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Archive for August, 2011

Footloose Remake

In a town were dancing is against the law, the teenagers fight for their right to boogie.

The 1984 hit film Footloose is being remade and brought to the next generation. The film is set in the fictional town of Bomont and will star Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormack, played by Kevin Bacon in the original, and Julianne Hough as Ariel, originally played by Lori Singer.

Bomont is an uptight old-fashioned town were, after five teens die in a car accident coming home from a dance, a law was passed to stop minors dancing in public (seems like they probably should have just banned driving, but that would be ridiculous). Then a city kid called Ren, moves to town and rebels against the law. Ironically the town were dancing is illegal is also the home of some really skilled dancers, like no way they got that good without practice.

The trailer was good, but will modern audiences be able to take the plot serious? There’s one part were, in court, Ren says ‘there was once a time for that law, but not anymore’, the law forbidding public dancing was only passed three years before Ren moved to Bomont, that’s not a lot of time for the law to go from necessary to unnecessary. Then again, the law was completely crazy to begin with, or was it? The whole idea of a town that banned dancing wasn’t made up. The inspiration came from a Elmore City, a place in America were dancing was banned until 1980. However, in reality the ban was put in place in the late 1800s, which is a little more believable than 2008.

As far as dance movies go, it seems pretty good and, though the cast look too old to be effected by the no minors dancing in public law, the characters seem believable. It should also be noted that, despite it now being a classic, the original Footloose got really bad reviews, makes me wonder if this one will do any better. Maybe the modern setting and music will help the story. Speaking of music, the trailer plays a number of songs; some are reminiscent of the Step Up movies, while others are more country. The trailer itself gives the same impression; Step Up with a country edge.

We won’t really now if it’s good or not until the movie comes out on the 14th of October, but what do you think? Did you like the original? Are you looking forward to seeing a modern version? Do you hate dance movies? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.

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In Time

You may have heard the saying; time is money. Well in the upcoming film In Time, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, this is literally the case.

In the film, scientists have successfully stopped the aging process, which inevitably lead to overpopulation. To counter this they decided to make time, how long you have left to live, currency. Everyone ages until 25, then they must survive on time that they earn through work. This leads to the rich living forever, while the poor must fight to survive.

Will Salas, played by Justin Timberlake, is a 28 year old who is struggling to get by. He rarely has more than a few days. Then he meets Henry, Matt Bomer, a rich man who is tired of living. Henry transfers most of his time to Will, then leaves to die. Unfortunately, this act of kindness leads to Will having to go on the run from a police force known as the Timekeepers, who think that he murdered Henry.

The trailer does a great job of explaining the story. It gives a really clear idea of the movie will be like, which is good because it means that people going to see it will be the type of people who enjoy action/sci-fi films. It’s obvious that the film is making a comment on the gap between the rich and the poor in society. This is something a lot of people can relate to, especially in the recession (that’s right I said recession everybody that a drink).

Not many digital effects were shown on the trailer. All the characters have timers on their arms telling them how much time they have left, but that’s about it. This is unusual because it’s set in the future, which normally means plenty of CGI. There could be a lot more CGI in the actually movie, but keeping it to a minimum would be refreshing. After all, the story really doesn’t require that much, the dialogue should help establish the futuristic setting.

Though the rules of this futuristic world are outlined, they are not explained entirely. For example; if someone under 25 wants to buy something how can they? Time is currency and you are guaranteed not to die (by running out of time) before you’re 25. I expect this, and any other questions, will be answered in the film, but it may not be. You never know.

In Time comes out on the 28th of October in the US and the 1st of November in the UK and Ireland. Personally, I’m excited about this movie, but what do you think? Do you like the trailer? Is the story interesting? Do you think it’s strange that most of the actors aren’t 25? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


A Lonely Place to Die

A Lonely Place to Die is an upcoming action/thriller movie starring Melissa George and Edward Speleers. The film first premiered on the 10th of April at Actionfest Film Festival in the USA and will hit cinemas in the UK on the 9th of September and in the US in November. 

The movie follows a group of five mountain climbers, who, while on a trip, hear a strange noise coming from somewhere in the forest. They manage to locate the source which turns out to be a kidnapped child. From there the movie transforms into a clever thrill ride with plenty of action, as the characters struggle to get the little girl, Anna, to safety.

Though it is without a doubt a thriller, it has elements of other genres. The start feels like a movie about mountain climbers, as it should. There is no looming darkness, it doesn’t make it obvious that they will be in any danger besides the obvious dangers of climbing a mountain. The characters benefit from this, they feel more three-dimensional. They aren’t perfect, their relationships aren’t perfect, they don’t always do the right thing and sometimes, when they do, they regret the act of bravery.

Speleers’ character is selfish, arrogant and rude. As the story goes on the viewer gets to see different sides of him, but he never completely transforms into the perfect guy and he shouldn’t, that’s not how life works. Melissa George did a great job as well. The relationship between the two characters felt relatable, the way they talk to each other was very realistic. One character that I felt was unappreciated was Jenny, played by Kate Magowan, who was the maternal figure and, in my opinion, a great asset to the story.

The film winds down to a satisfying conclusion and the audience will be glad that they stuck with the characters throughout the ordeal. The movie is completely character driven and it isn’t hard to care what happens to them. Though be warned the film deals with a serious topic, kidnapping, and at times it gets really dark. I recommend this movie to people who enjoy films with great story and well structured characters.

What do you think? Are you excited about the film? Have you seen it? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Could finding a cure for Alzheimer’s bring on an ape rebellion?  According to the latest Planet of the Apes film, the answer is yes, which is unfortunate but what can you do.

The Planet of the Apes started as a book and was then made into a film, in 1968.  This movie spawned four sequels and a TV series and was then remade in 2001.  The remake, though being closer to the original book, was negatively received, mainly due to the confusing ending.  Now in 2011, another attempt at rebooting the series has been made, but is Rise of the Planet of the Apes the start of something great or another mistake?

James Franco plays a scientist who is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s to bring his father back.  His research is sent back from the animal testing phase when one of the apes goes on a rampage, which he discovers was due to the fact she thought they were going to hurt her baby.  Noticing the baby chimp, Caesar, has inherited the treatment genetically from its mother, Will, Franco’s character, takes him home and raises him.  He also begins secretly testing the medication on his father.  After an incident, Caesar is taking from Will and put in a refuge.  Here he is mistreated by humans and begins to plot a rising, with the aid of Will’s Alzheimer’s medication.

As a fan of the original series, I was worried about the computer generated apes.  This is the first Planet of the Apes film that hasn’t used people in ape costumes.  There were times when I thought the apes didn’t look like apes, but they always fit in with the environment and looked like they were actually there, so for that reason I’m going to call it a success.  Caesar’s movements were done by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.  Serkis did a great job, the movements were very realistic, much more than that of apes in the previous films.  It’s hard to empathise with a character that can’t speak, but the facial expressions and eyes do a wonderful job and it’s easy to feel for Caesar.  In fact, they are so good that it’s sometimes depressing to watch.

Many of the themes in the film are going to put you in a downer; animal research, animal abuse, Alzheimer’s, loss, etc.  Not exactly a feel good film, but it does have plenty of heart and will have you rooting against mankind.  If you’re a fan of the originals you should be able to spot some links to the old films, the line ‘get you’re hand off me you damn dirty ape’ for example.  Remember, this is not a prequel it’s a reboot, so don’t expect it to match up, it doesn’t.  However, they already have plans to make sequels to this movie and hopefully they bring in some more aspects from the original series.  An interesting idea I read, that I hope is put in a future installment, is to show the apes destroy the Statue of Liberty.  If you’re looking for a movie with a good story and a lot of heart then this is the film for you, but if you want a feel good film then avoid this at all costs.

What do you think?  Have you seen the film?  Do you like the CGI apes?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


The Change Up

The Change Up is the latest in a long line of bad body switch comedies.  The storyline is the same as every other of its kind; two people switch bodies and must learn to appreciate there own and the other persons lives.  The big difference is that this time you really don’t care about either of them.

Body swap movies have been around for years.  We know the storylines inside and out, so why should people pay for a ticket?  Well this time they’ve sexed it up.  The characters in the film use the body swap as a way to perv on woman, except all the nude woman in the film are shown as unsexy, with the exception of Olivia Wilde.  There’s the pregnant on and the one on the toilet.  It’s like the movie was aimed at teenage boys, but only to scare them away by showing them that beautiful woman aren’t always sexy.

There were some funny moments, but at times the film resorted to gross out gags.  This type of humour can work in some films, but not when the theme of the movie is broken marriages and relationship problems.  Jason Bateman gets some funny lines, as he gets to take on Ryan Reynolds character.  Bateman actually plays the character better than Reynolds did.  He really stole the film, which is sad because he picked a really bad film to steal.

In this type of movie two different kinds of people switch bodies, but in this case the two are so opposite that it’s really hard to imagine them being friends.  Before the body swap, Bateman’s character says that he had wasted his twenties.  It’s possible that the two had been alike in high school, but they went completely different directions I just don’t see how they would have stayed so close.  Bateman’s character had actually been too embarrassed to invite Reynolds’ to a party with his friends, so why hang out with him all the time?

I recommend saving your money.  The film is predictable and just plain not good.

What do you think?  Did you hate the movie?  What part did you like least?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Happy Birthday

Today’s my 20th birthday so picture of a cake for everyone.

Had a great day, which (surprise surprise) involved a movie, so expect a review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes in the coming days.


Drive

‘There are no clean getaway’s’ especially if you get stuck in an elevator with Ryan Gosling’s character in the film Drive.  He may be quiet, but he’s not afraid to stomp people to death.  It’s this unpredictability that makes the film truly enjoyable to watch.

Drive is about a man (played by Ryan Gosling), who is a mechanic, a stunt driver and occasionally a wheelman.  He gets to know his neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio (Kaden Leos).  At the time, Irene’s husband was in jail, but he is released and owes money to some criminals.  Gosling’s character (Driver) decides to help by driving the getaway car to a pawn shop robbery.  However, it goes bad and Driver must then go on the run from a criminal gang. 

To protect himself, Irene and Benicio, he does some pretty crazy things, including stomping someone to death.  With that in mind, I’m going to say this isn’t the kind of movie you bring your kids too.  That’s right, I’m talking to you parents who blame movies and video games for there kids being screwed up.  For a while it seems like the film is going one way; Driver going to become a race car driver, fall in love with Irene and be a great stepdad.  Then all of a sudden it changes completely; Driver is on the run and Irene and Benicio are in danger.  It’s a great feeling when you genuinely have no clue how a movie will end.

Now on to the bad stuff, one of the most noticeable things is slow dialogue.  You could make the film like an hour shorter if you cut out all the bits were people take ages before answering each other.  It was probably intended to make certain characters seem deep and mysterious, but honestly my friend and I turned to one another and asked ‘What’s wrong with him?’, which I doubt is the reaction they were going for.  The film is artsy and does a lot with body language and stares, however this actually works well.  So let’s review; slow response time = mentally challenged, complete silence = artsy and revolutionary.

Audience members laughed and cringed their way through the film and at the end they legitimately cared what happened to the characters.  That, in my eyes, makes this a great movie, one which I recommend people (not children) see.

What do you think?  Have you seen Drive?  Do you want to see it?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


Fright Night 3D

Prefer you’re vampires sparkling in the sun?  Well then look away now, as the Fright Night remake returns vampires to there heartless bloodthirsty selves.

Fright Night 3D is a remake of the original Fright Night, which came out in 1985.  Fright Night has a huge fan base, so it’s not hard to see why they decided to remake it.  It’s a dangerous move messing with a story that so many people care about, but luckily they pulled it off.

The plot differs from the original, it isn’t entirely different but there are a lot changes.   In this version Charley has gained popularity and now ignores his old geeky friends, even when one of them, Ed Thompson who is played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, warns him that his neighbour, Jerry, is a vampire.  Having not seen the original it’s hard to give a good comparison, but in that version Charley is still friends with Ed and is as unpopular as ever.  To my understanding, there are a lot of differences especially in the middle part of the film.  This could put fans of the original off, but judging the movie on its own merits it’s a pretty amazing film.

The graphics are great and that includes the 3D.  I’m not a fan of 3D, I think it adds nothing to the film and isn’t worth the price.  Fright Night is the exception.  The 3D was not simply used to add depth, which is a waste of time and money, things were coming out at you.  It made people flinch and reached out to try touch things (yeah that actually happened I seen it), it got the audience involved.  The vampire effects were great and sometimes even resembled the effects used on the original.  It was really nice to see a vampire be a vampire and not some love sick, sparkly little girl.

Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin both did a great job.  The teenagers didn’t look like teenagers though, especially Yelchin who is actually only 22 he just always looks older to me.  Farrell’s accent was flawless and he really was perfect for the role.  Again, I didn’t see the original so I am judging by his performance in this movie rather than how he compared to Chris Sarandon, who played the character in the first Fright Night.  There wasn’t one cast member that I didn’t like, they all did really well.  One thing I will say is that his mother can really faint, she was out for way too long (you’ll see what I mean when you see it).

Fright Night 3D was one of the most fun films I’ve seen in a long time.  I genuinely enjoyed myself from start to finish; it was the gem of Film Fest.  I recommend seeing it whether or not you are a fan of the original.  Give it a chance; don’t hate it simply because you like the first one.  Seeing it has got me really excited about the first one and I will be getting in on DVD, as will a lot of people I expect.

What do you think?  Have you seen the original?  Did you enjoy this film?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Movie Fest Sold Out

The first annual Film Fest in Cineworld Dublin was a complete success, selling out both days.  This unfortunately meant that I only got tickets for Saturday and had to miss Sunday, but on the upside it guarantees that the festival will be returning next summer.

Doors opened at ten in the morning and fans lined up to exchange there tickets for wristbands.  The first screening, Fright Night 3D, started at half ten.  The entire event was contained in screen 17, the largest screen.  On each seat was an almost empty gift bag.  They had either a CD, book or DVD, a packet of crisps, a voucher for a free movie online and a pair of 3D glasses.  Some got t-shirts.  It was disappointing that they didn’t prepare more t-shirts as some people rummaged through bags to ensure they got one.  These t-shirts were Film Fest ones, not the Spider-Man ones that were advertised on the website.  The Spider-Man shirts were only given out on Sunday, which is false advertising is you ask me.

After Fright Night ended, there was a ten minute break in which time everybody lined up for the toilets.  When we came back from the break, trailers and clips from upcoming movies were shown.  You could have watched most of the trailers online, but I enjoyed it because I hadn’t heard of a lot of them before.  A lot of the clips caused the crowd to laugh and this is the first time I noticed how hard it is to take a film seriously when it’s out of context.  We were given a 45 minute break after the clips.  During this time, The Woolshed, a pub that is next to Cineworld, had meals designed to have you in and out in 25 minutes.  Unfortunately, I went to Eddie Rockets, I was back before the next screening, but my seat had been stolen and I had to sit upfront for the last two movies.

The mystery film was Drive, a film about a guy who talks really slow.  Okay that’s not the plot, but it was the most prominent thing in the film.  I actually enjoyed it, for some reason.  Then we had a short break and were shown The Change Up.  At this stage my head was pounding, probably because I was sitting a few feet from the screen.  I actually had to move my head to see each character.  I don’t blame the people who stole my seat (yes I do), because sitting up that close is ridiculously bad.  Why put seats that close?  Also there’s a cut on the screen, it’s one of those things you don’t notice at first then you can’t stop seeing it.

Though I know it doesn’t sound like it from what I wrote, I had a great time.  The movies were good, especially Fright Night, and the clips and trailers were interesting, best of all was a longer trailer for The Avengers movie.  I’ll definitely be going again next year, only this time I’ll be getting tickets for both days and will never leave my seat unguarded.  For the next few days, I’ll be posting reviews of the films that were shown on the Saturday; Fright Night 3D, Drive and The Change Up.  Be sure to check back for that and if anyone from Cineworld reads this and wants to send me a Spider-Man t-shirt feel free (it’s worth a shot).

What do you think?  Did you go to the festival?  Do you want to go next year?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Dirty Dancing Remake

Lionsgate have announced that they are remaking the classic film Dirty Dancing.  This revelation proves that it is in fact impossible to put Baby in a corner and make her stay there.

The original film came out in 1987 and follows a young girl, Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, who, while away with her family, falls in love with a dance instructor.  The film covers controversial issues, some that are still controversial today, like abortion.  Despite abortion still being a grey area in film, the rest of the plot is pretty tame by today’s standards and most young people have done much dirtier dancing in nightclubs.

However, the remake will not be set in modern times.  This means that it will be able to stay as tame as its predecessor and have an identical setting and list of characters.  So what’s the point of making the same film twice?  For that answer you’d have to ask the creators of Final Destination.  However, this is not the first time Dirty Dancing has been remade.  In 1988 a TV series of Dirty Dancing, which featured none of the original cast, was made.  The show basically retold the events of the movie, with some alterations, but it only lasted eleven episodes.  Then in 2004 a remake called Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights came out.  The film was negatively received and criticised heavily for copying the original.

Many of the people who worked, behind the scenes, of the original film will be returning for this remake.  Does this mean it has a chance of living up to the original?  Or will it be too tame to leave an impact on today’s viewer?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.