Excited for the return of Breaking Bad?
You should be.
(By Michael Stevenson)
(via freddiequell)Source: society6.com
Just so everyone knows, The Lord Of The Rings is one of the greatest, if not greatest trilogy of all time; it is the Star Wars of our generation and makes Harry Potter look like a pathetic cinematic romp about some lame kids waving sticks around whilst being shit at acting.
Is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as good as The Lord Of The Rings? No. Is it a good film worth seeing? 100% yes.
There are a lot of things I don’t like about Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-Earth, but the majority of these issues stem from differences in source material. The Hobbit is a more animated and comedic book and this translates into the film, which for me feels like an undoing of the stern world of LOTR. It’s the small things like exaggerated prosthetic feet, silly hair and cartoonish bulbous noses that make many of the dwarf characters (of which there are many) feel a bit stupid and unbelievable- with one committing to full retard and pissing me off.
I was worried that PJ’s, seemingly, mental idea to churn out 3 films would result in slow paced obscurity devoid of all relevance, but surprisingly, with the exception of a slow start, the film is very well paced and doesn’t feel like it outstays its welcome. As a true fan, I wasn’t phased by the slow start, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed it. From the very first credit of ‘Wingnut Films’ I was like: “Eek, it’s the LOTR writing!” and I felt like I was 10 years old again. The greatest success of this film is how it manages to ensue a sense of nostalgia upon the viewer, a feeling that very few franchises are able to produce. The sets and landscapes of yesteryear are back along with some of the characters; a scene where The Big 4 (you’ll know if you’ve seen it) meet to discuss the dwarves quest filled me with fond memories and excitement at the prospect of another, not 1, but 2 instalments.
For me, the biggest flaw was a reliance on CGI over the Academy Award winning makeup of Frodo and Co’s travels. Some of the special effects are thoroughly underwhelming and detract from the experience of such an incredibly created world. However, Gollum looks better than ever and Serkis (shamefully uncredited for his 2nd Unit direction) relives his alter-ego(s) with perfection, further complements go to Freeman as protagonist Bilbo and Richard Armitage’s dwarf heir, Thorin.
I wasn’t expecting greatness from this film and while The Hobbit may fall short of greatness it remains a bloody good film that I enjoyed start to finish far more than I ever anticipated, coincidentally making it ‘an unexpected journey’ to the cinema that defined a generation over a decade ago.
Writer and director, Andrew Dominik (Chopper), turns the 1974 novel into a tense and immersive vision of a bleak world, littered with desperation and very wordy conversations.
There are a few things you will immediately reflect upon once the credits role, most predominately will be the brutality that Killing Them Softly exhibits, expect blood and broken bones on a few occasions, with one character getting beaten savagely to within inches of life. Another note will be the length of conversations, some of the scenes go on and on without much clue as to where they are taking you- this can be frustrating because you continuously doubt the relevance of the topics (but not in a Tarantino ‘Inglorious’ self-indulgent/important way), it is these conversations that paint the world in the various shades of depressing grey that really amplify how lost some of the characters really are. Speaking of characters, the entire cast work excellently and are thoroughly believable; shining most brightly (excuse the irony of the metaphor) is James Gandolfini’s sex addicted alcoholic hit-man and most surprisingly comes Ben Mendelsohn’s heroin addicted no-hoper. Both of these characters provide some comic value but it is the kind of comedy that you feel uncomfortable for laughing about- it is in these moments that Killing Them Softly’s excellence is realised; it puts the viewer in a position that at times seems as twisted and confused as those of the characters on screen- not an easy accomplishment.
In terms of storyline Killing Them Softly uses the 1974 ‘Cogan’s Trade’ as its source and remains very simple, yet the execution of simple things to such a high level really makes this film a worthwhile watch. The clear and present argument would be that the film is slow and I suppose this is true. If you refuse to lend yourself for its 97 minute run you probably won’t take much away, but I’d say this is hard to do because the film is made with an alarmingly real style- nothing sugarcoated here. The world sucks and frequent political and economic undertones will continuously remind you that everything is turning to shit.
Oozing with stylistic touches whilst remaining frighteningly bleak, Killing Them Softly is thoroughly well written with polarising moments of dialogue and brutality, cast exceptionally, delivers some classic quotes and is beautifully shot. Whilst the film is a slow moving vehicle it hits like a freight train.
It’s been almost a week since The XX’s sophomore album was released and if I’ve listened to any other artist this week is has been, either, due to shuffle or by accident.
While the 11 track release isn’t groundbreaking and in many ways feels like an extension to their Mercury Prize winning self-titled debut from 2009 this isn’t really a bad thing. It can be attributed to the London 3-piece’s distinct sound of ambient guitars and pulsating bass arranged with gentle vocals from both Romy Croft and Oliver Sim. These components coupled with the estranged production and percussion style of Jamie Smith (aka Jamie xx) make for and atmospheric and immersive sound that captivates the listener from the first play. The opening track/ first single ‘Angels’ explores a more emotional territory for the band and this continues through to the close, ‘Our Song’.
Every song on this album has merit, standout tracks include; ‘Try’, ‘Missing’, ‘Tides’ and ‘Angels’. The XX have cemented their instantly recognisable sound as contender for commercial success as well as critical. Coexist is an album that, in no way, reinvents the band but instead employs an “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach and it delivers true with catchy hooks, stirring vocals and hauntingly weighted silences.
Thor: The Dark World (Thor 2) is currently being filmed in the Bourne Woods in Surrey, England. There are 4 of the totem-esque structures and surrounding them are yurts and the whole set has a kind of aztec vibe. Initially there was confusion because the set does not immediately scream Marvel but recent photos have revealed Chris Hemsworth doing battle with, what are believed to be, Dark Elves, as well as some of Loki’s henchman. The scene being filmed is obviously some form of fight, including large explosions and lots of extras.
Explosions and car chases aren’t required to make something incredible.
How times change; I couldn’t be more excited for, what finally appears to be, an incredible incarnation of my favourite book.
First things first; I’m a massive Spidey geek- I was raised on a stable diet of Pokemon and Spiderman cartoons- and it is from this passion that my mixed feelings toward the webslinger’s latest silverscreen-outing stem.
Don’t get me wrong, if you were debating spending your hard-earned dough on yet another Spiderman film, I would say: “Dude, you should totally check it out, it’s pretty freakin’ cool”, and it is. As far as I’m concerned it was a very enjoyable 4th of July/summer blockbuster; funny, charming, stylistic with some great action sequences, but, there’s a but. I’d been reading some other reviews and they never really concluded whether or not this film was any good (spoiler alert: it is) but instead they posed the question ‘is this a film we really need?’ I thought that it sounded a bit like a cheat of a write up, but after seeing it, I get what Peter Travers et al were chatting about. There are points in the film where you know what’s about to happen because you’ve already seen it happen in the previous films- Uncle Ben, fights with Flash etc. A fair chunk of the film feels like trodden ground and it really detracts from the fact that many of those sequences are handled with more charm and flair than the Sam Raimi versions. It isn’t the kind of satisfying dramatic irony but instead feels like substandard creativity and a little bit annoying.
However, the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone- a strong contender for my own heart- is infinitely better than that “shared” by Toby and Kirsten on any of their 3 occasions together. Both actors really shine in their roles and Marc Webb and his team have done a much better job at creating the awkward flirtatiousness of adolescence. Rhys Ifans portrayal of Dr Connors, aka The Lizard, isn’t overwhelming with menace and although it’s a great choice of baddie, the plot seems slightly more fantastical than we’re used to from the Spiderman/Marvel universe (Thor excluded). Martin Sheen is always welcome on my screen and he really suited the part of Uncle Ben, as was Dennis Leary as a surprisingly present Captain Stacey.
The main thing the audiences need to remember is that this is NOT ‘Spiderman’ (The Astonishing), this is ‘The Amazing Spiderman’- a different arch of Marvel craftsmanship, and this motion picture should be considered, upon merits and otherwise, seldom to any other Spidey films. In this divorce of judgement I found Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spiderman to be a thoroughly good watch, perhaps not hitting the dizzying heights of “Amazing” (it’s no Spiderman 2- but you can’t think like that), yet it definitely quenched by Spiderman thirst more than I thought it would ever be able to considering the previous franchise isn’t even cold in its grave.
Today saw the surfacing of a lot of Assassin’s Creed III info via the very exciting reveal trailer. Check it out on the link.
All the rumors are true, grab your hidden blade and prepare for Colonial America and embrace the Frontier. Some massive changes are on the way and personally, I’m already excited for when Ubisoft release the beginning of the end (at least for Desmond) come October 30th.
Just to add, it has been revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been in talks with the Bat-team regarding an undisclosed role in the 3rd Nolan installment of the Batman reboot. So far, all we know is that it is nothing to do with casting for The Riddler, whom Nolan has already said will not be featuring in the film due to start production later in the year.
The extraordinary director behind the Bat’s blockbuster comeback tour has revealed, via a Warner Bros. press release, that Catwoman will be one of the new faces showing up in troublesome Gotham City. It was also reveaedl that Princess Diaries sweetheart, Anne Hathaway, will be sporting the leather suit as she takes Batman’s place during a temporary absence. It’ll be nice to see Hathaway venturing into something different, but it also gives way to risk that people will find it difficult to believe that she is a legitimate cog in Nolan’s dark on-screen world. To top it off, charismatic Tom Hardy has been confirmed to play Bane. We already knew of Hardy’s involvement, and he’s swiftly working his way up Nolan’s Christmas card list, but is Bane the way to go? There was speculation he had been cast as Hugo Strange, a character which would seem right at home in the gritty streets of Gotham, and it is easy to see Hardy stepping into Strange’s shoes. Bane, on the other hand, is slightly less believable and although the characters have been extravagant they didn’t involve being pumped full of a ‘venom’ that turns them into a brutish combo of Arnie and Hurley from Lost. There has been no word of how closely Hardy’s Bane will translate to that depicted in the comics, but at this point (2 Bats in and one of the biggest films of 2010) I think it’s safe to say Nolan knows what he’s doing. Then again, we thought that about George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and then they went and put a massive spaceship in Indiana Jones, so it just goes to show how even the most seasoned professionals can kill a good thing. Personally, I think that Tom Hardy is a fantastic actor, his performances in both Bronson and Inception encapsulated the character and made them, not just appealing, but thoroughly entertaining to watch. If anyone can handle Bane it’s Mr Hardy, and if anyone can do it right, it’s Mr Nolan. The Dark Knight Rising info is few and fat between, but needless to say, every trickle of this nerd fuel only excites me more for the 2012 release.