Tag Archive: amy adams


Man of Steel Review

In 2006, Warner Bros. and DC decided to reboot Superman (at the same time as tying it in to the original films) with the help of Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh. Despite doing well both critically and commercially (the ninth highest grossing film of that year worldwide) any plans of a sequel were put to rest as the studios bowed down to fans’ criticism of the film. The studios have thrown caution to the wind this time with a sequel already reportedly being worked on and Man of Steel setting the groundwork for Justice League.

“Where do I come from?”

Henry Cavill is Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman, sent to Earth during the destruction of his home planet of Krypton and raised on Earth by Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane). When what is left of the alien race return to Earth to find Clark and rebuild their own species from scratch, he is forced to choose between his heritage and his new home.

In something that has been given relatively little thought or sight on screen in recent years, Zack Snyder (the director being entrusted with the hopes and dreams of Justice League on his shoulders) plunges the audience right into Krypton’s destruction. The movie opens with some incredible special effects and a great sense of action as Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) come to blows over the future of their planet. Man of Steel sets the bar high for its action sequences with Jor-El and Zod engaging in the first real teaser of the super powered fights that we are anticipating seeing the red and blue of Superman engage in.

“What if a child aspired to something greater?”

On Earth the excitement continues to grow as we follow Clark around in a number of jobs, from fisherman to barman, in which we learn more about the character and his selflessness; he quickly races off to save a crew from a burning oil rig. His adult life is interrupted with trips back to his childhood: Clark saving his class from drowning on a school bus, being bullied for being different, coming to terms with his abilities. You get the impression that you might actually care about this alien. Then Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is introduced and all the groundwork laid so far beings to unravel.

Unfortunately, you can’t really have a Superman movie without featuring Lois Lane in some capacity. And while she may have served a purpose previously as bringing out another human layer to Clark’s character, in Man of Steel she is little more than an annoyance and one of the most pointless characters ever. There was no need for her to be taken aboard the Krypton spaceship, it didn’t seem like Zod had any needs for her to be on board other than so she could learn how to stop them from destroying Clark and Earth.

“Welcome to the Planet”

The character development that started so promisingly disappears when Clark meets Lois. Just two or three meetings later and Lois now knows everything about Clark and the two of them have decided that they are in love. It just feels so underwhelming and undeveloped that you being to question whether some scenes have been cut from the final edit. It’s as if Snyder and David S. Goyer (screenwriter) have decided that because everyone knows Lois and Clark are meant to be together, that’s a good enough reason in itself for it to happen without any seeds being set for a relationship. And the kiss at the end? Cliche and forced. The relationship could have been allowed time to grow and be explored if pointless scenes asking us to care about 2-bit characters who have had 5 minute screen time weren’t shoe horned in.

Despite all this, Man of Steel does offer some moments of relief. The fight scenes are incredible; one on one fights scaling over miles of ground. The enormous difference between humans and Kryptons is there for all to see. Superman’s flight, his heat vision, x-ray vision (underused) and heightened senses are all portrayed wonderfully and the special effects live up to the films early promise.

“I will find him!”

There are good performances all round, Kevin Costner makes a true return to form, providing a really great performance with limited screen time. Cavill, Crowe and Shannon all perform as well as the script allows as well. One of the main criticisms levelled at Man of Steel is the inevitable loss of human life that seems to not affect Superman and this cannot be ignored.

We’re supposed to believe that Superman, of all superheroes, this moral beacon of justice and hope, is okay with charging through petrol stations, diving through skyscrapers and pummeling his way around a small town is doing this and giving no thought to the innocent people inside all these buildings that are going to die because of his actions? I don’t buy that. And when SPOILER Superman does kill someone, he has a few seconds to regret it before being rushed off screen so the end credits can take his place.

“What do you think?”

Overall, Man of Steel does provide entertainment, that much is certain. The special effects and big budget moments are really worth seeing. But it adds nothing new to Superman that hasn’t been seen before, leaving the unanswerable question: what was the point? Cavill has the potential to be the best Superman ever, but he needs a good script and brilliant story in the sequel to attain this.

My Rating: 6/10.

Let’s get straight into it. American Bullshit. That was the original name of the film that Christian Bale has recently signed on for. The now untitled movie originally had Bale set to lead the ensemble cast but he dropped out, and now he has jumped back into the movie. When Bale dropped out he was replaced with the frankly quite obvious replacement Jeremy Renner. It has been announced that Renner and Bale will now both be in the project so everyone’s a winner! The film also stars Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper and will be directed by David O. Russell who previously worked with Bale on The Fighter.

Paul Dano, fresh from Ruby Sparks and Looper this past month has now signed on to what should be another film that will see positive press and Dano is fast becoming into a very recognisable and reliable face in the world of movies. The latest project he has signed on for is a revenge thriller entitled Prisoners. Prisoners is about a Boston man who kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend. Hugh Jackman will be playing the lead role with Jake Gyllenhaal and Oscar winner Melissa Leo in support, so not half bad casting really.

A movie currently in production that is causing quite a stir is Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. The reason for all of the attention on this project is because it revolves around a woman beaten up and found in an alley, then cleaned up by a bachelor who finds her and along the way she recounts all the details of her sex life from when it began up until her 50s (why?). And it has been announced that Lars Von Trier wants the sex scenes to be completely real – he wants his cast to ACTUALLY have sex on film. Anyway, this week has seen Uma Thurman sign up to a cast that already includes Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Shia LaBeouf.

And finally, after all of that casting news there is some absolutely ridiculous news coming out this week that after the unsuccessful Battleships film, Hollwood execs are now planning to turn several other games into big blockbusters. Along with a Monopoly film, which has been in the works for some time now, an Action Man movie is being planned (which should lend itself to the medium more easily than others, perhaps). But the weirdest news is that a Hungry Hippos movie is being planned. It’ll be interesting to see how that one turns out.

UK Release Date: 14th June 2013.

Stars: Zack Snyder (director), Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane.

Plot: A child sent to Earth from a dying planet is adopted by a couple in rural Kansas. Posing as a journalist, he uses his extraordinary powers to protect his new home from an insidious evil.

With The Dark Knight Rises now out in cinemas and Christopher Nolan’s brilliant The Dark Knight trilogy coming to a close, Warner Bros. are keen to promote their newest superhero project, Man of Steel. This will be a reboot of the Superman story with another Brit, Henry Cavill, in the lead role of one of arguably the most iconic, yet most boring, superhero of them all, however, with Christopher Nolan in place as co-writer and producer, the signs should be good for Superman.

The teaser is pretty boring to be honest and compared to reports of what the comic con trailer consisted of, this one sounds a lot worse. Here we just get lots of miserable shots of an adult Clark Kent trying to find himself on a road, or on a fishing boat, or at the docks, and these shots are intersected with shots of a child wearing a cape who we presume to be a young Clark Kent. The final shot we get is a full costumed Superman flying through the sky, but this shot is a bit distant and really does nothing to peak interest in the character.

The comic con trailer included shots of Russell Crowe in costume, of Krypton, of Superman in handcuffs with the police and scenes all over the city of Superman or Clark Kent fighting people or saving people. No doubt as the release date draws nearer, especially next year, the general public will get to see this too. Until then, we’re stuck with this boring 90 second effort.

Amy Adams has just entered into negotiations to star in Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s critically acclaimed novel Dark Places. Adams provides an example of a modern day actress with a fantastic ability for acting as well as looking incredibly beautiful at the same time and has been nominated for three Oscars throughout her career.

Amy Adams got her first film role in comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous and this was the start of what would become a fantastic career. After this Adams spent a couple of years working on television, appearing in episodes of Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville and The West Wing before, in 2002, appearing in Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can alongside the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio. Spielberg even said that Adams’ performance in Catch Me If You Can should have launched her career, yet still it stalled.

It was in 2004 that Amy Adams got her next film role in The Last Run as well as bagging regular roles in television series’ King of the Hill and Dr. Vegas, then her career really gained speed. After The Wedding Date was released Amy Adams starred in indie flick Junebug, a film for which Adams herself received critical acclaim and she was getting the recognition she deserved everywhere, including being nominated for an Oscar for her performance.

Not many comedy actors or actresses get recognised as talented actors as well as people who make us laugh, but this didn’t sway Amy Adams from appearing in more comedies as she attempted to crack mainstream cinema. Adams appeared in Talladega Nights, The Pick of Destiny and The Ex and then, in 2007, she made herself known to a wider audience than ever before. Enchanted, the part animated/part live action modern Disney fairytale, cast Adams in the role of the princess and the film was a huge commercial success and prepared Adams for the success that was to come.

Amy Adams then starred alongside Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson’s War, Emily Blunt in Sunshine Cleaning as well as making Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, all three of which were well received by audiences. Doubt was released in 2008 and it was this performance that saw Amy Adams nominated for her second Oscar.

Leap Year, Julie & Julia and Night At The Museum 2 followed before Amy Adams put in one of the best performances of her career in The Fighter and was rightly nominated for her third Oscar so far and arguably should have won it but it went to her co-star Melissa Leo. More critical and commercial success followed with Jason Segel’s reboot of The Muppets where she showcased her vocal talents.

With several projects in the pipeline there is no doubt that Amy Adams, one of the most versatile and well respected actresses working today, is set to achieve even more success. This year she will be appearing in the hotly anticipated and long-in-making film On The Road. Trouble With The Curve and The Master follow before what could become the defining and most important role for Adams to date: she is to take on the role of Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s Superman tale Man of Steel, produced by Christopher Nolan.

Hopefully, Adams will continue to work in films for a long time to come and maybe one day she can win the Oscar that she quite rightly deserves.

On The Road Trailer

UK Release Date: 21st September 2012.

On the Road is an adventure drama adapted from Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name. The story follows Dean and Sal, two young men who are the portrait of the ‘Beat Generation’.┬áTheir search for “It” results in a fast paced, energetic roller coaster ride with highs and lows throughout the U.S.

The film has been a long time in the making. In 1957 Jack Kerouac wrote a letter to Marlon Brando himself expressing interest in turning his novel into a film with Brando in one of the lead roles. Brando never replied. Then in 1979 Francis Ford Coppola bought the rights for the film. Since then several of the attempts to adapt novel to film have been shelved but we finally have it this year with Coppola in an executive producer role.

Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund play the two main characters. Riley is no stranger to these ‘coming of age’ sort of films and should excel in his performance. The supporting cast includes Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Terrence Howard and Steve Buscemi. Impressed?

The trailer looks like your ordinary story of a generation growing up, going through the highs and lows of life. But that doesn’t mean that the film doesn’t look good. On the Road has long been begging to be made and now it has been it looks like a job well done. We have to wait until September for the final piece but the trailer gives a lot to look forward to and a story to be fond of.

The Muppets Sequel Confirmed!

In the past couple of months Kermit and the gang made a successful return to the big screen with the help of Jason Segel and now it has been announced that there are plans in motion for a sequel to the smash hit to be made.

The Muppets won an Oscar for Best Original Song (Man or Muppet) at this years Oscar awards and Kermit and Miss Piggy even helped present another of the golden statues. The film was a huge success and I am really pleased there is going to be a sequel.

However, Jason Segel will not be writing this one and may not even be starring in it, which in my opinion would be a huge loss. The actor has said that he is ‘taking time out from puppets’ after successfully bringing them back to the big screen and is pursuing more ‘human related projects’ although he is sure he will return to the franchise ‘here and there’.

Segel has The Five Year Engagement coming out soon and is working on This is 40, a sequel/spin off of Knocked Up. And there is also another season of How I Met Your Mother to get working on so Jason Segel could be a very busy man.

Of course, if Segel doesn’t return then it’s highly doubtful Amy Adams would return by herself and although The Muppets is all about the puppet characters I was a fan of the human characters in the film and hope they will be back!

The Muppets Review

 

***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

 

There isn’t a lot to say about The Muppets that hasn’t already been said a hundred times before. This new release is an attempt to introduce and make appealing some of the most famous television and film characters to a new audience and it definitely triumphs in doing so. It’s a film that will make sure you leave the cinema happy.

The story is pretty simple. The Muppets have been on hiatus for a number of years and when they learn of an oil tycoon’s plans to knock down their old studio they must reunite and put on a show that earns the ten million dollars they need to rescue their home.

The (human) cast is led by Jason Segel, who also co-wrote the film, and the wonderful Amy Adams who was nominated for an Oscar at last years ceremony. Both of these actors do as good a job as they need to; they play their parts convincingly but in all honesty it’s not them you’re going to see this film for. Kermit and Miss Piggy, Animal and Fozzie Bear, The Muppets are the stars of the show and it’s like they never went away. The humour is top class, the film is filled with gags and great references to the fact that they are just in a movie.

It seems like a whole host of celebrities were lining up to be in this film and nearly all of the cameo appearances were brilliant and are sure to draw laughs from audiences, Jim Parsons’ cameo in particular is a highlight of the film.

In a time where most high grossing films are fuelled by the use of CGI and computer effects it is refreshing to still see the hand held puppets of The Muppets on the big screen. Despite not being real you really do feel for their characters and their stories. The musical element has always been a huge part of The Muppets success and this new version mixes in some old classics with some great new songs too even being nominated for the ‘best original song’ award at the 2012 Oscars.

The Muppets has been a success both critically and commercially and Disney have ultimately triumphed in bringing The Muppets back to the big screen. I don’t think it will be long before we see another outing from Kermit and his friends, hopefully with Jason Segel and Amy Adams both still featured.

My Rating: 8/10