Homestead is a company in the most lucrative industry ever, colonising new planets. They’ll give you a fresh start on a new world, a chance to build and grow a new society. Embark on the Avalon for a 120 year journey, during which time you’ll be held in suspended animation. They’ve never had any problems, until now. Careful for spoilers.
The Avengers assemble for a mission in Africa, but when it ends in tragedy the United Nations step in to take control of the team. Not wanting to be forced to follow government agendas, Captain America refuses to sign up, but, a guilt ridden, Iron Man believes it’s a fair compromise. Have you picked a side yet? Warning some spoilers to follow.
Now that the movie is out, at least in some parts of the world, avoiding spoilers is going to be increasingly difficult. If you haven’t seen the movie, and want to remain spoiler free, then don’t read any further.
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.
It’s been a long wait, and a lot of hype, but The Dark Knight Rises is about to land in cinemas, on the 20th of July. Is it possible for the movie to meet the high expectations of the fans?
The Dark Knight Rises picks up Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, which is a little confusing at first because some important things have happened in those years. Batman taking the blame for the crimes, and death, of Harvey Dent has brought about significant change as a new law, inspired by Dent, has given police the power they needed to take Gotham back from the criminals. With the mob finally behind bars, Gotham no longer needed Batman. This lack of purpose and the loss of Rachel have turned Bruce Wayne into a recluse. However, the threat of new evil is enough to shake Batman out of retirement.
Anne Hathaway had an extremely challenging role. There have been so many great portrayals of Catwoman over the years and she managed to surpass them all. This version of Catwoman is tough, independent, layered and sexy without being ridiculously over sexualised. Without a doubt she was the right person for the job. She was given a really interesting character to play and she did it justice in a way that nobody thought she could. It’s easy to forget who is actually playing the part and get lost in the character, which proves just how great an actress Hathaway really is.
Selina Kyle is a great character, with a rich history and it was really nice to have this history explored but not thrown in your face. The Selina shown in this film is the finished product. You can see what she does and who she is, but not how she got there. This may not sound like a good thing, but it really is. How often do people sit you down and explain why they are the way they are? It doesn’t happen. It’s clear the character has been through a lot and has had a troubled past. In fact, escaping that past is a huge motivating factor for her.
Bane has never really been done justice on film before so Tom Hardy didn’t have as much to live up to in that respect, but he’s still playing the man who broke the bat which is a pretty big deal in the comic world. While it was sometimes hard to understand him, it didn’t really hurt the performance. To keep the film grounded in reality some changes were made to the character, though they didn’t seem necessary they provided a deeper, more emotional reason for why Bane fights. As a villain he is very direct and calculated, while also showing no remorse for his actions. He is pure brute force.
In the comics, Bane has such an interesting backstory and fans may be disappointed to see that it has been changed somewhat. The alterations feel largely unnecessary as it seems like there were many other ways they could have made the same point without messing around with his history. However, the edits do provide some twists and turns while also giving fans of the comics something new.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard, who both starred in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, are new to the Batman universe. Levitt plays orphan turned police officer, John Blake, and Marion Cotillard plays Wayne Enterprises board member, Miranda Tate. Both do a really great job with their characters, proving once again that Nolan has a keen eye for casting the right people. While Miranda Tate helps bring Bruce Wayne, played once again by Christian Bale, out of is reclusive state and back to Wayne Enterprises, John Blake works with Commissioner Gordon and Batman to try bring down Bane. Blake’s ideals sever to highlight those that both Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon once had but have now lost.
Though the film’s long running time, of just under three hours, may be challenging on the bladders of those who ordered the extra-large drink, ever second is necessary to the development of the characters and the story. This is not a brainless action film it has depth, social commentary and extremely interesting characters. The series is brought to an amazing conclusion that should leave fans feeling fulfilled, but, at the same time, little sad as it still feels like there is so much life left in the franchise.
What do you think? Are you a Batman fan? Do you like Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman? Which is your favourite film in Nolan’s franchise? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to click the like button, if you liked this post, and please subscribe.
Spider-Man is about to swing into cinemas, which means we’re going to have to find some other way to unload our spider related puns.
After seeing Spider-Man’s origins told on film only ten years ago in a series that continued until 2007, spanning three films, it may seem a little strange that the series is already being rebooted, which is why it was very important that it didn’t feel like watching the same movie again. Director Marc Webb has done an excellent job and managed to tell a version of Spider-Man’s origin that is interesting, exciting, grounded and very different from the tale Sam Raimi told.
This version of the story puts more of an emphasis on Peter’s parents and the effect losing them had on him. It’s this loss that drives him to look into their past, which leads him to Dr. Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans). Fans of Spider-Man will remember Dr. Connors as the one armed man who accidentally transforms himself into the Lizard. The character appeared in Raimi’s films, but never got the chance to make the transformation. In this movie, his potential is released and his character takes on the role of the villain, though it is an interesting dynamic as he himself aims to improve the world and doesn’t see his actions as evil, actually trying to explain to Spider-Man at one point that he didn’t need to be stopped.
Behind every great hero is a female who regularly gets into life threatening situations and is easily captured by evil doers. In this film that character has been replaced by a strong, smart and brave young woman called Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone). Gwen has been part of the Spider-Man universe for a long time, almost from the beginning, but her character is not well known by non-comic book readers for the very reason that she’s famous to fans of the comics. In the comics, Gwen was accidentally killed by Spider-Man when he tried to save her from the Green Goblin. In the film, Gwen is the head intern at Oscorp under Dr. Connors. She is Peter’s love interest, but gets to be more than that when she proves that she is just as brave and no less capable than Spider-Man.
This time around Peter is played by Andrew Garfield. After watching the movie it’s clear that Garfield, and the rest of the cast, really fit. From Spider-Man to the lovable Aunt May and Uncle Ben the casting was terrific. There’s an emotional depth between each of the characters, they don’t just exist next to each other they genuinely have feelings for each other and those feelings aren’t always positive, but that’s life and it’s represented very well in the movie. If you want a hero film that’s more than just fighting, more than special effects, then this movie is what you’re looking for. This is a movie were you will have fun watching it, but you’ll also care about the characters and feel like it was worth spending two hours following their story.
What do you think? Are you going to see this movie? Do you like Spider-Man? Would you have preferred a sequel to the Raimi version rather than a reboot? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also, don’t forget to click the like button, if you liked this post, and subscribe if you loved it.
While I do love random speculation, nothing beats answers and, at last, we have some answers about the mysterious Resident Evil 6.
First of all, I’m really glad to say that it has been announced that the game takes place in 2013, meaning it is set after the previous games so it’s definitely not a prequel. There’s nothing wrong with a good prequel, Devil May Cry 3 for example, but when it’s not needed prequels can be really annoying, Devil May Cry 5 for example (though technically it’s a reboot, isn’t called Devil May Cry 5 and looks great).
The President that is turned into a zombie, affectionately nicknamed President Evil by fans, is not Ashley’s father; he is the man that took the position after President Graham. This effectively gets rid of my burning desire to have Ashley be the female protagonist with the new mercenary; it just felt right for the story when I thought it was President Graham that had died. The identity of the new mercenary still has not been revealed, but apparently he was introduced so we young folk would have someone to relate to. Seems unnecessary, but I’m not complaining, plus they probably meant young people that were new to the series.
Fans were happy to see the return of zombies, but don’t get too excited because they are not the same as the ones that have been missing for so long. These are not T-Virus zombies they’re a new breed of zombie known as J’avo. They are faster and more aggressive than your standard undead. The added speed won’t cause too much of a problem as you will now be able to move and shoot, no longer will you have to choose. The controls have been reworked with an added focus on melee attacks, sliding and rolling and all sorts of fun things.
We already knew that Leon, Chris and the new guy were each in different locations, we can see that in the trailer, but now more information has been released. Leon is in a town called Tall Oaks, we seen that in the trailer, Chris is in a Chinese city called Lansiang and the new guy is in Eastern Europe. Another interesting point is that Chris is apparently going through some sort of personal trauma. This would have fed in well with the whole ‘Jill is dead’ thing in Resident Evil 5, but as I said this isn’t a prequel. Could this mean the end of another Resident Evil character? Claire perhaps, I hope not.
What do you think? Has this announcement made you more or less excited about the game? Are you glad it’s not a prequel? Are you still mad about the Devil May Cry reboot? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to follow and, if you like this post, click the like button.
With Final Fantasy XIII-2 either released or about to be released in a shop near you, the last thing you should be thinking about is whether or not there will be another direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII. However, recent revelations do suggest that Square Enix will be turning XIII into a trilogy and or maybe more.
Final Fantasy games, for the most part, each have a standalone story in its own separate universe. X-2 being the obvious exception to the rule, but now it appears that the end of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a major, smack in the face, couldn’t miss it from a mile away, hint at a sequel. Okay so just in case you’re about to run and leave this page to avoid spoilers, I should probably specify now that I will not be revealing what happens in the story so don’t worry this post will not ruin the games plot in any way.
Now on to the juicy stuff, the game ends with the words to be continued and, after much thought, I’ve concluded that that can mean one of two things; another direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII or the game will be concluded in downloadable content. It has been confirmed that there is going to be downloadable content for XIII, but I’m not convinced. In fact, I think selling someone a game and then making them pay more to see how the story ends is just plain wrong. So I honestly don’t think that this is the way it’s going to go. Bring on another sequel.
What do you think? Would you be happy with a downloadable content ending? Do you want about direct sequel? Are you excited about XIII-2? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below. Also don’t forget to follow/subscribe and click the like button, regardless to whether or not you actually enjoyed reading this post. If you want to you can follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/AdamODwyer1 (I’ll follow back providing you are a real person not spam) and just a note that as XIII-2 isn’t out in everywhere yet I won’t approve spoiler comments, I’ll approve them when it’s been out a week or so.
Warning do not watch if you haven’t finished XIII.
Having only read about the Swedish film it’s hard to make any real comparisons, but David Fincher has adapted the late Stieg Larsson’s book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, beautifully. The film translates the dark masterpiece of the Swedish journalist perfectly into a wonder and intriguing film that, right from the start, grabs viewers, with an abstract, and kickass, title sequence, and holds their attention until, near, the end of the incredibly long film
Going into the film without seeing so much as a trailer, I really had no idea what to expect and, if I’m honest, I didn’t think I was going to like it. The main thing putting me off was the length of the film, which is just under three hours. I thought I’d get bored long before the end, but with characters this interesting and complex, it was hardly an issue. The shear psychological understanding of the characters is amazing. Things like why they do what they do and how they react to each other, have been so clearly mapped out that it’s easy to believe the characters are real people. The film does take these characters to some dark places, especially Lisbeth (the girl with the dragon tattoo), and it’s hard to watch at times, but still very nice to see such great acting.
The film follows two different characters, who eventually meet up, Lisbeth (played by Rooney Mara), an antisocial girl with a photographic memory and incredible computer hacking skills, and Mikael (Daniel Craig), an investigative reporter. When Mikael is sued for libel after making accusations about a rich businessman, he quits his job in an attempt to protect the magazine he co-owns. He is then recruited by an old man named Henrik (Christopher Plummer) to solve the 36 year old mystery of Henrik’s niece’s murder. Mikael agrees, but is unaware that Lisbeth had already been hired by Henrik to do a background check on him. When he finds out he asks to see her report, noticing there are things she could not have found out without hacking into his computer, he then hires her to assist him in solving the case.
There isn’t a single actor in the film that didn’t do a great job, even the Swedish accents seemed flawless and I was legitimately surprised when I found out which ones were real and which were not. However, I couldn’t help thinking, at least at the start, how pointless the accents were. Why make all of the characters speak in English with Swedish accents? If you want them Swedish get them speaking Swedish. I’m not saying that Craig and Mara should have been forced to learn another language for the film, but giving them the accents made it seem like it was just an adaption for the people that were too lazy to read the subtitles on the Swedish version. Though, I’m sure there are some stylistic differences too, that’s just what crossed my mind while watching the film.
I’ve already mentioned how great the acting was, but I feel more attention has to be given to Rooney Mara, who essentially transformed herself for this role. She was brilliant, the best part of the film. Her character is probably the most complicated of the lot, and that’s saying something. It’s not hard to sympathise with her as she goes through her dark journey and the sense of isolation is just overpowering at times. She has been hurt by nearly everyone she’s ever known so it’s hard for her to trust anyone. Mara is able to bring so many levels into every scene, watching her body language you can see Lisbeth’s fear of real intimacy and getting emotionally involved with anybody. There is desperation in her actions and Mara has the ability to convey this in a subtle way.
Clearly aimed at a more mature audience, some scenes were really hard to watch. One scene in particular were the viewer must watch a rape, was genuinely disturbing. It was necessary to the understanding of the character, but was still horrible to see. The villain of the movie is so routed in psychology that it was a bit like watching a combination of the shows Dexter and Criminal Minds. It’s rare to see a film were the bad guy has a motive that is just so purely sick and realistic, not at all like the ones given by the killers in franchises such as Scream and Urban Legends.
Though the end was somewhat unsatisfying, this film is still, to my surprise, a brilliant, intriguing and intelligent piece of work. Despite having never read the book, I didn’t have trouble keeping track of the many suspects and was so engrossed in the story it almost didn’t matter. At times it felt as though they could have gotten three films out of this one book, but that’s more to do with the level of detail than anything else. This movie was so well done that I feel it’s only a matter of time before they adapt the sequel as well. It is a true shame that the author, Stieg Larsson, died before the book was even released.
What do you think? Have you read the book? Did you see the Swedish version? Are you a fan of David Fincher? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button. If you want to keep up to date with future posts and projects follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/AdamODwyer1.