Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A-list heroes.

A short Arctical on the upcoming Movie The Avengers.

Comic book film adaptations are all the rage and with the up to date cinematic technologies we have been exposed to some thrilling movie masterpieces and the future holds little exception. We have seen some of the most prestigious and well loved super heroes ‘kapowing’ away on the big screen, and it’s time again for Marvel and film fanatics alike to get excited as they wait with anticipation for the mighty cry... ‘AVENGERS ASSEMBLE,’ Joss Whedon will take on the mammoth task of directing The Avengers, set to come out in 2012. The film will follow 2011’s Marvel instalments; Captain America: The First Avenger, Directed by Joe Johnston and Thor taken on by Kenneth Branagh. The films boast an A list cast and promotional photos from the motion picture Thor have already sparked discussion on Branagh’s choice of approach. The films will give us a greater insight into the lives of Marvels mightiest team, taking after their predecessors The Incredible Hulk and Ironman the films have a great legacy to live up to.

Diehard fans flocked to San-Diego Comic-con 2010 in order to glimpse sneak previews of all the latest news from their favourite shows, films, comics etc and for those without the means of attending, the internet was a valuable backup resource. It has to be said that fans of the Marvel franchise were indeed given a once in a lifetime treat for example the destroyer emerging through the gates of Asgard, a very early clip of Captain America’s nemesis Red Skull played by the incredible Hugo Weaving and not to mention The Avengers cast assembling on stage in front of ecstatic fans.

The reception so far has been positive and fans appear optimistic with high loads of irrepressible enthusiasm, I am personally looking forward to each director’s stylistic imprint on the movies. It is the director’s effectual passion that nurtures a movie concept to its maximum potential. One of the greatest examples of this is Christopher Nolan, his infusion of dark wit and complexity worked perfectly for the new Batman saga, and it is this type of visionary that is needed in order to produce flawless work and there is no doubt in my mind that Whedon can successfully reinvent Marvels dream team justifying it to its full capacity. It is in my opinion that a movie can only ever be as good as its director and with Joss Whedon’s explosively studious mind we can expect no less than perfection. Whedon’s writing is intelligent, witty and utterly delicious; his work has gained respect from fans and movie producers alike and it truly makes the wait for The Avengers movie an exciting one.

During an interview Whedon was probed for information regarding the relationship between Captain America and Ironman, as we know in the comics their controversial union was heated and war bound. Whedon’s response to the inquiry was delightfully casual: It ended up in Civil War in the comics, in my movie it will be witty banter. [1] This is just the sort of comment that keeps fans positive and begging for more, and it can be said that after Comic-Con 2010 there is a smouldering need for more. It is going to be a long wait for fans and as we scour the net for information and early previews we can join in the unity that is our excitement and anticipation.

And here is that class cast: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner.

So lets here it...AVENGERS ASSEMBLE.

[1] Joss Whedon: http://io9.com/5595293/will-joss-whedons-avengers-movie-include-marvels-civil-war-we-asked-him

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

'Inception' - A review

A masterful 'leap of faith'
(Beware spoilers)

A film that leaves the spectators mind in a state of contemplation hours after its finish can truly be remarked as a success; Christopher Nolan’s action packed thriller Inception produced this exact reaction, a film daring to delve into the complex study of dreams and their infiltration. Nolan’s ‘leap of faith’ not only tested the mentality of the characters but also fabricated our own conception of what was ‘reality’ and what was an induced ‘dream.’ An idea that has been used repeatedly by brave directors turned out to be incredibly original in its presentation and the movie definitely lived up to its universal hype (One of the only ones to do so this summer I feel.)

The plot was mind blowing and any movie fanatic can appreciate its intricacy, working alongside the layered plot were powerful action scenes immersed in a powerful and emotional journey that Cobb Leonardo DiCaprio undertakes in order to free himself from both guilt and political damnation. The wonders (and dangers) of the imagination and the manipulation of memories led to stunning visuals that are otherwise impossible; for example the paradoxical staircase and the converging of social space were both inspirational and phenomenal concepts. The tragic romance story was also very unique rather than your usual predictable love story, DiCaprio embarked on a compelling journey to let go of his deceased wife’s memory which seems to be haunting his dreams putting his team in mortal danger.

The characters were on the whole very well thought out and the interaction between Cobb DiCaprio and Arthur Joseph Gordon-Levitt was both convincing and commendable. DiCaprio is by far the tour de force of this piece, his performance was riveting and he continues to impress and exert himself, I can say with full confidence he is one of the most inspiring actors of this time. Levitt was cast perfectly and it would be great to see him in more of these types of roles rather than the ‘rom com kid’ we are so used to him playing. Levitt and Tom Hardy provided notable moments of much enjoyed comedy, it should also be said that Hardy who plays Eames, a thief of many trades is incredibly competent at playing the ‘bad ass.’ Alongside the brilliant performance from Ken Watanabe who played what I can only describe as an honourable villain. Cobb’s wife Mal played by Marion Cotillard was a truly complex character that kept audience members on the edge of their seats.

However I do not feel like the character Ariadne gave justice to Ellen Pages acting potential, the character seemed flat and had very little impact as a whole, at times she felt like more of a tool to aid the movie rather than a well rounded character, Page has already proved to audiences that she is a great actress especially her superb performance in Juno, I feel like this particular character let her down, however there was a sweet relationship building between her and Arthur. Cillian Murphy it would seem has provided us with a new insight to his acting abilities showing that he is very much capable of creating an affectionate and vulnerable character, the truly heartfelt deathbed scene was a particular triumph for Murphy.

For anyone who wants to see a fresh original movie after all the let downs and less than impressive sequels which we have been exposed to in recent months, this is a movie NOT to be missed, Nolan has created an action packed film that requires a great deal of thought and I am not ashamed to say that I will probably have to see the movie again in order to pick up every vital piece of information. It is for this precise reason I highly recommend Inception as a more than worthy watch, I am tired of seeing brainless action films dedicated to providing plot-less scenes of violence, Nolan’s new masterpiece I hope has opened other directors minds up to the conception of well thought out stories that are intertwined with impressive action scenes and great writing. There was a strong essence of the idea of playing god and I personally felt that a new line between right and wrong has been defined.
It would be a tremendous first for me to say I have no criticisms but I have to say after a jaw dropping opening there was a brief period where the movie lost my attention and I began worrying that the strong opening was about to be the only good part of the movie, however just as quickly as I began to lose faith the movie picked up and not once did it drop in standard.

The ending to the movie was a real highlight, leaving us on a clever cliff-hanger; remaining true to the films statement it continues to question what is real and what is a vision, the last image of a spinning top was so simple and yet so incredibly powerful it produced much debate of its effectiveness and cohesion with the rest of the movie, a brilliant ending to a brilliant movie.

I have always thought that Nolan’s successful Batman movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) were filmed with great confidence boasting a remarkable script and masterful casting, but this thought was always tainted with the notion that Batman itself is a universal wonder. Inception proves that Nolan can devise his own original material and film it with the same confidence and to the same standard if not to a higher standard, I do personally feel that this is Nolan’s first true masterpiece and I hope longingly that he continues to direct such brilliant and beautiful films.

I cannot stress enough that this is not a sit down and hang your coat up movie, but a powerful exploration into the ideologies of dream infiltration and manipulation, If you are simply going to the cinema for a leisurely experience I wouldn’t suggest this movie you need to be on top form to appreciate the immensity that is 'Inception.'

A movie executed marvellously by Nolan, a masterful leap of faith...I personally wait with anticipation for his next movie.