening, we also see that Lang is on trial for war crimes and so a positive memoir to make him look good is a top priority. Whilst working for Lang, The Ghost uncovers that the person who was writing the memoirs before him committed suicide. After things start turning slightly suspicious in the Lang residence, The Ghost is keen to find out what really happened to his predecessor and goes looking for clues, leading to a chaotic turn of events that put his own life in danger.

First of all, I loved the film and I think it’s safe to say that this is one of Roman Polanski’s finest projects, if not quite as great as the 2002 hit, The Pianist. Pierce Bronson has again found his place in cinema; after clearly being lost in Mamma Mia and Percy Jackson, here he is a perfect fit. This film is a chance to see Ewan McGregor’s evolving talent and I won’t be watching Sex In The City 2, but I hope to see Kim Cattrell continue down this road as she makes up part of the impressive supporting cast and adds something different to the plot.

In a world where our cinemas are flooded with 3D films and vampire flicks, it’s great to see there’s still a place for straight, intelligent political thrillers, a feat The Ghost

Thursday, 11 March 2010

I Love You Phillip Morris

So here we are a good week and half in advance of its release, an exclusive premiere for film lovers and film critics, to my surprise the cinema is completely packed, there was even people standing on the side.
Ewan McGregor’s career seems to be taking of again, as he joins superstar Jim Carey in one of the most interesting? Films I have seen. Previously he was in the overlooked “The Men Who Stare At Goats” which I would recommend to anyone who loves this film.

After admitting to his wife he is gay Steven Russell (Jim Carey) finally gets to live the life he always wanted to live, he soon discovers that being gay is rather expensive as he is always buying costly watches and staying in hotels. What does he do? Simple he becomes a con man, jumping down escalators to claim money for his “accident” as well as passport fraud, he will do pretty much anything to get his hands on some dollar, to live his pricey life. Quickly after he becomes imprisoned as the cops discover his criminal acts. While in prison he falls for Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) and manages to get them both out of jail to live a happy life together, sadly Stevens con artist ways continue which have drastic effects on his life as well as Phillips.

Directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, are both outstanding writers, their previous work together includes Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton, which is defiantly an over looked modern classic.

We also have the brilliant Leslie Mann (Knocked Up) who plays Debbie, she was Steven’s wife before he decided to turn gay, she makes for a fine balance to the film as she keeps in contact via telephone with Steven at various crucial points throughout.
The one thing I really did notice with this film, is how it seemed rather long when in fact it was about an hour and half, it wasn’t because I was bored, It was because there was so much going on, and the story would always be developing, keeping you interested from start to finish.

Andrew Dex

Feature: Inanimate Objects That Come To Life

Toy Story, 9, Pinocchio, Edward Scissorhands all have something in common, they picture static objects (like toys) coming to life! This is one of the most appreciated ideas of last century and has kept people anchored to their screen, we even have a release of Toy Story 3 next year which is easily going to be top of the box office.
Lets take a couple of minutes so I can give you the low down on a couple of classics. First we have the dynamic Toy Story, this film pretty much sets the benchmark for a children’s fantasy flick, and has done ever since. I am certain many children still spend hours communicating with their toys, attempting to make them come to life! This film makes that one wish come true.
Next up we have the contemporary delight 9. The world has again ceased to continue this winter as humans have created a robot species that has out done and eradicated all life on their planet. What’s left is 9 scanty robots who each harbour a piece of a scientists soul, surprisingly the scientist is the one who invented the world destroying robot but also accommodates the solution to salvage everything.

The charming idea about this film is basically that these lifeless dolls spark to life to save the world, if we were to see humans do this instead it would be (for many) an exhausting done to death concept, But experiencing it through the eyes of a tiny doll makes everything so much more intense.
A.I. - This star studded project again deals with the notion of an inanimate object coming to life. David (Haley Joel Osment) is 11 he isn’t your average boy as he just so happens to be a robot. Set in the distant but not so far away future! We see David aspiring to become human in the assumption that he will eventually feel love for his mother. In his efforts we see him being shadowed by Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) who tries to help him reach this goal. A.I seems to have been overlooked and as we embrace the end of this decade it seems to me that many people have even forgotten about it. Should I remind you that the outstanding Steven Spielberg is sat on the directors chair for this one? Well with that in mind I highly encourage you experience this tale as for some it may even bring a tear to their eye.

Edward Scissorhands is firstly one of the biggest cult classics there is and secondly we once again clutch this intoxicating form of a lifeless subject coming to life. Before Edward was finished being constructed in a Frankenstein manner we learn the creator died before he could even provide him with proper hands, so the only hands he ends up possessing are scissors, now some would imagine that this narrative couldn’t really go anywhere other than the DVD bargain section at poundland, but with Tim Burton behind this it instead progressed to sky rocketing levels of fame.

Edward lives alone in his mansion watching the days go by as he tries to find a way to live, one day a girl named Peg visits him and takes him away to her family, soon enough the public recognize that he has a raw craft for cutting hair, quickly after this we see everyone admiring Edward and all wanting their hair cut immediately, he even falls in love with Pegs daughter Kim. Everything is heading in a cheerful direction until Edward is framed, sharply after events begin to cascade downhill.

Last but not least we have the timeless Pinocchio, Birthed in the 1940’s Disney’s all time classic illustrates a puppet struggling to become a boy. With Jiminy Cricket as his “conscience” and Geppetto as his creator it seems that he is in safe hands but unluckily for Pinocchio we observe him being in trouble for the majority of the film as Jiminy doesn‘t keep him to well looked after.

Other than the narrative of an inanimate object coming to life what do all these motion pictures have in common? Well primarily these un human entities want to be loved, and at the same time they crave to be just like us. That’s what is so compelling about these kind of films as we see the world in an abnormal perspective, that factor alone grips the audience as I am certain these films will still be remembered in 2050. With the release of these cinema enchantments onto Blu-ray I recommend you maintain a copy and relive these breath taking moments, because this principal idea has been portrayed perfectly on screen time again and now it is yours to own forever.

Andrew Dex