Tag Archives: Gemma Arterton

“Hansel & Gretel” – now with added red stuff…

Apparently Jeremy Renner is in this movie. Didn’t notice.

Put “Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters” in my eyes now, Hollywood!  Now, damn your eyes!

Ahem.

What I meant to say was that there’s a new Red Band trailer for Tommy Wirkola‘s first American movie and its a tad on the intense side. Yes, there will be blood, but as it’s Halloween, you’re probably not going to be afraid of mucho witch decapitation, folks exploding into gory chunks and up-close head-shots.

Subtlety is not on this film’s agenda, clearly, and I’m a lot more assured by the tone of this trailer than I was by the initial, general audiences effort which went online a month or so back and induced much in the way of ‘Meh’ from the internet cognoscenti – this looks like a film from the director of “Dead Snow“, as opposed to the slightly ‘Van Helsing‘-ish initial first look.

Still, it’s a long wait for me – this film will be merrily decapitating Witches from January 25th 2013 in the US and won’t make the broom-hop across the pond for another two months, by which time I’ll probably be seeing the first pre-order news for the Region A Blu-Ray disc and dropping my cash on that instead.

And there I was thinking that film distributors had gotten wise to the idea that artificially staggered release dates harm the box office prospects of their products…

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“Wrath of the Titans” – reviewed!

Now featuring actual Titans!

No Kraken were armed in the making of this motion picture – but Greek mythology was slightly bruised by liberties in the script.

I think that most people can agree that the remake of Clash of the Titans could have been better.  The greatest source material that you could hope for – Greek mythology, for the sake of the Gods! – and what director Louis Leterrier delivered was some nifty effects, set design, a stellar cast and a story which seemed plodding and dull.  That’s somewhat unforgivable, frankly.   It was a success at the box office, but had a terrible post-conversion to 3D and even star Sam Worthington felt that a better movie was needed from a sequel.

And, even though this isn’t the best movie ever made, it’s a hell of a lot better than the first entry in the series.

Perseus - Bestrider of Staircases!

This time around, Worthington’s Perseus has rejected his half-God status to live a simple life as a fisherman, raising his son Helius in what passes for peacetime in ancient Greece (Io, Perseus’ love interest in the first film is no more, a plot detail in no way driven by Gemma Arterton‘s fee going up between that flick and this sequel).  As you might expect, peace exists in a film like this only to be shattered and it’s not long before all manner of Gods and Titans are kicking ass and putting the mortal characters in the thick of a battle for the fate of the universe.

So, small beans then?

You want to get that looked at, mate...

This is basically a classic quest narrative, as befits the source material, with Perseus teaming up with Greek warrior Queen Andromeda (a lovely, brilliantly posh, somewhat underused Rosamund Pike),  and fellow half-god/half-mortal rogue Agenor (Toby Kebbell – the best thing in the movie) to acquire a weapon god-tier enough to beat the God Kronos who wants to unleash Titans on a planet which has lost all respect for the Gods.

The man, the myth, the crusty beard - Toby Kebbell

If it’s spectacle that you go to the movies for, then this film delivers that with almost casual aplomb.  Unlike the laboured and oddly static original, “Wrath…” hits the ground running in its first ten minutes and doesn’t really come up for air until the end credits.  The ‘bigger/better/badder’ mantra is frequently thrown around with sequels as an indicator for the floating ticket buyer that they’ll get value for money from the film.

Making Kate Middleton look like white trash - Rosamund Pike.

I saw this film today in the new IMAX/LieMax 3D screen at my local multiplex in Sheffield and it was a feast for the eyes – the 3D is still post-converted but it’s a good job, achieved with more time allocated to the conversion and with a stereographer on set, per director Jonathan Liebesman‘s recent interviews.  The effects work is particularly impressive during a sequence set in the Labyrinth which guards a mortal back-door to the God prison in Tartarus.  Things are popping past you, dimensions are being played with and the scale of the thing is something, truly, to behold.

It’s not all good, however.  That same sequence in the Labyrinth bears witness to the worst example of action movie editing and photography that I’ve seen in a while – it’s all handheld camera work, blink and miss it edits and totally impossible to follow, even on a screen taller than my house.  Apparently, somebody on-screen was vanquished but you’d be hard pressed to tell how it was done – a pox on you Paul Greengrass wannabes!

Sam Worthington’s actually quite likeable this time around – he’s not the pissed-off, MMA fighter badass of the first movie and his performance is all the better for it.  He’s good at stoic, pretty good at delivering the one-liners his character gets this time around and a suitable foil for Toby Kebbell’s brilliantly cool and disreputable Agenor.  Neither characters wants to be a god or lead men, but when the plot calls for them to put aside earthly concerns for the good of their fellow-men, both rise to their missions brilliantly – I’m not asking questions particularly about how Agenor got to be a master tactician and lead a major part of the Greek army in the climactic battle, but I’m glad that he did.  Even if he did look like a member of 90’s UK alternative rock troubadours, The Levellers whilst doing so.

TL;DR version?  Better than the first one (especially in IMAX), far peppier and a decent way to spend a couple of hours at the multiplex.   Still loud, funnier and better acted than the first – I’d be up for a third movie.

Not something I expected to be saying this time yesterday, let me tell you.  And I didn’t even mention Bill Nighy in the review!  He’s in it – playing mentalist inventor Hephaestus, replete with a most unexpected, contextually ludicrous and bloody glorious Yorkshire accent: Greatest Living Englishman status confirmed!

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New “Lara Croft” movie reboot.

How hard can it be to get this character right?

You have to wonder about Hollywood’s thought processes sometimes.

Take a character like Lara Croft.  Made for the big screen, you would think.  An adventuress with no greater character arc than leaping about all over the place,  making endangered beasts extinct and globe-trotting like she’s out of that “Made in Chelsea” dross on TV.

And what have the movies made from her “Tomb Raider” games managed to do?  They’ve made her into a total dullard.  It takes a peculiar kind of talent to make Angelina Jolie in tiny shorts dull, but boy – Hollywood managed that feat in two whole movies.

Bravo, dream factory – bravo!

Rebooted! Reloaded! Retreaded!

Empire today had a quick chat with Graham King, who is producing the new film and seems to aligning it with the upcoming  reboot of the games series, which takes Lara back to her youth.

We’ll be seeing a Lara who is not quite sure of herself, doesn’t have the arsenal of survival skills that we’re used to seeing and who is quite alarmingly fallible and frail in the face of danger.

They’re casting younger, which means no Angelina – as Empire suggests, this could be because she commands a far heftier fee nowadays – but leaves the field open to cast…

Image via Gemma Arterton online

She can handle the action, she can do posh in her sleep and she actually kind of looks like Lara, if you ask me.  The words ‘slam’ and ‘dunk’ would come to mind, if I were the kind of blogger who used out-of-context US sports analogies to explain stuff.

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