Monday, 29 November 2010

Supernova - Chewbacca music video

A fan-made video for Supernova's "Chewbacca", a song you may know from Kevin Smith's "Clerks". Pretty cool, basic tune that over the years has been attributed to everyone from Weird Al Yankovic to Limp Bizkit.

This clip also features some audio from "Clerks". Enjoy.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Walking Dead news

2010's greatest show, and a geek dream 7 years in the making, is now halfway through it's criminally short first season. If you haven't seen it yet, get caught up!

Now for fans, here's the facts:

- The show WILL be back for a second season.
- Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) may be creditted as the man behind the show, but he only wrote the first 3 episode and directed the first.
- Writing and directing is handled by a myriad of others, including the original comic book writer and creator Robert Kirkman, who wrote episode 4.
- While season 1 lasted only 6 episodes, season 2 will be a bumper 13 episodes long.
- Frank Darabont will be back for season 2, and aims to follow the comic's general tone and feel, meaning a darker, tougher season 2 that takes into account the reality of a post-apocalyptic life.

- *spoiler* - Michonne should be appearing in early season 2. For those not in the know, she's a bad-ass sword wielding chick and fan favourite character in the comics.

The A-Team review

WORTH SEEING? If you are a huge fan of the original TV show (1983-1987) expecting more of the same, then probably not. However, if you are a general action fan and has to choose between this, The Losers and The Expendables, then you are definately looking at the A team.

TELL ME MORE! Fine acting, generic action film circumstances (complete with cliched twists and turns) and insane set-pieces (flying tank ftw), this film goes beyond satire and pastiche to truly embody the soul of an '80s action flick.

THE CAST - The most surprising turn here comes from Bradley Cooper (Yes Man), who channels all the everyman humour on display in The Hangover to deliver a genuinely funny character who ironically also serves as the straight man, anchoring the lunacy somewhat. That lunacy overshadows Cooper's strong turn by way of Sharlto Copley (District 9) who simply needs seen to be believed. Liam Neeson (Love Actually), despite taking Taken and single-handedly spearheading one of the ballsiest action films this side of Matt Damon, puts in a muted performance more akin to Qui-Gon Jinn than Ra's al Ghul. Quinton Jackson (UFC), Jessica Biel (Blade Trinity) and the rest of the cast all serve their roles well, but are largely forgettable.

CLOSING STATEMENT - This is undeniably the Cooper and Copley show. The film flies high in any scene featuring the pair - when they're not around, you can feel their absence. With that said, there is enough here to make for a truly enjoyable but largely forgetable movie. Much like the TV show in fact. 6/10, fun with a rubbish finale.

MC Chris - Fett's 'Vette music video

Amazing Star Wars rap tune-age which was released in 2001 and has since featured in Adult Swim's "Sealab 2021" and Kevin Smith's "Zack and Miri Make A Porno".  One of my favourites.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

If only Alien vs Predator was this good


Jackass 3D webchat transcript

Some interesting insight into the Jackass canon from the Empire folks. Fans will enjoy the banter, and new-comers will gain a bit of insight into the workings behind Jackass.

Darth Vader's hobbies - part 2


Shrek 4: Forever After 3D review

WORTH SEEING? In comparison to Shreks 2 and 3, yes. Essentially, if you like alternate universes and stories about appreciating what you've got (Back To The Future 2 meets Santa Clause 3?) then Shrek 4 will suit.

TELL ME MORE! What else is there to say? If you've seen Shrek 2, BTTF2 and Santa Clause 3, then you've seen Shrek 4. If not, then bloke has a happy life but doesn't know it, wishes his life away, realises life was good. At the end he says 'It's a wonderful life', clips his heels together and goes home to Kansas.

THE CAST - Animation does a wonderful thing for annoying voices. Cameron Diaz, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas (Charlie's Angel, International Man Of Mystery, that bloke in the fat suit and Zorro, respectively) have lost the ability to carry a vehicle in front of the screen. To say they have a personality fit for radio is an understatement, but here they shine. Diaz comes off a bit whiny, but I think that's intentional given her 'husband's character arc.

CUT TO THE CHASE - Less racy than Shrek, staler than Shrek 2, plain better than Shrek 3, Shrek 4 is my personal favourite in a patchy series that *gasp* at times is better than Toy Story. Yes, even Toy Story 3. A solid 6/10, it's not a must-see movie but certainly better than most 'kids' films of late, with the exception of pure Pixar works.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Harry Potter - films vs books comparison

An interesting read for fans of Harry Potter or those generally interested in book-to-movie conversions and how certain sub-plots can get lost in the shuffle.

My personal favourite is #4 - I think Snape's character deserved far more fleshing out in the movies.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Darth Vader's hobbies - part 1


Cast your votes

A couple of websites are asking for movie & TV fans to cast their votes for various awards.  So here's some links if you're like me and enjoy this kind of thing.

The Ultimate alien picture quiz

Empire Magazine have this fun, but quite challenging, little game for all you sci-fi movie fans! 30 cropped images of 30 movie aliens - see how many you can name!

I personally managed a fairly poor 12/30, but I did get a couple of obscure ones I'm proud of.  Post your results in the comments section!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Iron Man 2 review

WORTH SEEING? The first half of the movie is worth seeing, maybe even several times, but a flat ending leaves the movie feeling more 'fizzle' than 'bang'.

TELL ME MORE - Seconds after viewing Iron Man, while the intense strains of Black Sabbath reverberated in our ear drums, me and my cousin made a commitment to see the inevitable sequel together the moment it came out.

Ironically, I wound up seeing Iron Man 2 on three separate occasions, three separate screens, and not one of them involved my cousin. Basically, this is my long-winded way of slipping in a pun and to point out that Iron Man 2 has absolutely zero replay value.

1st Viewing - Exciting enough. Don Cheadle gave an over-the-top introductory account of himself, but in the world of Iron Man & pals he seemed the most down to earth. Everyone else was playing their parts almost to the extent of ham-acting. A lacklustre final battle didn't ruin some decent action scenes from earlier in the film. All in all a decent blockbuster romp.
2nd Viewing - Still enjoyed Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr, everyone else served as decent support, nothing particularly exciting (except using Cap's shield to hold up some pipes). Fell asleep during the final act.
3rd Viewing - Began pondering logistics, such as how a rickety old pipe being propped up by a shield could produce such pin-point accuracy. Began day-dreaming about science.

THE CAST - Robert Downey Jr (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) provided a perfect Tony Stark yet again. Not a lot else to say. Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) is finding a late-career revival playing quiet, dark and ultimately skeletal characters with only a hint of a past. He plays it well, but there's not much to comment on really. He's the villain, end of story. Don Cheadle (Ocean's 11) as mentioned above is the least O.T.T. Of the bunch, but largely forgettable. Gwyneth Paltrow (Running With Scissors) has beefed up her role considerably, especially in the second act. Good show. Sam Rockwell (The Green Mile) is for my money the better villain over Mickey Rourke - smart, more fully realised, and flawed. Finally, Scarlett Johansson (Ghost World) and Samuel L Jackson (every film without a Morgan Freeman budget) were there to set up sequels, weren't needed and (with the exception of one Matrix-esque fight scene) entirely forgettable. Which is a shame.

WRAP IT UP - Decent action flick, not life-changing, director Jon Favreau really needs to sharpen up his 'fight scene' skills, but the casting is pretty much spot-on. A strong 6/10 in my books, but that score diminishes rapidly with repeated viewings.

Friday, 19 November 2010

70min Review of Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace

WHAT AM I WATCHING? Only the most insightful and darkly comedic review of exactly why The Phantom Menace failed as a film. Not the usual fanboy re-treading of why Jar Jar Binks is simply Satan, instead the twisted narrator takes us on a technical tour de force of the failed plotlines and characters of George Lucas' sprawling mess of a movie. That the first line states "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is the most disappointing thing since my son" sets the tone and goes darker still seconds later with a suicide joke. If this sounds like your cup of tea, play on. If not - give it a shot anyway. The comedy might not click with the more meek minded, but the actual review is damn spot-on and worth investing 1.17 hours of your life on.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Inception review

WORTH SEEING - Yes indeedy. Watch it a few times in fact. The few poor parts outweigh the good (and can often be passed off as part of the 'story'). A solid 8/10.

TELL ME MORE - Inception came relatively out of nowhere, took the cinemas by storm, then disappeared from public view as fast as it had arrived. I personally watched the film very late at night in a very packed cinema, very close to the screen and knew nothing about it, all of which added to the surreal, dream-like feeling.

THE CAST - Leonardo DiCaprio (Gangs Of New York) was in typically good form. Between this and Shutter Island many are worried he may be painting himself into a typecast, but if that typecast is approaching Johnny Depp levels of cool mixed with Will Smith's box office pull, then paint away Mr DiCaprio. Excellent all around support is typefied by the wonderful Joseph Gordon-Levitt (10 Things I Hate About You) who would be perfect as The Riddler, but whatever he does next he should excel in. Most of the other actors fit their roles well, but there were two major miscasts here that brought the tone of the film down - Ellen Page and to a lesser extent Michael Caine, both of whom caused mutterings of 'What the hell is Juno/Alfred doing in this film?!!' Not so much a case of brand recognition, where the audience can't distinguish between actor and character due to a lack of recent noticible roles following one very well received Big Hit, although that is certainly part of the problem. The other side is simply the fact that Caine was entirely unneeded in the film, his role consisting of two lines - 'Here's Juno!' and 'I'll drive you home'. Juno, sorry, Ellen was also unneeded, serving as little more than an avatar for exposition, spelling out the story to the audience. To be perfectly honest, any of the other characters could have served this role fine. There was no need to turn the film into 'Leonardo's 11'.

FINAL VERDICT - I've intentionally ignored the plot as I feel, like The Matrix, Memento, 12 Monkeys, Fight Club et al that the audience must go into the film as a blank canvas for the story to paint itself onto. With the exception of a few poor casting decisions, a bit of plot science confusion and a little bit of cliche in the ending, this is a solid 8/10 film, almost a must-see.