LISTED Film Previews – October ’10

Finally, we come back round to the Halloween films of the year – my favourite time of year for film releases! This is mainly because you’ll always see different production companies competing against each other for the Halloween High-Hitter of the Year. Obviously, in recent years, its been all of the Saw movies, because this has now been built up into a franchise in the same way that Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday The 13th was – to the extent that little kids were dressing up in clawed gloves and burnt faces at such a young age that they couldn’t possibly be old enough to thave seen the films. And that is what Saw is managing to do now – become a franchise and make an icon of itself. Don’t get me wrong, this is great for their business, but I think this year there’s going to be some stiff competition from a film thats generating hype all of its own….

Also, just as a note, more and more people have been leaving great comments on some posts, bringing up some very valid points and its a shame if these dont get read. So next time you’re reading one of these, check for comments about points you might have wanted to hear more of, because they might just be there. Now, time for the film feast for you greedy lot out there!

THE SOCIAL NETWORK (12A) (Dir. David Fincher)

Ever wondered how much trouble goes into creating a social networking site? The Social Network follows the fictional story of Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and how he and a group of his friends came together to create the networking and photo sharing site Facebook. However, things start to turn ugly when arguements with his friend and co-founder of the site Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) compromise the website, his funds and everything he owns. The trailers for this film look pretty great, and it looks like there’s a surprisingly high amount of drama in The Social Network – which will provide a very welcome retreat from the Hollywood remakes! Definitely worth watching if you use Facebook yourself (so, everyone then?), or even if it’s to see Andrew Garfield’s performance before the Spider-Man reboot starts production. Released October 15th.

RED (12A) (Dir. Robert Schwentke)

Based on the DC comics series, Bruce Willis plays a retired black-ops agent whose peaceful situation is compromised when a new, high-tech assassin threatens his life. As a last resort, Frank Moses (Willis) reassembles his former black-ops team to break into the CIA. Considering that Bruce Willis did this after Cop Out (which was of a similar style to Red and pretty successful for Willis too) and that this also stars Morgan Freeman, a slightly barmy John Malkovich and a sniper-rifle toting Helen Mirren, you can pretty much bet that the mix of smart comedy and high-octane action is going to work pretty well for bringing in the audiences. It’s definitely worked for Willis so far, at least! Released October 22nd.

SAW VII 3D (18) (Dir. Kevin Greutert)

Although the Saw franchise has probably gone on way longer than it rightly should have by now, the latest instalment in the series is not only in 3D but also sees the return of original Saw victim Carey Elwes as Lawrence Gordon. Whilst a deadly battle rages between those who want to take up the mantle Jigsaw left behind, a group of his survivors gather and seek support from fellow survivor and self-help guru Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flannery). But Dagen’s own motives are so dark and destructive they may start an entirely new wave of terror. Advertised as the last Saw (even though VIII has been green lit), it’s likely that the 3D effects will go down well amongst the loyal fan base, but personally this is not what my money is on for the Halloween success of the year… Released October 29th.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (18) (Dir. Tod Williams)

The sequel to the biggest low-budget phenomenon of recent years is finally seeing the light of day. Or not, as the early trailers suggest… Not much is known about the storyline, but what the trailers have revealed is a lot more frightening goings-on in a new house with cameras in every room, with a dog and a baby taking up residence in the house as well. With the director of the original on board as a producer, Paranormal Activity 2 is set to scare the living snot out of audiences all over the world! Released October 29th.

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LISTED Film Previews – August ’10

Once again, here be another bunch of cinema releases happening soon that I’d really like to go and see, but will probably not actually get the chance to do so. *Sigh* oh well, such is life I suppose. HOWEVER, I have made special arrangements with people as far as Scott Pilgrim goes, so expect me to be jumping around like spring on E by the time that gets released! Anyway, enjoy…

THE LAST AIRBENDER (PG) (Dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

Based on the kids cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang (Noah Ringer) is the last of the Air Nation Nomads and the successor in a long line of Avatars who have the ability to control all four elements. After being frozen, he is found by two siblings from the Water Tribe (including Jackson Rathbone from Twilight Saga), and his training begins for his ultimate task – to defeat the Fire Nation Lord and the scarred Prince Zuko (Dev Patel), and end their century-long war on the other three nations. This film might not be the most substantial release of the year, but it will definitely provide some cool effects and entertaining fight scenes, as well as being the biggest 3D release of the year alongside Toy Story 3, so it’s worth checking out for fun. Released August 13th.

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE (PG) (Dir. Jon Turteltaub)

The second film of the year (along with Prince of Persia) which will further make Jerry Bruckheimer a formidable force in Hollywood, this film also comes from the same director/producer team as National Treasure. Nicolas Cage is Master Sorcerer Balthazar Blake, who recruits a seemingly average guy (Jay Baruchel) to assist him in his quest to keep New York City safe from his arch-enemy Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Expect kids and adults alike to be thoroughly entertained by the storyline and visuals of this film, to the extent that it might be successful enough to earn itself a sequel and Nic Cage a better reputation. The tagline reads “It’s the Coolest Job Ever”, and from the trailers that seems all too true! Released August 13th.

SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD (12A) (Dir. Edgar Wright)

Quite possibly the sleeper hit of the year, Scott Pilgrim is adapted from the series of comedy anime books centred on the layabout musician of the same name (Michael Cera) who falls for the new girl in town, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Only thing is, in order to properly date the funky-haired girl of his dreams, he must first fight (and defeat!) her Seven Evil Exes. Trust me when I say that this is going to be a comedy unlike anything else you have seen, combining together the best parts of the comic (literally, with “comic” text accompanying actions throughout) with awesome effects and the director of Shaun of the Dead backing it to make one single epic entity! Definitely catch this if you like quirky comedy of a different kind! Released August 13th.

THE EXPENDABLES (15) (Dir. Sylvester Stallone)

A film directed by Sly Stallone himself doesn’t sound like the deepest, most thought-provoking film in the world. But when it’s one that stars pretty much every significant action star of the last few decades, how can you really NOT be tempted to watch it? Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren are a team of mercenaries dispatched to South America to overthrow a dictator. Don’t be mistaken – this is going to be a big film! Released August 19th.

As published in Listed Magazine Issue 30 and on www.listedmagazine.com

LISTED Film Previews – April ’10

The first entry of the year with a film I am genuinely so incredibly excited over seeing, you wouldn’t believe it! However, I’m currently in an incredibly bad mood as its looking like my chances of seeing Kick-Ass in the cinema are slowly dwindling due to the difference in release dates between the UK and the US not co-operating with the time at which I have to travel home. Regardless, here’s the preview of it anyway. Maybe SOMEone will get to see it and tell me what its like…:

KICK-ASS (15) (Dir. Matthew Vaughn)

Ever wondered what would really happen to a masked hero? Based on the hugely popular and insanely violent comic books by Mark Millar, Kick-Ass follows teenage fanboy Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) who despite not having any superpowers is determined to become a hero named Kick-Ass. And promptly gets beaten repeatedly to a pulp in the process – that is, until he meets like minded father and daughter duo Big Daddy (played by Nicholas Cage) and the ultra-violent, foul-mouthed Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz). Also starring Christopher Mintz-Plasse (aka “McLovin” from Superbad), this could easily become an insanely huge cult comedy hit of the year, and has already generated a lot of excitement amongst those already familiar with the content of the graphic novels. Expect a lot of talk about this film! Released 2nd April.

REMEMBER ME (12) (Dir. Allen Coulter)

Robert Pattinson takes the lead in another romantic drama, but this time dropping his usual vampire role for a grittier, more real-world persona. Tyler (Pattinson) searches for meaning in life when his parents split after his brother commits suicide. He then falls for Ally (played by Emilie de Ravin), a kindred spirit who lives every day to its fullest after witnessing her mother’s murder. Despite its obvious attraction to any Twilight fans, Remember Me looks like it could be a genuinely moving drama that will tug all the right heartstrings for anyone who likes a proper romance. Released 2nd April.

THE LAST SONG (PG) (Dir. Julie Anne Robinson)

Finally seeing Miley Cyrus drop her kind of irritating Hannah Montana role could actually validate her status as a serious actress/singer. The Last Song sees her play rebellious young girl Ronnie, who is sent to live with her estranged father who abandoned her family. While they learn to reconnect through their shared love of music, she also falls in love with Will (Liam Hemsworth) at the same time. The director has also had a lot of success with TV shows such as Pushing Daisies, and this adaptation from Nick Sparks’ novel (who also did the script) could be the right kind of film debut. All that matters is whether Miss Cyrus really can play any other role than her Disney persona – here’s hoping that she can! Released 2nd April.

COP OUT (15) (Dir. Kevin Smith)

For the first time directing someone else’s screenplay, Kevin Smith (creator of Clerks, Dogma and Zack and Miri) directs this comedy about a veteran cop (Bruce Willis) whose rare baseball card gets stolen, and so he brings in his partner (Tracey Morgan) to help track down the memorabilia obsessed gangster who stole it. Already getting great feedback from the US, and after popular stories from the set between Smith and Willis, Cop Out looks like it could retain its popularity when it makes its way over to the UK. Definitely check it out if you’re already a fan of Smith and his other films, but since he’s not responsible for the script this time don’t expect his usual kind of humour or in-jokes. Released 16th April.

As published in Listed Magazine Issue 26 and on www.listedmagazine.com

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