Tag Archive: charlize theron

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…?


Forbes has announced that the highest paid actress of the last year is Kristen Stewart; this is despite the fact that her acting abilities leave a lot to be desired and that she only has one facial expression. Perhaps, though, these reports will finally see Kristen Stewart being able to put a smile on that face of hers. This is no doubt going to cause some controversy with fans of actual actresses with talent like Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts (who also feature in the top ten) but if you look at the details, it makes sense.

Twilight, whether you like it or not (and for some daft reason a lot of people like seeing three non talented actors in lead roles of a Hollywood franchise), has become a huge worldwide success with Stewart in the lead role of Bella Swan. You can’t underestimate the importance of remaining consistent with actors and actresses in movies. Stewart is the main character in a huge Hollywood franchise and therefore is pretty much irreplaceable in many people’s eyes, meaning that a huge pay off is needed to keep her on board and stop other studios being able to tempt her away with a higher paycheck.

The list compiles the actress’ earnings between May 2011 and May 2012 and as well as having the Twilight series to promote Stewart has also proved that she can bring in the audiences without the help of Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner with Snow White and the Huntsman (although I do think that Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron were the main draw for the films success, not Stewart) and she was in the lead role yet again, taking a lot of the credit with the films strong success in the box offices.

Second place on the list might be even more surprising that first place: Cameron Diaz. Yes, she may be an experienced actress but what success has she had recently? Well Bad Teacher did surprisingly well at the box office (no doubt because Cameron was showing off her more raunchy side once more) and she took a pay cut on that in favour of a profit participation deal, a gamble that proved to pay off. She also collected a paycheck from What to Expect When You’re Expecting for which she was very highly paid reportedly so she is sitting pretty on top of a huge pile of cash right now I imagine.

The remainder of the top ten is as follows: Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker (seriously?!), Meryl Streep, Kristen Wiig and Jennifer Aniston. I was slightly surprised to see Jennifer Lawrence not on the list although I anticipate she will be featured very high up the rankings next year with her place in the new X-men franchise and The Hunger Games sequels likely to see her cashing in in the same way that Kristen Stewart has this year.

Kristen Stewart will be seen later this year in Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the trailer for which is below:

Prometheus Reviewed

***Minor Spoilers Ahead***


“Prometheus, are you seeing this?” asks Noomi Rapace’s character scientist Elizabeth Shaw and yes I saw it, but there is a huge difference between seeing something and enjoying it.

Prometheus is an indirect prequel to the Alien series. This film focuses on a team of explorers who discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth that leads them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. Sounds interesting.

As mentioned, Noomi Rapace leads this cast that really manages to pack in the noticeable names: Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Rafe Spall and even a small part for Patrick Wilson. With so many experienced cast members being directed by the hugely acclaimed (although in my opinion drastically over rated) director Ridley Scott big things were expected from everyone, especially taking into consideration the success of the Alien film directed by Scott himself.

The film opens with a series of long, wide and very scenic landscape shots and this is a theme that the film will follow throughout and every time we see a large shot of the planet that our heroes find themselves on it looks fantastic; the directing and camerawork means that Prometheus is incredibly pleasing on the eye with some of the best environmental shots I’ve ever seen. The special effects follow suit and are so real that it doesn’t matter how far in the future the crew of Prometheus (the ship which the film is named after) are, it feels and looks as though it could happen today, the effects are believable.

Unfortunately Prometheus has one huge flaw and one that I can not look past: every single one of those characters lacked any kind of personal motivation; their actions seemed uninspired. Noomi Rapace’s character, the main character, spends the first half of the film doing not a lot at all and then spends the second half running away from things and holding her stomach all the time. And this is who you are supposed to empathise with and support, not really your traditional hero. I couldn’t have cared less about her partner, whoever he was and Charlize Theron’s character was ridiculously under used to the point where it seemed like if you took her out of the film no difference would have been made.

In fact, the only character that I felt was worth watching, partly because of the portrayal of the actor, was David, the non human member of the crew portrayed eerily well by Michael Fassbender. Another good performer among the cast was Idris Elba, relatively new to big budget films after carving his career out on television but deserves all the success that comes his way, although killing off his character just seemed like something to do rather than having any impetus behind it.

A stand out scene is when Shaw gives birth to an alien life form and while the rest of the film around that moment seems rather boring this scene is anything but! She doesn’t have a lot to do everywhere else but here Noomi Rapace earns her salary hands down; the trauma and pain her character is going through comes across excellently on screen. Sometimes, poor films or films you don’t enjoy have one glimpse of brilliance and this is Prometheus’. I would go so far as to say this is one of the best scenes I have ever seen in the cinema.

Does Prometheus live up to expectations? Not really.

Is Prometheus an enjoyable sci-fi film? Ish.

Would I watch it again? Not for a while.

My Rating: 5/10.

I really wanted to give it a higher rating but I just couldn’t justify it.

If you hadn’t heard already the Kristen Stewart helmed film Snow White and the Huntsman has come under criticism from a dwarf theatre group in Los Angeles (Beacher’s Madhouse) and dwarf group The Little People of America for casting famous regular size actors in the role of the

Huntsman and the ‘dwarves’

dwarves in the recent fairy tale adaptation. Before this row emerged I, and I expect the large majority of people, hadn’t given this a second thought; I saw the casting of people like Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Ian McShane and though “oh, cool”. Since the fallout though I have pondered the situation and I do believe that these groups, who are also supporting a protest march over what has happened, make some very good points indeed.

Earlier in the year Mirror Mirror, another retelling of the Snow White story, was released and in the roles of the seven dwarves were cast shorter actors. However, the Rupert Sanders’ directed Snow White and the Huntsman opted for famous regular height stars. Why? No doubt it was for box office attention; but with Kristen Stewart of Twilight, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth coming off the back of the success of The Avengers, was more box office draw really needed?

Mirror Mirror does it best.

The dwarves in Snow White and the Huntsman were barely even on screen that much and featured very little as the focus was on Snow White and the Huntsman as you would expect from the title of the film so what harm would it have done to cast dwarf actors in these roles. In Mirror Mirror the dwarves played a much larger and more important role in the overall story arc and yet were played by shorter actors.

There isn’t exactly a lack of talent in dwarf actors; in Mirror Mirror they all did a very fine job. Peter Dinklage, one of the most famous dwarf actors, even won an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for his role in the very successful television show Game of Thrones and yet he wasn’t even considered for a role here. The dwarves are written to be just that, dwarves and as such you should be casting dwarf actors to play the parts; the same way in which a male written part is played by a man and a female part is played by a woman, there is no difference.

Davis described the casting of the dwarves in Snow White and the Huntsman as ‘inexcusable’

Warwrick Davis, dwarf actor who has appeared in two of the most successful movie franchises ever: Star Wars and Harry Potter, perhaps says it best when he told E! News “It is not acceptable to ‘black up’ as a white actor, so why should it be acceptable to ‘shrink’ an actor to play a dwarf?”. There would be outrage if a white actor ‘blacked up’ as there was with Tropic Thunder when Robert Downey Jr. did so (even though his character in the film was doing it and not the actor himself there was still complaints surrounding it) so why is there not that same outrage with average height actors ‘shrinking’ with camera angles and special effects.

I think that Mirror Mirror went the right way about casting the seven dwarves because they used actors that were suitable for the parts and, even though it was the better film, Snow White and the Huntsman should have done the same. A huge insult has been shot at the dwarf community with Snow White and the Huntsman and there can not be a suitable reason as to why dwarf actors were not cast. Parts written as dwarves should be played by dwarf actors. End of story.

Snow White and the Huntsman is the second incarnation of the classic fairy tale to hit the big screen this year after Mirror Mirror earlier in 2012. In this fantasy action adventure take on the world renown classic the Huntsman ordered to kill Snow White ends up becoming a friend, protector and mentor in her quest to vanquish the evil Queen.

The film opens with a narration and a series of flashbacks in order to provide the audience with some of the back story. It feels as though the film makers tried to just feed us information that we didn’t really need and it sets a very slow pace for what is to follow. The narration also wasn’t filled with any kind of emotion and played quite tediously through the speakers. What follows is a lot of the Queen and Snow White doing pretty much nothing at all which forces the first act of the film to trudge along slowly.

Charlize Theron plays the evil Queen and a lot of the attention in the run up to release was focussed on her and her portrayal of the character, however I was left pretty disappointed by her performance; it wasn’t exactly bad but it wasn’t anything to shout about either. There were points of the film where we hadn’t seen the Queen for so long that I had genuinely forgotten she was a part of the film and as an actor that is not something you want the audience to forget. Kristen Stewart becomes the famous princess and does a sturdy job, again though there is something lacking from her performance, she doesn’t exactly ooze charisma on the screen and I’m not sure she does enough to justify the title role in a film expected to be as huge as this.

This take on the fairy tale bases as much emphasis on Snow White as it does the Huntsman and when the Huntsman arrives it is as if the movie shifts up a gear; played by Chris Hemsworth the Huntsman injects some much needed pace and emotion into the film. It seems as though the Huntsman is the only character the writers decided to take their time on, giving him a very emotive back story and motives, something which other characters (particularly the evil Queen) are lacking. You get a real connection with the Huntsman because of Hemsworth’s performance as he continues to make a name for himself following up three great movies: Thor, Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers.

The majority of scenes without the Huntsman aren’t really worth watching but one in particular is worthy of any fantasy film ever. The first time we meet the adult William is when he ambushes a royal carriage and the fight scene that follows is fantastic; the fight scenes throughout the entire movie are actually a joy to behold. William is played by Englishman Sam Claflin who is relatively new to the acting world but previously appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Based on this performance though, is Claflin doesn’t get more high profile acting work then a terrible injustice has been done in the acting world.

Snow White and the Huntsman is a real treat for the eyes. Everything about it just looks fantastic: the landscape, the costumes, the special effects. It all just looks so perfect and Rupert Sanders, the director, creates this incredible fantasy world so well. You never want to take your eyes off the screen.

In my opinion, this is a much better film than the earlier Snow White retelling Mirror Mirror. Whilst some of the characters aren’t as well developed as others the visuals and the Huntsman and William themselves are worth watching this film for alone. As the film goes along it gets stronger and stronger and climaxes very well. It’s definitely worth a watch.

My Rating: 7/10.

Marvel’s The Avengers has just passed the billion dollar mark worldwide in just nineteen days. It has fast become one of the highest grossing films of all time and that should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about comic books or movies. With a sequel already green-lit by Disney, surprise surprise, there is the opportunity to introduce more characters both in the movies leading up to Avengers 2 and in the sequel itself, so who will appear? Here is my list of the characters I would most like to see and who I think would be a good and realistic casting choice.


Ant-Man: I’m talking the Henry Pym Ant-Man, not any of the reincarnations. An Ant-Man movie seems to have been in the works for as long as Marvel Studios have been making films but things are finally moving forward and you would expect this film to tie Ant-Man in to the already existing Marvel Universe seeing as though he is one of the original Avengers in the comic books. I know that Nathan Fillion’s name has been banded around for the part and with Joss Whedon now having a little input in casting maybe Fillion has a chance of getting the role; I would be in support of this.


Wasp: You can’t really have Ant-Man without having Wasp, the two are married in the comics and go hand in hand. She was one of the founding members of the comic book world Avengers and is likely to be introduced in the Ant-Man film. Combine this with the fact that the Avengers is lacking some serious female representatives then I think it is highly likely that Wasp will feature sooner rather than later. When Wasp was first being rumoured Eva Longoria was linked with the part and I would definitely back this casting choice. She is a wonderful actress and although her success in acting has been on television I think that she could hold her own in an ensemble cast.


Black Panther: Black Panther is one of my favourite comic book characters from Marvel and he was the first black superhero in mainstream American comics; he is African royalty and ruler of his own country with a long running association with the Avengers. I don’t know if Marvel would be able to afford this actor because he is absolute true quality but if he was to star in the role the movie would no doubt be a huge hit! My pick for this role would be Djimon Hounsou of Blood Diamond fame, I think he is the stand out candidate for this role out of the already known actors.



Ms. Marvel: I believe that Ms. Marvel is one of the best female characters that Marvel has on its roster. Carol Danvers, who dons the outfit in the comics, has been a member on Marvel’s two biggest teams, Avengers and the X-men so who owns the rights to the character is unknown but hopefully we will get to see her in future Avengers films. Female superheroes don’t have huge success in their individual films (I’m looking at you Elektra and Catwoman) but as part of a team she could work really well. I would love to see Katherine Heigl get the part because I like her as an actress but I don’t think anyone would be in support of that so instead I will pick Charlize Theron.


If you go beyond this point you are in serious SPOILER territory for The Avengers, but you should have seen it by now anyway.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Vision: So the likelihood of Vision being included in the next Avengers film seemed less and less likely with the likelihood of Ultron appearing diminishing (you won’t understand that if you do not follow the comics but don’t worry). Anyway, as you will know if you have seen The Avengers Agent Phil Coulson of SHIELD died at the hands of Loki, yet he is still contracted to several more Marvel films and is remaining coy about his involvement with Iron Man 3. What’s more, people thought this was the work of Joss Whedon (a man known for killing off popular characters) but this was actually planned by Marvel’s man in charge Kevin Feige. Clearly Marvel have plans for Agent Coulson and in one interview they even said “I believe the letters L, M and D were mentioned somewhere’. L.M.D = Life Model Decoy. So will Agent Coulson come back as The Vision? There is no doubt that Clark Gregg has become a favourite of fans of the Marvel Universe as it is his appearance that helped to tie all the films together and make The Avengers possible. If Agent Coulson was reborn as The Vision I would think this was an absolute stroke of genius on Marvel’s part.

Hollywood currently seems to have a thing for rebooting fairy tales. In 2011 we saw Red Riding Hood released to, at very best, mixed reviews. In the pipeline are Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast, but this year we are being treated (sort of) to two versions of possibly the most famous fairytale of them all: Snow White. Snow White has been adapted many times since the birth of film and television, even being incorporated into an episode of Supernatural. For many people it will be difficult to forget Disney’s romanticisation of the classic story but Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror will be hoping to achieve this, but which is more likely to do so?

Snow White and the Huntsman: Released 1st June 2012.

Snow White and the Huntsman is an action adventure film. It is a twist to the classic fairytale where the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White to the forest to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the evil queen.

Kristen Stewart takes up the role of Snow White in this adaptation with the evil queen being portrayed by Charlize Theron, a very talented actress. Chris Hesworth, of Thor fame, plays the Huntsman and many people will be anticipating his performance as he was recently nominated for the Rising Star award at the BAFTA’s.  Snow White and the Huntsman even manages to pack in the stars to play the dwarves, who have only been seen in set pictures so far, and famous names such as Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins and Ian McShane all take up the short mantle of being a dwarf. This film sees Rupert Sanders make his feature length debut as director, being known mainly for his work in commercials and short films so there is a heavy weight upon his shoulders as this is one of the most anticipated films of 2012.

The trailer really sets a dark theme for the movie with its beginning looking more like a fantasy war epic than an adaptation of a fairytale, which is good due to the original darkness of the Grimm brothers’ story. We are treated to the evil Queen’s narration and her conversation with the Magic Mirror really giving the storyline to the audience (needlessly perhaps as the story is very well known). The Huntsman looks particularly good and strong and we see him wielding his axes and maybe shown why he will help Snow White as he is bullied by the Queen. There is no hint at a love story in the trailer but we will have to wait and see what comes of that. There is a shot of a fantasy monster confronting Snow White which is interesting; do these creatures exist in this world? Or is it a manifestation of one of the Queen’s spells?

The trailer really focusses more on the Queen than on Snow White and this helps to give a strong indication of how evil the Queen really is. We see her torturing and sucking the life out of her subjects and her power when the Huntsman at first shows slight refusal of what she demands of him. It has been said many times that films are remembered by how well their villain is portrayed and Charlize Theron’s version of the evil Queen could be one of the best characters of the year.


Mirror Mirror – The Untold Adventures of Snow White: Released 2nd April 2012.

Mirror Mirror is an adventure comedy movie. An evil Queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.

Julia Roberts is the biggest name attached to this film and she leads the cast as the evil Queen. However, before meeting the director of Mirror Mirror Roberts stated that she thought the film was a terrible idea and was a thousand per cent against it (let’s hope it’s not as bad as she thought it would be). Where Snow White and the Huntsman went for recognisable names among their cast Mirror Mirror went for more upcoming stars with Lily Collins portraying Snow White and Armie Hammer playing the Prince, who will have a more prominent role in this movie. Tarsem Singh will be directing; he split critics with his 2006 film The Fall but has failed to impress really with his last attempt Immortals receiving negative reviews from critics. This is his fourth outing as director.

From very early on in the trailer you can see this is a lighter adaptation than Snow White and the Huntsman. It gives the audience a taste of the comedy featured within the film, mainly from Julia Roberts’ character who seems, to me at least, a little more weird rather than evil. Some of the comedy in the trailer comes across as poorly written and forced at times (the ‘puppy love’ potion a fine example of poor comedy) but no doubt it will pick up a few laughs and people will find this sort of thing funny. The trailer really gets going when we get to see Snow White and the dwarves. Lily Collins looks fantastic as the young princess and looks as though she was built to play this part, so fingers crossed the film does that justice. We do get to see the dwarves in this trailer and it looks as though they will be there for comedy relief in places but their kinship and relationship with Snow White looks as though it will be worth watching for.



Whilst there is a couple of months separating the two films so that they are not in direct competition with one another it seems unlikely that most movie goers will take two trips to see what is, in essence, the same story so it will be interesting to see which film comes out on top. Will audiences choose the comedic elements of Mirror Mirror or the more action driven Snow White and the Huntsman. Either way, the successes or failures of both films will have an effect on the future of Hollywood’s fairytale adaptations.