Jack Reacher

When Tom Cruise was cast the Jack Reacher for the adaptation of the novel One Shot, fans were up in arms. How can an actor who’s 5′ 7 possibly play a 6′ 5 Reacher? Well the answer is, who cares about hight when it’s the character that is important. In that aspect, Cruise delivers. This is a role that has been aching get the big screen treatment for some time and watching Jack Reacher, it’s about time it did. Reacher is a former military police major who is now a drifter. When hearing about the shocking sniper attack of random members of the public by former sharpshooter James Barr (Joseph Sikora), he pays a visit to secure his prosecution. But when Barr’s only request is Reacher himself, his defence lawyer (Rosamund Pike) asks Reacher to investigate in what transpires to be something much bigger.

 

Directed and written for screen by Christopher McQuarrie (Usual Suspects, Way of the Gun) gives the film momentum and the action grit that hits you hard. The films sniper opening is shocking and dark and the serious of the subject echos throughout the whole move, while the sharp dialogue that Cruise has, add touches of wit that maybe jarring for some audience members, though I found a welcome relief. We also have solid  support from Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Jai Courtney, Robert Duvall and Warner Herzog as the main villain The Zec. Herzog is one of the most stand out features of the film, basically playing himself to eerie effect as a shadowily boogeyman with most figures missing and a milky eye. Jack Reacher is at last on the big screen and it don’t matter if cruise is 50, i’m ready for the next one..

The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey

So is three films too much to cover the hobbit? This is what had me curious going in to watch An Unexpected Journey, the first instalment of the middle earth franchise. The Hobbit was children’s book written by J R R Tolkien witch after it’s success produced the much more epic and adult themed squeal, The Lord of the Rings. So with Jackson going backwards, the challenge is adapt a lighter and shorter story after the grand scale of the previous films. The result is more of the some, witch will please most of the fans, but may disappoint some who want a different spin. Originally set for Jackson to just produce and with Guillermo del Toro directing with just 2 films, would of maybe given just that. That said, who else other than Jackson to take us back to middle earth. With that aim in mind, tie everything together with extra scenes to make the saga complete.

Clocking in at just under the three hour mark, it’s a tad too long, but never leaves you feeling bored. With everyone from Ian McKellen to Andy Serkis returning to there previous roles, it feels like an old friend witch you’ve not seen for a while. Martian Freeman is the perfect Bilbo, balancing the dramatic with a comedic, making the scene with Gollum a highlight. The 48 frames per second has been blow out of proportion on ether side. It’s not as revolutionary as it deems itself, but nether does it seem wrong and out of place. The main complaint has been been making Bilo’s home look more like a set and takes you out of the film. Not so. It’s essentially the same difference   of DVD to Blu Ray. Just a clearer image that looks great and helps the 3D effects look brighter and less blurry. I really enjoyed watching The Hobbit and though we may complain that it’s a tad too padded out, we can only wait till There and Back Again’s closing credits too truly know if it was a mistake..

Inglorious Bastnerds podcast episode 1

Join Chris, Ian and Raghav for the first and very rough instalment  of the Inglorious Bastnerds. This podcast we will be talking all things film while doing are best not to give out spoilers. This is a podcast we discuss, Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim, Twilight, The Hobbit, The Man with the Iron Fists and many more. Please do check it out, I promise, we will get better..

Inglorious Bastnerds : Episode 1

Join Chris, Ian and Raghav for the first and very rough instalment of Inglorious Bastnerds. A podcast made by geeks, for geeks. This episode we talk about everything from Star Trek into Darkness, The Lone Ranger, The Hobbit, Rare Exports, The Man with the Iron Fist, Man of Steel and Real Steal 2 (Pacific Rim), while Ian draws his Christmas cards and quite possibly offend everyone who listens. Be warned, this podcast may contain spoilers and will certainly have swearing.  Enjoy.

Inglorious Bastnerds e01.

Pitch Perfect

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siEHekc-1oE

Anna Kendrick stars as the cool music buff, who is attached to her Mac computer always remixing tracks. When she resentfully joins an a cappella group call The Bella’s who desperately wants to win the a cappella singing contest, you know, these real great big college contests that these movies always have. So the set up is a cool version of Glee without the extra cheese. The good news is that it is way funnier than you would expect it to be, with charm to spare. Kendrick is an likeable lead and adorable as always, with cracking support from Rebel Wilson playing the comedy side kick. The sort of role that in the 80’s the male equivalent would of been played John Belushi (and thats a complement). Wilson next to steals this film as the self called Fat Amy, not holding back on anything she says or does. It’s surprisingly refreshing to see and will no doubt rocket her as one of the new queens of comedy.

With a decent support from Adam DeVine (Workaholics), Skylar Astin (as the love intreats) and providing the commentary of the live shows are Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, who add a welcome touch of dry humour to the proceedings. Thing that is really charming is the love it has for its subject matter. Embracing music of all genres and not being afraid of mixing old with the new with love a passion for the art. Evan if it is David Guetta..

Life of Pi

 

The new film from Ang Lee is an adaptation of a book from Yann Martel, witch was deemed unfilmable. The story follows the story of Piscine Molitor who gave himself the name Pi, and his incredible story.  Told from a flash back perceptive in the form of Rafe Spall as an author and an elder Pi (Irrfan Khan). Starting from his school days, the first third spends it’s time getting to know Pi and his fascination with religion and the friction that plays against his father who looks at the world through logic. When his family decide to ship to Canada and sell their zoo and it’s animals,  the ship stinks during a heavy storm killing everyone on board except Pi and one of his fathers animals, a tiger who has been called Richard Parker. The film picks up at this point.

Life of Pi works best when it’s just the young Pi (Suraj Sharma) and a tiger in a boat. Sharma is really impressive as he carries the film all on his own. Meanwhile we are treated to sunning visuals that could litually take a still of and hang on your wall. It is with out a dought gorgeus to look at. The 3D as well is done, although doesn’t add much other than a few nice touches (one of witch is a stick being pointed at you). While very impressive, the film didn’t seem to stick with me as much as it should. But what Ang Lee got right was a successful transition from page to screen that will make fans of the book walk away happy. It’s a shame that something this well made, acted and buetiful, left me feeling some what indifferent..

Seven Psychopaths

Seven Psychopaths is the new film from Martin McDonagh. Following In Bruges, it stars Colin Farrell as Marty, an irish writer in Hollywood, trying to write his first screenplay called Seven Psychopaths, in witch he want to be about peace, love and forgiveness. An idea that makes as much sense as the film itself.While attempting to find inspiration, his friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), who runs a dog kidnapping business with Hans (Christopher Walken), tries to help him out by placing an advert for psychopaths to come and visit him for research. Things get messy when one of the dogs belong to psychotic gangster  (Woody Harrelson) who is hell bent on getting his little pride and joy. As the body count mounts up, the film self references itself in a way that doesn’t tie together at all well. The plot cherry picks scenes and scenarios and puts them all together in a self-aggrandising way that is frustrating but is still entertaining.

It is an odd experience watching McDonagh’s second freture length film, as it is attempts to be away too cleaver for its own good while being completely self indulgent with no sense of direction. However it is tons of fun in a cool and hip way that Tarantino writes. Thanks largely to the fast humorous dialogue and perfarmaces. Farrell plays down on this luck and out of his depth well, Rockwell turns on the crazy to entertaining levels, Harrelson finds the right balance between comedy and menace while Walken does the Walken we all know and love. It’s just a shame as Seven Psychopaths would be an instant film classic if it weren’t narratively a complete mess. Just like a room filled with….. well seven psychopaths..

It’s a poster…… who cares

With the recent release of the of teaser posters for both Star Trek in to Darkness (what, no colon) and Man of Steel, there appears to be a lot of shit about on the internet. So with that in mind,  thought I throw my own shit in there to. Now the new poster for the new Star Trek movie has been criticised straight of the bat for looking a little too much like the one The Dark Knight Rises had.

Now I may not be that have an artistic mind, but it looks pretty cool. Sure it has similarities with the idea, honestly, does this mean the the new Star Trek film is going to be pants. Nope. Does this mean that J. J. Abraham’s is now going to rip off Nolan’s last movie? No. Dose this have any baring on anything what so ever? I’m gonna go with no again. You see, these are just some artwork knocked up by an artist, for some producers, just to get people taking. I guess it worked. Look at the Man of Steel poster for instance. The genale opinion is that it is unaginive and not sure why Superman is in handcuffs as he could break out of them at any second. But can we wait and watch the film before we judge it. After all, watch the teaser trailer it looks intresting.

If I am honest, it barely counts as news as it doesn’t give us anything that we already know. Okay, so Superman maybe arrested for something, who knows? But evan if the posters sucks, doesn’t mean that the are films gonna..

Twilight or Twishit

Now that the final instalment of the Twilight saga is finally over I thought i would share my thoughts on the film series that has made such divided opinions. Now I would like to start out by saying that I do not consider myself a Twilight snob. Having not read any of the books but have watch all the films, my view will be only directed at the films themselves. However I will say this about the books that most of the haters don’t recognise. They are all a fantasy romance novels written for teenage girls, by a Mormon. With vampire stories often having a sexual subtext, Twilight series is no different with Edward resisting temptation paralleling celibacy.

So there are no prizes for guessing that myself, grown man didn’t get swept up with wolf men and sparky vamps. For me, Twilight lacks bite (sorry for the bad pun). I want my vampire sagas to have some grit and a harder edge and maybe some gore, but then, I’m not exactly the target audience. So are Twilight films all that bad when given the context of the source material, well….. yes and no.

Catherine Hardwicke did an honest job with the first movie, giving a fair representation of life as a teenager while give it an independent sheen. Laying the ground work for the what was to come, it’s a shame she didn’t stick around for number 2, New Moon. Directed by Chris Weitz it was frustrating, dull, lifeless and annoying. With a plot other that consists of Edward pissing off to keep Bella safe, leaving  her on own well to cry (and boy does she cry and moan…… and sulk). This the worst of the films with practically nothing happening other that K-Stew’s over dramatic crying (that is way too ridiculous to be taken seriously) and Taylor Lautner taking his shirt off any given opportunity, while making me think about doing some more sit ups in the process. I’m sure the book does a better job that the film, but other than introduce us to the wolf people, nothing happens and the film sucks because of it (sorry for the bad pun again).

The third instalment is what believe is the best instalment with something achally happening with some pace. Directed by David Slade who made such films as Hard Candy and the fantastically blood thirsty 30 Days of Night (now that’s a vampire film), Eclipse  is way more entertaing and excessable to wider audances. Fetering the witty diolog, an on coming threat and some characterisation of the other members of the Cullen clan who outside of this film, feel all very nice and cosey with nothing memorable about them. The only issue I had with Eclipse, and to be fair, it’s the books fault (i know i wasn’t going to judge the books, but…. fuck it), was no one the Cullen’s side dies in the climatic battle. I just find a tad silly how we are told how dangerous this army of newborns are for the most of the movie, only to have a climatic battle and not one casualties on the good guys side. That doen’t sit well with me as it was all too easy. Maybe Stephenie Meyer felt that it would be too heartbreaking to kill off any of Cullen’s or the wolf pack, but I think that’s a cop out wether you a sixteen year old girl or not.

Any way with that issues put to one side, the series seems to have ended on a high note, however the is one last chapter to get through, Breaking Dawn. Now the problem with the forth instalment is that it is essentially a prolog. Something that is only there to tie up a few loose ends give a bit more detal about what happens next. That is what the main flaw of Breaking Dawn part 1 and 2. Given the difficulty of the adapting the book, Bill Condon does a fine job considering. But there is not enough meat in ether film to make them a success. Part 1 has with ideas under the surface but feels laking some what being half of a story. Part 2 is something completely different. Spending half it’s running time introducing us to a mass of new vampire characters that we have no time to know or care, to prepare to battle against The Volturi. While this may seem as climatic as Eclipse, the final battle never happens in the book, the film makers to decide to give us one. This is when the film got engaging thinking that they must of thought “It’s the last one guys….. let’s killing something.” This flat out craziness would have been a bold move for witch i would have respected. I mwan why not, the source matral doesn’t provide a cinamatic ending, why not go off the page?

But no, it was all a dream and didn’t really happen. I personally hate those endings. It’s a case of having your cake and eating it. Sure those ten minutes of fighting was entertaining and surprising, but as a audience we have to believe what we are seeing is true on some level it’s tinted at or happens in another plane of reality, it’s lazy just to plonk it in there just for the sake of having it both ways. Ether you change the ending or you stand by it, it’s a joke other wise (rant over). Then some Indian vampire come walk on to prove a point. As to why they weren’t there to begin with I don’t know. Then we get treat to a big soppy love letter to all the fans witch made me reach for the nearest sick bag.

I will say the both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have gotten some stick from haters, unfairly I may add. I believe they are both great actors who have proven and will continue to prove themselves throught out thee carrers. They are playing a vampire and an award teenage girl, it’s natural for them to act stoney faced. The haters may have issues but it’s with the characters they are playing not he the actors. So while the adventures of Edward and Bella are mixed but better than what some people give them credit for, I have to say thank god its over. I am done with team Edward and team Jacob (but if you have to ask…. I’m with Jacob), it’s a stupid question to begin with. Jacob’s a secondary role, of course it’s not going to be him.

So I’m not hating on the franchines as some do, it has more ideas and creatively that some give it credit for, but does not make me this person

Now pass me my copy of Near Dark.

.