Is this a trend I’m looking at?

“We’re doin’ a sequel! That’s what we do in Hollywood!
And everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good”

Here’s a challenge you have probably heard a million times – name a sequel better than the original. I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re generally interested in film, you have probably had more than one conversation on that topic, which usually spins out of a casual talk about movies in general, preferably over a pint of beer with a bunch of friends… It’s such a cliché question that it even featured in the mildly received (but still enjoyable) “Scream 2” during a film class scene, so I’m not going to bother stating the obvious examples (they’re all in that scene, by the way). Despite some people’s best wishes, the history has always seemed to indicate that ‘the sequel’s never quite as good’, as it is exemplified by the lukewarm reviews of the new Muppets film, from which this line was directly pulled. But is it really? Continue reading

“Captain America – The Winter Soldier” – Star-spangled badassery

captain america review logoUp until now I have had serious problems understanding the draw behind a character like Captain America. I understand his origins in the popular culture as a spin-off from the blatant patriotic propaganda, but looking at him simply in comic book superhero terms, I couldn’t understand why he’s such an important figure within the Marvel Universe. He’s not a god, he doesn’t really wield a weapon granting him superhuman powers, he can’t fly, he’s not immortal, he doesn’t own a cool suit of armor… He doesn’t really carry a weapon for the most part, but a shield, which from a logical standpoint is just absurd. All he can do is run, fight and throw his shield around… In the company of folks like Thor, The Hulk, or Iron-Man, he looks – well – puny and unimportant, at least in terms of the actual combat, which challenges the notion of Captain America being perceived as a superhero in the first place. Now, having seen “Captain America – The Winter Soldier” (and having re-watched for the third time “Captain America – The First Avenger”) I think I understand his place within this universe of gods, aliens, superheroes and monsters. Continue reading

Weekend Reading #1

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Done with work for the week? Why not sit down, relax and have a poke at some of the cool things I found this week at the deep end of the interwebs. Enjoy your reading and/or watching!

Ranking the 20 greatest long takes – the title is pretty self-explanatory. Have a look and expand your appreciation towards those long and/or tracking shots. If you’re interested, have a look at how Paul Thomas Anderson’s long tracking Steadicam shots are disseminated. By the way, here are my two entries for the long take ranking: 1) the 15-minute conversation between Michael Fassbender’s character and a priest in Steve McQueen’s “Hunger”, 2) 2.5-minute single-take (well, with a bit of cheating, but it looks seamless) orbiting shot of a car chase from Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds”. Continue reading

Trailer: “The Purge: Anarchy”

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The general consensus about James DeMonaco’s “The Purge” seems to reflect my own opinion – it was a case of a short-changed potential that reduced a theoretically very interesting high concept to a home invasion horror with very little to say. It seemed to me that the only reason for developing such an elaborate universe was to explain why the people in the house under attack couldn’t run away, seek help, or even call the police. It would normally be sufficient to just put the house in the middle of nowhere and cut the phone lines, but “The Purge” invented a world where for one night a year everything was legal – a world we didn’t get to see at all…

And here’s our chance, as the sequel – casually titled “The Purge: Anarchy” is going to take us into the very heart on that one night where nobody is safe. Thanks to the full theatrical trailer, we can now have a look at what is to come – and I think that last year’s disappointed is going to be compensated, at least in terms of scale. Continue reading

Because ‘reboot’ is the Apocalypse’s middle name…

The word ‘reboot’ has been thrown around a lot lately – there’s no question about it. It’s not rocket science to notice the inherent drive within the studios to de-risk their investments (you have no idea how much I hate this corporate mumbo-jumbo), which has resulted in the last decade being unusually rich in sequels to successful franchises, remakes of the classics, and – the cherry on top of this cake – the establishment of ‘the reboot’ as a device in the film-making business. Continue reading

Trailer: “Edge of Tomorrow”

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Is it going to now become a rule of thumb for Tom Cruise to do the voice-over exposition whenever he’s in a Sci-Fi film? In “Oblivion” he said he was the mop-up crew… Now, he claims to be stuck in a Groundhog Day, where he’s forced to (as the film’s tagline goes) live, die and repeat, until he gets everything right.

II have to say that going by the visuals alone, “Edge of Tomorrow” (formerly known as “All you need is kill”, directed by Doug Liman) might be rather interesting. Based on a manga by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, it is supposed to be a Sci-Fi of the alien invasion variety, where a soldier (Tom Cruise) upon dying on his first day of battle discovers he’s stuck in a time loop and has to relive the last day of his life over and over again.However, with each single passing, he becomes a much better soldier…

At the minute, I’ll try to reserve judgement. Though, going by history alone, Tom Cruise lately doesn’t have a particularly strong record in delivering good quality entertainment. I din’t care much for “Jack Reacher” and rolled my eyes at “Oblivion”, but we’ll see soon enough. Meanwhile, enjoy the trailer.

“Edge of Tomorrow” opens on the 6th of June in the US and on the 30th of May in the UK.

 

Watch: “The History of Movie Trailer”

watch this logoEver wondered how it all began? In a world where movies took over the world one man had a dream… Well, to advertise the film and get as many people to watch it as humanly possible. If you’re interested in learning a thing or two about the historical background behind the movie trailer, then look no further – The crew of FilmmakerIQ.com has laid it all out for you in this wildly entertaining and very informative short little lecture/documentary.

In under 15 minutes you’ll learn about the genesis of the movie advertising, the first trailer, the Golden Era oh Hollywood and more. Plus, thanks to the tonnes of film and trailer trivia, you’ll be even more fun at parties. Enjoy!

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