Well to our first commentary track. Join me @CinemaTronix Allan @mysocalledbrain and Scott @Celluloidical as we sit down and watch the genius Team America : World Police and try and decide who would we cast as the real life versions of the puppet characters. So place your DVD or what ever into the player pause it at 2 seconds and when I say go, press that play button there and sit with us as we talk all over it. Or you could just watch it with us.. but still… enjoy..
No film of the week this week, that will be Fight Club. However that doesn’t stop us from getting together for a good old chinwag. In it me @CinemaTronix Allan @mysocalledbrain Ian @i_nesbot and Scott @Celluloidical talk why Cannes didn’t like Only God Forgives, discuss some trailers, Time Cop the re-make, Expendables 3, The Worlds End, Man of Steel hopes and we review more Star Trek, Fast and Furious 6, 21 And Over, The Great Gatsby 3D and Ian reviews some films with a ton of enthusiasm. Enjoy.
Who would have thought it that the Fast and the Furious would get to number 6 and be bigger and stronger than ever. Ever since Vin Diesel and Paul Walker remade Point Break with fast cars instead of surf boards, the franchise seemed short-lived. With Diesel and Walker returning for a fourth instalment, (making the true sequel to the first) which lead to the colossal combo of everyone from the last 4 films plus The Rock in the insanely stupid fifth film. This new outing takes stupid to a whole new level. Fully embracing the ridiculous nature of everything, Fast and Furious 6 clearly doesn’t care about character development, story, logic or anything that makes sense. The plot, if you can call it a plot, is basically, The Rock wants Vin Diesel and his team (or family as they put it) to help capture an evil Luke Evans who as it happens has a presumed dead Michelle Rodriguez working for him. So the whole gang team up again in a series of set pieces that fast cars, planes and tanks.
This it a movie equivalent to a big fat cheese burger with a large fries on the side. It’s too big, it’s a silly idea that requires little thought, stodgy and if had when in the right mood, it is the best thing you can possibly have. Yes everything on-screen is complete nonsense but that matters not, as this is a fun ride that only requires you to switch off your brian and reveal in the absurdest world it lives in. To take this film seriously would be missing the point entirely its fully self-aware, winking to the audience using one lines telling us all to sit back and enjoy the chaos. It’s all about all about the action scenes at the end of the day and its a good job that it delivers on that front. Justin Lin has done an excellent job with action. Leaving the street racing to a minimum, it is jam-packed with punch ups, shoot outs, car chases distorting half of London and take downs of a plain on the longest runway in the universe and a tank. Everyone is having a blast in this. Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris has great banter between each other, Luke Evans is a ball being all evil, Gina Carano proves that she needs to be in more action films and The Rock… well he’s The Rock. This is a movie version of junk food alright. You may feel guilty and regret it afterwards but as you devour it, man does it taste good..
The thought of an adaptions of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in 3D sounds kinda unnecessary and pointless. When you hear that Baz Luhrmann adapting F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in 3D, suddenly it makes sense as Luhrmann excessive flare may bring some interesting glam to the great American book. Centred on the mysterious Jay Gatsby, a millionaire who throws parties all summer but who no one seems to know anything about, is perfectly cast. Leonardo DiCaprio is the perfect choice for the role for this generations retelling. He’s charming and sharp-looking and can balance of conference that the role demands. Yet DiCaprio adds layers of vulnerability and torment as he reaches out blindly to win back the love of his life, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), the wife of a rich socialite who cheats on her every five seconds. Daisy is a tragic character in her own way by having this relationship with offish Joel Edgerton because she can’t believe in a better life for herself. Toby Maguire plays Daisy’s cousin Nick Carraway, a bond salesman that rents a small house next door to Gatsby’s mansion, is the real lead that holds the story together. It’s through is eyes that we view the film and Maguire carries this role tremendously.
As good as the cast is, they all fall second fiddle to Luhrmann himself. His style is always loud, brash and in your face. It can rub some viewers the wrong way but there he is some what restraint, even though he does try to over take the narrative with his grand visuals. Having the words of Fitzgerald’s novel float out on-screen in 3D as a way of highlighting his use of words. Though the 3D is always at its best at the end credits (typical). He also fits in car chases when anyone is in a vehicle in almost in a 1920’s version of the fast and furious. As always, Luhrmann uses modern songs to hyper up the period piece setting. It works for the most part matching the party life style these young socialites enjoy themselves without any regard for anything else. Lana Del Rey song “Young and Beautiful works really well and is surprisingly not annoying, however the use of Jay-Z’s Izzo is one step too far..
V for Vendetta surprised me when I saw it originally at the cinema. It surprised me because it felt like a film based on graphic novel that didn’t comprise the source material. Well not if you ask Alan Moore. Set in a England in the decade of 2030, the country is under a fascist regime led by the very angry John Hurt. In this nightmare vision of futuristic london, Evey (Natalie Portman) encounters some unpleasant undercover policeman looking to do something very nasty indeed when V, a man with a mask dressed as Guy Fawkes saves her and in turn get herself intertwined in his plans to save the people from its totalitarian government. Taking inspiration from the gunpowder plot of 1605, V takes the guise of a modern-day Guy Fawkes as a symbol and blow up the houses of parliament and rise the people agents their oppressors.
Without reading the graphic novel, on a first watch it feels like a faithful radiation, however with some research it is clear the V for Vendetta, has softened some what. The film clearly sides with V in his quest as a noble freedom fighter. Where as in Moore’s work is very different as V is very much more extreme in his believes and does not care so much for innocent life, taking the extreme sides on both ends of the spectrum. This would be troublesome for a major film as there is no hero to root for as even Evey turns into his apprentice to carry on his work. As much as I like the idea that Moore has, I do feel that it may not have worked as well as one would hope. I guess I should just go away and read the comic.
Directed by James McTeigue with a script by The Wachowskis, it has a very comic book tone that look very flash and stylish all the while litter with great performances. Hugo Weaving is charming and ruthless in a role that echos the Phantom of the Opera while Natalie Portman proves that she still looks good with the shaved look al la Sinéad O’Connor and has a flawless english accent. The true hero for me is Stephen Rea as Finch. A shabby detective who is trying to make heads or tails of the of whats going on and gives the audience an insider’s view of the Nazi based government. Although totally different from the book it’s based on with ideas centred around rebellion and rising up ageist government. You have to give it props for at that time, having the balls to go with a story where a terrorist is the hero. A terrorist with all his edge taken off granted but let the film stand on its own terms by itself and let it be its own movie. A every enjoyable movie at that..
The new spoiler filled podcast is now out with the regular gang Rag Ian Allan and Scott. We talk about the V for Vendetta as well some pre-recorded thoughts by Mike from the Film Fooerly podcast, and not all of us liked it for a change. We also talk more spoilers about Star Trek into Darkness so you have been warned. I also talk how I enjoyed The Great Gatsby, Allan enjoys The Brass Tea Pot, Rag hates Parker and Ian liked a Charlie Sheen film. Also some idle chitchat on future films to cover, classic films we’ve not seen and some just plane idle chitchat. Plus I have now seen a small little known film called Apocalypse Now. Also who’s phone is ringing?
Let us know of any future films that you’d like us to cover. Enjoy.
Finally after 4 years, JJ Abrams has given us a sequel to the excellent revamp of Star Trek. After taking all the key elements of the franchise (mainly from Wrath of Khan) and starting everything from scratch with in the mould of a summer blockbuster with a ton of lens flare, he made a Star Trek film that pleased fans and new comers with what is one of the best sci-fi films in recent years. The sequel does what you’d expect. It raises the stakes as Kirk (Chris Pine) takes things personally by goes after a criminal ken as John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) who has viciously attacked the federation. Again with most of these resent blockbusters, there isn’t much to say without spoiling the crap out of it. Service to say, there is plenty of fighting, explosions, races at warp speed and bags and bags of lens flare.
Cumberbatch is a great villein, coldly sneering in a snake-like manner as he chews the scenery, stealing every scene he’s in. However this film is still all about Kirk and Spock and Pine and Zachary Quinto are just as great together as they were last time around. Bouncing off each other as their bromance is put to the test when their personal moral values clash. Abrams proves once again that he is the perfect choice to take on Star Wars as the popcorn blockbuster director of choice. Everything from final fight with Khan (to which would reveal too much if I say any more) to the Indiana Jones style opening sequence that suggests that he maybe the next in line to take Speiburg’s shoes. Into Darkness does what all good sequels should by upping the ante with bigger and better action scenes but where as the first film, dealer with how Kirk, Spock and co come to start their relationship and adventures together, this deals with just what they truly mean to each other and at what cost.
Star Trek into Darkness is not as perfect as the first film though. Parts of the story and nods the original feel at times out of character, ill-judged or just too on the nose. Such as the use of Leonard Nimoy returning as Spock prime only exists as a bit of exposition and a chance to have Leonard Nimoy back on the screen. Some of the supporting cast feel like tagged on roles this time around. Chekov and Sulu get their own moments in the film, they still feels like a footnote here and Alice Eve playing Carol Marcus don’t get much to do sadly. However that is the problem where you have so many characters to play with, it’s very hard to give them all enough screen time. On the over hand Karl Urban gets most of the laughs with his Amongst many things that i can’t get into that would be spoilerific, this is solid entertainment. For all the many little fragments where it drops the ball like the ending that lacked a true pay off, it does most things right by paying homage to other Star Trek story lines but with a twist that matches the character arch of Kirk and Spock, and as much as Cumberbatch is the centre point of the film, it’s still their show. On a side note, more Peter Weller in films please. Thank you..
How come all the big summer blockbusters are so filled with spoilers that it leaves you unable to talk about them? A spoiler use to usually just be towards the end of the film but these days the narrative’s riddled with them. I miss the good old days when you could look at IMDB without ruining the films big plot twist. When did Hollywood get so keen on surprising us? I suppose with the internet around film makers need to keep key plot points under wraps so we can experience a genuine sense of surprise. However dose knowing the main plot twist spoil enjoying the film?
I’ve found myself asking this coming out of a midnight screening of Star Trek Into Darkness and after the chief reveal of the story, which I wont ruin here, I wasn’t that surpassed by it. In fact, I walked away with a sense of that if JJ Abrams wouldn’t have kept things so close to his chest, it wouldn’t have bothered anyone. Well Star Trek is a wildly anticipated sequel to a massive franchise with hard-core fan base that may not be best pleased with you if you screw it up but even so. I had the same feelings when afterwards I read a potential spoiler for the Captain America sequel, again I shallot tell on here, and again, didn’t bother me. This maybe because both spoilers didn’t come as much shock (well at least to me) but do we really need everything kept a secret.
This is a question where I go back and forth on in my head. I am one these guys would think trailers give too much away, I am usually happy with teaser trailer and feel that they do enough to tell me the look, the feel and the general premise, everything I need to know. To view the film cold is truly the best way to enjoy it. However with the invention of the world-wide web, you can have the film ruined for you before it’s even released in the cinema. At least these days trailers do try to cover some things up while blowing all the big money shots. Back in the 80’s they use to spoil everything by having solid full clips with a voice over explaining everything right down to the climatic battle. All you need to do is watch the trailer for Soylent Green and that has literally everything in it, except for the the twist at the very end, but thats not much a head scratcher.
Watch it here if you dare.
I guess it all comes down to opinion. Film makers like Abrams and Nolan should keep their plots tightly guarded. Just this time, in the case of the new Star Trek, I didn’t feel like it was necessary. In fact, maybe if they announced the main spoiler back late last year , the fans who would take issue with it what happens in it would be more relaxed by this time and about and enjoy the film. Then I guess, maybe that’s what IMDB and Wikipedia are doing just that and shame on them but if they want to keep the pleasure of watching it for the first time a surprise, I fully endorse that and everyone should respect not tarnishing the impact of the film as the film makers intended..
In this Bonus episode me and Chris and Amon spoil the heck out of the new Star Trek film. So you have been warned. To day any more about it would be…… well you are just going to have to listen it, but after you have watched it of course.
Stay tuned for some bonus talk, due as we tend to ramble on, but we chat about the last Die Hard film, Bullet to the Head and the Expendables. Also there is a Bane off which was too good to leave out. Enjoy.
On this episode to tie in the the new Star Trek film, I choose the best on, at least in my opinion anyway. It’s Star Trek 2 : The Wrath of Khan, amongst that we talk about other star trek films, more Iron Man 3, Allan strongly disagrees with my opinion of 21 and Over, Dead Man Down, Mission Impossible 5, The Crow re-make and a bit of Transformers and much more.
Ray Harryhausen R.I.P