Posts in the category: Cinema
If you are one of the millions of Harry Potter fans around the globe, then you must certainly be aware that the next instalment of the series will be in cinema this week. Believe it or not only a year has passed since the last time we saw the young wizard on screen. So I guess the wait was not too unbearable. What can we expect in the finale? Well it seems the last two episodes are likely to be the darkest ones of the entire saga (actually, they keep saying that since The Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004!): after Dumbledore’s death (killed by Severus Snape for those of you who may have forgotten), Harry, Ron and Hermione are on a mission to destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality. Obviously their task won’t be easy and the Dark Lord will do everything in his power to prevent the students of Hogwarts to achieve their goal. That’s for the synopsis.
I must say that I wasn’t really into the Harry Potter universe: I have never read the books and actually managed to sleep at the cinema while watching the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! For that reason you’ll appreciate that it was hard for me to understand why millions of people around the world were queuing outside books stores, waiting to buy the latest release. I thus decided to do the most sensible thing possible: I read all the books... Who am I kidding! I just rented all the movies, it was quicker! And I must say that after Harry Potter 5, I eventually got into it. So although I don’t consider myself a Harry Potter fan, I can honestly say that I am really impatient to see what the next film will be about. After all it has been a decade since we’ve been following the adventure of young wizard Potter on screen: the first book came out in 1997 and the first film of the franchise in 2001. That leaves time for people like me to eventually show an interest. Now that I’m saying that, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic because I realise that there are only two movies left and nothing to look forward to after that.
Will there be another book hero to fill the gap that Harry Potter will leave behind?
This July the battle commences between Dreamwork's 'Shrek Forever After' and Disney & Pixar's 'Toy Story 3', as they scramble to attract audiences out of the sunshine and into the cinemas. Everyone has their preference, but I for one am backing Disney.
Shrek's had a head start, it launched last Friday, and has done well so far. It grossed £8.9m in its opening weekend (including previews). This is the second best opening weekend for a release in 2010, putting it top of the cinema table this week.
But big things are predicted for Toy Story. The long awaited film (can you believe it's been 15 years since the first one!) is set to do very well, and is expected to smash Shrek's takings- to infinity & beyond!
Reviews from across the pond are looking good. The New York Times have described it as "The adventures of a bunch of silly plastic junk turns out also to be a long, melancholy meditation on loss, impermanence and that noble, stubborn, foolish thing called love." So it seems there's going to be some interesting and moving themes through out the film, extending beyond Pixar's comical classics and loveable characters.
However, not everyone is happy. Feminists have been up in arms about the so called 'damaging stereotyping of women' in the film. I may agree that Barbie, the new girl, isn't the most aspirational character. But then again, it's only a film, a bit of fun, and what little girl doesn't love Barbie?!
I personally can't wait til the toys are back in town. They will be hitting screens across the country on 19th July... (11 days and counting)
Soundtracks can make or break a film, and some are obviously better than others...
I for one am very much looking forward to seeing the new Martin Scorsese flick Shutter Island. After the warranted success of his last film, The Departed in 2006, I believe Shutter Island will keep up his usual standards in delivering exceptional pieces of modern cinema. His collaborations with Leonardo DiCaprio (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed & now Shutter Island) always seem to portray both lead and director as two artists at the top of their games.
More important to this piece however is Scorsese's ability to deliver amazing soundtracks. A brief glimpse at his back catalogue (Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Casino and the above mentioned - especially The Departed) not only brings to mind scenes of greatness but also the songs that accompany said scenes - Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb fading in and out during a tense scene in The Departed for example.
I have listed below, in no particular order, my top 10 movie soundtracks. Feel free to comment / leave your own list.
Kill Bill v.1 & 2
Pirates of the Caribbean (Curse of the Black Pearl)
Star Wars (original trilogy)
Last weekend saw another Bond film and another cinema box office record smashed! The previous record, held by Mr. Potter, sat at a considerable £14,933,901; showing how powerful a family movie can be in today's society. Marc Forster's latest spy instalment again reinforces where the money is - proving cinema, and film more generally, is still a force to be reckoned with, with opening weekend box office of £15,384,217.
So, with cinema proving its worth, its no surprise we see so many "top-film" lists. Most notable of which was Empire magazine's recently conducted survey, which featured the top 500 films of all time. With this in mind, I think its important we have our say on which films should make a top-10 list. So, over the next few weeks I'll be asking for your opinions on films over the past 30 years - starting with this week's "the top films of the 1990s".
Please send your top 10 (in order, 1 = best) to Matthew.firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 7th lunchtime!
So, the results are in. 485* votes checked and verified (*Some films were excluded as they were not released 1990-1999). The great debate may never be settled but at least we now have the collective view of BJK&E, together with some invited guests from such fine film authorities as Empire magazine, Carlton Screen advertising, and Lovefilm to name a few.
So without further ado, here's are the top 10 films of the 1990s as voted by you:
1) Pulp Fiction (1994)
2) Goodfellas (1990)
3) The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
-) Fight Club (1999)
4) Trainspotting (1996)
5) The Usual Suspects (1995)
-) The Matrix (1995)
6) Leon (1994)
7) Forrest Gump (1994)
8.) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
9) Schindler's List (1993)
-) American History X (1998)
10) Toy Story (1995)
-) The Silence of The Lambs (1991)
-) Se7en (1995)
-) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
-) American Beauty (1999)
Other nominations included:
7 Votes: True Romance, The Big Lebowski, Pretty Woman, L.A. Confidential, Fargo, Clueless
6 Votes: The Green Mile, Braveheart
5 Votes: The Sixth Sense, The Lion King, Reservoir Dogs, Heat
4 Votes: The Truman Show, The Full Monty, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Groundhog day, Grosse Pointe Blank, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, Edward Scissorhands, Dumb & Dumber, Boogie Nights
3 Votes: Unforgiven, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella), Kids, Happy Gilmore, Face/Off, Donnie Brasco, Casino, Aladdin
2 Votes: Wayne's World, There's Something About Mary, The Last of the Mohicans, Ten Things I Hate About You, Sliding Doors, Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt), Romeo + Juliet, Office Space, My Girl, Mallrats, Jackie Brown , Good Will Hunting, Ghost, Empire Records, Dazed and Confused, Clerks, Boyz n the Hood, Beauty and the Beast
1 Vote: Wild at Heart, When we were kings, True Lies, Titanic, Thelma & Louise, The Witches, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Thin Red Line, The Rugrats Movie, The Piano, The Ice Storm, The Hurricane, The Game, The Fugitive, The Devil's Advocate, The Craft, The Bodyguard, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Spice World, Sleepers, Shallow Grave, Point Break, Philadelphia, Once Upon a time in China (Wong Fei Hung), Natural Born Killers, Men in Black, Mars Attacks!, Lost in Space, Life is Sweet, Legends of the Fall, leaving las Vegas, la Haine (The Hate), Jerry Maguire, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Independence Day, In the Name of The Father, Human Traffic, Hot Shots!, Highlander II: The Quickening, Hard-Boiled (Lat Sau San Taam), Happiness, Hackers, Glengarry Glen Ross, Gattaca, Friday, Father of the Bride, Enemy of The State, Dark City, Dances with Wolves, Cruel Intentions, Cool Runnings, Con Air, Chasing Amy, Chaplin, Carlito's Way, Buffalo '66, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Being John Malkovich, Before Sunrise, Batman and Robin, American Pie, Alien: Resurrection, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Abre los Ojos (Open Your Eyes/Permanent Midnight)
A Few Good Men
.... OK so we know things are tough at the moment... Alistair Darling had just announced a £50bn rescue package for the UK banking sector, Iceland is melting, the DOW Jones saw it's greatest fall in a day since 1987. The crisis in the world economy is being mirrored in the UK media market with TV, press, outdoor and radio all recording significant revenue declines in '08 but cinema appears to be bucking the trend.
Cinema revenue's were up almost 10% across the period Jan-June with admissions driven with the release of big screen blockbusters including Indiana Jones, Sex in the City, the Dark Knight and er... Mamma Mia (the latter is currently the third highest grossing movie in UK box office history...aaagh).
I'm firmly of the opinion that the time couldn't be better then to immerse yourself in a good movie and afford yourself a little escapism from the economic doom and gloom. My personal favourites from this year are the Dark Knight (yes, Heath Ledger's performance really is that good), Iron Man (explosions, tongue in cheek humour and flying super-heroes; what's not to like?) and Gone Baby Gone (a dark and harrowing film but stand out performances by both Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman). So come on then, what would your movie of choice be to generate a little light and laughter (Mamma Mia? I've seen it. Don't. Please. End of story)?
Ok so I'm sure I'm not the only one impatiently awaiting the much anticipated Sex and the City film...
It began with a few whispers and hopeful predictions that a film was to be made and now the time has come for what I believe will be one of the biggest Box Office hits of the year.
Whilst us BJK&E girls are being treated to a true SATC experience of cinema and cocktails I'm not sure that my excitement can wait that long and I'm already planning Thursday night's trip to the cinema.
Although I am a big SATC fan and I am hugely excited about the launch of the film, I worry that I may be disappointed following the hype...does Big die? does Steve cheat on Miranda? There speculations are endless and I for one worry that the film may not live up to them.
Regardless of what may loom ahead , I shall sit with my BJK&E girls dressed in our cocktail dresses to watch the most anticipated film of the year!
There’s nothing like a good old veritable romp in the cinema and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was just that, nothing like one.
Lovingly hand crafted by the accomplished magi Lucas and Spielberg over many years, forged in the deepest recesses of Hollywood with one of the strongest iconic heroes of our generation as its metal -and then blessed with the latest magic of digital arts technology, I was somewhat looking forward to a rapier of a film to lead this summer’s wave of new releases and thrust through the swathes of audience cynicism.
I think we got something more akin to a butter knife.
Despite Ford’s usual expert brandishing of whatever he is given, (still the best action hero of his generation in my book by a country mile), this film is guilty of one of the worst sins a film can commit – not knowing what it is about. Chucking the kitchen sink at this film was too much; adding the floorboards, radiators and doorframes then starts to become criminal vandalism.
Ok, there were occasional nice moments, clever references, the usual imaginative scenery but the after-taste of disappointment takes a long time to disperse. The only way I think the film could have been saved would have been to stick Mel Brooks in the director’s chair and properly develop this movie into what it clearly was –the Space Balls of Indiana Jones.