Tag Archive: bryan cranston

The final half of Breaking Bad‘s fifth series is set to air later this year drawing one of the best television series ever to a close. Aaron Paul has been in it from the beginning and his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman has been one of the highlights of the show for me: his over use of the words ‘bitch’ and ‘yo’ has always been enjoyable to hear and, next to the quite frankly unlikeable Walter White, you can’t help but like Jesse and be amazed at how Paul holds his own in scenes with co-stars Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito.

Before Breaking Bad Paul began his career appearing in the odd episode of television series’ like NYPD Blue, ER and Veronica Mars and he did appear in a few films, although nothing really ground breaking: Mission Impossible III, The Last House on the Left. Breaking Bad thrust him into the limelight and his acting has earned him rave reviews as well as the achievement of winning 2 Primetime Emmys as well as being nominated for another. Aaron Paul’s acting is incredibly intense and I really do enjoy watching him in Breaking Bad. With Bryan Cranston getting supporting roles in a number of Hollywood films it shouldn’t take long to see Paul star in some either. In fact it’s already beginning…

This year Paul has 3 films out, 2 with a limited release to America have already been released and not caused any real waves but his next two projects seem like they could make his movie career. The first is an adaptation of Nick Hornby (About a Boy, An Education) novel A Long Way Down. This is a drama about four people who happen to meet on New Year’s Eve when they all separately plan to throw themselves off a building to their death; instead, they form a surrogate family and help each other through their problems. Paul will be alongside the likes of Rosamund Pike and Piers Brosnan here and A Long Way Down will certainly find an audience which will mean that Paul will get noticed for his sure to be great dramatic performance: he thrives with drama in Breaking Bad and I think if he followed the drama route in his film roles he could win an Oscar later in his career.

Although, Paul could go down the path of becoming an action star. Next year an adaptation of the video game series Need for Speed is going to be released and Aaron Paul is to be the star. I’m not sure how Need for Speed will go down with the Fast & Furious franchise getting stronger with every installment.

Can Aaron Paul pull an audience on his own though? I don’t think so. There will be a lot of people (like me) who would go and see a film just to see Aaron Paul and Breaking Bad has obviously had a lot of recognition so could serve as one of the best platforms ever to launch a Hollywood career. One good role could see Paul become one of the most sought after men on the planet. Need for Speed could do that depending on how it is handled.

With the growing impact of comic book movies on the movie industry I think Paul would benefit from joining Marvel’s cinematic universe. I have previously expressed my desire to see him cast in the Fantastic Four reboot as Human Torch but I would love to see him get a part that would be a guaranteed hit. On the other hand though, I would love to see Aaron Paul get the career he deserves on his merit alone; he is one of the finest actors I have ever seen in a television show and I always thoroughly enjoy him on screen. I look forward to seeing what’s next for him.


There’s a mixture of good, bad and just plain weird news this week. First of all there was the good news that the Godzilla reboot was looking to take itself seriously and add some serious acting talent to the cast. Aaron Taylor-Johnson was, until recently, the only actor attached to the project (set for a 2014 release) but this week both Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) have joined up.


A mixture of news in the sequel business this week. The good news first is that Albert Brooks, the voice of Marlin in Finding Nemo, WILL be back for the sequel which already has seen Ellen Degeneres return for her part as Dory. This is good news as you couldn’t really have the film without him; we followed him on his journey all the way through the original film and it would be pretty harsh on Nemo to kill off his dad considering his mum has already bitten the sea’s equivalent to dust. Marlin was the most important, and in my opinion the best, character in Finding Nemo so I’m pleased to see Brooks back. Oh… the bad news is that Night at the Museum 3 is being made which we really don’t need to see after the shambles of the second one.


After the success of Ted last year Seth MacFarlane’s next project is going to put him in the lead role once more, this time in live action mode rather than as a CGI teddy bear. It will be a comedy western entitled A Million Ways to Die. We already knew this but this week Amanda Seyfried has been added to the cast. Seyfried (of Mean Girls and Les Miserables fame) will play the wife that leaves MacFarlance’s character to plunge the whole story into motion. Charlize Theron is also set to star.


And finally, some really WEIRD and completely unexpected news. Sony has a little project in the pipeline entitled Dodge & Twist which is a sequel update reworking …it’s just a completely new story about Oliver Twist. This story sees Oliver Twist twenty years older than when he was a pickpocketing child and he encounters old rival Artful Dodger who is now on the right side of the law. Twist gets wrapped up in a plan to steal the Crown Jewels and has Artful Dodger in hot pursuit. Interesting…?

Argo Review

In a year with so many big action sequences and huge blockbuster films hitting the cinema screen it would be easy for Argo to have escaped attention. Argo depicts the unbelievably true story of the rescue of six American diplomats in Tehran, Iran during 1979 in which CIA operative Tony Mendez (played here by Ben Affleck) attempts to infiltrate Iran and get the diplomats out by pretending to be a film crew scouting locations for their new science fiction film titled Argo.

The obvious problem when making a film about a rescue mission is thus: audiences primarily go because they want to see the rescue which puts pressure on the build up to the rescue because it becomes a hard task to get your audience invested in your characters and your story. It was a worrying start for Argo, I felt, because the opening narration which outlines Iran’s state at the time of the events seemed pretty boring and while not exactly irrelevant, it wasn’t actually needed either. Fortunately these early concerns of boredom were soon put to rest, largely thanks to Ben Affleck, although not for his acting.

Ben Affleck is not often quoted as anyone’s favourite actor and, in all honesty, I don’t think his performance in Argo as Tony Mendez will change that at all. Tony Mendez seems to come across as quite a boring although no doubt brave and intelligent man but he’s not a character who immediately gains your interest and pulls you into the story. Fortunately, Ben Affleck is a wonderful director and he directs Argo as well as starring in it and he does a brilliant job of really capturing the emotion of the story. Every time that the film goes back to Iran and focusses on the stranded Americans the film seems to dig a lot deeper than most, with real panic, stress and human pain being shown and Affleck very subtly leaves the empathic audience to really get a feel for the conditions and sadness of the situation by themselves.

Ben Affleck is helped by the fact that he has a very experienced cast for him to direct. The cast combines stars of both television and film in the forms of Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Scoot McNairy and Kerry Bishe among others. Every cast member puts in a more than adequate performance and really bring to the forefront the emphasis on emotion and character. Along with Affleck’s brilliant direction it is partly Goodman and Arkin’s double act and comedic moments that help to sustain interest before the actual rescue takes place.

Once Afflek’s character touches down in Iran and meets the diplomats that is when the pace begins to quicken and things begin to get a lot more interesting! The rescue itself is nail biting stuff that will make your heart thump out of your chest. There is so much suspense and tension created, conflict between the characters, flaws in the plan, will the be found out or not? I think you are best of seeing Argo with no knowledge of the real life escape to save yourself from ruining the ending of the film. Although, even if you do know how the situation resolves itself you will still be overcome with emotion as you will the escape to happen and you wish for everyone to make it out of Iran safely. Of all the films I have seen this year Argo is the one that has created the most tension and suspense. The final act is incredibly gripping, nail biting, edge of your seat entertainment and the audience is rewarded with a fantastic ending.

It would be wrong to call Argo a feel good film but the sense of elation that runs through your body with the climax of the film is unmatched by most films this year. I would suggest that Argo could well be a dark horse for an Oscar nomination. It truely deserves the hype and brings the emphasis of the cinema back to human stories. Just brilliant.

My Rating: 8/10.

Rock of Ages: Review.

Rock of Ages is the big screen adaptation of hugely successful stage musical of the same name featuring some of the biggest rock songs of the 1980s. Bringing musicals to the big screen isn’t anything new with Mamma Mia, Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street and, later on this year, even Les Miserables all featuring in cinemas.

Rock of Ages is the story of a small town girl and a city boy who meet on the Sunset Strip whilst pursuing their dreams in Hollywood. Their love faces challenges with accusations of betrayal, self doubts and the threatened closure of famous rock club the Bourbon all playing a part in their relationship.

Tom Cruise is Stacee Jaxx; lead singer of huge rock band Arsenal and a stereotypical ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ rock star who has gone off the rails. Although, whilst the marketing of Rock of Ages will tell you this is a Tom Cruise film if you do go see it just for him then you will be disappointed. The main roles fall to professional dancer Julianne Hough and pretty boy Mexican actor Diego Boneta who are both actually really good to watch with a clear chemistry on screen and the two put in very enjoyable performances. Alec Baldwin, Bryan Cranston and Mary J. Blige all put in sustainable supporting performances whilst Catherine Zeta Jones puts in a performance that makes you question how you never found her annoying at all before this. Paul Giamatti is always reliable and does enough here as Stacee Jaxx’s agent. Russell Brand is awful; his accent constantly changing throughout the film, the delivery of his lines drier than the desert and his all round persona just stinking of desperation to be adored; whoever cast Brand in this film and keeps casting him in other films should really take a good hard look at themselves and ask them why they are doing this.

But it is the musical numbers that draw in fans of musicals and there are plenty of big songs featured in Rock of Ages: Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin, ¬†Foreigner’s Jukebox Hero, Poison’s Every Rose Has It’s Thorn as well as We Built This City by Starship. And the musical numbers are executed very well, fantastic vocals, loud music that create a very real atmosphere and an enjoyable two or three minutes when the songs are on.

Unfortunately though, everything else that isn’t being sung is incredibly dull. A lot of the comedy is misplaced and falls flat and for a light hearted musical the laughs are a pretty important part to enjoyment. The characters are very two dimensional and the dialogue is poorly written and feels very forced at times. It’s a musical so you can look past how quickly people fall in love and form a relationship because that’s what musicals are all about; a sense of utopia. But poor dialogue, poor characters, poor storylines and an all round poor structure take away from the solid performances and good musical numbers because it’s just not enjoyable as a film.

Lots of video games and books that are turned into films are very criticised heavily leading to calls for books and video games to be left on their own platforms and I think the same needs to be said here. Big musicals do well because they include the audience, they make the audience feel like they are a part of the whole performance (something for which Rock of Ages, the stage musical, takes very seriously and is very well known for) and doing this is not possible with films, you do not get the full musical experience watching on a screen.

This is something that should have been left on the stage and, despite Tom Cruise’s involvement and a great soundtrack, all round fails as a film.

My Rating: 4/10.

UK Release Date: 12th October 2012.

Argo is Ben Affleck’s latest directorial feature and despite the fact that he might be better off heading down the directorial path, he is also the star of the film.

Argo is a political thriller about the rescue of six US diplomats being held captive from Tehran, Iran in 1979 during the Iran hostage crisis. The US government and the Canadian government team up to rescue the six prisoners, but how? They convince the Iranians that the six US diplomats are actually a film crew shooting for a new science fiction film called Argo. The hostages then have to escape with their fake identities.

Watching the trailer, when it becomes apparent what the plan is to rescue the hostages you might laugh and think its a little bit of a ridiculous idea, but you might change your mind when you find out that this actually happened. With stars such as Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman lining up in the cast then Argo does have the potential to be a great film.

Affleck’s previous outings as director have provided two great films; the critically praised The Town and the absolutely magnificent drama Gone Baby Gone. I think Affleck does have the ability to capture great drama on film and hopefully he will be able to do the same here and with a couple of seasoned pros in the cast, he shouldn’t have to work too hard.

Commercial success may escape Argo but critical acclaim may not be too much of a stretch for Ben Affleck once more.

Madagascar 3 Trailer

UK Release Date: 19th October 2012

Here is the trailer for the third chapter of Dreamworks’ brilliant Madagascar series. After escaping to Africa the animals (Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippopotamus) are on the run from authorities as they become Europe’s Most Wanted.

We pick up with our animal friends still trying to get back to their home in New York and their journey has brought them to Monte Carlo looking for the penguins. Their plan inevitably goes wrong and Alex and the rest of the gang have to go on the run. Fortunately, they find the perfect cover and begin travelling around Europe’s biggest cities as part of a travelling circus act. The circus is suffering until our heroes reinvent the act, Madagascar style.

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer all reprise their roles from the earlier films and they are joined this time, most notably, by Sacha Baron Cohen and Bryan Cranston.

This is a really enjoyable trailer. It captures the humour of the films perfectly and to be honest, it is one of the funniest trailer I have seen for a long time. The jokes are sometimes clever, sometimes obvious, but it really appeals to audiences and will definitely get a lot of people excited about seeing if their heroes can make it back to New York.

John Carter of Mars (as it was named originally before becoming simply ‘John Carter‘) was meant to be the next huge franchise. At least, that was what Disney had hoped for anyway. Disney have had great success with the average Pirates of the Caribbean franchise but have failed to replicate this in recent years with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Tron: Legacy and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. John Carter, the budget suggests, was thought to be a sure fire hit.

Unfortunately, Disney has recently announced in a statement to shareholders that John Carter has made substantial losses. £126 million to be exact. So why did the film fail? Here are a few possible reasons.

Taylor Kitsch had a lot of expectations thrust upon him.


The Cast: The films boasts some recognisable names: Thomas Haden Church, Dominic West, Mark Strong, Willem Dafoe and Bryan Cranston and usually this bodes well, but as good as they are none of them are that familiar with huge blockbusters (minus Dafoe in the first Spider-man film) or have a lot of mainstream cinema fans. The big risk was putting a relatively unknown actor in the lead role; Taylor Kitsch had a small part in X-men Origins: Wolverine but is best known for his role in television series Friday Night Lights. My point is, he is not a leading man, he is barely even a supporting man. He is not someone that Disney should have rested such huge expectations on.


The Marketing: This movie was given a lot of promotion, there have been trailers all over the television and internet for weeks, maybe even months. But none of the trailers really showed the audience what the film was about, there was nothing that could appeal to the audience or pull them in, nothing to hook viewers. Also, the name change from ‘John Carter of Mars‘ to just ‘John Carter‘ was a mistake in my opinion. At least with the reference to Mars in the title there is something different, it might interest science fiction fans more than just a person’s name would. The film could be about anyone!

Andrew Stanton: One of Pixar's finest but a risky choice?

The Director: This is not an insult to Andrew Stanton at all, more of an acknowledgement of the risk that was taken in his appointment. Stanton co-directed A Bug’s Life and directed himself Finding Nemo and Wall-E; all three are terrific films and he did a good job on them. But there is a difference between directing an animated film and directing a huge scale, big budget blockbuster. It was a risk taken by Disney, but if you’re not going to have an accomplished leading man then surely an accomplished live-action director is a must.

It’s All Been Done Before: The books on which John Carter is based were written over 70 years ago. They have influenced much of modern science fiction and therefore offers nothing new to the film scene anymore. Avatar, for example, used a similar storyline but did it on a much bigger scale. The characters were stronger, the inhabitants of another planet looked better and all in all the special effects were like nothing anyone had ever seen before. Newer science fiction, whilst based on John Carter, has left the source material behind leaving nothing fresh for that audience to see here.

Obviously there are more reasons that John Carter has flopped and these are just a few of my theories behind the huge losses. Disney may be slightly worried by the losses at the minute but with Pixar’s Brave coming up and Marvel’s The Avengers also arriving in cinemas over the next couple of months they can be in no doubt that they will make that money back easily.