The Amazing Spider-Man

It’s strange, I was so not excited for this remake.  I loved the original Spiderman movies, except the third, I don’t think anybody liked the third. I felt it a bit of insult to remake the film so close to the originals.  What’s next remaking Lord of the Rings? Having said that, I really was pleasantly surprised by this film.  Heck it blew the original out of the water!  I loved this film.  This was a Spiderman movie.  They got it right, well action wise. Not that I’m saying that the action was bad in the original, but they’ve made Spiderman even more flexible. I’ve always imagined Spiderman’s movements with a touch of parkour.

This was the better Spider Man film, but I mean no disrespect to the originals, they were amazing, and proved superhero films could be done and done well. (except for the third film.)

I must admit that it’s irritating that every time they reboot the franchise we have to start with the origin story.  Its getting a bit tired, but Spider Man gave us something a bit fresher, a bit different than the same tired old story that every Spider Man fan knows.  I will be honest, when I saw the first trailer for the film, with Peter wearing his hoody up, I thought ‘Oh goodness they’re making him emo.’  Which Peter can be, often, like every second or so issue, but that’s not really the case.

I like that they seem to be drawing a lot of their subject matter from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series.  I started following later on in the series, but it’s a fantastic read, really well developed characters, really cool revamps of classic and somewhat hammy Spider Man villains and the resurrection of certain ‘dead’ characters.  For example Gwen Stacy. Now I will have to say, I wasn’t very happy with the casting of Gwen Stacy.  I liked Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, don’t get me wrong, but she is far better suited for Mary Jane.  She has a very strong presence, and she has this fantastic sweet yet saucy attitude, which is what Mary Jane is.  In the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series Gwen Stacy is goth!  She is a fantastic character, strong, no-nonsense, kind, she’s even best friends with Mary Jane which is funny since both girls date Peter at different times.  In the Ultimate Spider-Man series it is really funny how well all three of Peter’s girlfriends get along with each other.  The third is Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, from the Ultimate X-men comic series.  Now she and Peter were a surprising match and she was such a fun character when she joined the main cast in the Spidey series.

Oh man, way off the point.  What I was trying to say is that the Gwen Stacy character could have been so much more than a smart, preppy blonde with access to Oscorp.  The way they created her didn’t have to be what moved the plot along.

As for Peter, daw he’s such a honey.  I loved how Andrew Garfield portrayed Peter, he was a quirky, shy, awkward character.  He felt far more real than Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker, who was far more subdued in his personality, which isn’t Peter Parker.

My favourite awkward scene is when Peter is trying to ask Gwen out. It’s the most disastrous conversation EVER!  Nothing gets said, it’s mumbled, no numbers are exchanged or arrangements made, they’re so nervous that the whole conversation is just trying to get out the line ‘Wanna get together?’  It was so funny.

I found it interesting that this is the first Spiderman film/ cartoon/ comic (that I have read/watched) that doesn’t immediately have Norman Osborn and Harry Osborn.  I wonder who will play Norman Osborn.  I loved Willem Dafoe as the Norman Osborn/ Green Goblin.

I liked that Aunt May and Uncle Ben didn’t look like they were suddenly going to drop dead.  I found the original couple too old.  I guess it made Uncle Ben’s death all the sadder.  I enjoyed Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, but then I have loved Martin Sheen since the West Wing.  I loved him as the President.  So when Uncle Ben dies, this is not a spoiler, everyone knows he dies going in, so when he died, I bawled my eyes out.  Andrew Garfield’s performance also helped.

Apparently there was this huge stink over not using the Spider-Man iconic line ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.’  It is a good motto, but by continually referring to it over and over again for the last fifty years it loses it impact. They didn’t create and exact equivalent of the phrase but Uncle Ben gave a speech with the same message, which made far more impact in the film, than the time honoured classic.

So Amazing Spider-Man is an AMAZING watch. I can’t wait to see what they do with the next movie. Who knows maybe Gwen Stacy will go goth!

On another note go read Ultimate Spider-Man, it’s a fantastic read and a new spin on an iconic Marvel character. I enjoy this series because it is brilliantly written, it has great artists and its’ supporting cast of characters are just as enjoyable as the young Peter Parker. It gets even more enjoyable when Shadowcat, Iceman and the Human Torch join the series.

Red Dawn

1984

2012

So, they finally got this film off the ground!  It was filmed in late 2009 for a 2010 release, but then MGM hit financial difficulties, and didn’t have the money to release and promote it.  Considering the cast, it’s a pity; it would have brought them to the attention of the world a lot quicker.  We have the lovely, the handsome, the twinkly smiling THOR aka Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck from Disney’s Drake and Josh fame, Josh Hutcherson who went on to star in Hunger Games with Liam Hemsworth – TEAM PEETA, Jeffery-Dean Morgan aka Daddy Winchester from Supernatural, Adrianne Palicki also from Supernatural, Isabel Lucas – Athena from The Immortals and Conner Cruise famous for being Tom Cruise’s adopted son.

So, Red Dawn is a remake of the 1984 movie of the same name. The original was about Soviet and Cuban troop’s invading Colorado, forcing a group of teens to become rebel freedom fighters – called the Wolverines.  It starred a young, very young, Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen and a cast of other well know young actors (I just don’t recognise them).  I know that Baby from Dirty Dancing is in it.  I really enjoyed the original, but it was a fairly bleak movie story wise, and not much character development happened, so sometimes, when the kids were all wearing the same army fatigues, you couldn’t tell them apart!  From the looks of the remake, that doesn’t seem to be a problem, but it also looks more sensationalised.  While in the original the Wolverines fight didn’t make a difference to the bigger picture, this version makes it appear that this small band of kids will save the day for all America!  Which is completely stupid.  It makes the film your typical Hollywood blockbuster. I hope I’m wrong.

Interesting fact, the original villain for the remake was the Chinese!  But because the Chinese are slowly taking over the world and because MGM want better box office sales for the China release, every Chinese symbol and reference was digitally removed, altered or dubbed, and the new villain is North Korea.  Which they should have just gone with from the beginning!

Now here’s an interesting fact from the original film that tickled my funny bone.  Apparently the Soviet T-72 tank replica made for the film was so accurate that while it was being transported to the set, two CIA officers followed it and wanted to find out who they got the tank from!

Dark Shadows

When this movie was first announced, I thought it sounded like some really warped, twisted horror film. It’s the title. When the first trailer came out I was pleasantly surprised, and giggled all the way through it.

I enjoyed the film, however I did feel it lacked something. Maybe it needed a little more character development, I don’t know. What’s sad is that the trailer is fantastic, and the movie just misses the mark, maybe because the scenes in the trailer, when taken out of context are hysterical, but in the movie they fizzled a bit.

I did love that it was set in the 70’s, it gave the film a marvellous flavour and vibrant aesthetic. I also loved the Collinwood Mansion, it was an incredibly detailed set, over the top ornate carvings that so easily could have been gaudy and over the top, but managed not to be. I mean seriously, giant Seahorse statues on the outside of the mansion, can easily make it look kitschy but for some reason didn’t.

I enjoyed Johnny Depp as Barnabus Collins, you couldn’t see any Captain Jack Sparrow in his mannerisms. However I did find him a bit lacking. Maybe because they didn’t deal with Barnabus’s self hatred of what he is, and his inner turmoil with feeding on humans to live. In this regard I have seen these problems dealt with better in the Twilight Saga and Vampire Diaries, plus the golden oldies, Angel, Blade and Interview with a Vampire. Now these films and shows knew how to deal with the vampire with a conscience. Dark Shadows dealt lightly with the issue, and Barnabus fed too easily, and with not enough self loathing and remorse. Edward and Angel had it in spades.

I enjoyed Eva Green as the evil witch who Barnabus spurned. She was a fun villain. She also had great clothes. The way her immortality was dealt with reminded me of Death Becomes Her (1992) starring Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis with hair, and Goldie Hawn. Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn’s bodies become similar to that of a doll, their movements rigid and spastic, the same kind of movements Eva Green starts to make in the final battle.

I also enjoyed Chloe Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard, she was fantastically monotone with lots of lip. Sometimes I wondered if the character was high or not. She had spunk and sarcasm galore.

This was an enjoyable movie; it also aroused my curiosity about the original series made in 1966. What’s interesting is that this series is credited as the first day time soap show to have supernatural elements. The first supernatural element was the appearance of ghosts, six months into the shows airing and Barnabus Collins only made an appearance in the show a full season in. What I find very interesting is that during its five year run, Dark Shadows managed to produce 1,225 episodes, since it was a daily show; the series has the most episodes in a sc-fi / fantasy series produced for television, surpassing Doctor Who and the entire Star Trek franchise! (And there’s a lot of Star Trek) The series has it all, vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, zombies, a Frankenstein named Adam, drama, mystery, long lost loves, flashbacks, time-travel, parallel universes –  it sounds like the 60’s version of my favourite shows Buffy, Angel and Supernatural. This series sounds like a fun watch, but it would be a daunting undertaking to first locate the series and then sit down and watch it!

The Dark Knight Rises

WAIT WAS THAT A FLYING BATMOBILE?!?!?!  I quite honestly have no clue what this particular Batman is going to be about!  I’m not an authority on Batman, but from the characters chosen it feels kind of garbled.  Anne Hathaway as Catwoman should be interesting, from what the trailer shows us she’s a lot saner than Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman was, but more vengeful almost, which makes her just as scary.  Which is worse, a slightly insane Catwoman or vengeful and sane Catwoman?

I don’t know who Bane is, what I know about him was gained from the George Clooney Batman & Robin.  This Bane looks less ridiculous, downright Hannibal Lecter in appearance and definitely more brains than the previous Bane.  I’m unsure who Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake is supposed to be.  The character Miranda Tate does ring a bell, but I can’t say who she is.  I’m not about to go and look up their comic book counterparts because I’ll most probably read something that could spoil the movie.

This is the official synopsis for the Dark Knight Rises:

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after having taken the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes.

If they are trying to imitate the chaos and insanity of the Dark Knight I don’t think they’ll succeed.  The Joker, was just absolute chaos, this film looks more like war than chaos.  Not that I’m complaining.  The Dark Knight Rises looks cool.  Can’t wait to see how this goes.

Mirror, Mirror

Wow isn’t this great, Mirror Mirror’s Trailer released too!  Now I can compare both Snow White trailers! 🙂  Firstly, wow, great sets and costumes, Lily Collins looks more like your typical Snow White, as opposed to Kristen Stewart, but then maybe it’s because we actually get to see what kind of a character Mirror Mirror’s Snow White is.  Mirror Mirror looks like a dark comedy that’s more surreal and ridiculous than Snow White and the Huntsman.  We also get two different kinds of evil queen, I like both Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron’s portrayals of the Queen, but I’d say Charlize is the more evil of the two. Actually I dont think Julia Robert has an evil or mean bone in her body, I dont think her face is even capable of sneering. Now that I think about it, she’s just so CUTE in the trailer, especially the crinckels scene, it was adorable.

The movie looks fantastic, the scene with the puppy love was hysterical……………….(I’m pretty sure I’ve come across that gag somewhere before).  Mirror Mirror has Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane, both of whom I love, and who look absolutely hysterical in this trailer, and Snow White seems to have more spine than the Disney version.  Ever watch the Hallmark Snow White movie, with Kristin Kreuk?  That was a really good adaption too.

On a random side note, the editing of this trailer was brilliant!

Snow White and the Huntsman

Aaaand I’m back!  Sorry for the silence, I have been super busy since August;  Captain America was literally the last outing I had.  I’ve been busy writing essays since then.  So firstly, YAY exams are over and I’m on holiday.  Hot off the presses FINALLY the first trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman!

2012 is the Year of Snow White.  Well, it started a bit earlier with the TV series Once Upon a Time, which follows the lives of Snow White, Prince Charming and characters from all other fairytales who are sent to the real world and denied their happy endings.  I’ll talk about the TV show later, back to the Snow White movies, of which, as I said, there are two. Snow White and the Huntsman stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen, Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman (WOOHOOO the hotness of Thor) and some kid called Sam Claflin who plays Prince Charmant.  The other Snow White movie is called Mirror Mirror – it only received an official title recently, and stars Lily Collins as Snow White, Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen and some guy called Armie Hammer as Prince Andrew Alcott.  Oh and it appears Sean Bean will play the King.

I love the retellings of fairytales, and I’m especially excited about these two films because of how different the approaches are to the same subject matter.  Snow White and the Huntsman is an action adventure, a gritty battle epic, very Lord of the Rings.  I like it when my fairy tale princess’s grow a backbone and actually have a personality (remember this I’ll get back to it).  Mirror, Mirror is a more fantastical version, less gritty fantasy than Huntsman, more comedic, a far more colourful affair.  Both movies look absolutely stunning, and present two incredibly different stories so it’s very exciting.

So here’s the major bone of contention with Snow White and the Huntsman:  Kristen Stewart’s in it.  I’m sorry but my sister and I came to the realisation after witnessing the MTV movie awards the year Twilight came out, that Kristen Stewart can’t act!  She just plays herself!  She has absolutely no presence.  Since I have only seen her in The Twilight films (which I love/hate) and her small role in Zathura (2005) and a movie I’ve watched bit of called The Cake Eaters, where she plays a girl with some debilitating disease.  I really want to see if Kristen Stewart can play anything other than Bella.  So it really ticks me off that the first trailer for the film doesn’t show us any scenes of her speaking!  Of all the luck.

Other than that I can’t wait to watch this film.  WOO TEAM THOR!

For more pictures from both movies:

Mirror Mirror: http://www.filmofilia.com/18-hi-res-untitled-snow-white-photos-73772/

Snow White and the Huntsman: http://www.filmofilia.com/must-watch-snow-white-and-the-huntsman-trailer-and-four-posters-76679/

The Karate Kid

Tsk, i wrote this over a week ago, but essay deadlines and crappy internet connections keep on coming between me and this blog, i promise some little fun entries soon.

I love this poster

I loved the original Karate Kid movies, especially the one with Hilary Swank, she was just so cool, funny and awesome. One of the major ups of the Karate Kid remake is that for once, our main character is playing his own age!!! Ralph Macchio who played Daniel-san in the original series was 22 in the first film!!!! Ha ha ha. So yeah great move.

A friend of mine pointed out that there is a great difference between karate and kung-fu, and that this movie focuses on Kung-fu not karate. Karate originated from the small island of Okinawa, Japan. (i did an oral on karate in junior school) Kung-fu is a Chinese form of martial arts. I guess they had to change the style of martial arts to that of the nationality of Jackie Chan. Does it matter? It still looked cool. (oh i sound so ignorant)

I thought it was very clever to move the premise of the story from America to Beijing. It brought a wonderful cultural heritage to the film. i really enjoyed seeing Beijing as a modern city, not as a period movie set, it’s a wonderful mix of modern and ancient that gives the movie this rich environment and culture to enchant the audience. I thought Mister Han’s run down home so quaint and pretty, i wish i could live in a house like that. Im sure a lot of people thought that by setting the film in Beijing the film makers would focus on sweeping visuals of the wall of china and not focus on the story itself. That is not so, the culture and architecture add to the visual aspect of the movie, but the story itself was just as strong, and made totally awesome by the setting 🙂

Jaden Smith is a really good actor. I must admit my friends and i kept on saying “aaaw he’s so CUTE” throughout the movie. He is so much like his dad, i am seriously looking forward to seeing what this kid will produce in the future. Apparently he did most of his own stunts and took to kung-fu like a fish to water.

I found this movie far more plausible than the original. I felt that the bullying in the original was unbelievable, and forced, but then a bully doesn’t really need a reason to be mean i guess. Ok maybe the actors were just really bad. I just felt this movie was far more natural. And big props to Jackie Chan’s portrayal of Mr Han / Miyagi. Like the original, the Master gets drunk and tells his heart breaking story of loss, during which Jackie Chan was amazing, it touched me. Ok yes i admit I was crying. I can be a bit of a wet sometimes.

I also loved Dre’s love interest, Meiying. She is so CUTE. And she has such an awesome hairstyle.

My only issue with the movie, and it’s very minor, is Dre’s final kick that wins him the match at the end. Up until this moment in the movie, there has been no indication of wirework or fancy stunts of any kind, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, comes this kick, which looks like something out of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It just didn’t fit. But other than that i loved the movie.