With the addition of Jon Bolerjack and JJ Kirby’s new Wolverine / Clone Trooper mash up, this team of Dark Side Marvels are not to be messed with.
It’s been a fantastic year for cinema, if anybody tells you otherwise it just means that they’ve spent to much time watching the lackluster summer season and not much of anything else. I’ve seen 62 2012 releases and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what was released this year. I missed Rust &…
Such great choices and I can’t wait to do my retrospective very soon :D
Hmm how can I possibly sum up my thoughts on the Avengers Assemble…HOLYFUCKINGSHITBALLS this film defines epic in every sense of the word. Just moment after moment of awesome imagery with whedon’s trademark humour and group solidarity throughout.
For me their were no bad performances and every avenger gets countless moments to shine along with Loki and his army. The action is glorious, special effects are impressive, 3D is surprisingly good and the drama was handled well.
Whedon steps up to the plate with confidence and provides a film that the masses will eat up and comic book fans will be proud of.
For two hours and a bit I had massive smile on my face from ear to ear and I will be going back to the cinema for a second and third helping.
So a good friend of mine, Richard Greenhough (http://kasewene.tumblr.com/) lambasted me for not tumblring enough and he was right to do so. I have been like a neglectful parent to a child that I really love and for that I am sorry; I can only do my best to make it up to y’all and be as entertaining as possible. Anyway my good friend challenged me to find some independent films that he should watch. This will not be the most in depth post and is completely opinion based so take my choices with a grain of salt if you disagree. Alright let’s begin with my first pick:
Brick (Director: Rian Johnson, 2005)
This film oozes cool and Joseph Gordon Levitt is on top form in this twisty, turny, slang filled neo-noir. Emily (Emilie De Ravin) has disappeared and Brendan (JGL) delves into the seedy high school underworld filled with misguided and disenfranchised youths, drug dealing, scrappy fights and mystery. Performances are great across the board but JGL walks away with the film and Rian Johnson stamps his ticket as an indie golden prospect in convincing fashion with great direction and vivacity. Plus Meagan Good finally gets too flex some acting muscle outside of being sexy dime piece in most black films or shows; good times.
Winter’s Bone (Director: Debra Granik, 2010)
Before The Hunger Games and X-Men First Class Jennifer Lawrence was garnering a lot of buzz and admiration for her turn in the gritty crime mystery. Ree is the eldest of three siblings in the Deep South, who she technically raises. Her Mother is depressed and addicted to prescription medication, her father is a drug addict who constantly disappears. Unfortunately her father’s disappearance puts their home under risk of being taken away due to her father putting the house up for collateral for his bail. Ree has to find him in a week and hand him over to the cops or she and her family will be homeless. This is film is mired in grit and despair as we travel into the dark heart of true poverty in America; the characters aren’t beautiful and none of their situations have an easy way out, everyone is struggling in this desolate land. Jennifer Lawrence truly shines in this film playing the tough and determined Ree. She gets beaten half to death, threatened and abused but barely flinches in the face of adversities making her one of the better female characters in the last couple of years. The supporting cast is quite brilliant with John Hawkes proving to be a menacing and age worn figure as Ree’s uncle Teardrop. Shot beautifully with excellent performances this is definitely worth your time.
Jungle Fever (Director: Spike Lee, 1991)
“I’ve got Jungle Fever, she’s got Jungle Fever, we’ve got jungle fever, we’re in love”. Yes we all know the famous song and yes most all of the girls and boys at my secondary school were suffering from it (looking directly at you Richard) but catchy song aside this is a rather uncompromising look at inter racial relationships in the heart of Brooklyn when racial tensions were at a boiling point in the 90s. Wesley Snipe plays a successful married black man with a beautiful wife and adorable daughter, he is a talented architect in search of a raise for his hard work but instead gets the duty of helping new employee Angie Tucci settle in. From here he delves into infidelity and shit hits the fan; we see how the black community in his neighbour react as well as the Italian American community react to this new relationship.
This film doesn’t pick sides when it comes to race and to an extent; foolishly, I thought it was going to be completely pro black. Instead this film looks at the worse sides of racism and tension amongst races through this union between Flipper (Wesley Snipes) and Angie without ever demonising the characters or a particular race. The side stories involves Flipper’s Brother Gator (Samuel L. Jackson) dealing with crack addiction and Paulie (John Turtorro) dealing with the infidelity and getting over Angie in the process. The acting is top notch and Spike Lee brings his unique and energetic visual flair to proceedings which complement the story rather than distract from it. This film takes a look at many themes such as addiction, prejudice, infidelity and race without ever trying to sugar-coat the gritty details. There is no hero, no villain and no happy ending, this is a film about the grave consequences that once action can have on the lives of two people who made a mistake.
These are my three films of choice and I hope that you love them as much as I do. Also I promise to do a better post next time because this kind of dragged on a bit. Enjoy and like Halle Berry famously said “EAT ME!” (Sorry I couldn’t post something about Jungle Fever and not put that line in. Also don’t take that statement literally it would be uncomfortable for us both…).
I have to warn you all before reading that this post is going to be poorly written with shitty sentencing and other problems; so I am sorry in advance :(.
So the economy is screwed and we are absolutely fucked, so we might as well pack it up and move into our cardboard boxes of the future on the filth strewn streets…sorry. Anyway margin call takes place in 2008 at the beginning of the recession that we are still suffering through. Employees are being laid off at a successful investment bank and ugly truth is about to be revealed by a newly fired employee and an up and comer continuing his work. This sets about a tumultuous 24 hours that will make or break the bank.
Firstly, this is an incredibly star studded cast that brings together some of the best new actors (penn badgley and Zachary quinto) alongside a veteran cast that includes Jeremy irons, Kevin spacey and Stanley tucci. Needless to say that this an actors movie with great performances across the board; Jeremy irons and Paul bettany stealing every scene they are in. The script is tight with some really good dialogue and allows the actors to flex their dramatic muscle to good effect. The story is easy to follow but some of the jargon can catch you off guard and it some times moves a bit to quickly but not at narrative’s detriment.Direction is clean but nothing to spectacular, although some of the shots of new York are really beautiful.
Overall this is a very good film and well worth your attention but I fear that it will fly under the radar amongst some of the heavy hitters. J.C Chandor deserves a lot of credit for not completely demonising the bankers and actually remembering that they are human beings who are susceptible to folly; their choices are definitely inspired by greedy and covering their asses but they are in a ruthless occupation and were very scared. The film doesn’t excuse their behaviour but it makes you understand why they did it, no matter how selfish.
This film kind of came out of nowhere for me, sure I heard about it but I brushed it off (snobby asshole-ish thing to do I know). However I really enjoyed this film; it’s not subtle, intelligent and it won’t sit alongside some of the great wacky comedy films but it’s a fun and heart-warming film that just happens to be very, very violent. The story follows Doug who is a bouncer amongst his family of doctors and academics; he is the black sheep of the family with no real skill except for the fact that he is incredibly good at knocking people out and is built like a “Hebrew Dolph Lundgren”. Well these talents lead him to the sport of hockey where he takes on the role of an enforcer in the big leagues. At the same time of his rise, another enforcer is making his last run and…you know where this is going.
Anyway, I mostly ignored this film at first but on a rather uneventful day I decided to give it a chance and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Listen it’s not subtle in any stretch of the imagination, after all “this is not fucking baseball”; this is rather vulgar, violent and cliché film but there is nothing wrong with that in my book. Sean William Scott brings his usual likeable persona to the role of Doug Glatt who is a rather innocent man child, who is capable of incredible violence but also heart-warming loyalty and love. He lives and puts his body on the line for his team without hesitation and there is something endearing within that. Overall the cast is pretty good and the film is quite funny, if you can stand the violence, which I definitely could.
It’s a good comedy and although it doesn’t represent hockey completely, it does represent the physical nature of the sport and also the heart that any good or great sports film has. So should you see it? Yeah but it’s nothing to rush to the cinema to go and see, especially if the trailer doesn’t catch your eye at first but if you’re a fan of violence or physical comedy then you will enjoy this.
I’m not going to ask you to stop whatever you’re doing and reblog this. But it would mean a lot if you did. This says so much…
When I was about 9 I would wake up at 6:30AM and I would scramble for the remote by my bed side. I was thwarted in this attempt time and time again by mother who took the remote, got me out of bed and said “go to the toilet first, wash your hands after, brush your teeth and wash yourself, then you can watch TV”. I had a half an hour window and I would storm through that routine like The Flash; damn near break bones to get everything clean and ready in time for 7AM.
That was the goal 7AM in front of my TV, bowl of cereal, sky one, just waiting for that WB logo to turn into the light streaming down from blimp like police devices in the sky. An explosion would go off inside a bank, the operatic score bursting to life after brooding in the seconds prior. A long car speeds out of a cave area as the exhaust kicks back flames; the car is hurtling down the roads as we cut to the criminals running away from the police, eventually making their way up to the roof of a skyscraper. They continue to run until they are stopped dead in their tracks, eyes widening as they lay eyes on a tall shadowy figure; it’s the dark knight and he scowls at them with disdain. They pull out their guns and are quickly disarmed by a batarang to the wrists; he pounces on one of the criminals knocking him out as the other criminal takes multiple swings at him. The dark knight dodges them all and delivers the knockout blow foiling the armed thugs. The police finally arrives as the spot light searches the roof to find the two criminals beaten and tied together; the camera pans up as the he stands tall above Gotham, lightning striking behind him to reveal- Batman.
Batman the animated series was one of the many animated shows that truly gave me joy and a wealth of entertainment, whilst also introducing me properly to Batman’s Universe. The art style of the show is very much inspired by 1940s art deco and film noir which plays very well with the overarching tone of the batman stories in the 90s. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns was a turning point for batman into a menacing, tough and dark figure inhabiting a city that is corrupted by crime and mayhem. After the Dark Knight Returns, graphic novels like The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Year One, The Long Halloween and Dark Victory that kept the new brooding heart of batman beating leading to a lot of critical and commercial success. This show fits in nicely with these pieces of work and compliments in every sense unlike Batman & Robin (The batman credit card still haunts my nightmares).
The quality of writing in the show is still as fresh as I remember it and actually better than I remember it, which is rare when it comes to TV shows I loved back when I was kid (Pokémon and Power Rangers I am looking at you). In fact there are genuine laugh out loud moments, mostly coming from The Joker and Alfred (although Bruce Wayne has his moments), there is also a lot of pathos with Bruce Wayne constantly revisiting this idea that he is failing his deceased parents and other villains backstories and current situations revealing rather sad characters that mirror parts of Bruce Wayne’s own Persona.
Attention to detail is something that this show excels at. Much like spawn the animated series, Superman the animated series and many other comic book animated shows in the nineties, this is made with a lot of care and balances between pleasing new fans and old alike. From the voice acting that is superb from top to bottom; all the way down to the score for every episode; constantly changing to change the mood of each character on screen. Joker’s music is upbeat in a creepy circus fashion whereas Batman’s theme is quite dramatic and serious. This changes from character to character and really gives them and the show authenticity because they enhance how we view each character and for younger audiences gauge how we should feel about them but never makes them so scary or awful that we hate them; quite the contrary. Batman’s rogue gallery has always played a very big part in the comic books and their treatment can really kill or heighten the source material. The show does a great job at giving the most well-known villains a chance to shine as well as the lesser known villains (Love me some Clayface, just saying); this is great because as a child I only knew a few of them but this got me interested in way more of the villains than any of the films at the time could ever achieve. Mr Freeze in the animated series is a tortured, sympathetic, emotionally scarred man who is icy in his delivery but seething with rage; unlike the babbling, muscle bound, heavy armoured idiot in Batman & Robin.
Overall, the entire creative team (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103359/fullcredits#cast) behind Batman the animated series received a couple of Emmys and a lot admiration from fans and critics alike and it’s well deserved. Much like many of the animated shows in the 90s this was a programme that was made with more than just kids in mind; it was geared towards adults without bewildering younger viewers. Nowadays that is rare, which is kind of sad but classics like batman the animated series can be found for cheap on the internet and are well worth the purchase; whether you’re a fan of batman or simply looking for a way in to this universe this is a very good way to get in. What you will find with this show is something that stands up tall next to the Christopher Nolan Batman films and the numerous amounts of excellent batman graphic novels.
Revenge is a dish best served cold; a saying that I have heard countless times on television, in films, comic books, reality etc. It speaks to the darkest impulses inside of us all, in the sense that we would prolong our victims suffering before dealing the final blow. I saw the devil is very much a film that takes a look at this motto but in a rather twisted and disturbing way.
The film follows two protagonists; Kim Soo-Hyeon (Byung-hun lee aka storm shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of cobra) is a government agent and widow on the hunt for his wife’s killer. Kyung-Chul (Min-sik Choi of Oldboy fame) is the serial killer in question who is continuing to wreak havoc oblivious to the fact that he is being hunted by a man who is hell bent on making sure that he pays for his sins.
Firstly, Korean cinema has truly been on excellent form for the last decade, providing us with some of the most unique and captivating pieces of cinema that travels to the dark heart of humanity. The central performances are very good; Byung-hun lee really gives reality to just how broken Soo-Hyeon is and weathers the emotional beats of the character very well. The performance is stoic and menacing with underlying current of anguish that is all too prevalent when he is on his own or interacting with his loved ones.
The anguish breathes life into his mental descent but his performance is hard to pay attention to most times because Sik Choi is a scene stealer and is absolutely fascinating from beginning to end. Joining the hallowed halls of great deranged movie serial killers such as Norman Bates, buffalo bill, Henry and many others; Kyung-Chul is a character who erupts into acts of savage violence much like Lou Ford in the killer inside me. He speaks slow and plays with his victims before ending their life with no remorse; he is a rapist and has a disturbing distain for women that truly make some scenes squirm inducing.
The structure of the film is a cat and mouse game with the roles constantly switching throughout the lengthy running time which made the film quite exasperating to an extent but the story was told with a lot of flair and shot beautifully throughout which contrast the rather morbid imagery on screen. The violence is very full on and in other films would truly get tedious but the camerawork and editing around these violent altercations are handled so well and provide something different each time.
Overall, this film is not for everyone. It’s gory, incredibly bleak and humorous in an uncomfortable fashion but it’s utterly engrossing and engaging from beginning to end. You’ll need a strong stomach for the violence but the emotional heart of the film beats on right up to the very end where the shit truly hits the fan.
“I will kill you when you are in the most pain. When you’re in the most pain, shivering out of fear, then I will kill you. That’s a real revenge. A real complete revenge.” In the end this all Soo-Hyeon has left in his life and ultimately proves that revenge is a dish left unserved.