Archive

Archive for December, 2009

Kick Ass

December 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Have you ever thought that it wouldn’t be that hard to be a superhero? Well, you aren’t from Matthew Vaughn, is the story of a teenage boy who decides to become a real-life superhero.

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan with hardly any friends. He lives with his father, and life really isn’t all that hard. But once he decides to become a super hero his life gets turned on its head. Soon he encounters a mysterious vigilante called Big Daddy, and his daughter Hit Girl, who are working to bring down the drug baron Frank D’Amico.

The cast includes Aaron Johnson (as Lizewski), Nicolas Cage (as Big Daddy) and Chloe Morëtz (as Hit Girl). It looks like it could be a pretty awesome film. Check out the trailer here.

Inception

December 23, 2009 Leave a comment

After the Dark Knight we all wondered what Christopher Nolan would do next. Well wonder no longer. He has been working on a new sci-fi thriller called Inception. Due to released next June/July Inception stars Leo DiCaprio. Not a whole lot is known about the plot, but what is known is that it is set at a time when corporations have developed technology to enter peoples’ dreams and extract information. DiCaprio is a CEO who gets caught up in some sort of blackmail plot. As he enters peoples’ dreams things get messy. I know that sounds a bit vague… but check out the teaser trailer here. I’m sure you’ll agree that whatever the storyline is it promises to be epic. Nolan is a genius.

South Africa – Weekend Top 10

December 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Well, it’s a bit late, but here is are the Top 10 movies in the South African box office for last weekend (18th to 20th December):

1.      AVATAR (see my review here)

2.      2012 (see my review here)

3.      COUPLES RETREAT

4.      INVICTUS (see my review here)

5.      TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON

6.      OLD DOGS (see my review here)

7.      ASTRO BOY

8.      PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

9.      BAND SLAM

10.     LAW ABIDING CITIZEN

Categories: Movie News Tags: ,

Avatar – A Review

December 23, 2009 3 comments

I first started following the news on Avatar about 6 months ago, as it went into post-production. At that time critics were touting it to be the film of the year. Most agreed that it would revolutionise the use of CGI in film. While others said it could be the film of the decade. The first reviews from the premier, on the 10th of December, said that initial thoughts had been right… this was a must see film. But in the last week or so I’ve come across some articles that have levelled some pretty harsh criticism.

So what is my verdict? Well, if I could sum up Avatar in one word it would simply be… Epic. James Cameron has once again revealed himself as a master of his art, and perhaps one of the most visionary directors of our time. Reading his thoughts and watching interviews with him makes one realise the depth of thought that goes into his productions. Above all, he is a story teller, with a keen insight into what resonates with audiences.

Avatar itself is a relatively simple story. The basic premise is that sometime in the future (2154 AD to be exact) humans have travelled to Pandora, the lush, low gravity moon of a planet circling Alpha Centauri, where they are mining for a valuable mineral known as unobtanium. The humans’ presence on Pandora is completely commercial and they will extract minerals at any cost, without regard to their impact on the planet. On the other hand, Pandora is inhabited by an indigenous species called the Na’vi who live in complete harmony with the natural world.

Humans are unable to breathe Pandora’s atmosphere, and peaceful interaction with the Na’vi is difficult. Researchers led by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) create the Avatar Program, creating human-Na’vi hybrids. A human who shares genetic material with an avatar can link to it, allowing them to control it while their own body ‘sleeps’. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a former Marine who was paralyzed below the waist in combat on Earth. His twin brother was a scientist working in the Avatar Program. When Jake’s brother is killed, Jake takes his place because he is compatible with his brother’s avatar.

While Jake is escorting Augustine through the jungle the group is attacked by a large predator, and Jake becomes separated from the others, forcing them to leave him behind for the night. Jake attempts to survive in his avatar body, fending off dangerous creatures. This attracts the attention of a female Na’vi named Neytiri (Zoë Saldaña), who rescues Jake. Though troubled by Jake’s recklessness she takes him to the Na’vi Hometree, the spiritual and geographical home of her clan. The Na’vi decide to teach Jake their ways.

As Jakes learns more about the Na’vi and their way of life he increasingly finds his life as an Avatar to be reality, and his life as a human marine to be ‘a dream’. He also falls in love with Neytiri who is his mentor. Things become all the more complicated as the human quest for wealth begins to have deadly consequences for the Na’vi. In the end Jake must make his choice between the human life he was born into, and the Na’vi life he has learned to love.

The story itself is a timeless one which, in essence, boils down to a story of love between two people divided by race and culture.  Some have said that the visual elements of the film overshadow the storyline and characters, that the story is thin an vapid. But I would argue that Cameron has once again created a story that is simple rather than simplistic, and it is the way that the story is told that draws the audience into the film. It definitely has the feel of a fairy tale.

In Pandora Cameron has created a visual masterpiece. And it is this masterpiece that takes centre stage in the film. In fact Pandora is possibly one of the most important members of the cast. It creates an almost magical backdrop within which the cast can play out their story. And whilst none of the roles are particularly demanding of the actors, it is worth giving a few mentions. Sam Worthington does well as Jake Sulley. He has definitely put himself on the map over the last year or two, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of him over the next few years. In fact he seems to be in almost every action movie of 2010. Sigourney Weaver is excellent as Dr. Grace Augustine. She brings depth to a role where she almost certainly didn’t have a whole lot to work with. Stephen Lang plays a pretty mean bad guy. And lastly Zoë Saldaña is excellent as Neytiri.

All in all Avatar is a definite must see. In fact it’s a film that you will probably find yourself watching more than once. I know I will.

Shrek 4 – The Final Chapter

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

After a pretty dismal third installment Shrek is back for his final chapter. No doubt there will be some catchy one liners, some pop culture references, and a few hearty laughs in here. But I’m not holding out any hope that it’s going to be a life changing event.

At least the story sounds a bit different: everything’s dandy for Shrek until, for some reason, he’s transported to a world in which he never existed, Donkey doesn’t recognize him, Fiona is an outlaw, and Puss in Boots has put on what you can generously call a few pounds. If nothing else it’s material that lends itself to some good humour. Watch the trailer here. It looks warm and fuzzy, and the last scene with Puss in Boots made me laugh out loud.

Categories: Movie News Tags: ,

Bryan Singer to direct X-Men Prequel?

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

After being axed from directing the final installment of X-Men, Bryan Singer turned some heads at a recent comic convention by announcing his intention to film an X-Men prequel.

The idea is to cover the backstory of Xavier and Magneto. He was quoted as saying: “This is the formative years of Xavier and Magneto, and the formation of the school and where there relationship took a wrong turn. There is a romantic element, and some of the mutants from X-Men will figure into the plot, though I don’t want to say which ones. There will be a lot of new mutants and a great villain.”

It seems Singer is jumping on the  prequel bandwagon along with such films as The Hobbit, Star Trek and Batman Begins. Incidentally he also helped reboot the Superman franchise with Superman Returns. In any event I have to be honest and say that I’ll more than likely be watching this one on the big screen, if it comes to fruition.

The Hangover – part 2

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

While The Hangover isn’t the most original film in the world it was actually pretty darn funny, and turned into one of the best comedies of the year. It also managed to do pretty well at the box office – grossing almost $460 million dollars worldwide. And with that kind of success comes talk of a sequel.

Apparently the idea, at this point, is to take Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug and put them slap bang in the middle of Thailand. How they’ll get there is anyones guess, but no doubt they’ll get up to some awesome mischief. Let’s wait and see how things progress.