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Posts tagged “james

Skyfall Review

It’s not often that a movie franchise lasts fifty years, or survives so many cast changes, but this year marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series and with that comes the 23rd instalment, Skyfall. Though technically it’s only the third film, Casino Royale was a reboot.

After an action packed opening sequence, in which Bond (Daniel Craig) fails to retrieve important M16 files, M’s ability to lead is called into question. Gareth Mallory, played by Ralph Fiennes, is sent in to pressure M into retirement, but she doesn’t want to ‘leave it (M16) in a worse state than she found it’. 007 must then go on a mission to track down the files, but to do this he must go deep into M’s past and face a ghost who has come back to haunt her.

The story is interesting and moves quickly so it never gets boring despite the long running time of two hours and 23 minutes. However, some aspects, like the Bond girl, felt like they were just thrown in because they had to or it wouldn’t be a James Bond film. Bérénice Marlohe plays Sévérine Skyfall’s version of a Bond girl. Though her performance was good she never really had anything to do and could easily be lifted out of the movie without it affecting the story.

M is very much at the centre of the plot and Judi Dench does an amazing job portraying M as both a heartless leader and a mother figure. She makes the tough calls and doesn’t apologise when one agent’s safety has to be sacrificed for the greater good, which is admirable but makes it hard to believe that anyone would actually be loyal to her. However, she does subtly give an explanation for this by pointing out that ‘orphans always make the best agents’. Bonds unquestionable loyalty to her adds to the depth of his character, which is explored further in this movie.

As far as villains go, I think it’s fair to say that Skyfall has one of the most interesting. Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem is a cyber-terrorist who prides himself on being able to take down organisations and people without ever having to leave his computer. Even though he’s the villain it’s hard not to like him because he’s a little crazy and that’s always interesting to watch. Plus, he very nearly became the first Bond boy, well that should get your imaginations going. There are a number of similarities between Raoul and Bond, which makes it so interesting to see how different they ended up.

Skyfall also sees the return of Q, though a much younger version. Ben Whishaw takes on the role offering up some comedic relief and creating an interesting dynamic with Bond who is now the older of the two. Naomie Harris plays a young field agent, called Eve, who ‘may not be cut out for field work’. Harris does a great job, but some of Eve’s choices, particularly one at the end, seem out of character. The relationship between her and Bond is actually much more compelling than the one he has with Bond girl Sévérine.

There are some really fun references to older Bond movies that fans of the franchise will love. Even if you’re not well educated in the world of Bond you’ll be able to pick up on a few and join in on the fun. Skyfall is a really clever, entertaining and interesting movie that has shown Bond films can have depth and character growth without sacrificing the action and excitement.

What do you think? Are you a James Bond Fan? Have you seen every Bond film? Do you plan on seeing Skyfall? Who was your favourite Bond? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and, if you liked this review, click the like button.

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Resident Evil: Retribution trailer reveals new story details

Sony Pictures have released another trailer for the upcoming addition to the Resident Evil film franchise, Resident Evil: Retribution.

It’s never easy converting a story from one medium to another, there will always be diehard fans that are understandable protective of the original.  When Resident Evil made the transition from game to film it wasn’t so much about keeping loyal to the original story but rather the feeling of playing the game, which is why I split fans.  Some weren’t able to get over the lack of familiar characters and story, while others appreciated the uneasy atmosphere that mirrored the one in the games.  As the series progressed it introduced more elements and characters from the games, but began to lose any resemblance of tone or atmosphere.  For this reason many fans of the games openly dislike the series as it doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil experience and the characters do not behave like their game counterparts.  From the latest trailer it appears that the film franchise will be moving even further away from the story of the games.

There is a lot of information about the story in this trailer.  It was previously stated that a number of characters, who featured in previous movies, would not be returning in this film because they were captured by Umbrella.  The trailer adds to this by showing that Alice was also captured and is being held in a fictional reality were she is married to Carlos Oliveira and the two of them have a child together.  Ada Wong finds Alice and reveals that the life she is experiencing isn’t real and is only implanted memories.  It’s still a little confusing about who is and isn’t a clone, especially since Alice is seen having two different hairstyles throughout the trailer.  The narration states that Umbrella has used Alice to perfect the virus, which brings on a whole new theory of how her deceased friends have returned; maybe they were actually brought back with the virus.  Though considering Carlos was blown up and jigsaw experts would be require to bring the original James ‘One’ Shade clones are still the most logical bet, which is a little disappointing.

As a fan of both the movie and game series, I thought the trailer looked really good.  The story looks interesting and I’m looking forward to actually understanding it.  It seems over the top with lots of action and really if that’s not what you want to see then this isn’t the right franchise for you.  It doesn’t resemble the games so much in terms of story, but there are a lot of elements from the games that can be seen throughout the trailer.  Most obviously are the zombies and B.O.W.s which strongly mirror those of the games.  More characters from the games have been brought into the film as well as a proper return for Jill Valentine who only briefly appeared that the end of Afterlife after being absent from Extinction without any explanation.  The movie comes out on the 14th of September 2012, until then all we can do is speculate but isn’t that one of the best parts of being obsessed with movies?  Maybe that’s just me.

What do you think?  Did you enjoy the trailer?  Are you planning on seeing the movie?  Do you like when characters from the game appear in the films or do you think they don’t carry over well?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and, if you like this post, click the like button.  If you enjoy speculating feel free to add your theories in the comment section.


Insidious 2 confirmed

Insidious was one of the most profitable films of 2011, costing only $1.5 million to make and grossing over $100 million worldwide.  The movie was also received extremely well by critics, so it isn’t a major surprise that a sequel  is on the horizon, but will the sequel live up to the original or is this another case of Hollywood greed?

Insidious was written by Leigh Whannel, who also had a role in the film, and was directed by James Wan, both are returning to these roles for the sequel.  This is a good sign for the quality of the sequel, but it still has not been confirmed whether or not any of the characters from the first film will return.  Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne starred in the film and neither has been confirmed to have any involvement in the sequel.  Though it is entirely possible that they will be in the film, there is a chance the story could be unrelated to the original film, think Mirrors and Mirrors 2.

Hopefully, more information will be released soon, until then all we can do is let our imaginations run wild and preemptively catch up on the sleep that will be lost the nights after the films release.

What do you think?  Are you happy that Insidious is getting a sequel?  Did you like the original?  How would you like the story to go?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to follow/subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button or follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/AdamODwyer1.


Skyfall first picture

The first official picture for the latest Bond film, Skyfall, has been put up on the films website, 007.com.  Along with the picture is a countdown clock ticking down until the very day, minute, second that bond is back on our screens.  The movie once again stars Daniel Craig as bond and is set to shake and stir cinemas on the 26th of October, in the UK and Ireland, and the 9th of November, in North America.

What do you think?  Are you excited about the film?  Do you like the picture?  Who was your favourite bond?  Let me know by voting and leavinga comment below.  Also don’t forget to follow/subscribe and, if you like this post, click on the like button.  You can also follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/AdamODwyer1.


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.


X-Men: First Class

If you’ve been within hearing range of me when the trailer for X-Men: First Class came on, then you’re probably sick of me complaining about it.  However, I saw the movie and got in for free.  No it wasn’t anything to do with my blog or journalism; it was because my friend works in the cinema.  Having seen the movie, my opinion of it has completely changed.

Personally, I hate when movies can’t stay within the continuity of the series they’re in, but X-Men: First Class has proved to be an exception.  It contradicts the previous instalments numerous times, even going as far as using the same character in a different time period; yes I’m talking about Emma Frost.  I could write a whole post on the errors in the canon of the X-Men movie series, but if I’m honest, when I got into the film, they didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would.  In fact, I think the movie was probably one of the best in the franchise.

The first two X-Men movies where directed by Bryan Singer, who left the third one to direct Superman Returns, which was his dream project.  Without Singer the series took a nose dive.  X-Men 3 was bad and dismissed a lot of the pre-established story, but it was X-Men Origins: Wolverine that completely turned me off the franchise.  I insisted I would never see another X-Men move, at least not one in this canon, but who can turn down a free ticket and I’m glad I went.

The film follows Professor X and Magneto back when they were Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr.  The first scene is a near shot for shot remake of the opening scene in the first X-Men movie.  It shows Erik first using his magnetic powers to bend a gate in a concentration camp.  It was so similar that I actually did think it was the same scene.  Meanwhile, Charles is living in a mansion and one night meets Mystique who becomes his best friend.  Though this was an interesting storyline, it contradicts with the original movies where Professor X and Mystique appear to have no emotional investment in each other, good or bad.

It takes a while for Charles and Erik to meet, but even separated they stole the show.  It was nice to see a different side to the characters.  We get to see young fun Professor X, even hitting on random girls in bars.  It was a nice touch and the relationship between the two has been one of the more engaging things about the movie series as a whole.  Despite both being on different sides, they have a mutual love and respect for each other and it was really enjoyable to see where that began.

There are a bunch of other mutants in the movie and, unlike X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they all got a fair amount of screen time.  One of the things that stood out for me was Beast’s transformation.  To avoid giving too much away I’m just going to say that they used what happened in the comics.  Also featured in the movie were Havok, Banshee, Riptide, Azazel and many more.  It was surprising, and nice, to see that they found a place for each of the mutants to show off and use their powers, especially Banshee, who normally doesn’t get shown in such a cool light.  If you’re a major comic fan then you might remember that Havok, aka Alex Summers, is the middle Summers brother.  Though obviously the timeline won’t allow that in the movie, Singer did say that Havok and Cyclops are related just in a way that works for the film.

This film is the best thing to happen to the series since X-Men 2.  It was refreshing, fun and interesting.  Luckily, it has been announced that they want to turn First Class into a series, which means we don’t have to say goodbye to these characters just yet.  If you’re going to see the movie and you are familiar with the previous films, there are some things that were thrown in for fans.  One of the best is the suits, which were joked about in the first movie.  Good luck spotting the rest, which include cameos from two cast members from the previous films.  I recommend giving this film a chance, even if you are concerned about the canon.

What do you think?  Are there too many mistakes?  What power would you like to have?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Insidious

After a 12 year break, Phantom Menace star, Darth Maul makes an appearance in James Wan’s Insidious.

Okay so it may not be Darth Maul, but it’s pretty damn close.  Anyway, Insidious was made by, both, the creators of Saw and the creators of Paranormal Activity, which are two very different types of horror films.  Saw is all about the visuals, the traps, gore, etc, but Paranormal Activity focuses more on suspense, as a result, Insidious, falls somewhere in the middle.

The story follows a couple, Renai and Josh, and their three children as they move into a new house.  One of their sons, Dalton, is scared of his new room.  One night he hears a noise in the attic, which he explores, but a step on the ladder breaks causing him to fall.  He seems fine, besides being terrified by something in the corner of the room, but the next day they find he has slipped into a coma.  The strangeness in the house increases so much that the family, who are taking care of Dalton at home, decide to move.  However, the move proves fruitless and they are forced to face the truth; it’s not the house that’s haunted it is their son.

The film has received fairly positive reviews, but a common complaint, among fans and critics, is that the end of the movie cannot possibly live up to the high standard that is set by the rest of the film.  The plot sounds like a rollercoaster ride and, if the reviews are true, you’ll be watching it with your eyes closed.  If you live in America, you may already have seen it, but for us Irish folk, and people in the UK, we’ll have to wait until the 29th of April, which is only two days away, but still.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star as Josh and Renai, respectively, and it was directed by James Wan.  If you’re a horror movie fan then this is probably a must see, it’s already the most profitable film of 2011 and it’s not even out everywhere yet.  Let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Hop Movie Review

Every year more Christmas movies come out, there must be hundreds, but how many Easter movies can you name?  There’s not many, but this year one has hopped its way to cinemas.

Hop follows E.B. a talking rabbit who is next in line to be the Easter Bunny.  However, E.B. is reluctant to follow in his father’s footsteps and would rather become a drummer.  One day E.B.’s father makes fun of E.B.’s dream of becoming a rock star, so E.B. runs away.  Desperate to find somewhere to stay, E.B. travels to a place that’s been good to bunnies since 1927, The Playboy Mansion.  After getting rejected, E.B. walks around and is hit by a car.

The driver of the car is, out of work slacker, Fred O’Hare, note the not so subtle hare reference.  Reluctantly, Fred allows E.B. to move in with him.  However, Fred does not own the house he is merely house sitting for his sisters boss. 

Unbeknownst to E.B., his father has sent a trio of trained ninja bunnies, The Pink Berets, to find E.B. and bring him home to Easter Island.  While all this is happening, an evil chick, named Carlos, is conspiring to take over the role of Easter Bunny, thus putting chicks in charge of Easter.

The movie was good, but the end really let it down.  There were some funny parts that worked well, but the ending just seemed so forced and felt extremely rushed.  It’s unfortunate, as the rest of the film was fairly well paced.  There honestly was no point where I was actually bored, but, as I said,  the predictable fake ending really goes against the movie.

There are some pretty well known people in the film.  E.B. is voiced by Russell Brand, who also makes a cameo appearance in the film, James Marsden plays Fred O’Hare, Kaley Cuoco plays his sister Sam, Hugh Laurie plays E.B.’s father and Hank Azaria, aka Apu from The Simpsons, plays Carlos.  Hugh Hefner, David Hasselhoff and Chelsea Handler all make cameos, the first two as themselves.

The movie is watchable and will provide some laughs, but the end just lets the whole thing down.  It will put you in the Easter spirit though, so it may be worth it.  The film is in cinemas now and was directed by Tim Hill, check out the trailer below.

What do you think?  Do you think chicks should take over Easter?  Can you think of any other Easter movies?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, don’t forget to subscribe.


Rise of the Apes

Imagine a world were apes were the dominant species and humans were just pets.  Lucky for you, you don’t have to imagine, because they’ve made a film about it.  Actually they’ve made lots of films about it, but it started as a book call La Planéte des singes.  It was written by Pierre Boulle and tells the tale of a couple that find a message in a bottle floating in space.  The message explains that two men travelled from Earth to a planet that was ruled by apes.  On this planet humans were primitive servants, but when the apes find out these new arrivals intelligent they decide all humans must be killed.  One of the men escapes with a primitive woman, that he fell in love with, and the child they had together.  When he returns to Earth he finds that apes have taken over the world.

The first film came out in 1968.  In this version the apes planet is revealed to be Earth, which was not the case in the original novel.  The film was a success and has had four sequels, two TV adaptations and a re-imagining, plus the upcoming film, Rise of the Apes.

The re-imagining of the film came out in 2001 and was also a success.  It was all set to have a sequel, but Tim Burton, who directed the film, said he’d rather ‘jump out a window’ than do another one.  The end of this film was closer to the novels ending.  Leo returns to Earth and finds it is ruled by apes.  This ending confused audiences; it was not really done very well.  It kind of mixed the books ending with the ending of the original movie, he made it back to his time but it has to be the same planet because the Lincoln Memorial changed into a memorial for General Thade, the bad guy.

The plot of the upcoming film, Rise of the Apes, has not been completely revealed, but we do know that it’s a prequel (to what I don’t know).  I assume it must be a prequel to the 2001 movie, as it differs from the canon of the older films.  In the film, James Franco will play a scientist who is experimenting on apes.  One of the apes, Caesar, begins to mutate and become intelligent.  The film is said to be a warning about genetic engineering.  This will be the first Planet of the Apes film to us CGI to create the apes.  The movie is expected to hit cinemas on the 5th of August, so be on the lookout for mutated apes.

What do you think?  Do you want the Planet of the Apes franchise to continue or would you prefer if it died out?  Which is your favourite Planet of the Apes film?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Most Anticipated Film of 2011

Whether you’re after side splitting comedy, spin tingling horror or depressing drama movies, you won’t be disappointed this year.  A wide range of films will bounce on and off of cinema screens this year, some will be good, others will not.  You probably not know every film that’s coming out this year, but I’m sure you have one that you’re looking forward to and I want to know what it is.

The movie business is all about finding out what people like to see, because if you know what people it’s easier to get them to part with their money.  You may have heard 2011 being called the year of the sequel, which has a lot of truth to it.  This year we’re going to see the return of franchises that we thought were surely dead.  Among others, this means the return of Final Destination, which I’ll be talking about in the next few days.

The one I’m most looking forward to is Rise of the Apes, which returns to the wonderful franchise Planet of the Apes.  The film stars James Franco.  I’d love to talk more about this now, but the point of this post is finding out what films other people are tapping their foot in anticipation for.

Maybe it’s The Hangover 2 that has you pacing the floor or perhaps it’s The Avengers.  Also, what genre of movie is your favourite?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Be sure to check back tomorrow when I’ll be talking about one of the most shocking movie returns of the year.