Archive for Cinema releases

The latest outing from Tim ‘king-of-the-goths’ Burton, Frankenweenie is a remake of his 1984 live-action short that he developed while working as an animator for Disney. The film he made was apparently far too dark to market to children and he was fired for wasting company resources. Now, Disney are crawling back to the legendary auteur. After proving that his own creepy style is one of the most bankable behind-camera efforts in Hollywood, the traditional Disney castle opening even gets a moody black-and-white makeover.

The film itself is everything you would expect from Burton. Well, a younger Burton anyway. Frankenweenie marks a rise back to form after the awkward Dark Shadows and miscalculated Alice in Wonderland. Perhaps it is the return to stop-motion animation that has brought to life everything that makes Burton such a wonderful filmmaker. His doodles and designs are brought to life on page and this story goes even deeper than his previous animation Corpse Bride (which was entertaining but still lacking… something).

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Film Review: Looper

The new time-travelling sci-fi flick from Rian Johnson (who brought us the fantastic Brick and The Brothers Bloom) features Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a professional hitman called a ‘looper’, who must track down his future self Bruce Willis.

A strange premise, and one that can easily ‘fry your brain’ (as one character puts it) when you think about it too much. Looper is smart and new, while keeping to the same sci-fi tricks that will keep genre fans enticed. Johnson decides to depart from the white, pristine vision of the future for a dirty, almost-apocalyptic and poverty-stricken future that is reminiscent of older sci-fi films like Blade Runner and beautifully done.

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Andrew Dominik, the man who brought us the fantastically dark comedy Chopper and the largely underestimated epic The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, brings a new tight and visceral look at the criminal world during the economic collapse of 2008.

Brad Pitt, who had worked with Dominik on The Assassination of Jesse James, returns for a second collaboration (and a producer credit) plays Cogan, a professional mob enforcer called in to find out and kill the two bumbling criminals (played exceptionally by Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy) who turned over a mob poker game.

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Announced through his Facebook page, James Gunn has revealed that he will officially be directing the new Guardians of the Galaxy film. It’s been expected since Marvel approached the Scooby-Doo director back in August to direct the picture, but now it’s been made official and it has emerged that James Dunn will also be writing the script.

A script for the film already exists after being penned by Nicole Perlman and Chris McCoy, but it seems that Marvel has given Gunn free reign to change what he wishes, and even create a whole new script, just as it happened when Joss Whedon was given the helm of the hugely successful Marvel flick, The Avengers.

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Confession time: I haven’t read all of 2000AD or the Judge Dredd comics. I’ve read enough to understand he shouldn’t take his helmet off and that the 1995 version Judge Dredd – featuring Sly Stallone without the eponymous character’s headgear – wasn’t a great adaptation. (It wasn’t bad though, why it was so widely lambasted is a bit beyond me. It was over-the-top and a bit silly and nowhere near the dark tones of the comics, but it was a great film to watch and be entertained by.) I know enough to realise that Dredd  3D is a great Dredd film.

For those who have a limited understanding of the Dredd universe; the world has been decimated by nuclear war and left the planet a scarred wasteland called the Cursed Earth. Only the area of land between Boston and Washington remains liveable and 800 million people now reside in MegaCity One. To control the overwhelming amount of crime in such a place, the Hall of Justice was built and Judges trained. They are licensed with being judge, jury and executioner when dealing with ‘perps’. Read the rest of this entry »

Film Review: Brave

Let me start off by saying, I loved Brave, but I won’t start with the review of it just yet (Sorry for the somewhat misleading title). Instead, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the short animated film that preludes the main feature that has become the staple of Pixar films. People get as excited about seeing what Pixar can do in 5 minutes as they get about whatever hour-and-a-half film they’re about to watch. La Luna, the short preceding Brave, is no exception.

It’s such a delightful and adorable short that you almost forget what you came to see in the first place. I hesitate to say that the 5-minutes were worth the price of admission alone if only because of the extortionate prices cinemas charge nowadays.

Oscar-nominated La Luna shows us the story of three-generations of lunar-janitors; a grandfather, a father and the young son. The shorts are characteristically speechless but we understand that it’s the young lad’s first time out working with the family business. Read the rest of this entry »

Bollywood films do not receive a huge amount of attention outside India however the filmmaking industry in the country creates more films than Hollywood each year. Aside from the impressive development of filmmaking in the country, the digital age also ushered a selection of well shot and written films that can easily rival Hollywood blockbusters.

The following are the top five Bollywood films. Some of them are known for their impressive digital rendering while others are just plain amazing when it comes to acting and storytelling.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Idiots

The movie is an instant hit in Bollywood and has become a sort of cult movie in the west. Aside from its impressive story and great comedic sketches, the film is also helmed by some of the most popular actors in the country.

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Rowan Atkinson is back with “Johnny English 2”. For the unfamiliar, the movie is practically a spoof of all major spy films with a twist and that twist is the main character himself. Rowan Atkinson’s flavor of comedy is really unique that the film is almost useless without him.

The plot of the film is almost unexpected except for its setting. It is a direct follow-up of the first movie but he opted to hone his training somewhere in Asia instead of the traditional grounds of MI7.

The fact that Rowan Atkinson made this film special doesn’t mean his co-stars are just 2nd rate actors. Some of the popular actors such as Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike and Dominic West have been part of the movie and their performance is noteworthy. It’s actually very hard to imagine having a straight face while the great Atkinson makes his trademark awkward antics.

The movie doesn’t attract a lot of attention or even praise from well known critics. But the movie is not trying to be Oscar worthy or something that wants to get the attention of film experts. It’s actually a movie made for fans of Rowan Atkinson. If you’ve seen any of the “Mr. Bean” episodes and learns to appreciate its goofy humor, this film is perfect for you.

 

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Warrior Film Review

Warrior is one of the most surprising films in 2011. The trailer and posters can easily give you an impression that it’s just another film that takes advantage of the increasing popularity of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). The actors are not even popular (Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy) with only Nick Nolte being a recognizable actor.

But Warrior is actually a very well made film. It’s a story about two brothers who ultimately have to face each other in the octagon. Each fighter has something to prove and winning is the only way to get to their objective. Along the way, they go through different challenges and each of them overcomes these challenges. Although there are some difficulties in these challenges, they ultimately beat everyone in the end. Of course, as an action film, it’s expected that they fight their way through to get to their objective.

Warrior is an action film but with a heart. Nick Nolte is someone you expect to perform and he does with ease. But instead of taking the center stage, he allows the two main characters to become the real star of the show. Nick Nolte plays the father of the two main characters. Think of his role as Rocky’s Mickey who trains the fighters to reach their potential.

 

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One Day Film Review

One Day is a film adapted from a bestselling novel with the same title. The film follows the meeting of two characters, Emma played by Anne Hathaway and Dexter played by Jim Sturgess. The plot is actually very unique: the film chronicles the interaction of two characters meeting every July 15 for twenty years. This means the film basically chronicles the twenty meeting of the characters.

The plot of the film alone could easily grab the attention of serious movie goers. Imagining how the director (Lone Scherfig) would work on such a challenging plot is already an interesting talking point.

The film is laudable because of its picturesque settings and must-listen dialogue between two characters. Jim Sturgess easily made the film his own due to his ability to carry the very challenging character. Although Anne Hathaway is impressive in the film as she tries to work as Emma, there’s a strange feeling that something is amiss with the character. The reason could be Emma’s personality doesn’t really quite fit to Anne Hathaway’s aura. She’s good but it’s just not right.

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