Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Avengers teaser trailer



A full teaser has been released for one of the biggest films out in 2012 and while I might have missed the original hype, there may be about twenty people out there who haven't seen it and one of them may look at this page. It's shaping up to be great and I can't wait for 27 April 2012 to see it.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

John Dies At The End Trailer


While I was hoping that Don Coscarelli's next film would be the long talked about Bubba Ho-tep prequel, it looks like 'John Dies At The End' is quite promising to say the least. Paul Giamatti was supposed to be involved in the prequel too, playing Elvis' manager, so it's good to see that the connection between him and Coscarelli wasn't misleading. However, what we have here is a brilliant trailer for a film based on the book of the same name by David Wong, and while I haven't read it, the book seems to have a strong following who hail it as being dark and funny. Both are here in this trailer, even if the dark stuff glosses way over the funny stuff, and the film ends up looking great for it. Another film to look forward to in 2012.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance trailer and poster


The directors of Crank are the heroes of the Ghost Rider film series, as they step into the shoes of a director of much lower calibre, Mark Johnson. While Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are responsible for both of the brilliant Crank films, Johnson was responsible for Daredevil, before being handed the Ghost Rider Job. So before a trailer for the second Ghost Rider outing even appeared, it seemed like the film would turn out a lot better than the first. And now we have proof of just that, as an astoundingly brilliant looking trailer has surfaced online. Here it is (with a rather odd intro from the directors themselves)...

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra trailer


When I posted the other day about upcoming animated shows to get excited about, one that I hadn't noticed was one which I've actually been very eager to see, given the strength of it's parent series, Avatar. Quite why the 'Avatar' had been dropped from the name in favour of the much more silly sounding 'The Last Airbender'. Wasn't Aang the last Airbender? There's probably two reasons for this:

1) So as to not further confuse the lack of a connection between the series and the 2009 film 'Avatar' directed by James Cameron. There could also be more to it than that, but who knows?
2) To connect the series to the film series based on 'Avatar: The Last Airbender', which despite absolutely shocking reviews, earned enough to guarantee a sequel.

Whatever the reason, the mini-series had originally been slated for only 12 episodes but will now be a pretty big 26 episodes. Even if it just a one-year affair, that will be another year of brilliant animated, incredible story and characters to die for. If you don't believe me, check out the trailer below.


Some lovely little images I noticed in there:
0:10 - A flying bison. In Avatar, Appa was Aang's bison, and was the only known living one to boot, which sparks interest that this could be a return for characters's from the original series.
0:18 - A Statue of a grown-up looking Aang, looking fairly serious.
0:23 - Korra, clearly stating out as a water bender, leaving her home, with an ominous shadowing of characters in the background. It could bs friends of family, but could it be something more meaningful to fans of Avatar?
0:38 - An array of images showing the more industrialised look of The Legend Of Korra, compared to Avatar's more jungle and ruin based feel.
0:56 - Korra shows off her ability to bend Fire too.
1:13 - A closer looks at Korra's animal fiend named Naga. Something close to a cross between a dog and a polar bear.
1:29 - The fist image of the big bad of the series, Oman.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Doctor Who Series 6 Part 2 trailer


There are no words than can do this justice, so I won't even bother trying.

3 Animated events to look out for


Keeping up to date with Comic Con when you aren't there is difficult, but when three very interesting looking animated stories come through across one day, it makes you sit up and take notice.

The first is something which was announced quite a while ago, by the name of Black Dynamite. Based on a film of the same name, Black Dynamite is the main character, who is a homage to Shaft and the blaxploitation stars of the 70s. He is joined by friends and enemies to make one of the greatest spoof films ever, but is the move to animation the right one, or should the focus be on the sequel? Well, originally I was more concerned that if they made an animated series, that it could never match the intense wit and off-kilter action scenes from the movie at all. However, with the release of this trailer, my concerns have been singed, as this looks like not only a visual treat, but a hilarious addition to Adult Swim's line-up.


The next is another Film-to-series adaptation which has a good chance of making the transition well. You'll probably all remember Napoleon Dynamite, but you might not have heard that this will be coming to the small screen during the 2001-12 season. So far there have been four clips released through Comic-con, and the feeling of the film is still there in those clips, but what's even better, is that the series looks to invoke the feelings that the best 90s animated series had on their fans. The style of it, for me, seems perfect to capture the feeling of the film, but who knows whether this will be successful until it's air-date? Ahead is one clip for the series, with the other three here, here and here.


Last, but by no means least is a animated film adaptation of Frank Miller's incredible graphic novel Batman: Year One. With a voice cast headed by Benjamin McKenzie as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Bryan Cranston as James Gordon, Eliza Dushku as Catwoman and Katee Sackhoff as Sarah Essen, there is no shortage of talent. As for thew look of the film, there now seems to be no reason to worry there either, as the trailer shows just how good it looks.

Bruce Campbell talks about Evil Dead reboot


Bruce Campbell reveals a little more about the Evil Dead reboot/reimagining that has been in the works for the past few years. The bad bit about the details he does give away is that he will not be the star of the film, but a producer. It's a bit of sad news as an Evil Dead film without Bruce Campbell is not an Evil Dead film at all. That said, Sam Raimi did make a brilliant horror film a few years ago by the name of Drag Me To Hell, so he is still on his game, at least. Finding a replacement for Bruce Campbell would be just the beginning in a long line of difficult tasks to get this film being great, but having a good director at the helm is always a good start. Original story at CBSnews.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Walking Dead Season 2 trailer


The Walking Dead's first season was so well done it made anticipation for the second one absolutely huge. After only six episodes, the survival of Rick Grimes and his rag-tag group made a huge impact, and was brought brilliantly to television from it's original (and still-thriving) home of comics. So it's good then, that this first full trailer looks pretty damn good. Hopefully though, we can get away from making up some terrible storylines (the gang looking after the old folks) and move more into 'the Governor' story and more from the comics. Word is good on that front, it would seem, but more on that later. Without further ado, the trailer...

Christopher Judge cast in The Dark Knight Rises


If there's one thing I love it's Batman. If there's another thing I love it's Stargate. So, putting someone as awesome as Christopher Judge in the next Batman film is nothing short of awesome news. No word on what part he'll be playing, or even if it will be anything more than a one-liner, but here's hoping. Although I think the last time I saw an old Stargate cast member in a huge film it was a very, very small part. When Paul McGillion of Stargate Atlantis turned up in Star Trek it was for about 10 seconds as a 'Barracks Leader', so considering Judge is in a similar position I don't imagine his part being much bigger than that. Judge tweeted the info yesterday:

 I can finally confirm: I have been cast in "The Dark Knight Rises".

In response to fans tweets, Christopher Judge tweeted again a few hours later:

 Thank u all for your support!!! I am so lucky! Great gig, great woman, great family, great friends, and fans!!!! luv and peace! Xo
More news on this topic if and when it's released!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Amazing Spider-man trailer


Without any more words, here is the trailer:

And now some thoughts:
Firstly, I've never liked the idea of rebooting Spider-man since the first in Sam Raimi's trilogy is brilliant, and the second a truly incredible feat. Sure, the third was a little un-even, but the fourth film was looking to come back on track before it all went sour for Raimi when Columbia switched to the reboot route. However, then Marc Webb was attached as director and things started getting interesting.

It was revealed that it was going to be a darker tone, but also that it would more closely follow the comics (in that Pete's getting friendly with Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane, and that his web-swinging is not part of his abilities, but something which he creates himself). Then, of course, it seemed much more toward where a good reboot could be.

However, this trailer leaves me wondering, where is the fun? Where is Spider-Man's wit and charm? Why does this trailer seem more like a teen romance than a super-hero film? And the biggest question of all, why is Spider-man doing an ode to Mirror's Edge for the last minute of the trailer? For those of you who don't know of Mirror's Edge or don't believe me, have a look at the trailer for that below. Stunning similarities, eh?

So there are a few things which could work out well for The Amazing Spider-man, but so far the trailer doesn't do much to live up to it's name.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Captain America new poster and trailer


So a new poster has been released for Captain America which looks awesome, and if you add that to the brilliant trailer which was unleashed onto the internet last week, Captain America could shape up to be one of the best Marvel films in years.


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol trailer


So it leaked a few days before the official release, but when it looks like it's going to be just as entertaining as the brilliant (and best in the franchise so far) M:I3 you can't be too picky.

It looks like most of the best parts of that one are back for more. Not only do you have Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg returning, you also have a glimpse of what Mr. Cruise does best. Running. Although I would have liked to have seen Ving Rhames in the trailer just to know he's definitely in it or not, I'm sure that will get cleared up soon.

And then you have the new kids on the block, including Josh Holloway and Jeremy Renner, both of which I am very excited about the inclusion of. I think both could hold their own in a blockbuster, and this will give them both the chance to prove it.

Of course the film also gives us a look at the live-action directorial debut of Brad Bird, famous for Ratatouille, The Incredibles and of course, The Iron Giant. It'll be very interesting to see how he stacks up against Brian De Palma, John Woo and JJ Abrams. Since all three directors have lent their own directing style to the previous films, each film has felt very different, only held together by the inclusion of Cruise and Rhames, so it'll definitely be interesting to see if Brad Bird keeps the tone of M:I3 or adds his own spin. If you'll remember, when JJ Abrams was called on to direct, it was his first live-action film too and the results there were spectacular.

The only thing to be worried about here is the music. While Michael Giacchino is another hold over from M:I3 (and a brilliant one at that) he isn't responsible for the music in the trailer, which is courtesy of Eminem and Pink. It's pretty bad, and hopefully will be one of those end-of-credits pieces of music, but it does feature quite heavily here. Be warned.

Excuses, Excuses...


So I've been away for about 3 months... and here are what can only be called excuses.

When I and my Fiancée started looking for a place to live, we honestly didn't expect it to be as quick as it was. The words "You can move in at the end of the month" were brilliant to hear, especially for such a lovely, and relatively cheap place. So we were quick to get into action, packing all our worldly possessions (mainly about seven boxes of DVDs and video games in my case) and moving in.

Then when we had moved everything necessary in, it came to the computer, which unfortunately was a shared one with my parents. They would keep it until a new one was bought and delivered, so they were quick to get into action and buy a new computer... from Mesh. Who went into administration (although there website seems to say otherwise). And didn't tell them for ages. So that delayed me getting my computer to my flat for a while.

Then I went on holiday. Yet another delay. And I didn't have a computer table. So another one. Anyway, now I'm home and I have my computer and my computer table and that was this weekend just passed.

So now I can get back to learning more about what I want to do best. Describing what I think about films and television in a way that will inspire others to either steer clear or seek them out.

Let's get to it eh?

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Film-a-day: Week 5: 13-19 Feb 2011


We'll start with a film I watched purely because 65daysofstatic were doing a live re-score of the film at the Glasgow Film Festival. The rest are, as usual, behind the cut.


Silent Running (1972) ***
Silent Running [live re-score by 65daysofstatic] ****
Not that I was, but if I were in any doubt before, now I'm certain. Music can dramatically change the impact of a film and how it's ideas and messages come across. Silent Running by itself is a bit of a strange beast. The story is a little on the perplexing side for one, especially for the rating it was given. Keep in mind that this was given a U for universal in the UK and G for general audiences in the USA. The main character kills three of his crew, two of them are blown up and the other strangled. I had this argument with a friend about whether the message outweighed the reason for ratings, and to be honest I kinda felt like rating this a so low is pretty irresponsible. Still, that has more to do with the BBFC and MPAA, but it does shine a light on where the film has this character.

Bruce Dern does no wrong here as the main man, left at his wits end trying to protect the worlds last forest from everyone else in the universe, who have plans to turn this sanctuary ships into cruise liners. He shines in a film that was built to have one strong main character tell his own story, and the look of the ships is incredibly well done too, especially considering how long ago it came out. However, the plot drifts a lot in the middle when the idea falls to it's basic elements, and the soundtrack is one of the worst I have ever heard. Which is where 65daysofstatic come in. I've never been to a live re-scoring before, but this was definitely a match made in heaven. The band used their post-rock to set the scenes and used their electronic side to ramp up the sci-fi element perfectly, and left me feeling more for the issues at hand than the first viewing ever could. It was a perfect marriage, and I came out wanting that to be the final cut of the film; wanting them to record the re-score and have Universal release it on the films 40th anniversary next year. Who's with me?

After The Cut: The Terminal, Marley And Me, The Cocoanuts, Choke, Paper Heart and The Goods (Live Hard, Sell Hard).

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Doctor Who series six prequel


I'm a big Doctor Who fan, and I'm damn excited to see the return of the show in April. Before we get there though, Steven Moffat has written a little prequel to the first episode 'The Impossible Astronaut' and here it is in all it's creepy glory. Enjoy...

Friday, 25 March 2011

Film-a-day: Week 4: 6-12 Feb 2011


More Film-a-day from the past month, kicking off with a double header from the Glasgow Film Festival.

Boy (2010) ****/
This is actually my second time seeing this New Zealand based gem from Taika Waititi, and it was just as good as the first time. I absolutely love all the character and the way they interact with each other, especially in regard to Waititi as Alamein, the Boy in question's father. The relationship between the two is interesting to say the least and gives the film some of it's finest moments, although either of them could hold the film in their own right, which is a great compliment to James Rolleston who played Boy. Not only was this his first acting experience, but he was only picked from a cast of extras when it turned out that their first choice had grown up too much since the casting. He has a wonderful comic timing and is downright perfectly cast, and does an incredible job of playing the lead at such a young age. Boy is an insightful, lovely, funny, sweet, surprising and touching film that should be seen by all. So go see it, egg!

Paul (2011) ****/
My lovely fiancée and I caught this at the festival too, and found it to be a hilariously entertaining film, which adequately filled up my geek quota for the week, as I thought it might. It's puts Simon Pegg and Nick Frost back together again, this time with director Greg Mottola instead of their usual cohort Edgar Wright, and sets them off on a road trip through points of extraterrestrial importance. The relationship between the two is, yet again, wonderful and helps carry the film when it hits the tiniest of dry spells. Don't worry though, they don't last long, and even the highly annoying Kristen Wiig is brilliant here, so something must be going right. The whole film is an utter triumph that solidifies the bond between the two actors as a vital double act that should work together in every second film. Even though separately one is definitely stronger than the other, together they are unbeatable, and this film proves that even without the incredible Wright directing they are still a force to be reckoned with.

After the cut: Mean Girls, Cop Out, Fanboys, The Informant! and Knowing.

Two teasers for Spielberg produced telly


Spielberg has produced not one but two shows set to hit your televisions this year and in the past week they've both had teasers put out. One is a time travel epic called Terra Nova which sends a group of humans from the future, 2149 to be exact, back in time 85 million years in order to 'get it right' this time. It seems like a little too far back to actually change anything of importance, unless they plan on just pressing a reset button on the entire human race. Which is a bit bold. It also doesn't take into account that something is going to wipe all the dinosaurs off the face of the earth... All will inevitably be revealed, I guess.

The other is a chaotic look into the future, which sees the human race battered by an invading alien force and trying to survive further attacks. This one needs less CGI and more human drama I think and thus I'm much more interested in how this one turns out. Falling Skies is the first to appear in June, with Terra Nova starting later in the year.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Captain America full trailer


Holy fuck yes. This is what I'm talking about. This makes all the other comic book films this year look bad. Even ones from Marvel. Keep an eye out for Tony Stark's dad!

Two teaser pics with polar opposite effects


Over the past week or so, two images have hit geek websites everywhere and have been divisive to say the least. I want to chime in with my two cents on the images. Both are from upcoming TV projects that it's fair to say will at least draw a big crowd on opening night. Both are to tease the fans with just a little sip of the forthcoming. However, while one set my geek motor running, the other left me cold.

First up, Ronald D Moore's newest show that isn't a spin of from Battlestar Galactica is 17th Precinct, which is a cop show with a supernatural edge which has been described as 'harry potter for adults'. That last part made me take a step back at first, but finding out not one, not two, but three of my favourite BSG co-stars would make the main cast had me coming straight back for more. About 10 days ago the three came together on set for a group photo, which was later posted on twitter, and I love it. L-R: Tricia Helfer, James Callis and Jamie Bamber.
Source

The other one? Wonder Woman. I'm a big comic book fan, and I was excited about this once upon a time (mainly when Whedon was still involved) but this image has just made me want to forget it ever existed. It's just too shiny... oh, and she's wearing trousers for some reason. I know that's a new look for wonder woman, apparently since last month (how convenient) but I don't recall that previously (happy to be proved wrong though. However, I think that this looks just plain weird and wrong.
Source, and a good article on how silly the whole darn thing is too.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Film-a-day: Week 3: 30 Jan-5 Feb 2011


I've really neglected this over the last month, so I figured I'd get caught up with the notes I've got for the films I've seen. As usual, the best is at the top, the rest follow after the cut!

Con Air (1997) ****
I don't know if I mentioned, but I am currently on a bit of a crusade to watch all of Nicolas Cage's films. One of which that came most highly recommended was Con Air, and I had a great time finding out why. From the outset, it's one of the dumbest films I've ever heard of, but that is its charm, and why it works so darn well. The whole cast are at their nutty best, and the whole two hours is spent ramping up every situation to it's most ridiculously plausible conclusion. The fact that a sequel is in the works to help Cage fund his IRS problems is superb.

After the cut: The Rescuers, Sherlock Holmes, Extract, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and The Other Guys.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Super 8 trailer


Wow. The two teasers we had before this were really good and already had me geared up to see it, but this full length trailer? I got shivers. The excitement and wonder that you would have in the first few minutes of ET, before you know what's going to happen, is right here in this trailer. The best part is, it doesn't even give very much away. I'll let the trailer speak for itself...
Super is released on the 19th of August.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

'Super' Trailer


Very excited about seeing this, and the inevitable T-shirts that will follow. I'm a little gutted at the very little Nathan Fillion we're getting here, but I'm sure the trailers that follow will give us a little more!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Firefly Watch: Show your support, buy Browncoats Redemption


If you, like I, want to show your support for Firefly getting back on the air while giving money to 5 worthwhile charities it's time to put your money where your mouth is. Head on over to the Browncoats: Redemption site and pick up a copy of this lovely looking, Whedon endorsed fan film. Not only do the quantities sold show Fox that Firefly has a loyal fanbase worthy of their time and effort, but you'll also be helping to support the following charities: Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, The Dyslexia Foundation, The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center and Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.

If that wasn't enough, the film includes appearances from Alan Baldwin and Michael Fairman reprises his role as Adelai Niska. Still not enough? Well, if you pick up the remastered edition you'll also get interviews with Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass, sharing their views on the film and Firefly itself.

I just picked up a copy myself, and as a proud browncoat I wish everyone involved the best of luck with this and future projects. Here's that link again... Browncoats: Redemption

Friday, 25 February 2011

Breaking News: FX order pilot of Bendis' Powers


"Your window of reading Powers while it was still cool is running out"

This is pretty neat timing considering I was just about to head to bed, and this all exploded over twitter like a red blotchy itchy thing. @JohnSolbergFX has just revealed that Brian M Bendis' Eisner Award winning graphic novel series 'Powers' has just been commissioned for a pilot by FX. The script was written by Chic Eglee, fresh from The Walking Dead and Dexter.

Details about the filling of executive producer and director roles have trickled through as well, with both credits going the way of Michael Dinner. The man in question is responsible for having the director duty on both Sons Of Anarchy and Justified. Brian M Bendis commented "Your window of reading Powers while it was still cool is running out."

Colour me interested!

Hardcover/Paperback

Source Code trailer


If you hadn't guessed by now, I love sci-fi. One of the best and most interesting sci-fi movies of the last few years was Duncan Jones' Moon. If you haven't seen it, get to seeing it, as Jones someone to keep your eyes on. It looks like he isn't stopping there either, as his second film Source Code is looking pretty impressive from the trailers. Just as with moon, Jones seems to have started with some key science fiction ideas, and wrapped them in an impressive and engaging script. Hopefully, that will be as true as it is in Source Code as it is for Moon, and beyond.


You can also view a short clip here, but that may be too spoilery for some!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Falling Skies trailer and TV spot


This is a show I'm really looking forward to. I really appreciate Noah Wyle's work in ER, Donnie Darko and The Librarian, and wish he was in more stuff, so I'm really glad that this looks as good as it does. While I am keen on the new Terra Nova series, I can see it being overly stylish and lacking substance while still pulling in ratings, while Falling Skies seems like it's destined to become the great little show with a heart that nobody watched. Still, get a glimpse of it now, maybe it'll be as good as these promos seem to make it feel, and a billion people will watch!


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Firefly Watch: Two more! Sketchy, but acceptable.


While neither is a hundred percent affirmative, both Tim Minear and Morena Baccarin have chipped in their two cents. Two facts to remember:

1) It's unlikely that the Firefly comeback would happen without involvement of 20th Century Fox
2) Fans remember what stars they like say

@CancelledAgain (Tim Minear): @stuxmusic if I were to revisit Firefly, at least the moment, it'd have to be via 20th, as they own my ass. And other parts. [link]

@missmorenab (Morena Baccarin) “@stuxmusic: @missmorenab do you support the fight to get Firefly back on TV? www.helpnathanbuyfirefly.com” People! You know my answer is a

No, I didn't copy that badly, Morena's tweet ended there. However, it does lead us to conclude that the fans know the answer already, so when I got the following tweet, I assumed I could take it as a yes. Of course if I'm wrong about that, it'll be changed!

@kaiserjose1: @HelpNathanBuyFF @missmorenab @stuxmusic I've been to several Firefly cons w/Morena in attendance. Answer is definitely yes!

These two are definitely more on the Sketchy side, because we're only taking it for granted that we think Morena is a yes, and that Fox would head this, thus involving Minear. However, at this point, sketchy is better than no! Also, I finally found a picture of Jose Molina! Now we're rolling, the score card looks a little like this:

Firefly Watch: Sean Maher has come to the party!


@Sean_M_Maher: @Taxicr OF COURSE I WOULD BE ON BOARD if @NathanFillion acquired the rights to the show!

What more needs said?

Three down, (at least) 6 to go!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Superman 2: As originally conceived and intended


I managed to catch 'Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut' at the Glasgow Film Festival, and the night before I watched the originally released Richard Lester version. The two versions of the film are as different as possible, and of course, there is a better version out of the two...

First, let me set the scene:

In the Lester cut, a lot of ridiculous stuff happens and as I previously found out, Lester seems incapable of making a Superman film that makes sense. What follows is just a little list of the things that I noticed when watching it:

1. As if it is a sign of things to come, in reaction to Ursa beating a redneck at arm-wrestling, General Zod (having been on earth for about 10 minutes) actually rolls his eyes. Not only have we seen that Kryptonians are pretty stuffy and almost devoid of humour, but if Zod had that humorous bone in his body, his character would have been a whole lot different.

2. This happens in both versions, but there are scenes in the Donner version which are also in the Lester version, purely because the Donner version was incomplete without them. I may just be comic illiterate, but does Zod have telekinesis? When approached by the cops with a gun, he snatches the gun by using his heat vision on it and then moving it with his mind, which is not a power that Kryptonians have on earth. While it is true that the original writers invented a whole load of powers for Superman in the early days and that this may have been one of them, it was only the ones that stuck and became part of his list of powers that should have been used.

3. This extends itself to the fight in the Fortress of Solitude, in which Superman uses a plastic S shield to stop Non from attacking him. This is pure ridiculousness and I my eyes popped out of my head when it happened.

4. AND it also extends to Superman projecting many variations of himself across the Fortress in order to confuse Zod and his cohorts.

5. AND yet again, during that same fight all four Kryptonians display the ability to project some sort of white energy beam from their hands. Completely stupid, and a power that does not exist.

6. Possibly because the original Donner scene includes Marlon Brando and he doesn't appear in Lester's version at all, Clark regains his superpowers simply by finding the green crystal at the partially destroyed control centre in the Fortress. Is that really enough of an explanation of how he reaquires his superpowers? No.

7. This one can be pretty much put down to how Richard Lester did things, the big fight outside the Daily Planet has shots of people on the street who are going about their daily lives, after earthquakes and explosions. There is actually a guy who goes to eat ice cream when Zod, Ursa and Non begin to blow the pedestrians down the road, and it flies off and hits someone in the face. Then during the same fight, there's a guy making a phone call, who falls to the ground and continues talking BECAUSE APPARENTLY THIS IS NAKED GUN.

8. The disappearance of Gene Hackman in the lead up to the big fight at the Fortress. This is pretty much because the actor was pretty defiant that if Donner left, so would he. This is also the reason that he doesn't appear in Superman 3.

9. And the icing on the cake? Superman erases Lois Lane's memory by kissing her. This is just juvenile.

And to keep this open minded, here is a list of the ridiculous stuff in the Richard Donner cut:
1. The reusing of the first Superman's plot that sees the hero wind back time by going around the earth backwards. It's dumb, but allowable on account of it making sense within the context of the original story.


And that's it.

Here is some of the awesome stuff that you get in Donner's cut in comparison to Lester's:
1. Gene Hackman deserves his starring role, as his appearances aren't fleeting as in the Lester cut, in fact he plays a much more prominent role. This is because most of his work was left on the cutting room floor due to his insistence on only working with Donner. It's odd, as Hackman's performance is delightfully hammy, which should fit into Lester's almost entirely hammy original, but it doesn't. Here however, it's a lovely little detour, and we get almost two times the amount of Hackman than what we see in the original.

2. This is a biggie, obviously. This version has Marlon Brando. In the original, Jor-el's appearances have been substituted with ones featuring Lara, Clark's mother. The scenes here have more emotion and feeling in them, and of course, its always great to have brando's original footage restored in all it's glory. I'm unsure why Lester felt that he needed to lose the emotion on Clark's face during these scenes, but for me it's one of the most impressive selling points of the Donner cut of the film.

3. The build up scenes with Zod and co are menacing, rather than silly like they appear in the original. While the scene on the moon is exactly the same, when they reach earth, the way they act and the way that the people react to them is very odd in Lester's version. There is a sub plot about Non not being able to control his powers when he comes to earth, which doesn't make sense, and thankfully is gone and he actually becomes  much more terrifying in Donner's cut.

4. Lois finds out Clark is superman in a much more convincing way. She doesn't just stumble upon it like in the original, she is brilliant reporter who is very savvy and in this version she becomes convinced that Clark is Superman, and chases after that fact until he is revealed. It's much more believable here and to be honest, when Clark Kent trips and falls into a fire in the original it is so out of character, that it is just stupid.

5. The fight in the street is genuinely gripping rather than the hammy crap in the first cut. The bit in which Non crashes Superman under the street is much shorter and it's purely just down to two facts. a) Donner is a better film-maker than Lester, and b) this cut has the benefit of time and being created by fans of the original series of films.

6. This may seem like a small thing, but after having the introduction to Superman 2 and 3 ruined by Lester, it was lovely to see the original titles in space come back. It really sets the mood for the big epic Superman film you are about to watch, and it gives you a brilliant chance to hear John Williams awe-inspiring score.

Donner's version of Superman is incredible, and its astounding that the Lester version made it to cinemas while this was effectively thrown in the bin. It's even more astounding that Lester got the chance to make Superman 3, killing the franchise as he did. Sure, there was a Superman 4, but the less said about that the better. The Donner double header is exactly what it should have been in the beginning, and now I know what I would change if I had a time machine. If you haven't seen the Richard Donner cut of Superman 2, you haven't really experienced superman at his best, and now is the time to see it.

At the end of both films, we see how Lester's version and Donner's much superior version compare in one single scene. In Lester's version, we see Superman carry the flag to the Whitehouse and say to the president "Sorry I've been away so long, I won't let you down again.", marking a very closed minded 'American' stance on the film, even when the film opens with a scene in Paris. However, in Donner's version, we see Superman fly over the earth, as it's protector. He has given up his powers for the one he loves, yet ultimately, his destiny is greater and he gives up the one he loves to protect the Earth. Sure, you could say that Superman fights for 'Truth, Justice and the American way' but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't protect the rest of the world if it needed it. It's what Superman truly means to the entire world that encapsulates that final image, and for me it sums up what a greater gift Donner's cut is than Lester's.

If you get the chance to see  Donner's cut in a cinema like I luckily did, please go. You will not regret it.


Firefly Watch: two writers are on board too


In bringing a television show to life, maybe the most important people needed are creators and writers. Only in special circumstances do these people get the recognition they deserve. In the world of Joss Whedon, the writers are an extension of himself, and the wonderful ideas he has. The most wonderful ideas he had were put into a television show that was played with and broken by the network it was on before it even hit tv screens. This 14 episode show was so engaging and brilliantly created that it not only spawned a movie and a comic series, but is still loved and held onto by fans 9 years later. This is in no small part owed to everyone involved.


Which is why I am more than happy to report (about 3 days to late, mind) that two key writers have put their hands up to be counted too. Jose Molina, writer of two Firefly episodes 'Trash' and 'Ariel' and executive story editor on the entire series, has tweeted in support of Fillion's message, saying "For what it's worth, I've told him I'd drop what I was doing and follow." Then, the brilliant Jane Espenson, writer of Firefly episode 'Shindig', chimed in and tweeted "I'm there, if needed."

I salute you both, and would add you to the wall if only I could find a picture of Jose Molina! If I find one by the next instalment of Firefly Watch, you'll be on there!


Firefly watch: Jewel Staite's on board!


First Nathan Fillion woke up the sleeping Giant that is the Firely fan community, the Browncoats. Then today, Jewel Staite responded to a tweet enquiring about her thoughts on the movement.

Q) @Taxicr: Any comment on the group organized to get @NathanFillion the rights to Firefly? Would u be on board?
A) @JewelStaite Is the pope catholic?

We can confirm that the pope is in fact Catholic and that Jewel Staite is in fact on board with returning to Firefly. I have put together a little board of all the actors (even if their characters are deceased) and the two head honchos of the show Joss Whedon and Tim Minear. Any time we hear anything new on availability or willingness to do the show, I'll do a wee update!


Monday, 21 February 2011

Nathan Fillion would happily be Mal Reynolds again


When Entertainment Weekly asked Nathan Fillion 'Would you (do) Firefly again?' he responded with the answer that all of us Browncoats would want him to say: "Yes. Yes... If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet."

What an utter champ. Of course, this sent Firefly fans into a frenzy, and very quickly a web domain was purchased. Helpnathanbuyfirefly.com is where you'll be able to pledge money towards this situation becoming a reality, and get new episodes of Firefly (or Serenity 2) on the way. Not only do I love this idea, I also think that it is going to get a huge response from the fans. The only problem is, even if it gets enough to make even one episode, will the remaining members of the crew even be able to come back?

For starters, even Fillion may be in bother getting time off from his hit TV show Castle. He's got a contract and if Firefly were to work, it may have to be in conjunction with Fox (however crazy that may seem to work with the network that messed up not one but two of Whedon's shows) and Castle resides at ABC. Not to mention that Morena Baccarin is currently contracted with ABC too, working on V. Adam Baldwin on the other hand is with NBC, while he plays the role of Col John Casey (rather brilliantly, I might add). Summer Glau is in a slightly better position as while she is currently contracted with NBC with The Cape, it's pretty certain it's living out it's last days.

Sean Maher, Jewel Staite and Gina Torres are in a fairly open position and I think they would keen to return to the good ship Serenity. Also, while both Ron Glass and Alan Tudyk's characters kicked the bucket in the feature film, they both appear free to return to the show, depending on where in the story the new episodes would be set.

However, imagining Firefly without Baccarin and Baldwin is hard, especially if the story were to pick up after the events in Serenity, with the crew already two men down. It all depends on how willing the network's would be to let their stars go off and star on a rival network's show, and then it further depends on how willing the rest of the cast would be willing to actually come back to Firefly.

The big one for me is Whedon. He's currently very busy working on the Avengers movie, and if that goes well, I would imagine more of them would be on the way to take up more of the good man's time. However, it wouldn't be certain his involvement is required past one instalment, and even if it were, it wouldn't mean he couldn't be involved with other projects.

I for one, urge anyone who has interview time with the cast members of Firefly that they ask the important questions and find out if they are as up for returning to the show as Fillion. I would also like to thank Nathan Fillion himself for sparking the hope inside every Firefly fan that it would continue, and wish him good luck in the California Lottery!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Thor trailer and thoughts


This trailer is brilliant... up until the last 10 seconds when it becomes clear that specific scenes are using gimmicky 3D. Oooh look at this giant monster come to towards you! I'm not 10 any more, things don't need to jump out at me for me to enjoy it. It's not like Thor is the hot new thing from Marvel, and all the kids are like 'Whoa! Thor!' in fact, I think of all the superheroes in the upcoming Avengers movie, kids will be the least interested in Thor (or Hawkeye, but that's just because he won't already be drilled into their conciousness). So, Marvel, who the hell is the 3D element of this aimed at? (and don't say 'the audience') Of all the movies released with an extra dimension in mind, I can see no reason for this to be one of them.

Speaking of 3D in super hero films. What about the Avengers? Is that going to be in 3D? I would have to imagine Joss Whedon isn't keen. Pure speculation of course, but still.

Anyway, on with the trailer...

Terra Nova trailer


A new TV series from Stephen Speilberg about dinosaurs? Sweet!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Film-a-day: Week 2: 23-29 Jan 2011


Another week passes and I didn't even made it to the required seven films I set myself, I only got to 6 and even that was a push! Bad Carl! Still, I'm sure I'll make it up to myself and any readers that feel ripped off by this week's instalment! As with last week, the best of the week is here, and the others follow after the cut!

Up (2009) *****
A geniune classic of modern cinema, and there's no two ways about it. Up joins Wall-E as the best Pixar films so far. It's my third time watching it and I was still in tears for the opening scene, and my worst blubber scene, when he looks at the adventure book again. Of course, it's incredibly funny like the majority of Pixar films, but also quite emotionally affecting, which sets it hugely apart from every other animation studio out there, including their owners, Disney. One of the most powerful parts of the film is truly the score, as Michael Giacchino continues to build an impressive back catalogue of the best soundtracks you will ever hear. If you haven't seen it, it's more than just worth getting a hold of, as it was definitely one of the best films of 2009.

After the cut: Black Swan, 300, I Could Never Be Your Woman, MacGruber and Pokemon: The First Movie.

Why won't you die?! #002: Starbuck


Another great sci-fi show in the spotlight this week, with Battlestar Galactica's Kara Thrace (aka Starbuck) coming under scrutiny in the Top Trumps fashion. It may not be obvious but HUGE, MASSIVE spoilers are contained within this post!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Kevin Smith to give up directing



I have been a huge fan since I caught up with a lot of Smith films around about the time Dogma came out on video, so it's with a bit of a heavy heart that I heard Kevin Smith say that his next film 'Hit Somebody' would be his last as a director.

This was in his speech at the Sundance film festival which you can see here. It's 26 minutes long, but having seen some of the Kevin Smith Q&A DVD's it pales in comparison. What the speech is mainly about is distribution of his latest film Red State, and how with this film, Smith is going to break the mould and take his own film out on the road in March, to try and make back the $4 million spent on making the film, before the full US release on October 19th. Where that leaves the international market is another question, but for that reason alone, I'm pretty chuffed with this decision. Not only is it different and interesting for a director of his place to be taking a film like this in such a direction but it is a direct 'fuck you' to the system as it is.

However, the decision has it's critics (as do Kevin Smith's talents as a writer and director) and it doesn't take long to find someone who isn't keen on the idea. However some, like this IFC article, seem more concerned with the fact that it's not a new idea. Twitchfilm even go on to slate his remarks about anybody being able to release a movie in the same way being an entirely plausible idea, "Will this prove, as Smith states, that 'anyone can release a movie'? Not at all. It proves that people with a pre-existing and very large following can release a movie provided that they are willing to spend an extended period of time on the road with it using their own celebrity as a substitute for traditional marketing dollars. It's a smart decision for Smith given the size of his fanbase and the general way he is viewed in the mainstream industry post-Cop Out but hardly a game changer in any way."

This kind of thing, I think it's a little unfair on Smith, who has taken to doing something most directors in Hollywood would shy away from, especially considering within the same speech he announces he is stepping down from the directors chair after 'Hit Somebody' (which I'm more excited about to be honest) to move into helping distribute the new kid on the block's movie. The media at this point are in a frenzy over the speech but I think everyone at this point has made up their minds on Smith and nothing he does will edge them any closer to changing their viewpoint.

Like I've said before, I am a huge fan of Smith and loosing his talent as a director seems crazy to me, especially given his new found lust for making original films out-with his safe zone, where 9 films deep he decides to make a horror, when all he's know so far is comedy-drama. It's an admirable move followed by an odd one, followed by another incredibly admirable move. So, while I'm going to hate the day that Smith's director's chair is put away for the last time, I still have love for the reason he seems to be doing, and I'm confident that if he had another story to tell down the line he would come back out from 'behind the scenes' (who am I kidding, when has he ever been that?) and direct another classic film. Be it 'Mallrats 2' or a war epic, I'd be front and centre when it hit the screen.

With love,
Carl England

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Film-a-day 16-22 Jan 2011


Another regular feature I plan on updating every week is what film's I've been watching during the week. My plan for the rest of the year is to try and watch a film every day, or at least seven films in a week. I haven't done brilliantly this first week (this is more of the last 10 days really), but the plan is to update every week with a little review and star rating for each one. The best one of the week is here, the others are beyond the jump!

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) ****/
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) *****
Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi (1983) ****
Of course, what a way to start! While it's easy to pick out the bad parts of the trilogy, if you just let it wash over you and just enjoy it the good parts are brilliant and plentiful. Of course Empire is the best of the three, especially considering most of Jedi can be boiled down to Jabba the Hutt, Ewoks and a lot of shots of Luke Skywalker waiting to get angry enough to almost turn to the dark side. While it's not as easy to pidgeonhole A New Hope, it barely misses the five star mark and is as fine an introduction to a trilogy as there has ever been. But of course, The Empire Strikes Back is the best! It introduced Yoda, Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett and included the brilliant scenes of the battle on Hoth, the wonderful looking Cloud City and the classic training scene from Yoda on Dagobah. And that's just for starters. Superb!

This week was a bit all over the spectrum of film with Lord Of War, Safe Men, Inception and Dog Day Afternoon getting a look after the jump!

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