Avengers Week: Thor The Dark World : A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Avengers Week: Thor The Dark World : A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

With Avengers: Infinity War opening this week, Phil’s Quick Capsule Review will be rerunning the reviews of some of our favourite Marvel Films!

The Review: For me the original Thor film was my second , least favourite Marvel adaptation after Captain America (sorry Capt.).  It wasn’t bad but it always felt like it was missing something special.  Now, two years later and bolstered by an appearance alongside his Avengers buddies, the Blonde, buff god returns in what is a far more well rounded and successful movie.

The Story: Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Firstly let’s get this out the way.  Thor 2 is actually really good.  Excellent in fact.  Of all the Avengers films, it’s probably the most ‘together ‘ .  It has a simple story, which moves at pace, with action and drama but keeping it tight enough to come in at under 2 hours.  It even manages to get around (at least MOSTLY get around) the standard CGI monster fighting CGI good guy trope that has hobbled the end of every Avengers film since Iron Man.

A large reason why the film works so well is the sublime decision to once again sit an unlikely candidate in the director’s chair.   Be it Jon Favreau for Iron Man or James Gunn for the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel have a knack of picking the right man for the job.  This time out respected TV and Game Of Thrones director Alan Taylor brings a more even vision to the film, much more suited to the material than Kenneth Branagh, and obviously revels in having a larger that his usual budget to play with.   The action is clean and well shot, and best of all you can see every punch, every explosion and every insane flying spaceship moment.

Oh and talking of flying Spaceship moments… director Taylor is obviously a fan of 80’s cheese fest Flash Gordon, being that he borrows a considerable part of the films finale for the attack on Asgard.  Not that I’m complaining as the mix of sci-fi, Norse legend, super hero and action make for a pleasant change form the usual Earth bound Marvel world.

Hemsworth once again proves he is a man of considerable talent, delivering action alongside comedy and the occasional pathos.  Naturally Natalie Portman has little to do (as is the female role generally in a Marvel film) but she remains a welcome addition, as does the returning Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston (once again a stand out as Loki) and Anthony Hopkins (as his most gravelly).  Rene Russo even gets to kick arse, which is nice.  As for former Dr Who and professional grump Christopher Eccleston he does good with his limited bad guy role, but in reality with the added make up and FX it could have been anyone as Dark Elf leader Malekif.

In truth the film has little against it, other than maybe an element of familiarity, and ends up being one of the best blockbusters of the year.  Maybe not as good overall as Iron Man 3, but certainly more fun. For the most part.

So overall a good script, great characters and some snappy dialogue alongside standout action sequences and a fast pace mean that deservedly Thor The Dark World will be another hit for Marvel.  Truly a studio that cant seem to get it wrong.

Rating:

 

 

Review: Thor The Dark World (DVD/BR)

Review: Thor The Dark World (DVD/BR)

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The Review:  Following on from the battle of New York, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is now back on Asgard, pining for Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and fighting to  bring peace to the Nine Realms, which are slowly descending  into all out war,  Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is firmly  banged up in the dungeons for – well -previously trying to take over the Earth and causing whole sale destruction in the Avengers (2012) , meanwhile a new enemy appears on the scene in the form of the Dark Elves, lead by the evil Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who is hell-bent on possessing  the deadly Aether – a powerful energy that can destroy Asgard and the entire universe along with it.

By now everyone has their favourite Marvel movie character – be it Robert Downey JR’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America or Sam Jackson as Nick Fury – all of them very good,  but mine has always been Thor.

A sort of cross between Gladiator’s Maximus and Henry V, we first met him in Ken Branagh’s superb 2011 blockbuster, as an immature, insufferably arrogant oaf, then wonderfully (and at times hilariously) transformed into a rock solid, charismatic hero, better still he was expertly played by Chris Hemsworth – who seems to have been born for the role.

In 2012 Joss Whedon  did the impossible  and managed to pull off the Avengers  -further expanding the character of Thor and blending him in expertly with Tony Stark, Cap, The Hulk et al – the result was one of the greatest super hero movies ever made.

Our favourite Asgardian returns with Thor: The Dark World –  the 2nd in Marvels “Phase 2” series of comic book adaptations  concentrating on Stan lee’s titular Avengers characters (the other being 2013’s Iron Man 3).

Directed by Game Of Thrones Alan Taylor, and featuring nearly all of the original films cast, I am very pleased to say that it is extremely good indeed.

Featuring a fantastic opening battle, a decent plot , exciting action sequences (the Dark Elves assault on Asgard is a standout) plus some very good performances from Hemsworth, Hiddleston and the returning Anthony Hopkins as Odin –  it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Joss Whedon’s super hero mash up – but it comes pretty close.

Of course, no film is perfect  – Natalie Portman is a bit weedy as Jane Foster, the final London set showdown between Thor and Malekith seems clumsily handled,   it certainly isn’t as funny as Ken Branagh’s 2011 original and, despite the much publicised rewrites to boost his character’s screen time, there simply isn’t enough of the quite brilliant Tom Hiddleston as Loki – who certainly deserves his own standalone movie by now.

With the massive success of this film, plus the billion dollar grossing Avengers and Iron Man 3, Marvel is certainly on a very good run – indeed DC Comics must be pulling their hair out by now  -they seemed to peak with the Dark Knight Trilogy and all they seem to be able to do now is produce mediocre fare like The Green Lantern and last years (admittedly pretty good) Man Of Steel. Even the planned and oft delayed Justice League movie now seems like its going to be just a poor second to 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and this years Guardians Of The Galaxy – one can only hope that Messrs’ Snyder and  Nolan can pull it out of the bag with Superman vs Batman – due for release in 2016 – but I have my doubts.

Thor 2 is released on DVD and Blu Ray on 24th February, I would highly recommend it.

 

Reviewed By: Will Strong

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Review: Man of Steel (DVD/BR)

Review: Man of Steel (DVD/BR)

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The Review: Man Of Steel is an enigma of a film. It’s was far removed from Richard Donner’s Superman The Movie as Batman Begins is from Batman & Robin. Yet unlike Batman Begins (from director Christopher Nolan, whose grubby finger prints are all over this film), Man Of Steel isn’t an unqualified success. It has too many issues, too many imperfections to rate up against that archetypal reboot/remake/re-imagining. However it’s also not the Sucker Punch flop that many expected from Mr Marmite, Zack Snyder.

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. After the death of his adopted father, the now grown up Clark Kent journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

Let’s get this out the way first: I have a real love hate relationship with Zack Snyder I loved The Dawn Of The Dead reboot. Loved it. Almost better than the original, one of my favourite horror films ever made. 300 was okay. But after that Watchman left me cold and very bored and Sucker Punch represented everything that was wrong with modern cinema. It’s leery, lusty teenage boy camera, trying to poke a look up every short skirt and down every loose blouse, it’s incessant use of CGI at every turn, it’s “fuck the story, here’s another CGI bang” attitude… everything. It’s probably one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Couple this with a distinct hate for Russell Crowe & Kevin Costner (Jor-El and Jonathan Kent) and my only previous experience of Henry Cavill being his Worst Film Of The Year winning ‘The Cold Light of Day’ and to say my expectations were set to ‘low’ is a mild understatement. Oh add a health love for Donner’s original and this movie didn’t stand a chance in my eyes.

But do you know what? At times Man Of Steel is the greatest superhero film I’ve ever seen. Seriously. It’s the Superman movie I always wanted but never got from Donner (or from the lesser sequels), yet never realised I hadn’t gotten it until I’d seen Man Of Steel. Watching Superman punch General Zod through buildings in the crumbling Metropolis is one of the biggest “Fuck Yeah” moments in a film ever. What’s more it shows Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns to be even more of a bloated, dull retreat. But for every moment of “Fuck Yeah” fist bumping brilliance, comes another piss poor CGI thing doing something to another CGI thing. Yup that unrestrained, immature, childish Sucker Punch DNA is never more that a few frames away from Snyder’s mind and when it does slip into it, it drags the film own to a level where you just don’t care any more. It’s fair to say even I’m getting bored of SGI things hitting CGI things, and in honesty Synder has all the subtly of General Zod swinging a metal beam in the face of Superman, those lesser moments of reflection and calm regally ending with more CGI.

Another issue I had with Man Of Steel was for all it’s nods to 9/11 that exist it’s it’s closing smack down’s you can’t help but feel those moments (which at times look identical to that now iconic news footage) felt a little too soon for a director as tactless and lacking in subtly as Snyder to deliver. Once again the metal beam is swung in the face of the audience.

But again for every moment like this, there’s a touching moment with Jonathan or Lois. An action sequence that get’s thrilling and fun. Or some look into another world that is just phenomenal (the extended look at Krypton is simply break taking, a real highlight). Then comes another crash zoom, CGI vomiting and the film is runnier once again.

A few more positives: whilst he’s no Christopher Reeve, Cavill is really good as Clark/Kal/Superman. Like really good. You care about him. You can see his pain. You like him (Brandon Routh take note!). Amy Adam’s is simply adorable as Lois. Whilst in the film them falling in love makes little sense, watching the film I certainly did. And as I alluded to previous, the world setting on Krypton is truly alongside some of Snyder’s best work. The music score is some of the best music in a film ever and I never once missed the iconic Superman theme.

And oddly this is a film that demands a longer run time. A just under 2hrs 30mins it’s obvious that plenty was cut out, a fact even Snyder has admitted to ( a 3 hour cut is in existence). It’s the only film I can ever think of that could do with 20 mins cut out (CGI wankery) to put in at least another 40 mins of story which should help address the moments that feel rushed (Lios visiting Ma Kent), the kiss. Oh and yup finally I have a film with Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner that I both like AND think they are good in.

I’ve never watched a film that I have loved and loathed in equal measure, like I have with Man Of Steel. It has far too much CGI, the story makes no sense at times and things happen without reason or thought. Lois needs to fall in love with Clark? Easy. We’ll have them just kiss. No actual reason. They just do, because that’s what they have to do. Oh here’s a suit from your home planet for you. The fact it has NOTHING to do with anything we have seen from your home world so far is okay, because you know, he has to get the suit right? It’s moments like these that remind you whose directing the film.

So can I recommend it? For sure. It’s a film that cries out to be seen on the big screen. Will I watch it again? Hell yeah. It’s breathtaking action, it’ s gorgeous visual style, it’s spot on casting. Did I love it as much as Batman Begins or Iron Man? Urm. No. It’s far too floored, too rushed yet too long and relies far too much on CGI.

So there you have it. Mostly not the disaster most feared and at times as epic and specular as any film I have ever seen. Until Synder forgets himself and fucks it up. Like I said at the start… A true enigma.

PS: Damn read this back and realised I never even mentioned Michael Shannon as Zod. Genius casting. He’s wide eyed nutty ness makes you honestly believe he could kill everyone and everything. Just by looking at you. He’s as good as you expect him to be and whilst very different from Terrance Stamp, equally as good. But it’s Michael Shannon whose quite frankly is great in everything. Even having a shower in the morning no doubt.

 

Average of 

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden


MAN OF STEEL is out at Cinemas now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group…http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/

Review: Thor The Dark World (Cinema)

Review: Thor The Dark World (Cinema)

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The Review: For me the original Thor film was my second , least favourite Marvel adaptation after Captain America (sorry Capt.).  It wasn’t bad but it always felt like it was missing something special.  Now, two years later and bolstered by an appearance alongside his Avengers buddies, the Blonde, buff god returns in what is a far more well rounded and successful movie.

The Story: Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Firstly let’s get this out the way.  Thor 2 is actually really good.  Excellent in fact.  Of all the Avengers films, it’s probably the most ‘together ‘ .  It has a simple story, which moves at pace, with action and drama but keeping it tight enough to come in at under 2 hours.  It even manages to get around (at least MOSTLY get around) the standard CGI monster fighting CGI good guy trope that has hobbled the end of every Avengers film since Iron Man.

A large reason why the film works so well is the sublime decision to once again sit an unlikely candidate in the director’s chair.   Be it Jon Favreau for Iron Man or James Gunn for the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel have a knack of picking the right man for the job.  This time out respected TV and Game Of Thrones director Alan Taylor brings a more even vision to the film, much more suited to the material than Kenneth Branagh, and obviously revels in having a larger that his usual budget to play with.   The action is clean and well shot, and best of all you can see every punch, every explosion and every insane flying spaceship moment.

Oh and talking of flying Spaceship moments… director Taylor is obviously a fan of 80’s cheese fest Flash Gordon, being that he borrows a considerable part of the films finale for the attack on Asgard.  Not that I’m complaining as the mix of sci-fi, Norse legend, super hero and action make for a pleasant change form the usual Earth bound Marvel world.

Hemsworth once again proves he is a man of considerable talent, delivering action alongside comedy and the occasional pathos.  Naturally Natalie Portman has little to do (as is the female role generally in a Marvel film) but she remains a welcome addition, as does the returning Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston (once again a stand out as Loki) and Anthony Hopkins (as his most gravelly).  Rene Russo even gets to kick arse, which is nice.  As for former Dr Who and professional grump Christopher Eccleston he does good with his limited bad guy role, but in reality with the added make up and FX it could have been anyone as Dark Elf leader Malekif.

In truth the film has little against it, other than maybe an element of familiarity, and ends up being one of the best blockbusters of the year.  Maybe not as good overall as Iron Man 3, but certainly more fun. For the most part.

So overall a good script, great characters and some snappy dialogue alongside standout action sequences and a fast pace mean that deservedly Thor The Dark World will be another hit for Marvel.  Truly a studio that cant seem to get it wrong.

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

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Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Movie Collection: 3 Disc Set (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Secret Of The Ooze/Turtles In Time) (DVD/BR)

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Movie Collection: 3 Disc Set (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Secret Of The Ooze/Turtles In Time) (DVD/BR)

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The Review: How much you rush out to buy this collection is very much determined by your love and positive feelings for what are three deeply dated yet still somewhat enjoyable movies. Bringing together the Three live action Ninja Turtles Movies (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Secret Of The Ooze/Turtles In Time), it’s fair to say the films suffer somewhat from the law of demonising returns.

The original film is full of early 90’s charm and just about pulls it off with some great voice acting, not least from former Goonie Cory Fieldman as well as some fun PG rated action.

Part 2 is less successful, as The Turtles and the Shredder battle once again, this time for the last cannister of the ooze that created the titular heroes in a half shell, which Shredder wants to create an army of new mutants but still ether’s a lot to enjoy.  Not least the sausage that the BBFC originally cut thinking they were Nunchucks.

Part 3, which sees The turtles finding themselves transported back in time to ancient Japan. is pretty forgettable and to be honest,  until re-watching this time around I’d thankfully forgotten all about it.

This new set comes in a good shiny HD transfer of each movie, decent sound and some nice extras. Fans of the original shows will  love it.  Everyone else?   Possibly not…

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

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Review: Iron Man 3 (DVD/BR)

Review: Iron Man 3 (DVD/BR)

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

The Review:  On paper, the odds are that 2013’s first summer blockbuster Iron Man 3 will be pretty good; hire the writer of Lethal Weapon to co-write and direct, and take the above-average franchise to a new action high.

Now, I’ve seen Iron Man – which I thought was okay, and I never saw Iron Man 2. Nothing compelled me to it. Last year we had the Avengers Assembled, which more than satiated my thirst for Robert Downey Jnr spouting witty remarks and poncing around in an iron suit. The prospect of yet another Iron Man outing was not high on my list. Then the reviews came out, both professional and friendly; Iron Man 3 is very much the cut above we were all expecting. My arm was sufficiently twisted and tonight I found myself sat in a glorious cinema screen with a big tub of popcorn…

… and at about forty-five minutes in, I sank further into my seat fighting off the desire to nod off.

Sorry, everyone – you probably half expect this from me – but Iron Man 3 is, in my humble view, not very good. In fact, it’s repetitive nonsense at its very best.

The early warning signs were there – a flashback to new year’s eve 1999 reveals that Guy Pearce is some techno geek getting cock blocked by Tony Stark and Pepper Pots. I still hate that stupid name. Present day, and there’s a bad guy; an Osama Bin Laden terrorist wannabe named The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. He intercepts TV channels with old video camera footage of an imminent threat toward the West. He means business. He blows shit up and everyone gets scared. And Tony Stark (via the script writers) make their first mistake – he tells everyone in the Western world his home address and invites the bad guys to attack. Duuuh. Really? Really.

And, sure as shit, they do attack and completely knacker his Cliffside luxury mega-mansion. They nearly kill his old flame and Gwenyth Paltrow into the bargain. Dumb fucking move. Then there’s more iron-stuff flying around, you know; the usual – till Stark finds himself up Iron Street without a suit and befriends a little boy who, no doubt, in the writer’s mind, sort of emulates Tony Stark. The film meanders for a good portion of its middle section with this humdrum shite, till finally, a big revelation occurs with regard to The Mandarin

Now, The Mandarin is about to have his Pakistan (or wherever – they may as well have renamed Iron Man 3 to “Abbot-a-Boy” – mansion invaded by Stark and co. in a sort of ramped up, metallic reimagining of “Two Hours Thirty”. And it is here that The Mandarin is revealed to be an actor. No, not in any deliberate decoy type way, but as an entire decoy to the real villain of the movie: Guy Pearce, who has since ditched his goofy geekdom and pumped himself into the Dolce & Gabbana centre piece model he so definitely wanted. He’s invented a thing where you can do something that enhances your brain – the cumulative effect rendering you turning orange in your chest and cheek area like some high pitch fever. These things, with Pearce (and let us not forget he was in Prometheus) are the bad guy(s)

Okay, fair enough – but, what the fuck is this all about, anyway? What is that orange stuff, and why do these alien-types explode when they’re real angry? If I was John Carpenter, I’d sue. This is the writer of Lethal Weapon; not Alien nation, or Communion. The whole thing is unexplained. Or, worse still, perhaps it was explained but by that point I stopped paying attention.

Then there’s a whole to-do with William Sadler as the president and his vice president Miguel Ferrer. I have absolutely no clue what was going on there, either. Writing this, I am starting to believe that the projectionist skipped a reel.

And if that’s true, I’d like to thank the projectionist personally – this tedious endeavour drones on and on for 130 minutes. It’s Robert Downey Jnr cracking the odd joke. It’s the usual CGI blowhard, try hard stuff. It’s 12A. It’s nothing new.

What the “amazing” reveal about The Mandarin actually does is snap the film’s spine clean in half. It loses the ability to walk, talk and fight as a result. I was really, REALLY looking forward to seeing Iron Man bring down a global threat; a real terrorist. Having seen Olympus Has Fallen twice now, and The Last Stand, I can see Hollywood has lost its boner for soft, cutesy rubbish and regained what razor sharp terrorist teeth it once had. In employing The Mandarin as a decoy and relegating bad guy duties to Guy fucking Pearce, well… that’s like a big middle finger up to people like me. My hopes weren’t high, anyway. I was very suspicious of all this autistic over-praise, anyway.

So in short – you know what you’re getting with Iron Man 3. I will say this, though – Paltrow looks really, really hot in the last scene. I mean that literally, as well. I’ll say something else, too – director Shane’s surname also rhymes with the kind of director he’s become. I’ll leave you to figure that one out.

And if you can’t figure that last one out on your own, then congratulations; you’re the perfect audience for this pretty-looking, deafening yawn-fest.

Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay

NOTE: PHIL, ROSS AND MATT all LOVED Iron Man 3 rating it 8/10 on average.

IRONMAN 3 is now available on DVD/BR/VOD.  Join the debate on our Facebook group… http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/

Review: Man of Steel (Cinema)

Review: Man of Steel (Cinema)

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The Review: Man Of Steel is an enigma of a film. It’s was far removed from Richard Donner’s Superman The Movie as Batman Begins is from Batman & Robin. Yet unlike Batman Begins (from director Christopher Nolan, whose grubby finger prints are all over this film), Man Of Steel isn’t an unqualified success. It has too many issues, too many imperfections to rate up against that archetypal reboot/remake/re-imagining. However it’s also not the Sucker Punch flop that many expected from Mr Marmite, Zack Snyder.

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. After the death of his adopted father, the now grown up Clark Kent journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

Let’s get this out the way first: I have a real love hate relationship with Zack Snyder I loved The Dawn Of The Dead reboot. Loved it. Almost better than the original, one of my favourite horror films ever made. 300 was okay. But after that Watchman left me cold and very bored and Sucker Punch represented everything that was wrong with modern cinema. It’s leery, lusty teenage boy camera, trying to poke a look up every short skirt and down every loose blouse, it’s incessant use of CGI at every turn, it’s “fuck the story, here’s another CGI bang” attitude… everything. It’s probably one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Couple this with a distinct hate for Russell Crowe & Kevin Costner (Jor-El and Jonathan Kent) and my only previous experience of Henry Cavill being his Worst Film Of The Year winning ‘The Cold Light of Day’ and to say my expectations were set to ‘low’ is a mild understatement. Oh add a health love for Donner’s original and this movie didn’t stand a chance in my eyes.

But do you know what? At times Man Of Steel is the greatest superhero film I’ve ever seen. Seriously. It’s the Superman movie I always wanted but never got from Donner (or from the lesser sequels), yet never realised I hadn’t gotten it until I’d seen Man Of Steel. Watching Superman punch General Zod through buildings in the crumbling Metropolis is one of the biggest “Fuck Yeah” moments in a film ever. What’s more it shows Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns to be even more of a bloated, dull retreat. But for every moment of “Fuck Yeah” fist bumping brilliance, comes another piss poor CGI thing doing something to another CGI thing. Yup that unrestrained, immature, childish Sucker Punch DNA is never more that a few frames away from Snyder’s mind and when it does slip into it, it drags the film own to a level where you just don’t care any more. It’s fair to say even I’m getting bored of SGI things hitting CGI things, and in honesty Synder has all the subtly of General Zod swinging a metal beam in the face of Superman, those lesser moments of reflection and calm regally ending with more CGI.

Another issue I had with Man Of Steel was for all it’s nods to 9/11 that exist it’s it’s closing smack down’s you can’t help but feel those moments (which at times look identical to that now iconic news footage) felt a little too soon for a director as tactless and lacking in subtly as Snyder to deliver. Once again the metal beam is swung in the face of the audience.

But again for every moment like this, there’s a touching moment with Jonathan or Lois. An action sequence that get’s thrilling and fun. Or some look into another world that is just phenomenal (the extended look at Krypton is simply break taking, a real highlight). Then comes another crash zoom, CGI vomiting and the film is runnier once again.

A few more positives: whilst he’s no Christopher Reeve, Cavill is really good as Clark/Kal/Superman. Like really good. You care about him. You can see his pain. You like him (Brandon Routh take note!). Amy Adam’s is simply adorable as Lois. Whilst in the film them falling in love makes little sense, watching the film I certainly did. And as I alluded to previous, the world setting on Krypton is truly alongside some of Snyder’s best work. The music score is some of the best music in a film ever and I never once missed the iconic Superman theme.

And oddly this is a film that demands a longer run time. A just under 2hrs 30mins it’s obvious that plenty was cut out, a fact even Snyder has admitted to ( a 3 hour cut is in existence). It’s the only film I can ever think of that could do with 20 mins cut out (CGI wankery) to put in at least another 40 mins of story which should help address the moments that feel rushed (Lios visiting Ma Kent), the kiss. Oh and yup finally I have a film with Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner that I both like AND think they are good in.

I’ve never watched a film that I have loved and loathed in equal measure, like I have with Man Of Steel. It has far too much CGI, the story makes no sense at times and things happen without reason or thought. Lois needs to fall in love with Clark? Easy. We’ll have them just kiss. No actual reason. They just do, because that’s what they have to do. Oh here’s a suit from your home planet for you. The fact it has NOTHING to do with anything we have seen from your home world so far is okay, because you know, he has to get the suit right? It’s moments like these that remind you whose directing the film.

So can I recommend it? For sure. It’s a film that cries out to be seen on the big screen. Will I watch it again? Hell yeah. It’s breathtaking action, it’ s gorgeous visual style, it’s spot on casting. Did I love it as much as Batman Begins or Iron Man? Urm. No. It’s far too floored, too rushed yet too long and relies far too much on CGI.

So there you have it. Mostly not the disaster most feared and at times as epic and specular as any film I have ever seen. Until Synder forgets himself and fucks it up. Like I said at the start… A true enigma.

PS: Damn read this back and realised I never even mentioned Michael Shannon as Zod. Genius casting. He’s wide eyed nutty ness makes you honestly believe he could kill everyone and everything. Just by looking at you. He’s as good as you expect him to be and whilst very different from Terrance Stamp, equally as good. But it’s Michael Shannon whose quite frankly is great in everything. Even having a shower in the morning no doubt.

 


Average of  &

Reviewed By: Phil Hobden


MAN OF STEEL is out at Cinemas now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group…http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/

Review: Iron Man 3 (DVD/BR)

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The Review: On paper, the odds are that 2013’s first summer blockbuster Iron Man 3 will be pretty good; hire the writer of Lethal Weapon to co-write and direct, and take the above-average franchise to a new action high.

Now, I’ve seen Iron Man – which I thought was okay, and I never saw Iron Man 2. Nothing compelled me to it. Last year we had the Avengers Assembled, which more than satiated my thirst for Robert Downey Jnr spouting witty remarks and poncing around in an iron suit. The prospect of yet another Iron Man outing was not high on my list. Then the reviews came out, both professional and friendly; Iron Man 3 is very much the cut above we were all expecting. My arm was sufficiently twisted and tonight I found myself sat in a glorious cinema screen with a big tub of popcorn…
… and at about forty-five minutes in, I sank further into my seat fighting off the desire to nod off.

Sorry, everyone – you probably half expect this from me – but Iron Man 3 is, in my humble view, not very good. In fact, it’s repetitive nonsense at its very best.
The early warning signs were there – a flashback to new year’s eve 1999 reveals that Guy Pearce is some techno geek getting cock blocked by Tony Stark and Pepper Pots. I still hate that stupid name. Present day, and there’s a bad guy; an Osama Bin Laden terrorist wannabe named The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. He intercepts TV channels with old video camera footage of an imminent threat toward the West. He means business. He blows shit up and everyone gets scared. And Tony Stark (via the script writers) make their first mistake – he tells everyone in the Western world his home address and invites the bad guys to attack. Duuuh. Really? Really.

And, sure as shit, they do attack and completely knacker his Cliffside luxury mega-mansion. They nearly kill his old flame and Gwenyth Paltrow into the bargain. Dumb fucking move. Then there’s more iron-stuff flying around, you know; the usual – till Stark finds himself up Iron Street without a suit and befriends a little boy who, no doubt, in the writer’s mind, sort of emulates Tony Stark. The film meanders for a good portion of its middle section with this humdrum shite, till finally, a big revelation occurs with regard to The Mandarin.

Now, The Mandarin is about to have his Pakistan (or wherever – they may as well have renamed Iron Man 3 to “Abbot-a-Boy” – mansion invaded by Stark and co. in a sort of ramped up, metallic reimagining of “Two Hours Thirty”. And it is here that The Mandarin is revealed to be an actor. No, not in any deliberate decoy type way, but as an entire decoy to the real villain of the movie: Guy Pearce, who has since ditched his goofy geekdom and pumped himself into the Dolce & Gabbana centre piece model he so definitely wanted. He’s invented a thing where you can do something that enhances your brain – the cumulative effect rendering you turning orange in your chest and cheek area like some high pitch fever. These things, with Pearce (and let us not forget he was in Prometheus) are the bad guy(s).

Okay, fair enough – but, what the fuck is this all about, anyway? What is that orange stuff, and why do these alien-types explode when they’re real angry? If I was John Carpenter, I’d sue. This is the writer of Lethal Weapon; not Alien nation, or Communion. The whole thing is unexplained. Or, worse still, perhaps it was explained but by that point I stopped paying attention.

Then there’s a whole to-do with William Sadler as the president and his vice president Miguel Ferrer. I have absolutely no clue what was going on there, either. Writing this, I am starting to believe that the projectionist skipped a reel. And if that’s true, I’d like to thank the projectionist personally – this tedious endeavour drones on and on for 130 minutes. It’s Robert Downey Jnr cracking the odd joke. It’s the usual CGI blowhard, try hard stuff. It’s 12A. It’s nothing new.

What the “amazing” reveal about The Mandarin actually does is snap the film’s spine clean in half. It loses the ability to walk, talk and fight as a result. I was really, REALLY looking forward to seeing Iron Man bring down a global threat; a real terrorist. Having seen Olympus Has Fallen twice now, and The Last Stand, I can see Hollywood has lost its boner for soft, cutesy rubbish and regained what razor sharp terrorist teeth it once had. In employing The Mandarin as a decoy and relegating bad guy duties to Guy fucking Pearce, well… that’s like a big middle finger up to people like me. My hopes weren’t high, anyway. I was very suspicious of all this autistic over-praise, anyway.

So in short – you know what you’re getting with Iron Man 3. I will say this, though – Paltrow looks really, really hot in the last scene. I mean that literally, as well. I’ll say something else, too – director Shane’s surname also rhymes with the kind of director he’s become. I’ll leave you to figure that one out.

And if you can’t figure that last one out on your own, then congratulations; you’re the perfect audience for this pretty-looking, deafening yawn-fest.

Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay


NOTE: PHIL, ROSS AND MATT all LOVED Iron Man 3 rating it on average:

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Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2012

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2012

Quick Review Year In Review

Film of The Year: Argo
In Brief: Superbly tense, well paced and directed, Argo was not only the most enjoyable film of the year but also one of the most surprising. A+ for Affleck the director

2. Chronicle
In Brief: WTF. A found footage movie that makes all other found footage movies redundant, Chronicle is also the best superhero story of (a very crowded) year. Clever, shocking, compelling…

3. Skyfall
In Brief: Bond is back and he has (pretty much) never been better.  Whilst Casino Royale was a better film this is by far the better Bond film.  Classic references, great action, superb cast… Bond has a long way to go to top this.

4. Avengers
In Brief: Blockbuster of the year.  Smart, funny, character driven super hero flick that is only let down by an end that isn’t quite as good as the build up.

5. TED
In Brief: Funniest film of 2012 but a country mile, TED is just brilliant.

Bubbling under:
The Dark Knight Rises, The Raid; 21 Jump Street; The Muppets; Cabin In The Woods; Universal Solider: Day Of Reckoning; End Of Watch; Dredd 3D; Killer Joe; How I Spent My Summer Vacation; The Descendants; We Bought A Zoo; Everything Or Nothing

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2009

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2009

Quick Review Year In Review

Stinker Of The Year : Body Of Lies (3/10)
In Brief: Body Of Lies biggest crime was that it was just painfully dull. A bad film that you could have maybe excused if it was a cheap DTV action thriller but the whole situation is compounded by the fact it was a Ridley Scott movie with a cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio. Avoid.

2. Fighting
In Brief: Worst MMA film ever. DULL.

3. Watchmen
In Brief: Over hyped, dull and sooooo loooong.  Massive let down.

4. Transformers : Revenge Of The Fallen
In Brief: So much money. Wasted. Oh at least you see Megan Fox in jeans. DULL!

5. Xmen Origins: Wolverine
In Brief: Yawn.

Bubbling under:
Twilight; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Max Payne; Pride & Glory; Bronson; Never Surrender; Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2