Sunday, 27 September 2015

Quick Reviews #12

I have seen a bunch of cool films (and one bad) recently, all of which I really wanted to review, so here is another round of quick reviews! This time I will give my brief thoughts on six films; The Overnight, Legend, Unexpected, Tomorrowland, Magic Mike XXL and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Read on and enjoy!

The Overnight
The Overnight is one the surprise films of the year, I didn't even realise the film existed until recently and as soon as I saw it I fell in love. It's strange, thrilling, honest and absolutely hilarious. It's hard to talk about because it's one of those films that you have to figure out what's going on as you watch it and constantly keeps you guessing as to the intentions of the different characters. Easily the best comedy I have seen this year if not just one of the best overall! Go and check it out! I'm giving it a rating of 5/5.

Legend is one of those classic gangster films, it's violent and brutal but also really quite funny. I am a sucker for these kinds of gangster films and I absolutely loved this one as well. Tom Hardy proves yet again he is one of the best actors around by playing both of the notorious Kray twins, his performances are so good that you forget that it is just one man performing both. My only problem with the film is the character of Reggie's wife who's troubled history is always hinted at but never actually explained, leaving us wanting more in order to care about her. Apart from that it is a quality film. I'm giving it a rating of 4.5/5.

Unexpected is one of those nice personal stories that can easily connect with audiences. It's about a pregnant teacher and the friendship she has with her also pregnant student. Both are from different backgrounds but they both share the joy and fear that is motherhood. Cobie Smulders is the main character here and she is really good in this film, she goes through the motions of an unexpected pregnancy convincingly. The production is great as well as there is not one fake looking baby bump, (not that I saw anyway), a problem a lot of films dealing with pregnancy have! Like I said at the start, a really nice film, it's not grounbreaking but it's still a good watch that I'm rating 4/5.

I think I liked Tomorrowland more than a lot of other people. This film received a lot of negativity when it came out but it ain't half bad! It's a great family film about dreaming, imagination and inventing, you don't get more family friendly then that. It's a bit long and could be streamlined a bit but the production value and special effects are amazing and enough to keep you glued to the screen throughout. Most of the performances are good but there are few dodgy acting moments from some of the younger cast. It doesn't ruin it though, to me it was a really fun and inspiring adventure film. I'm giving it a rating of 4/5.

Magic Mike XXL
I would like to state that I actually liked the first Magic Mike film, it surprised me, for a film about male stripping it had a lot of heart and dealt with a lot of serious issues in a great way. Now we have Magic Mike XXL, a film that promised to be more fun and less serious but ultimately is just not very good. It's constant build up to the final strip leads to a pretty dissapointing finale and whilst we wait to get there the crew of strippers drive from location to location being all bro-y and cool whilst completely contradicting some of the messages of the first film. The conversation barely changes from them constantly making excuses as to why some of the actors from the first film aren't in this one or Channing Tatum awkwardly flirting. This film was made purely on the success of the first but doesn't do anything to recreate the magic, I just didn't care. I'm giving it a rating of 1/5.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I absolutely adored this film. It's smart, funny and quirky. It features some great characters and truly dives deep into the mind of a teenager whose having to grow up. It's sad, but not in a way like many films dealing with cancer are, it's never glum but almost bitter sweet and deals with the subject more realistically than others. It's uplifting and inspiring, it's a film about film making which obviously resonates with me and it's full of references that any cinema lover will get giddy over. The story is great and the cinematography beautiful, so many weird and wonderful shots that at times it reminded me of a more contemporary Wes Anderson movie. This film has a lot going for it and it's no wonder it won big at the Sundance film festival this year. Easily one of the best films of the year, a solid 5/5.

Well I hope you enjoyed my reviews. Have you seen any of the films above? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The London Student Experience VIDEO

A while back I posted about my time on The London Student Experience. On that post I wrote about a video I had in the works and was waiting for the music to be made for it. Well it's been made! The music was created by the brilliant Caitlin Gilbert who made this original song just for the video! I think it's awesome and really adds to the footage which I had originally edited together just to show my parents what I had been up to in London, without having to sift through hundreds of clips! You can check out some more of Caitlin's work on her Soundcloud here and her band II's Soundcloud here.

Now onto the video itself. It is below and I have embedded both the YouTube and Vimeo versions of the two depending on your preference. Please enjoy!

What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading/watching!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

How I Would Reboot Spider-Man

As a screenwriter, one of my dream jobs would be getting tasked with writing the script for my childhood hero, Spider-Man. Spider-Man hasn't had the best of runs on the big screen recently, with (in my opinion) only two of the five films made, being any good. When Marvel Studio's finally got the chance to bring the webhead into their shared universe I was extremely happy, they have now got another chance to get the character right, as well as making him part of something bigger and being able to see him interact with other Marvel heroes.

Spider-Man is first going to be seen in next years Captain America: Civil War, before then getting his own film in 2017. How is Marvel going to make their take different from the previous attempts? This is something I have been thinking about for a while now and it got me wondering, how would I write a new Spider-Man film that felt different from the previous films but also stayed true to the character that people fell in love with in the comics? So instead of just thinking this I decided to go about actually writing the opening to what I think would make a great new Spider-Man film. Below is the opening five pages to a Spider-Man script that I feel would be something exciting and original but also familiar. After the script pages, I have given a brief overview of the story I am intending to tell as well as some dream casting for the parts that have yet to be publicly announced my Marvel. Now, don't take this script as my idea of what a new Spider-Man script should definately be like, it's just something I think would be cool and a bit of fun. Take it all with a pinch of salt because none of us know how Spider-Man will end up being like after the events of Civil War! But please do enjoy!

So there you go. Spider-Men. This is a concept that I think would be an interesting route for Marvel/Sony to go down. There has been a big debate as to the ethnicity of Spider-Man prior to the casting of Tom Holland. My personal preference in that debate was that I would like to keep Peter white because that is what I am used to in the comics, however, if it had turned out an actor of different ethnicity was to play him then I wouldn't be angry or upset either. Obviously some people thought different and I know that the casting of Tom Holland was a disappointment to many. My inclusion of the black hispanic Spider-Man, Miles Morales in the script was not to pander to an audience who wanted more diversity, but because I think he is an awesome character! In my opinion, the story of Miles Morales in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics has been some of the best spidey stories we have seen out of Marvel in the last few years. Now I know in those comics he is a legacy character to the deceased Peter Parker but I don't think his character is one that needs to stick to that format. In fact I believe that through Miles Morales, we could find ourselves a more complex origin to Peter Parker without having to show him being bitten by a spider again!

In my script I would have Peter only being about a year into his Spider-Man career and he is getting pretty comfortable with it. Then you have the even younger Miles come along and he has only just gotten his powers, and although he is a pretty decent guy, he hasn't had the whole 'with great powers come great responsibilty' speech yet. Miles also has a pretty cool yet sleazy and manipulative uncle, who is also a master thief named The Prowler (Yes the Ultimate Comics version of the character) and after figuring out his identity, he uses him to help steal equipment from other bad guys, including The Shocker's gauntlets who we see in the opening scene. Using Miles, he slowly begins to become a more powerful and sinister villain.  In order to show how much Uncle Ben had a part in Peter's life and superhero ethics, I would have Peter trying to pass the lessons he was taugh onto Miles. Peter has to take on Miles along with his own superhero career, school and love life in the form of his new neighbour who has taken an interest in him, Mary Jane Watson (wouldn't it be great to get the line 'face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot' in somewhere as well!). Whilst getting to know and trust each other they open up to one another, Miles tells Peter of his Uncle's criminal and manipulative ways and Peter's tells Mile's one of his biggest guilt's, he believes it is his fault his own uncle died. Nearing the final act of the film, I would have the two them fully have each others trust and friendship with Peter then making Miles his own set of web shooters and his own cool costume. Then together they work to take down The Prowler before he gains too much power in the criminal underworld.

Obviously this is different to anything we have seen on film and also not something we have seen entirely in the comics. This doesn't mean that Miles and Peter will team up in every Spider-Man film but the possibility should be there, as well as Miles being able to spin off and have his own solo film adventures within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

So who would my dream cast be to join Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei in the main roles?

Miles Morales
(Michael Rainy Jr)

Michael Rainy Jr first impressed me with his performance in LUV, where even as a young child he was able to pull off a incredible performance as the lead in the film. He has since been seen in Lee Danial's The Butler and Orange is the New Black. He is now 14, soon to be 15 years old, near about the right age for Miles but more importantly younger than Tom Holland, which in the end is all that really matters for this to work. He also has already proven to have great chemistry with actor I would choose to play The Prowler...
The Prowler

Common appeared alongside Michael Rainy Jr in LUV as his Uncle, so they already have that to work with. As I have previously mentioned, in the film they have great chemistry and I believe that Common could play a great Prowler as in LUV it showed that he could play a likeable yet flawed man with a dark side. Anybody taking on the role of this version of The Prowler would have to be able to play it cool enough for the audience to believe that he truly could manipulate young Miles into doing his dirty work and I think Common could do just that.

Mary Jane
(Maika Monroe)

You may recognise Maika Monroe from two brilliant stylish horror films from the last couple years The Guest and It Follows. Both were extremely good films and both featured Maika giving brilliant performances. Yes she may be blonde but that didn't stop Sam Raimi from casting Kirsten Dusnt for his Spider-Man films. Dye her hair red and I believe she would make a great easy going and fun Mary Jane to Tom Holland's (hopefully) awkward Peter Parker. 

The Shocker
(Aaron Paul)

I'm not the first to say this, I believe a few people have thrown around the idea of Breaking Bad star as The Shocker. The Shocker in my film is more of a secondary villain to The Prowler but that doesn't mean he can't be just as cool and menacing, something I believe Aaron Paul would just revel in once he puts on the costume. I'm The Shocker bitch! (Okay maybe I wouldn't have him say that...)

So there you have it, my take on one of the many ways Spider-Man could be rebooted! This won't be everyones cup of tea, I understand that. It's just something I think would be cool. The rumours so far for the next solo outing is that it will be very 'John Hughes' like in nature and may even have Kraven The Hunter as the villain. That all sounds good, though personally I would wait until we have an older and more mature Peter so Marvel could adapt Kraven's Last Hunt onto the big screen! If not, an animated film like DC's The Dark Knight Returns would be sweet!

I've never done a post like this before so I hope you enjoyed it. If I ever have an idea for any other takes on characters maybe I'll do this again, that is of course if you liked it, so please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Now Spider-Man is babysitted by Marvel Studios I am sure that whatever route they take it will be a good one and true to the character of Peter Parker. However if you are reading this Kevin Feige and think it's an absolutely amazing idea please give me a call! 

Thanks for reading!