Monday, 24 December 2012

My Most Anticipated Films Of 2013

It's that time of year where we start to look forward to the next. After the year of films we have just had, you wouldn't think it could get much better, but my oh my do we have some incredible looking films to get ready for. It looks as if it could be yet another year where I spend most of my time in the cinema! Below is a list of my most anticipated films of 2013:

10. Catching Fire (November)
Although I am anticipating this film, it is also the film I am most worried about. The Hunger Games was a brilliant film and one of my favourites of 2012, but the sequel will no longer have Gary Ross at the helm after he left due to the tight filming schedule. This worries me. I hope they keep the same style and themes as the first one but I don't want to get my hopes too high for this one.

9. Thor: The Dark World (October)
With The Avengers making Thor cooler then ever, I have high hopes that Marvel will keep this going in Thor: The Dark World. With Joss Whedon looking over The Avengers Phase 2 and Game of Throne's Alan Taylor in the directing chair, I have high hopes for this one!

8. The Wolverine (July)
All the news I have heard about the new Wolverine film has gotten me excited. After X-Men First Class it finally feels as if the X-Men franchise is back on track. With a lot of this film being set in Japan and based on a fan favourite storyline from the comics, this film sounds as if it could be one of the coolest of the year.

7. The World's End (August)
The final film in the Cornetto Trilogy from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. With the previous films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz being seriously good, I have no doubt that this film won't be just as great or better!

6. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December)
With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey proving that The Lord of the Rings prequels will be nothing less then spectacular, who isn't excited for the second part? Especially as we will finally be able to get a full glimpse of the dragon Smaug! Saying that, I doubt I will be seeing it in 48fps.

5. Elysium (September)
After the masterpiece that was District 9, I was always going to be anticipating whatever Neil Blomkamp was going to do next! Not much has been released apart from the cool looking picture above and a basic plot. Some footage was released at Comic Con I believe, but either way, if its even half as good as the director's previous film it will be brilliant, and its even got a bald Matt Damon!

4. Iron Man 3 (April)
With Shane Black directing, I can't wait to see what happens to Tony Stark in the first film of Marvel's Avengers Phase 2! Hopefully it will be just as good as the original Iron Man and much better then it's sequel! With Iron Man being one of my favourite superheroes, I cannot wait for this film!

3. Monsters University (July)
I love Monsters Inc! I definitely think it's one of Pixar's best. With a teaser trailer coming out earlier this year, it just confirmed that Monsters University deserves its place as my third most anticipated film of 2013. Lets hope it will be as good as the original and keep Pixar on track after Brave bringing the company back on form earlier this year after Cars 2 being nothing special.

2. Star Trek Into Darkness (May)
I've always liked Star Trek but I was never a massive fan until JJ Abrhams rebooted the series back in 2009. Now its sequel looks even better and Benedict Cumberpatch looks like a very interesting and truly terrifying villain in the recent trailers. The trailers alone make me very excited as to the type of feast I will be able to treat my eyes with in May next year.

1. Man of Steel (June)
Just like Star Trek, I was never a massive fan of Superman. But here it is the top of my most anticipated films of 2013! It's at the top because it looks incredible! Both the teaser and theatrical trailer makes this look like a very different take on comic book hero, something I like the look of a lot! With Zack Snyder as director and Christopher Nolan on producing duties this sure does look as if it could be the film of the year! Only time will tell...

Well that concludes my list. But trust me, next year looks to be a good one, these are only ten film that look amazing, there are many more that I am also very excited for.

Please let me know what you are most excited for by commenting below! Let me know if you think I missed anything out.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D HFR

This could be one of the hardest films I have had to review. I didn't know whether to be excited for The Hobbit or not this year. I was a massive fan of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and didn't want Peter Jackson to ruin its legacy by releasing a prequel that I didn't believe could be as epic as the previous films. Then there was the news that it was going to be turned into three films, which I'm still not too happy about. Though after seeing it last night I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the film and it sure does feel good to have Middle Earth back on the big screen. However I'm not too sure that watching the film in 48 frames per second (fps) is the way forward. But more on that later. I would just like to mention that this review is spoiler free.

The first part of The Hobbit trilogy follows a gang of Dwarfs who want to reclaim their home and treasure stolen off them by the dragon Smaug. Led by Gandalf who insists that the hobbit Bilbo Baggins would be a great addition to the gang.

The journey the gang take is very similar to the journey taken in The Fellowship of the Ring, but the film does not feel the same. It stands on its own but still has that light but serious tone that was kept throughout the whole of the franchise. And like the rest of the franchise, this film had a top notch ensemble cast, of which you probably already know, but I want to pick out the two people I thought were the best in this film, and those two are Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage who played Bilbo and Thorin. Both were outstanding in their roles and the film would not have been as good without them. Everyone one else was also on form but they were the two performances that stood out the most.

I must say I was expecting this film to be quite a slow one, with a lot of the action to be left for the sequels but this was not the case at all, there was blooming loads of it! This film may not have as many grand scale epic war scenes as the other films did but the action set pieces are brilliant. My only criticism would be the amount of CGI and animated characters put into the mix which sometimes looked out of place because of the format that I saw it in.

This comes to my point about this being a hard film to review because although I loved it, I really did not like the higher frame rate that I saw it in. Films are usually filmed and shown in 24 fps but Peter Jackson decided to film in 48fps and give us the option as to which format to see it in. As a budding filmmaker this format intrigued me and I was very interested to see what it looked like. I can only describe it as  being almost like a super HD version of the film. Everything was in focus and it seemed a lot like live television. A lot of critics have been saying that it looks so real that it looks fake and now after watching I can understand what they mean by that. Unfortunately because it looks so real, when there is animation involved it is obvious. Which is too bad because the animation is some of the best I've ever seen but unfortunately still doesn't look real, or at least not real enough to be shown in 48fps with human actors. When all that was on the frame was animation, it looked incredible but when you mix it, it looked awful. This isn't good because it takes you out of the story and back into the cinema where you are watching the film. If a company was to make a motion capture animation film in 48fps then it would definitely work but live action not so much. I can't help but feel I may have enjoyed the film just a little bit more in its regular format.

The 3D however does look stunning in 48fps but because the stuff on screen looks fake then they kind of cancel each other out. Still though, some of the best 3D I've seen.

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings then you are going to love this film! I felt very nostalgic seeing Middle Earth in all it's beautiful glory on the big screen once more, a feeling I hope to get again when they release the new Star Wars film in 2015.

If you are a fan of the book and read it when you were younger like me, then you will be very happy with how they adapt some of the best bits for the big screen. My favorite bits of the book such as the scene with the three trolls and the game of riddles between Bilbo and Gollum (who looks better then ever!) are also my favorite parts in the film. Although Peter Jackson has stretched certain scenes out to make them bigger and more cinematic, it never feels too far from the source material. The film, like The Lord of the Rings, just felt a little bit too long, but I can now see why they were going to split the story into two, but splitting into three is yet to be justified in my mind.

Everything you loved about The Lord of the Rings is back and thankfully it maintains it's excellent standard. I am looking forward to the next two instalments but will most likely see them in 24fps. It's hard to rate this film because no matter how much I loved it there was still a lot I didn't like because of the format I saw it in, therefore I am giving The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a rating of 4/5.

What do you think of the 48fps? Which format is the first part of The Hobbit best in? Did you like the film at all? Please comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Bourne Legacy

Yet again I haven't posted in ages, which I am sorry about but I have been very hard at work on a short film that I helped write the screenplay for. The film has been finished and I will be posting it as soon as I can get it on to YouTube, which will hopefully be in January. But don't worry, I have a lot of stuff ready to fill this blog up in December 2012, including a review of the first part of The Hobbit, which should be online in the next couple of days once I have actually seen the film tonight! I also will be doing my review of 2012 and a post on what I am most looking forward to in 2013. But right now I have a review of The Bourne Legacy which came out on DVD and Blu-ray recently. 

As a big fan of the last 3 films in the Bourne franchise, I was slightly worried when they announced a fourth film that wouldn't have Matt Damon in it. I thought the story wrapped up pretty nicely in the first 3 films but I guess Universal wanted to expand the story's universe and make more money.

The latest instalment takes place right after the events of Jason Bourne's story. We see how this affects the world and more importantly our new hero Aaron Cross who is now being hunted down after the people behind Treadstone and Black Briar 'shut the operations down'. Bourne was a man looking to find out who he was whereas Cross is a man addicted to a steroid type drug that turns him into a kind of super soldier who is looking for his next hit. Personally I don't think it has the same ring as the previous films but with Jeremy Renner as Cross, he's still pretty cool. Renner holds the film well and its good to see him as a leading man in a big blockbuster film.

With Renner we also get other great acting talent in the form of Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. The acting is great but whoever decided to given Norton grey hair should be fired. He looks really odd, almost as if someone put a load of talcon powder in it. If they wanted the character to be old they should have hired an older actor or at least done the make up better!

Bourne was the forefront of a new type of action film and this movie follows the rest in that grounded fighting style. The action is cool and well done but it never seems to have that same feel that Matt Damon had when he was fighting. There are some interesting moments but nothing original like killing someone with a pen or setting a house on fire by ripping out the gas pipes and putting a magazine in the toaster.

Originality is what lets the film down. It's nothing we haven't seen before, nothing new is brought to the plate and most of the action is already seen in the trailer. I was fine with the amount of action but it just didn't feel the same as last time.

The film isn't all bad, far from it. It's more average then anything. There are some terrific visuals near the start when Cross is making his way through a snowy mountain filled terrain and there is also a terrifying scene in which one of Rachel Weisz's co-workers goes on a killing spree. A scene that was definitely the best in the film and was executed perfectly.

The first three Bourne films were something new and exciting but Legacy feels like it's just your run of the mill action thriller. It had it's great moments, however I'm not sure the film was even needed. I personally felt satisfied at the ending of Ultimatum. That being said I am still interested in where they are going to take this franchise next. A Cross and Bourne team up would be pretty cool but unfortunately it doesn't look as if Matt Damon is on board for that. I felt The Bourne Legacy was a good film but nothing special, that is why I am giving it a rating of 3/5.

What did you think of the latest instalment of the Bourne franchise? Would you like to see more of Aaron Cross? Please comment below.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back soon for more posts!