Monday, 29 June 2015

Spy (2015)

Melissa McCarthy doesn't get offered the kind of roles that she deserves. She's been faced with plenty of utter shit and several hit-and-miss roles since her breakout performance in 2001's Bridesmaids. As someone who has loved her since I first watched The Gilmore Girls, I've been disappointed with the amount of her roles that just rely on her size to get laughs. Although, she and Paul Fieg are proving to be a pretty great double-act. Bridesmaids is still celebrated for its female-centric comedy and I was surprised to find that, despite my misgivings, The Heat was actually pretty good. The problem with the duo's films is the way they are marketed. They have to appeal to the male film audience as well so I'm never wowed by the trailers. I was devastated when I first saw the trailer for Spy but I knew I'd still end up seeing it. Such is my love of McCarthy.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

TBT - Jurassic Park (1993)

As soon as I heard that 22 years had passed since Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park I had a mild panic attack. Despite the fact I definitely won't have seen it when I was 5, there's nothing like another reminder about the unstoppable passage of time. Jurassic Park is one of those films that you don't mind watching over and over again because it will always be something of a spectacle. Of course, it can't be denied that the technology has moved on since it came out and it may look a little dated to those who have been spoilt by current techniques. However, there's a reason that Spielberg's dino-fest is constantly being recognised as one of the most influential films of all time. I can't remember just how many times I've watched it but I still get that same thrill upon seeing that first dinosaur that I did the first time. It's fucking brilliant.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Jurassic World (2015)

I, like everyone else of a certain age, felt fucking old when I realised it's been 22 years since the Stephen Spielberg's original dinosaur film. film came out. Admittedly, I was only 5 at the time so didn't watch it til a few years later. I'm not ashamed to tell you I was fucking terrified after that first viewing. I couldn't sleep thanks to the vicious Dilophosaurus and its spitty ways. Yes, Nedry was a dick who caused the deaths of many people, but nobody deserves that. Anyway, it's safe to say that subsequent viewings have been much more successful and I love Steven Spielberg's dino-epic as much as it deserves. In it's day, Jurassic Park was one of the best visual displays on show and it still fills me with excitement to see that first glimpse of the park's residents in all their glory. However, you can't deny that the sequels have left a little to be desired. The Lost World was good enough until they stuck another Godzilla inspired film on the end but Jurassic Park 3 was just abysmal. So Spielberg brought out the big guns and dress Star Lord up as Indiana Jones and gave him a raptor army. Fucking awesome. Hold onto your butts.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

TBT - Batman Begins (2005)

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the film that launched one of the most popular film franchises of all time. 2005 was the first time since 1989 that it was OK to be a film fan who also loves Batman. Batman Begins set the trend that has plagued Hollywood ever since: the dark comic book reboot. Batman had already been the star of 4 films since in the 16 years prior to the release of Christopher Nolan came along and each subsequent movie had made the supposed dark knight more of a laughing stock. The hero, first created by Bob Kane in 1939, was patiently waiting for the chance to show what he could really do and Nolan and co-writer David S Goyer knew the only way to go was to be super-serious . Nolan's film was the dark comic book movie that Tim Burton wished he could have made in 1989 and it was a refreshing change. Of course, now it's just par for the course but Batman Begins was a revelation in 2005. It was fucking exciting.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Into the Woods (2015)

When it comes to this blog I think I'm starting to come across as a bit of a grump when it comes to musicals. I don't really understand why as I'm a not so secret lover of the genre. Whilst writing my postgraduate dissertation I listened to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack on repeat. I have been known to portray my feelings through the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber (especially when I'd finished the aforementioned dissertation). However, most modern musicals just don't get me as excited. I see trailers and just get angry. Especially if they star Meryl Streep. Thankfully I have the good sense not to associate with anybody who responded to the release of Into The Woods with any other attitude than “who the fuck cast Meryl Streep in another musical?” Don't get me wrong I love the Streep but, you have to admit, it's a bloody good question. After the travesty that was Mamma Mia it's difficult to see who would have decided casting big names was better than talented singers. 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

TBT - Goonies (1985)

On June 7th this year the classic '80s movie The Goonies celebrated it's 30th anniversary. Now who doesn't love The Goonies? It's the kind of film that will appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure and fun. A great watch for all the kids out there that still believe in Pirates and all the adults that used to. I can't put into words how much I love The Goonies, which considering I've made it the subject of this TBT post is a fucking disaster. It never gets old and I will never be too old to enjoy it. It still has such a huge impact on my life. I mean it gave the name to one of my favourite online retailers. I work with a guy who does his own version of the Truffle Shuffle to cheer me up... which definitely isn't as mean as it sounds. He loves it. I swear. From the first time I watched this film I knew I was a Goonie and 30 years on it's still worth celebrating.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect was one of those films that took me surprise when I eventually saw it. Expecting it to be nothing more than the story of awful teenagers whining self-indulgently in between songs, I found myself actually enjoying it. I spent most of that year trying to convince my cynical friends that, despite appearances, it was worth their time. Pitch Perfect is never going to be my favourite film but I liked it enough to be fairly excited about the sequel. Especially when it was announced that YouTube sensation Flula Borg was joining the cast. I've been hooked on Flula's channel ever since I was introduced to his video on Daddy Longlegs where he bemoaned their weird appearance and “spiderweb leggies”. Flula is an underrated comedian and could easily serve as a great foil for the likes of Fat Amy.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

TBT - Mad Max (1979)

With the release of Mad Max: FuryRoad it seems only natural that people will start to look back on Max's place within cinema history. George Miller's 1979 film not only introduced the world to fledgling actor Mel Gibson but also helped to define the action genre as we know it to this day. As a former emergency room doctor, Miller had a personal experience of the type of injuries he would go on to depict and saw them as the natural consequences of the type of mentality that would have people turn to violence in the face of a fuel shortage. Mad Max is an important film for plenty of reasons but it has survived for the last 35 years because it's also a fucking great one. Whilst it never quite had the same impact of it follow-up film The Road Warrior or the final film in the trilogy, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, it it always worth revisiting the cult classic.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

It's been 30 years since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released and the continuation of the franchise has been brewing for a fucking long time. George Miller first had the idea for a fourth instalment in 1998 but it has taken 17 years for that seed to grow into the bat-shit crazy tree that is Mad Max: Fury Road. With Tom Hardy taking over from Mel Gibson, Fury Road has more in common with the second film than the third. During the final moments of The Road Warrior, our hero is pursued by a violent gang whilst driving an oil tanker to safety. In his update, Miller has stretched that concept to a full-length film and if that sounds like a flimsy premise then fear not.
 
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