X-Men Days Of Future Past


Viewed – 21 November 2014  Blu-ray

Probably next to that Apes movie, the next most acclaimed summer blockbuster of the year.  A welcome return of the mutants headed by Dr Xavier (Patrick Stewart) on a time-bending mission to prevent shape-shifting femme fatale Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing a scientist who brings about a war against mutants.  Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is called in to send his conscience back to the seventies, with the help of Kitty Pryde (an under-used Ellen Page).  There he must recruit the younger Charles Xavier as well as an imprisoned Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to aid him in his mission.

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This was a bit of a strange ride….whilst I dig time travel storylines, this was sometimes hard to get into, although the seventies setting with the backdrop of the Vietnam war was welcome and done really well.  James McAvoy is again very good as Xavier’s more troubled, younger-self and Hugh Jackman’s grizzled, dead-pan Wolverine is always a joy to watch.  The stronger emphasis on Mystique was good too, and well she’s smoking hot strutting her blue-skinned stuff in some stand out acrobatic fight sequences.  However with the long history of Magneto generally being an evil megalomaniac, busting him out of a prison quickly proves a bad idea and sitting here I’m still wondering what the point of his involvement was, considering they had Wolverine, Beast and a memorable Quicksilver (Evan Peters from American Horror Story).

Effects were of course top-drawer with a superb ‘let’s rip a football stadium out of the ground’ scene … but much of the plot relied heavily on having a good knowledge of the previous X-Men movies with many small details like nods to Rogue and Jean Gray probably going right over the heads of newcomers.  So it felt like I’d come into the show half-way through with the whole Sentinals situation just going on, wiping out Mutants like a continuing part of a TV series.  That being said the principle actors all did a decent job (especially Lawrence) with somewhat muddled material .. so no, for me at least … this wasn’t as good as I had heard.

Verdict:  3 /5

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Alphabet Movie Meme


I saw this idea initially over at The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger, although the idea originates from this blog:The Drama Llama and well I thought it was pretty cool.  Below you will see my choices and I heartily recommend you have a go yourselves!

Anticipating Movie Of 2014

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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

I was very impressed with how ROTPOTA turned out… really well done origin tale of the whole ‘apes mythology and made me anticipate what comes next immensely.  That anticipation has died down in the few years since, but now it’s finally due out this year … I can’t wait.

Book Adaption I’d Like To See

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Before I Go To Sleep

I didn’t realise it was coming out, and as I am not an avid reader, of the very few books I have read, last year I got around to Before I Go To Sleep … a wonderfully thrilling and gripping story about a woman with 24hr amnesia, and the mystery of those in her life, who can be trusted and who is telling the truth etc.  The movie has Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in it, very much NOT how I saw it, but will be interesting to see how S J Watson’s text translates to the big screen.

Celebrity I’d Most Like To Meet

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Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

I tried and failed to read his autobiography last year (will I pick it up again?) but have always been an admirer, not just down to his movies, but also his political career.

 

Dream Director / Actor Pairing

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David Fincher & Ellen Page

One of the best directors around right now with one of the best young actresses right now.  ‘Nuff said.

Essential Classic Film

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Taxi Driver – one of the most thought-provoking and daring movies of the 70s with  a superb Robert DeNiro and a stunningly convincing Jodie Foster.  Love it.

Favourite Film Franchise

I actually don’t think I have a favourite right now…titles like Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars etc come to mind, but firstly is ‘Rings a franchise?  Oh and Star Wars has disappointed me too many times to be a favourite.

Genre I Watch The Most

Thriller – I was going to go for drama, but I think I find myself watching crime movies, action, something with a bit of danger, violence or mature themes in it a lot… gritty you might say, so yes thriller kind of covers all those.

Hidden Gem

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Hmm, by this I’m guessing something fairly obscure that not many have heard about?  I’ll go for Let The Right One In … yes marginally famous but believe me, most who don’t have an awareness of world cinema (and have only seen the dire remake) will not know about this one.  And they really should do … now!

Important Moment In My Film Life

First time I watched Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.  I remember bringing it home from the rental store, on VHS and thinking I had something very special in my possession.  It remains my favourite movie of all time, endlessly watchable and has inspired my style of fiction writing and my love of great dialogue and the crime / gangster genre a whole.

Just Right Movie For A Rainy Day

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The Back To The Future Trilogy

I’ll go for these as they are easy watching, very easy to enjoy from the start, not overly deep, serious or complex and when not in the mood for anything else, superb fun. 

Kiddie Movie I Still Shamelessly Enjoy

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The Lion King

… a great story, beautiful hand-drawn animation and memorable songs!!

Location I’d Most Like To Visit

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The Shire … I mean, who wouldn’t?  Beautiful, and such lovely houses!

Marathon I First Attended

I haven’t ever done a movie marathon … to my recollection.  I don’t think I have the attention span.

Netflix Movie I Actually Watched

V/H/S – which I enjoyed a lot.  Strangely the last Netflix movie I saw too, if you don’t count documentaries.  I do intend to rectify this though as there are a few movies I plan on watching.

One Movie I Saw In Theatres More Than Once

I actually don’t think this has ever happened.

Preferred Place To Watch A New Movie

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Difficult one … I love the cinema, but technology being what it is now, I’d say the home get’s my vote.

 

 

Quote That Inspires Me

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This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time’ and pretty much most of Fight Club as well.

 

 

Remakes (Friend or Foe)

Neither

I don’t have a problem with remakes in theory, as long as they bring something new to an old idea, not just re-tread the same ground, often resulting in a poor imitation.  Which is often the case.

Snack I Enjoy Most

Anything chocolate based.

Twist That Boggled My Mind

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Hmm how to say this without a spoiler…so I wont… but pretty much the best goes to Twelve Monkeys.

Unapologetic Fanperson For

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Martin Scorsese … but who would apologise for that?  He’s amazing.

 

 

 

 

Very Excited For Award Show Season?

Mostly ‘meh’ … good movies rarely even get a nomination, let alone win, with some exceptions.  I’ll check out the winners and be happy if something I think is good walks away with something… but otherwise I’m not overly bothered.

Wish I’d Never Watched

Seed Of Chucky

How to kill a perfectly entertaining franchise … or at least I thought it had…until I heard of Curse Of Chucky.

XXX-Movie I Watched At A Really Young Age

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A Nightmare On Elm Street … scared the crap out of me, and I loved it!

Your Latest Movie Related Obsession

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Studio Ghibli

I love this style of animation, endless imagination, wonderful art and personality.  I haven’t yet seen a Ghibli movie I haven’t liked … and several I have loved.

ZZZ-catchers

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Anything with Harry Potter in the title … just does nothing for me and I am proud to say I have never watched even one of them.

2011 a look back – part three


With the year really in its stride now, my viewing habits once again danced between old favourites and new titles.  Hope you see something you might have otherwise passed by…

July – September

The summer movie season being in full swing, I spent July mostly trawling through the remainder of The Lord Of The Rings TrilogySucker Punch may have not made a great deal of sense, but with plenty of ‘cool’ and scantily clad women wielding swords and machine guns it was still a lot of fun.  Then Christian Bale impressed as a drug-addled ex-boxer training up younger brother Mark Wahlberg in the very absorbing The Fighter.   Brit-gangster drama Brighton Rock disappointed though with a unconvicing cut-throat lead and a bordering-on-pathetic female co-star.  The English seaside however, was captured nicely.  Thankfully the Coen Brother’s award winning True Grit made for a great western, if not necessary that deep a story, but child actor Halee Steinfeld was very good indeed.

August kicked off with gory grindhouse action-comedy Hobo With A Shotgun.  Rutger Hauer may be great but supporting cast and surrounding film was more gross-out bad taste than b-movie classic.  Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code was great, with the movie equal parts Hitchcock and Quantum Leap, and all round entertaining.  Costume caper Super may have had plenty of ideas, but felt a little deja-vu and even the excellent Ellen Page couldn’t save it.  A movie-light month ended brilliantly though with the clever and exhilarating Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Pre-teen killing machine Hanna appeared in September and surprised by how heart warming and less bad ass it ended up being.  Yet much of the month was dedicated to rediscovering the Star Wars saga, from the prequels right through to the older movies, in order – and it was brilliant.  Comedy Hall-Pass was one of the better comedies in recent memory, with genuine laughs and plenty of surprises.  And ending the month was Hole 3D, a great throwback to the likes of Gremlins and The Gate, scary, freaky and a great deal of fun.

So onto the final quarter.  Coming very soon indeed!

Super


Viewed – 25 August 2011  Blu-ray

I knew this wouldn’t take long.  The blue-print set in stone by Kick-Ass now spawns a copy-cat movie with an ordinary guy trying to be a super hero.  Yet this movie seems more set in the real world than even that brilliantly realised movie.  Frank (Rainne Wilson) has lost his recovering-drug-addict wife (Liv Tyler) to a local scum-bag gangster (Kevin Bacon), and following a vision, he turns himself into masked vigilante The Crimson Bolt, and sets about fighting crime.  At first he gets his ass kicked, but soon he’s weilding a wrench and splitting heads (literally), eventually making the local news.  This attracts the attention of comic-book store employee Libby (Ellen Page) who turns to Frank to become his side kick … Bolty.

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Inception


Viewed – 20 July 2010  Cinema, 08 December  Blu-ray

Revised version

You have to give it to Christopher Nolan.  He has quickly become one of the most respected directors in the business, and you probably know him best from his reinvention of the Batman franchise.  Yet this highly imaginative and skillfully made movie bares more of a resemblance to his earlier, intricately plotted Memento – especially for its audacious concept.  Leonardo DiCaprio plays an agent who uses stolen military technology to jump into the dreams of high-powered businessmen and steal their inner most secrets.  Joined by a bunch of colourful partners in crime, he transports us into another world, and this is where the movie really shows its golden feathers, bringing dream-logic and mind-bending surrealism to life with the aid of some wonderous effects (honestly, some things here I have never seen done before).  When a Japanese businessman hires DiCaprio and his team to plant an idea into a rival business man’s head, DiCaprio is at first reluctant, as stealing ideas is one thing, but planting them, as in ‘Inception’ is much harder and more dangerous.  Yet with the offer to be able to return home to his children dangled in front of him, DiCaprio can’t help but sign up.

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