film

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Review

Following his brief cameo in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man gets his own outing in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s the latest rebranding of the web-slinger following Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s 21st century efforts but given it’s affiliation with the Avengers franchise, it’s difficult to compare this modernised vision of the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

After his bout with Captain America, a 15-year-old Peter Parker (Holland) must come back down to reality and tackle his everyday teenage life of school and girls as well as his relationship with his aunt May (Melissa Tomei). This all proves tricky once he considers himself an official Avenger, pestering Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) for more involvement in the initiative.

After crossing paths with supernatural arms dealer, The Vulture (Michael Keaton), Peter can’t help but put everything else in his life on hold and find a way to prove that he is worthy of Avenger status.

Director Jon Watts brings a melancholic and indie tone to the superhero, in particular during the scenes where we see Peter step away from his Spider-Man duties. There’s plenty of charm and humour with Holland an important catalyst in that as well as the teenage based pop soundtrack playing behind it all.

Ultimately, the movie is a small component of something much bigger, with Avengers: Infinity War to come next year and that certainly modernises the Spider-Man brand, but there is still a sense of independence the movie that is refreshing to see.

There’s plenty to admire in Spider-Man: Homecoming as it does a good job of balancing it’s own world with the broader Avengers universe. With that in mind, it’s hard to compare it with Sam Raimi’s noughties trilogy and the two rather forgotten rebrandings in 2012 with Andrew Garfield. It’s a completely new reimagining of the character, which won’t blow audiences away by any means, but will charm viewers nevertheless.

American Made – Trailer #1

The Hype:

Everyone loves a movie based on a true story, especially when it’s a based on a character like Barry Seal, helped further by the fact that he will be portrayed by Tom Cruise. Judging by the trailer, this money and drug fuelled crime thriller is going to be full of twists and shocks, with the man behind Bourne Identity and Mr and Mrs Smith, Doug Limen, directing.

The Plot:

American Made follows the story of Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who is recruited as a drug smuggler before being approached by the DEA and CIA to find intelligence on his employers, including Pablo Escobar.

The Trailer:

The UK Release Date:

25th August 2017

Baywatch – Review

Plenty of incredible looking people, some cheap action thrills and a decent amount of comedy is exactly what you can expect from the new movie adaptation of Baywatch. It’s a movie one will go into with low expectations and leave having had a couple of chuckles, but without being left with any lasting impressions. But ultimately that is what a movie like Baywatch is specifically there for.

Dwayne Johnson plays the updated version of David Hasselhoff’s Mitch Buchanen, a dedicated and much-loved head lifeguard of Baywatch beach in Miami. When recruiting for new talent to join the team patrolling the bay, Mitch clashes with Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a disgraced former Olympic champion swimmer whose cocky attitude leads him to believe he can stroll into the role.

After being awarded the job, Brody soon discovers there’s a lot more to the part than just being a lifeguard as he and the rest of the team look to bring down the dangerous drug-lord, Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra), who jeopardises the future of the Bay.

Director Seth Gordon is probably best known for 2011’s Horrible Bosses, so immediately you know what kind of crass humour is going to be involved. And fortunately for Baywatch, there are a number of chuckles to be had which partially makes up for the terrible storyline and budget action sequences. Johnson and Efron have a fun on-screen relationship and along with Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach, there’s plenty to visually admire.

The movie as a whole is poor, but it certainly surpasses the lowest of expectations that audiences will be going in with. Baywatch is incredibly forgettable but a few laughs and some cheap action scenes mean it’s not the worst watch ever.

12 Actors Who Have Featured In DC And Marvel Movies

Marvel and DC are titans and main rivals when it comes to the comic book superhero universe. That rivalry is really beginning to heat up with so many future releases from both parties set to drop in the next couple of years. Naturally there is going to be some form of crossover between both worlds so here’s a list of just some of the actors and actresses who have featured in both Marvel and DC movies:

Ben Affleck – Affleck is currently portraying Batman role for DC as seen in the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and briefly in Suicide Squad, but he also donned the rather forgettable Daredevil outfit for Marvel – both were fairly terrible movies. He returns as the Dark Knight later this year in Justice League.

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Ryan Reynolds – Everyone now knows Reynolds as the foul-mouthed Deadpool, a distant member of the X-Men family for Marvel. He actually first played the anti-hero in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and also played Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity all the way back in 2004. His appearance for DC was definitely a low point in his career, playing the lead character in Green Lantern.

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Halle Berry – Obviously best known for her portrayal of Storm in the X-Men series, Berry took a quick trip to the DC universe in 2004 in the painfully awful Catwoman and returned to Marvel without ever looking back.

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Tommy Lee-Jones – Remember all those terrible Batman movies throughout the 90s? Lee-Jones featured in one of them, playing Harvey Dent/Two Face in Batman Forever – a role that he has since claimed he hated (as did we). Fast-forward 16 years and he appeared for Marvel, playing Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger, a slightly more commendable role.

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Laurence Fishburne – The Matrix cool guy cameoed in Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, playing Daily Planet editor Perry White. In 2007 he voiced the Silver Surfer in Marvel’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Spare a thought for Adewale who must have spent hours in makeup for both DC and Marvel roles. He featured in last year’s Suicide Squad as Killer Croc, so you can be forgiven for not recognising him in that. He also featured in Thor: The Dark World, playing Algrim/Kurse – again, caked in makeup and costume.

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Josh Brolin & Michael Fassbender – DC’s Jonah Hex was one of Hollywood’s glorious failures, financially and critically despite an impressive cast. Many of whom have gone on to much better things and these two in particular. Fassbender of course has had a couple of outings in the X-Men series as a younger Magneto in First Class and Days of Future Past. We may have only seen Brolin portraying Thanos briefly in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron but expect a larger role as the large headed villain in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War.

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James Marsden – One of Hollywood’s underrated sons, probably best known for playing Cyclops in the X-Men series before being killed off in The Last Stand. Like Berry, he jumped over to the DC world, featuring in 2006’s Superman Returns, reteaming with X-Men director Bryan Singer who made a similar leap.

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J.K Simmons – One of Simmons’ most loved characters is J. Jonah Jameson, the quippy news editor of the Daily Bugel in Marvel’s Spiderman of the noughties. Since then he has starred in the likes of Whiplash and Patriots Day, the latter of which portraying a glorious moustache. He will star as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League later this year probably thanks to his fantastic facial hair.

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Willem Dafoe – Dafoe featured alongside Simmons in Spiderman, playing the terrifying Green Goblin. He’ll be seen playing Nuidis Vulko in this year’s Justice League as well as the stand-alone Aquaman production in 2018.

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Michael Keaton – Despite doubts over the casting, Keaton did a good job of playing Bruce Wayne and his caped alter ego in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. He re-entered the superhero world in the alternative Oscar-winning Birdman a couple of years ago, but later this year he will be starring in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming fittingly playing the villainous Vulture.

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All 16 Disney Classics Getting the Live-Action Treatment

Following the release of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ last month and my blog entry questioning whether the live-action remake was necessary, here is a complete list of all Disney classics getting the live-action gloss:

The Lion King – Possibly the most beloved Disney movie is set to be remade by Jungle Book director, Jon Favreau. Donald Glover will voice Simba, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa.

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Pinocchio – Daniel Hedges, who wrote the screenplay for ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’, is working on a slightly darker, live-action remake based on the 1883 novel of the wooden boy who comes to life. Guillermo Del Toro has been working on a stop-motion version of the movie, while Ron Howard has been rumoured to direct Warner Bros’ take on it, with Robert Downey Jr. playing Gepetto.

Aladdin – Guy Ritchie is in talks to direct this remake, similar to the original. There’s also suggestion there will be a separate movie titled ‘Genies’, dedicated to the background behind the Genie – a difficult role to fulfil following Robin Williams’ portrayal in the 1992 original.

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The Little Mermaid – Not much has been mentioned about this one other than Broadway legend, Lin-Manuel Miranda teaming up with original Disney songwriter Alan Menken to recreate the songs that featured in the animated version of the movie.

Dumbo – Tim Burton, who already has experience when it comes to Disney remakes following ‘Alice in Wonderland’, is set to direct with Eva Green and Danny DeVito also signed up to feature. Colin Farrell is also rumoured to feature in some capacity with ‘Transformers’ writer Ehren Kruger behind the story.

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Cruella – Emma Stone is set to portray the fur-loving villain in this origin story behind the ‘101 Dalmations’ character. ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ co-creator, Alex Timbers, will be directing this one.

Night On Bald Mountain – This one will be a little unknown to some people but it’s actually a remake of a sequence in the musical classic, ‘Fantasia’.

The Jungle Book 2 – Following the success of the 2016 live-action remake, Jon Favreau is set to direct the sequel to the Disney classic after last year’s success. Writer Justin Marks and Neel Sethi, who played Mowgli, are both also set to return with the release date considered to be sometime in 2019.

Maleficent 2 – Another successful Disney remake/adaptation was 2014’s ‘Maleficent’ and like ‘The Jungle Book’, is set for a sequel, with Angelina Jolie returning as the wicked sorceress who originated from ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

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Peter Pan – Rather conveniently, the man behind 2016’s remake of ‘Pete’s Dragon’, David Lowery, will be directing the live-action rebrand of ‘Peter Pan’. The real-life version of the boy who never grows up is set for release next year and leads us on nicely to our next entry.

Tinker Bell – Peter’s beloved fairy companion is getting her own spin-off movie, with Reese Witherspoon playing the lead role.

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Winnie the Pooh – The honey-loving bear is set to get the live-action gloss with a story based on an adult Christopher Robin, and will be directed by ‘Spotlight’ writer and director, Tom McCarthy. There is also to be a biopic based on the man behind Pooh, AA Milne, released next year starring Margot Robbie and Domhnall Gleeson.

Prince Charming – Many Disney movies’ focus is on a princess in some capacity, but this time that will be changing to the male side of things. It’s unclear however as to whether the Prince Charming in question is based on the character from ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.

Rose Red – Again, this is a take on an alternative character from a famous Disney movie. The first movie in fact – ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. This time though, the focus is on Rose Red, the sister of Snow White who works with the dwarves to save her when she famously bites the poisonous apple.

Mulan – The live-action remake of the 1998 original is set to be released in November next year and Niki Caro is rumoured to be directing but there have been no suggestions as to who will be playing the lead role as of yet.

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Sword in the Stone – ‘Game of Thrones’ writer, Bryan Cogman is penning the script for this one. Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’, which is released later this year, also shares a later affiliation to the story of the lead character.

12 Actors You Probably Didn’t Notice In These Movies

Whether it was before they were famous or just the briefest of cameo roles, you might be surprised to discover the movies the following actors and actresses featured in:

Kevin Hart – The 40 Year Old Virgin

Now one of America’s most successful comedians, Hart featured as CJ in Scary Movie 3 shortly before making a cameo appearance in the slightly more bearable movie, The 40 Year Old Virgin, playing a disgruntled Smart Tech customer back in 2005.

Seth Rogen – Donnie Darko & Anchorman

One of Hollywood’s most beloved comedy actors had small roles in both of these major movies. Firstly, he featured as one of the Donnie Darko bullies back in 2001 and three years later he was given a handful of lines as a cameraman for channel 4 news.

Nick Offerman – Sin City

Parks and Rec’s very own Nick Offerman featured as Mr Shlubb AKA Fat Man in 2005’s Sin City – a slightly different role to his portrayal of Ron Swanson as we know and love him for now.

Quentin Tarantino – Little Nicky

No stranger to a small cameo role is the legendary director, who here portrays a preacher who recognises Adam Sandler’s character as the devil’s son in Little Nicky from 2000.

Cate Blanchett & Peter Jackson – Hot Fuzz

It’s becoming common knowledge that Oscar winning actress Blanchett makes a small appearance as Nicholas Angel’s girlfriend Janine in Hot Fuzz, albeit wearing a hazmat suit, mask and goggles. What you may not know is that Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson, also shares a small cameo, playing the crazed Santa Claus who stabs Angel in the hand during the opening montage.

Kristen Stewart – Panic Room

The Twilight star was indeed Jodie Foster’s diabetic daughter in David Fincher’s Panic Room from 2002. She even received a nomination for a Young Artist Award for her performance. Stewart also appeared prior to that in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas where she played a young ring toss girl.

Josh Hutcherson – Kicking and Screaming

Almost a decade before girls started going crazy for him in The Hunger Games, Hutcherson starred alongside Will Ferrell in the soccer based, Kicking and Screaming in 2005. A year later he also featured as Robin Williams’ son in RV: Runaway Vacation.

Ryan Gosling – Remember the Titans

The first time we were all properly introduced to the recently Oscar nominated actor was in Disney’s 2000 American football flick, Remember the Titans in which we also saw a young Hayden Panettiere.

Chris Pratt – Moneyball

Before he became one of Hollywood’s sought after actors, Pratt featured as baseball player Scott Hatteberg alongside Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in baseball based, Moneyball, back in 2011.

Ryan Reynolds – X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Seven years before the release and subsequent success of Deadpool, Reynolds had actually already played the role of Wade Wilson alongside Hugh Jackman in the origins story behind Wolverine – which wasn’t adored quite as much.

Elijah Wood – Back to the Future 2

This one isn’t that difficult to spot given the fact that Wood hasn’t changed at all since the release of Back to the Future back in 1989. The Lord of the Rings actor played a young gamer boy who takes on Marty McFly at some classic video games.

Megan Fox – Bad Boys II

You can be forgiven for missing this one as Fox made the briefest of appearance dancing in a nightclub scene in 2003’s Bad Boys II. Controversially, she was wearing a stars and stripes bikini, a red cowboy hat and six inch heels at the tender age of 15…

Alien: Covenant – New Trailer

This is rapidly becoming one of the most anticipated movies of the year, with the latest trailer suggesting that Ridley Scott is preparing to take Alien: Covenant back to its terrifying roots.

Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston lead the new squad – check out the scary new trailer below!

Patriots Day – Review

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Director Peter Berg for a while has been on the brink of producing something special. He may have had a number of blips with the likes of Hancock and Battleship, but he has also produced some impressive docudramas including The Kingdom, Lone Survivor and last year’s Deepwater Horizon. His latest venture, Patriots Day, sees him take on the story of the 2013 Boston bombings – and it is the movie that takes Berg’s directing prowess to next level.

The film follows the true events of the bombings as well as the incredible subsequent events when two brothers, Damerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, target the finish line of the Boston marathon with a pair of homemade bombs, killing three people and injuring hundreds more. Detective Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg, who is also the only fictional character in the movie) was on duty at the time of the explosions and is seemingly our main protagonist throughout the movie.

All other characters in the film (barring Michelle Monaghan’s role as Tommy’s despairing wife) are real life accounts from victims Jessica Kensky (Rachel Brosnahan) and her partner Patrick Downes (Christopher O’Shea) to all police officials including Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) and Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K Simmons). Along with FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), they play huge roles in the aftermath of the bombings, searching tirelessly for the two brothers in quite an amazing few days in Boston. The movie ends with touching interviews and images from the day which you can’t help but feel moved by.

Berg has a knack of mixing together devastation and sentimentality. We are introduced to Boston on the morning of the bombings as a quirky, lazy place with a number of wise cracks from all the characters – an easy going opening to the movie. But as a result, we are immediately invested in the characters, including the two brothers with whom we ascertain their motives and background of throughout – discovering more about the antagonists is another admirable trait of Berg’s.

The scene of the explosions isn’t over-egged by Berg, but from this moment on the audience is gripped by the pure tension the subsequent events exploit. And these said events are quite incredible – it’s almost best to go into the movie without knowing too much of what happened in the days that followed.

Berg doesn’t struggle with the high number of character profiles – in fact Wahlberg’s role isn’t necessarily outdoing anyone else, he is just one of the many heroes that Berg is patriotically portraying. As a result, Patriots Day is some of his best work. It’s a captivating watch, incredibly moving and a true homage to all the victims and heroes of the tragic events of those few days.

Gold – Review

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The story behind Gold is quite a remarkable one but the telling of it by director Stephen Gaghan fails to sparkle. All the ingredients suggest that this could have been a classic, money based caper but the end product is merely a lacklustre wannabe Wolf of Wall Street.

Matthew McConaughey (who possibly was casted following his brief appearance in Wolf of Wall Street) plays Kenny Wells, a man who is on the brink of driving his family’s business into bankruptcy in the late 80’s. Following a literal dream he has one night, Kenny goes all out into the prospecting game, venturing to Indonesia to meet Michael Acosta (Edgar Ramirez), a fellow prospector who believes he knows where to get digging deep in the jungle territory.

The pair forms a business partnership and soon enough begin hiring local Indonesian villagers to start digging for the buried riches. Back home in Nevada, Kenny has a group of salesman set up in order to gain investors in the new business venture, along with his partner Kay (Bryce Dallas-Howard), who enjoys the sudden income increase when Kenny and Michael seemingly strike lucky. Consequently, a number of New York firms as well as various other parties become interested in Kenny’s project.

Unsurprisingly, McConaughey is the most notable and watchable component of the movie. He has clearly prepared himself and then some for the role with the receding hair line and incredibly rotund belly – that said, how challenging can it be to prepare for a role by piling on the pounds? The performance itself is typically engrossing, making the mundane conversations and confrontations that bit more intriguing.

Unfortunately not much can be said for the rest of the movie. Gaghan uses musical montages with pop tunes from the 80s in an attempt to create a fast paced, Wolf of Wall Street or The Big Short type movie. It’s all in vain as the film never really takes off at any stage, nor takes any risks unlike its main protagonist leaving a blunt and lacklustre end product. That’s hard to believe with a storyline such as this (though if one was to dig further, you’d find that the movie only barely matches the true story that it claims to be inspired by).

With McConaughey being the sole sparkle to gleam from the movie, Gold is one that promised a lot but doesn’t dig deep enough shine as brightly as its subject matter.