LISTED Film Previews – April 2011

Yes, intrepid film explorers, it’s time for another monthly round-up of my previews for the coming month of films. I think April is going to be the start of something very good this year, and is going to start the film juices flowing for easier digestion of the upcoming year. I can also only apologise for the lack of other posts recently, but I assure you, there will be more to come soon! Until that point in the future, wrap your eyelids round these for a while as a snack before the main course:

THOR (12A) (Dir. Kenneth Branagh)

The first (and quite possibly the best) of the big comic-book hero movies of the year comes in the form of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the famous Norse God of Thunder who, after defying his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), gets cast out from Asgard and must live amongst humans on Earth. When he meets the scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), he finds a new reason to defend Earth and retrieves his hammer Mjolnir, the source of his thunder powers. Expect big-time graphics and 3D during the scenes in Asgard and with The Destroyer from one of Marvel Comics biggest hits. And if this film manages to pull in the crowds, imagine how much The Avengers will do next year! Released 15th April.

SUCKER PUNCH (15) (Dir. Zack Snyder)

Snyder’s own original fantasy style vision will hit our screens in his true bombastic fashion. Locked away in a mental institute by her father, a young girl nick-named Baby Doll (Emily Browning) retreats into a Fantasy world with four other girl inmates (including Vanessa Hudgens as Blondie and Abbie Cornish as Sweet Pea) of their own creation. But as they regress further into their fantasy world, a plan becomes clear to how they can collect 5 items from the fantasy world which they can use to escape their captors in the real world before it’s too late for all of them. Expect loads of amazing visuals and sexy steam-punk dressed girls battling dragons and other creatures with massive machine guns and suits of armour –a geeks dream come true? Quite possibly! Released 1st April.

SCREAM 4 (18) (Dir. Wes Craven)

The fourth instalment of Wes Craven’s genre-bending comedy-slasher series finally arrives to give a new generation a reason to not answer the phone. Neve Campbell returns as Sydney Prescott, the girl with a dark history who after a decade away returns to the town of Woodsboro. But along with her arrival comes a chain of copy-cat murders from a new Ghostface. Now, after a generation of horror films, the rules have all changed which means anything goes in this game of horror. With a new cast of possible victims including Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin, and with David Arquette and Courtney Cox returning also, who knows who will be the next to go… Released 22nd April.

FAST FIVE (12A) (Dir. Justin Lin)

Clearly, this whole car-porn line of films generates enough money that they can keep making sequels despite how little variation on a storyline there can really be. Still, saying that, Fast Five has been shot with the idea of releasing it in IMAX, so even the most un-car-savvy of us might actually be tempted into seeing some sweet rides race across floor-to-ceiling screens in high definition and 3D. At least this one still has the original cast of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, and with the addition of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you can bet this will be as explosive as the other Fast and the Furious films. Released 29th April.

As published in Listed Magazine and on http://www.listedmagazine.com

The Adjustment Bureau (Contains Spoilers)

Proving that sci-fi doesn’t always need to have huge budget effects, The Adjustment Bureau essentially does for Choice and Fate what Inception did for Dreams. This is really the kind of film that’s more likely to make you paranoid than fight a galactic empire!

Based on a Philip K. Dick short story and written/directed by George Nolfi, The Adjustment Bureau follows David Norris (Matt Damon), a congressman in New York who meets the charming, beautiful and impulsive Elise (Emily Blunt) who, from a chance meeting, helps him make the speech of his career and they instantly fall in love. Except, it wasn’t by “chance”, it was planned through action and consequence, and when they accidentally meet the next day by mistake it sets off a ripple effect which has to be corrected by the people that keep track and create these events. These people are the men from The Adjustment Bureau – the people who keep lives going “according to plan”. They tell David that he can never see Elise again as it is not part of his plan, and he can’t speak of them to anyone less he get his memory wiped out. But after another chance meeting with Elise, he starts to defy The Bureau and risk everything he has for the girl he loves. Eventually, with the help of his “case worker” from The Bureau (Anthony Mackie), he finds out that his “chance” meetings with Elise isn’t by chance at all, but instead is ripples of past plans correcting themselves. David then plans to beat The Bureau at their own game and take it to the top to create his own destiny with Elise.

The ad campaign for The Adjustment Bureau says that it’s “Bourne meets Inception”.  I’ve got to say, I don’t think this is really accurate. There are certain elements to The Adjustment Bureau which are similar to Inception (like dealing with peoples minds and the way people perceive the world they live in), and it’s similar to The Bourne Identity in the way Matt Damon is in it. But other than that, The Adjustment Bureau has an originality of its own.

The Adjustment Bureau comes across more like a romance story with sci-fi elements in it than a full on science fiction film. The main focus of the story is the developing romance between David and Elise, but this is a trigger for the sci-fi elements to come into play around that, which I quite liked. I also liked how The Adjustment Bureau is set in a real-world setting, and there’s little need for CGI during the action scenes, so it’s very much a more thought-provoking kind of science fiction.

The big mystery of the film is the men from The Bureau – It’s never explained exactly who or what the men are, except they’ve existed for centuries, controlling the destiny of mankind, stepping in when the world needed correcting, and have books that can map people’s lives according to their choices and consequences.  Something I liked was that not everything about The Bureau is revealed in one go. Instead it’s an on-going reveal – for instance, the relevance of their hats is only revealed towards the end when David has to wear one in order to slip through doors to different destinations, and how for some reason it’s harder for them to predict actions over water.

The Adjustment Bureau also has some fantastic acting. I thought Matt Damon was very good as usual, and Blunt is instantly likeable as her ballerina character. But what made The Adjustment Bureau for me was Terence Stamp as Thompson, the higher power at The Bureau who steps in to assume control of the case. He was completely fantastic and made the best performance of the film.

I found The Adjustment Bureau to be the kind of film that creates an interesting storyline which is both thought provoking and paranoia inducing at the same time without the need for CGI heavy scenes. So, The Adjustment Bureau gets 9 out of 10 for ingenuity, and its ability to make you strongly consider exactly why you missed that bus this morning…

LISTED Film Previews – March 2011

Yes sir, it’s those lovely Film Previews straight from the pages of Listed Magazine once again! We’re getting closer to a spring/summer of some BIG films this year, and so far it’s looking like there won’t be as many re-makes this year and instead just some good quality cinema action! In the meantime though, here’s March’s edition. Enjoy!

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (12A) (Dir. George Nolfi)

Based loosely around a short story by Phillip K. Dick, co-writer of The Bourne Ultimatum George Nolfi brings to life this story of an ambitious politician David Norris (Matt Damon) who meets and pursues a ballet dancer (Emily Blunt) unlike any other woman he has known. As he realises he is falling for her, outside forces start to conspire against the pair, and they soon find themselves on the run from the men from The Adjustment Bureau – agents of Fate itself. Now, Norris must go against overwhelming odds to do whatever he can to evade these agents and take his fate into his own hands so that no one else can control it but him. With a slick mixture of Bourne-style action and some sci-fi mystery, The Adjustment Bureau looks as though it will keep its audience on the edge of their seat from two fronts – so if this sounds like your thing, make sure you catch it! Released March 4th.

WORLD INVASION: BATTLE LOS ANGELES (12A) (Dir. Jonathan Liebesman)

Lifted a bit from the District 9/Independence Day school of filmmaking, Battle: Los Angeles sees Aaron Eckhart as part of a Marine platoon who unexpectedly gets drafted in to fight an alien invasion in Los Angeles. The trailer for this shows off some pretty large-scale CGI, but at the end of the day it seems like there might not be all that much in the way of originality. Check it out if you’re a sci-fi buff, but save it if you’re waiting for other things to come up. Released March 11th.

INSIDE JOB (12A) (Dir. Charles Ferguson)

The tagline for this financial documentary about the USA’s economy situation reads “The global economic crisis of 2008 cost tens of millions of people their savings, their jobs and their homes. This is how it happened.” Inside Job is the documentary of the year that could potentially expose the most information about the economic crisis to people that might otherwise not know the finer details. Exposing corruption, rogue companies, and interviews with key financial insiders and politicians and narrated by Matt Damon, Inside Job will have you hating the government even more than you already did! Released March 4th.

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (15) (Dir. Woody Allen)

The latest offering of alternative comedy-romance films from Woody Allen follows the lives of two couples who separate and start heading towards trouble: Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones) and their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and her husband Roy (Josh Brolin). Alfie leaves Helena to pursue his lost youth and chases after the young, free-spirited call girl Charmaine whilst Helena starts to live a little too closely to the advice of her strange fortune teller. At the same time, Sally feels unhappy with her marriage and develops a crush on her boss (Antonio Banderas) at the art gallery while Roy becomes infatuated with a woman who catches his eye through a window as he eagerly awaits the response to his first novel manuscript. As you can guess, you can pretty much expect something very unconventional in the comedy-romance department if it’s coming from Woody Allen, and with a cast this strong you can also expect some very well played parts in this anti rom-com. Released March 18th.

As published in Listed Magazine and on http://www.listedmagazine.com

THE 100th POST!!

Yes, Ladies and Germs! The rumours are true! This is indeed the momentous occasion that everyone has been waiting for! Well, maybe not everyone, but definitely people who know about this site. And me.

Yes, this does indeed mark the 100th post on this site, and it’s been a long road but I’ve made it this far, and with any luck the posts will only get better on here. But until that point, and since I can’t think of anything else to put, here are some cool and funny pictures for you people to enjoy!

 

My favourite place in the world for Halloween, ever.

OH, that stew was so gooooooooood..............

The only way it could be worse is if they were clowns as well...

Ooooh, I love XKCD

And Cyanide and Happiness

 

But above all I love Scott Pilgrim

Sooooo much!

Feel free to comment. Thanks for reading!