There was some outcry when Tom Cruise was cast as the title character of a series of books by Lee Child. “He’s too short” they said. “But Reacher’s 6’5″ tall” they yelled. “Not Tom FUCKING Cruise” is what the general consensus from the fans of the books as well as non-fans of Mr Cruise. In all fairness, he does have a screen presence that fulfills that larger than life trait and is very convincing as a though ex military police officer who lives like a drifter solving crimes as he travels place to place. Even if he still does look like Tom Cruise.
Taken from the novel One Shot (a much better name by the way) the film opens with a sniper attack on five random civilians by a shifty Jai Courtney framing a former U.S. Army sniper in the process. When the sniper’s only demands is to get Jack Reacher, who should walk through the door that instant but the man himself. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (his second directorial effort after Way of the Gun) gives a great pulpy detective story with a nonsense protagonist. Thankfully there is no thrown in romance just Rosmand Pike not knowing where to look when Tom Cruise takes his shirt off. Woman in general appear to just throw themselves over Jack Reacher in this film, but then again it is Tom Cruise.
With solid turns from everyone all round from Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo and Robert Duvall who shows up in the last act as a sidekick/mentor to Reacher, it’s a role that could have been a cameo but hey…. its Duvall. Also another casting right out of nowhere is Werner Herzog is the mysterious man in the shadows The Zec. To call it a performance would be wrong, to call it perfect casting would be right. Herzog basically plays himself but as an evil mastermind who forces people to bite off their own thumbs.
It’s a shame Jack Reacher didn’t do well as it had hoped. The character is such an entertaining one. A pulpy noir detective that cuts the bullshit and kicks ass, perhaps not an original concept but then again what is? Maybe Cruise wasn’t right, at the ripe old age of 50 and the vast amount of stories to tell, and I do think they are worth telling, and with chances of any sequels not on the horizon I do hope that someday someone else takes on the role and bring more of Lee Child’s novels to the big screen. It’s what Jack Reacher deserves..
This week me (@CinemaTronix) and Scott (@Celluloidical) are putting ourselves through watching some Jar Jar action in the first episode of the Star Wars saga. Listen to Scott as he tries to reason with Chris as to why this film is terrible and marvel at the bad hammy dialog and all round bad decisions. We will be watching all the films with Attack of the Clones next up. So if you dare to put on Phantom Menace why not listen to us ramble on about it. It has to better that shit Lucas is babbling about..
Hello and welcome to some more movie talk with your friend Chris (@CinemaTronix) and joining the podcast this week is a regular guest and a very good chap Amon Warmann (@awarmann). This week talk about the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire and laying down some spoilers so be warned. We also talk about (due to Jason Statham’s comments) the credibility of action films and stuntmen. Also some views on Dallas Buyers Club, Wolverine, The Butler and Jack Reacher. Expect tangents galore but any regular listeners will know that by now.
Who would have thought that here was a story worth telling about the making of Mary Poppins. Based on true events, it tells the story of the author of the series of books about Mary Poppins P. L. Travers and Walt Disney’s attempts to get the rights to create a motion picture. Shifting between two narratives, one being Travers’s consistent disapproval of the ideas for the movie based on her treasured creation and her distaste for anything Disney Land has to offer, the other expands on the her back story as a child in Australia and her relationship with her father.
Needless to say with this being a Disney property, it looks on its own studio very fondly as a place of magic and wonder and with Tom Hanks in the role of the big guy himself, it’s clear that Saving Mr Banks isn’t going to have anything bad to say about the studio. Even with all the edges taken off with all the sweet saccharin sentiment, The Blind Side director brings a real charm and joy, all from the love of Mary Poppins itself. Emma Thompson is the perfect choice as Travers, with her uptight demeanor who is rude and unsympathetic to everyone she meets but still maintaining an undeniable likability to her. The flashbacks to her father who is brilliantly played by Colin Farrell that begs for your compassion for her character. Farrell is the unsung hero for me. With the focus on Thompson and Hanks, two great actors on such charming form, he kind of gets sidelined when in fact he is the heart and soul of the film. Much like the film itself, he is charming, funny and playful but all the while is covering up something more tragic and Farrell is excellent. I can not think of a better choice of actor to take on Walt Disney in this film other than Hanks. He is perfect as you would expect with a touch of Willy Wonka about him.
The whole film is filled with great cast members. Bradley Whitford, B. J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play the writer and composers of the classic film banging their heads against a brick wall as Emma Thompson scoffs at every idea that they come up with. Ruth Wilson turns up as Travers’s troubled struggling mother and Paul Giamatti as Ralph, Travers’ chauffeur who is on likable form warming her heart and the audiences at the same time. It is guilty of being in love with its own studio for making such a beloved classic but then again Mary Poppins is a beloved classic and its worth celebrating. It also suffers from an extended ending that drives the overt happy ending that Disney loves so much that doesn’t stop you from leaving with a spring in your step..
Hello its another commentary track from Chris (@CinemaTronix) and Scott (@Celluloidical) and in this episode we watch the Patrick Swayze be an absolute badass in Road House.
This was a first watch for Scott much to Chris’s amazement and as you can imagine the tangents we go on. This includes Scott’s review of The To Do List (with mild spoilers), Nick Nolte and Emperor Palpatine impressions, plus we decide that the next commentary tracks will be all the Star Wars films.
Enjoy and see you next time with The Phantom Menace.
Welcome listeners to another Spoilercast where the film in question is the highly anticipated from Alfonso Cuarón Gravity. Joining Chris (@CinemaTronix) is Fellow podcaster Ben Taylorson (@BenTaylorson) and Anne LaBarbera (@annelovesfilm) who is a independent film maker of short films from New York. In this as you might guess we have a chat about the film and where the 3D IMAX aspect stands and whether or not it still stands up without it. Of course there is some rambling involved but then we wouldn’t do a podcast with some.
We are back after a bit of a break but Chris Byrne (@CinemaTronix) and Jade Lindley (@CelluloidAK) are back and we’re all about John Woo and Chow Yun Fat in 1992’s Hard Boiled. A very rambly episode this week as we discuss one of the best action films ever made. Not much disagreement on either side but we do talk about tropes, drinking games and why Chow Yun Fat hasn’t been in the Expendables and who should be.
Years in the making, the new film from Alfonso Cuarón has been highly anticipated from film fans all year and now it seems the rest of the world wants to see what the fuss is about. Being promoted as an experience rather than a film is just as the visuals of Gravity are stunning from start to end. Starring Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone on her first mission in space while George Clooney’s astronaut veteran over sees a spacewalk mission to repair a satellite orbiting the earth. Things go horribly wrong when debris knocks the both of them out into space with limited oxygen, they must use their wits to find a way back home.
There is a lot to love about Gravity. All the special effects look wonderful and Cuarón and Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki has done an excellent job of making the visuals as realistic as possible while at the same time making it just as gorgeous to look at as seeing planet earth itself. Ambitiously starting with a single shot that’s 17 minutes in length, it runs so seamlessly that you wouldn’t notice. Much of Gravity is fast paced with the constant added awareness of the danger of the central characters are in. Space is a Big place and the IMAX experience really highlights that fact and amplifies the fear of being lost in space is something truly terrifying. Most of the talk about Gravity will be all about FX and the 3D. That maybe down to the B-movie plot in its simplistic outline, to me that’s a good thing. In a time where every big movie is over two hours long, it’s refreshing to see a tense 90 minute survival film that doesn’t over stay its welcome.
One thing I will say about Gravity is that there has been a lot praise thrown at the 3D element of it, claiming it as the one exception to the rule that 3D doesn’t add anything. Well, I for one disagree. Although the 3D work in is very good in it, like a lot of many other films you don’t really notice it. Maybe it’s because I was too engaged with the story or perhaps it was the experience of IMAX that made me glance at awe distracting me from the extra dimension. Gravity is in full effect when seen on the biggest screen possible. The reasons being is that it mirrors the size of space itself and the thought of getting lost out there with no chance of rescue is truly scary thought. I was on the edge of my seat throughout with a constant knot in my stomach as Cuarón keeps the action moving making you guess at every turn. So of course the fantastic and the 3D is great but still redundant, but what isn’t talked about enough are the performances. Cloonely is his usually reliable charming self that is more of emotional anchor for Sandra Bullock’s character and in the first half the audience. With that in mind it is Stone’s story and Bullock is excellent being both smart, damaged and vulnerable while finding strength deep down. Even though her character arc offers nothing new to audiences (but then again what truly does) it a good old-fashioned tale of survival against all elements and is worthy of awards. So far Gravity is the best film of 2013 offering everything you could want in 90’s. With great performances topped with earth shattering special effects matched with a classic story that’s keeps you on your toes. It’s the experience that makes you fall in love with the cinema..
Its another episode of The Inglorious Bastnerds Podcast and with no sense of direction or topic, we have an old chinwag from everything like Star Wars additions, Star Trek, Wonder Woman, more comic book sequels (surprise surprise) Saw sequels, The Raid 2, more Thor 2, Don Jon, Captain Phillips, Flight, Psycho 2, The Entity and a whole host more.
Thor is back and so are we with a entire podcast dedicating to spoiling the heck out of Thor : The Dark World. So if you have yet to see the return of the Norse God then go and see it with the rest of the world can then come back and enjoy me (@CinemaTronix) talk with Scott (@Celluloidical) Amon Warmann (@awarmann) and Emma Thrower (@iamnotwaynegale) as spoil everything about the new film from Marvel and also predict the who will be Wonder Woman before the news broke out (honest). Also contains rambling tangents of Star Wars , Star Trek and spoilers for Iron Man 3 but if you haven’t seen that yet then its your own fault.