Tag Archive: clash of the titans


A few weeks ago I posted on Twitter (sarcastically) that in around twenty years time a reboot of Harry Potter would be made and Daniel Radcliffe would be limited to a cameo as one of the Hogwarts’ ghosts. And ever since I posted that tweet it seems like Warner Bros. and JK Rowling are doing their best to prove me right.

 

Everyone knows why Hollywood is obsessed with reboots and sequels: because they make money. A whole host of films have been rebooted recently including Clash of the Titans, Total Recall, Evil Dead and there are more in the pipeline: Oldboy, Robocop and Fantastic Four to name just a few. One of the biggest money making franchises ever was the Harry Potter series, and rightly so because it was a perfect franchise that managed to ignite the imaginations of audiences worldwide in a way that I haven’t seen matched in any way, shape or form. Anything branded under the Harry Potter umbrella is guaranteed success commercially, which makes expanding that universe ever so appealing to all the movie bigwigs.

Harry Potter’s story finished back in 2011 and already there are plans to milk the franchise dry for every penny it can possibly produce. That began with the announcement that JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be the spark that sets up a new series of films set in the wizarding world. And is it just me that thinks that is a horrible idea considering the book was released to raise money for the charity Comic Relief and the benefits of the film will more than likely be lining the pockets of Warner Bros. executives? But anyway, who has been asking for an adaptation of that book? I can barely remember the number of times I’ve heard people express their longing to see Newt Scamander on the big screen.. oh actually I can. Zero. This is probably the most obvious money making decision in the history of film making.

And that may not be the only Harry Potter spin-off in the works at Warner Bros. as news that they have trademarked Quidditch Through the Ages and Tales of Beedle the Bard has been announced. When quidditch first appeared in the Harry Potter films it was a revelation and the sequences of the game are fantastic, one of the highlights of the series but this is yet another money making scheme by expanding a universe that nobody has any interest in. The only thing Harry Potter fans want is to see another Harry Potter film, i.e. a film with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson playing Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

 

So how long can Warner Bros. appease fans with their explicit commercially led ventures and have no regard for the opinions of fans? My guess is not long (of course I could be wrong but lets see shall we). Soon Warner Bros. will be receiving millions of please for a new Harry Potter film and what will they do then? They will realise the amount of money they can make by remaking all eight of the films adapted from JK Rowling’s books and that reboot will be ultimately greenlit.

Even the most die hard fans of Harry and his friends had just come to accept that there would never be more adventures told of the boy wizard and that would be absolutely fine. But now this reignites the flames of desperation and it won’t be soon before Daniel Radcliffe is thrown out of the series and replaced with another eleven year old boy with a lightning bolt on his forehead and broken glasses abridge his nose.

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It’s not very often that someone comes along and changes the way that films are made. There are rare moments in the modern movie industry where such significant leaps are made to enhance movie viewing. Ray Harryhausen is one of the most famous pioneers of special effects technology ever to grace the industry. Unfortunately, the sad news has been broken today that this pioneer has passed away at the wonderful age of 92.

Ray Harryhausen was a visual effects legend (and that is no less than he deserves) and he pioneered the stop motion movement. He brought stop motion to the big screen; hand crafting and painting his figures and then shooting them frame by frame in a long, tedious process that eventually ended up contributing to some of the most famous films of all time.

Harryhausen’s work can be seen in films such as The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, but his two most famous contributions were to Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, it seems even the incredible CGI advances can’t help make a modern Clash of the Titans better than the stop motion original. Jason and the Argonauts produced some of the best special effects seen at the time: the multiple headed Hydra and the skeleton soldiers rising from the ground to name but two.

Compared to modern special effects Harryhausen’s work does look dated, but his contribution to the movie industry cannot be underestimated and his presence will forever be recognised. He may not have been a director but when the films featured Harryhausen’s animation work, they were HIS films.

This brilliant video puts together all of Ray Harryhausen’s creatures together…

Lara Croft is the most recognisable female video game character in the world. At the beginning of this century two Tomb Raider films were released with Angelina Jolie taking on the role and, despite the original film still being the most successful film adaptation of a video game in the United States, both this and its sequel were not too well received by critics. Also, in recent years, the video game side of the Tomb Raider franchise has been waning. Until 2013. Earlier this month a reboot of the video game series hit the shelves, simply titled Tomb Raider. It received huge critical acclaim, is one of the best games I have ever played and obviously went on to sell more than a million copies in less than 48 hours. So it seems the time is right to reboot the franchise on the big screen, but who should play Lara Croft?

Here are my candidates:

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Gemma Arterton

Arterton has had experience in big action films before: Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans. While none of these films were exactly brilliant it has given Arterton the skills necessary to be let loose on her own big action franchise. She is currently one of the best British actresses working today and her talent is undeniable. I would definitely like to see her given a chance as Lara Croft.

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Hayley Atwell

Atwell is more of a television actress but made her break in Hollywood recently in Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger where her performance as Peggy Carter won her a lot of fans. She has shown her skills in Pillars of the Earth and The Duchess. However, her stock as a leading lady is yet to be tested and helming the Tomb Raider franchise could be a leap too far so early in her film career.

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Camilla Luddington

You may not know who Camilla Luddington is but she is the voice behind Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot of this year. On screen she has been in Californication, True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy but is yet to make her break in the film industry. However, depending on how closely involved the game’s publishers and producers are in making the film (my guess being not very) then she may have an outside shot at landing the role.

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Alice Eve

This is a long shot and probably won’t be considered. She is set to appear in Star Trek Into Darkness later this year so will be getting a lot of exposure both on screen and off it (if you’ve seen the new trailer you’ll know what I mean) and so she may be worth the risk?

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Bryce Dallas Howard

As the only non-Englishwoman on the list she would probably be my least favourite for the role (I just think that as Lara Croft is English it would be nice to see an English actress take the part this time) but Bryce Dallas Howard could be a nice fit. Previously appearing in Spider-Man 3, Terminator Salvation, 50/50 and The Help she has shown off her action credentials as well as her acting abilities.

For me, it’s between Gemma Arterton and Hayley Atwell with Arterton just winning in my mind!

Pacific Rim is the upcoming film being directed by Guillermo del Toro and pays homage to the Japanese giant monster films, known around the world as Kaiju. Pacific Rim tells the story of giant creatures rising from somewhere in the depths of the ocean and waging war on mankind; in order to combat the legions of monsters humankind builds robots (Jaegers) just as big to be piloted by humans in an attempt to “stop the apocalypse”. On the verge of defeat mankind must turn to two unlikely heroes – a washed up former pilot and an untrained rookie – to pilot a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past.

The trailer debuted today, here it is:

Now you can’t deny the grand scale of epic-ness contained within those two minutes?!

I first heard about Pacific Rim a couple of months ago and at first I did think that it sounds just like your typical disaster-turned-action-movie but then my mind was soon put to ease. Guillermo del Toro is a director that doesn’t do things by half; he is one hell of a credible name in the world of movies and has previously brought us the critically acclaimed Hellboy and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army as well as the incredible Pan’s Labyrinth. All of these three films really show that del Toro can do special effects like no other director out there and that when he uses them he makes sure that everything looks perfect and that they do not distract from the film. The brief glimpses in the trailer of the giant see monsters (which look magnificent) and the Jaegers (equally so) have a real sense of brilliance about them: everything just looks so epic, so huge that watching the trailer on my laptop screen just does not do it justice, it really looks like something made specifically for the big screen!

Now you can tell Pacific Rim is going to be requiring a huge budget so who are the two leads on whom the pressure lies? Well, that would be Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi… you don’t recognise them names? Both of these have been successful in their careers so far yet stayed away from big blockbusters like this. Hunnam has appeared in Green Street, Children of Men and more recently the critically acclaimed television series Sons of Anarchy whilst Kikuchi is wonderful in Babel. They are supported by Ron Perlman (Hellboy obviously), Burn Gorman (my favourite character from Torchwood so nice to see him here), Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses) and arguably the biggest name among the cast these days, but still not a huge name, Idris Elba. These actors may not all be well known but from what I’ve seen of them I do really like them and Idris Elba is fast becoming one of my favourite actors to watch, I have a lot of faith in this cast. The script comes from Travis Beacham who’s last film was Clash of the Titans and yeah, it wasn’t that good but I don’t think the writing was much to blame for that.

Pacific Rim, quite clearly, is going to eclipse any other blockbuster you have seen recently and that is very clear just from the trailer. The vast scale that it is operating on is so huge it completely puts to shame other blockbusters like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises who have their fight scenes battling to save New York or Gotham City whereas here you’ve got real threat, real awe, real horror and just sheer amazement at what Pacific Rim has achieved. I can’t wait to see an all out battle between the Jaegers and the sea monsters and I do believe this could be one of the greatest blockbusters ever made!

Pacific Rim is set to be released in the UK on the 12th July 2013.

So once you’re over the fact that the Fast and Furious film franchise is getting another instalment, it’s time to analyse these casting rumours that are doing the rounds. There is no doubt that this series of films are highly entertaining despite all of the films being pretty much the same. And whilst the films manage to pull in a huge audience thanks to their continuous ‘fast cars and hot women’ model that they follow and also throwing in the eye candy for the women, it seems as though they are aiming for an even wider fan base with Fast and Furious 6, or Fast Six, or The Furious Six or whatever it ends up being called.

So there are three main rumours that are doing the rounds at the minute and I’ll start with the most sensible of the three (in my opinion). Luke Evans has been linked with the role of the villain in the sixth film and the series would be a good fit for him and vice versa. Above all things, the Fast and Furious films are high budget, adrenaline fuelled action films; Evans has appeared in big budget films before such as Immortals, Clash of the Titans and will be appearing in The Hobbit so should be a good choice for the film.

 

The next choice is an interesting one. David Tennant, Scottish actor. I am a big fan of David Tennant and I think he has been brilliant in BBC series’ like Casanova and Doctor Who and there is no doubt that he brings an unchallenged enthusiasm to every role he undertakes (even the adverts he does) but is he really right for such a film as this? I don’t think I’m the only one who has trouble imagining David Tennant in a drag race with Vin Diesel or having a hot scene with Jordana Brewster.

 

There is such a thing as being TOO ridiculous, and this is just an outrage! Rihanna has also been linked with a baddies role in the next film. Rihanna is not an actress; it is bad enough that she forces people to listen to horrible songs that all sound the same and talk about her sex life all the time in her lyrics but now she has to punish us more by appearing in films? What is her problem? What does she dislike about the human race so much that she feels like she has to continually punish us? I get that Fast and Furious has to include the sexy women and what not but at least Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez have a bit of acting credibility to their name!

 

All the usual suspects are reprising their roles for Fast and Furious Six: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibsion, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster and even Michelle Rodriguez is signed on to appear (get your head around that one considering she died a couple of movies ago) and Gina Carano is also a new addition to the cast. Diesel has revealed that this latest film will be filmed in Europe and is set for a 2013 release.

He's so happy!

There are some actors who work incredibly hard but never reap the rewards that Brad Pitt or George Clooney do; there are some actors who appear in a lot of films but not many people would know who they were. If you enjoy films, especially those directed by Guy Ritchie or Matthew Vaughn, then you will know the face of Jason Flemyng.

Flemyng boasts a wide variety of films in his back catalogue: gangster flicks, comic book movies, big budget blockbusters, small budget indies but interestingly, Flemyng continues to return to his television roots despite, by many people’s opinion, making it as a film star.

Lock, Stock: Flemyng's big break.

In 1994, Flemyng made his first film appearance after dropping in on a number of television series. This film was a version of The Jungle Book, but it was four years later that he got his big break in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Matthew Vaughn. Ritchie then went on to direct Flemyng again in Snatch.

In the early 2000s Flemyng made a transition to big budget Hollywood films. The two notable films of this time are From Hell, alongside Johnny Depp, and unfortunately the heavily criticised League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where he starred with Sean Connery.

The fun that Jason Flemyng had with Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels‘ co-star Jason Statham led to Flemyng being cast in action sequel Transporter 2. The relationships that Flemyng has forged in the movie industry are clearly important to him as he continued to work with Ritchie, Statham and Vaughn on more than one occasion.

Helping to reboot the X-men franchise

Matthew Vaughn has described Flemyng as his ‘lucky charm’ and this is why Flemyng features in most of Vaughn’s films, whether Vaughn is producing or directing. The partnership formed on Lock Stock has seen Flemyng given roles, however big or small, in Snatch, Mean Machine, Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass and a brilliant role in X-men: First Class as teleporting mutant Azazel. This is a role Flemyng will more than likely return for, especially as Vaughn is once again signed on to direct.

Jason Flemyng’s work has not gone ignored by others in the industry and he has appeared in several other films such as Soloman Kane, Clash of the Titans, Ironclad, the critically acclaimed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and even an uncredited appearance in The Social Network.

With such a wide range of films to his name it is almost impossible to avoid Flemyng’s work. He is a really really good British star who doesn’t get half the recognition that he deserves. No matter what role he plays, big or small, Jason Flemyng gives it his all.

 

Are 3D Movies Already Dying?

Despite numerous past attempts, 3D films have never really taken off in the past but since 2003(ish) there has been a resurgence of 3D films in mainstream cinema. There have been films made specifically for the purpose of being 3D and then films that have been shot in 2D have been transformed into 3D films and this happens with both live action and animated features. But is 3D really needed?

Avatar was praised hugely for the use of 3D

Two of modern cinema’s most successful directors have a different approach to making films in 3D. I am talking of James Cameron and Christopher Nolan. Cameron embraces 3D; his film Avatar became the highest grossing film of all time and that was made in 3D, whilst Nolan decided against using the effect on Inception and The Dark Knight Rises as, although he has seen 3D work well, he claimed it restricted what they were able to do. So that’s what the professionals think, what about audiences?

In 2010, 28 films were released in 3D and that number rose to 47 in 2011. However, takings for 3D films dropped by seven million pound despite more films being made in the format, showing that audiences were not going to see 3D films as much as they had been; something the studios have taken into consideration and the number of films being released in 3D this year (2012) is down to 33. Perhaps audiences have now experimented with 3D films and decided that they do not like them.

The final Harry Potter was the highest grossing 3D film of 2011, yet more people saw it in 2D.

So why are people not going to watch films in 3D? The price is one reason. Cinema ticket prices are on the increase all the time it seems and the price for drinks and popcorn is absolutely ludicrous. If you want to go see a film in 3D that bumps the price up by another two or three pound, therefore if you want a 3D film, a drink and popcorn you’re looking at spending nearly £15 probably to see a film. And if that film ends up being more like Clash of the Titans than Up then you’re going to feel more than a little bit ripped off.

Reason two: the really stupid glasses that everyone is forced to wear. Sure, they look better than the cardboard glasses you used to get with one blue lens and one red lens which made pictures seem 3D in magazines etc. but they are going to hurt your nose. Nobody wants to sit for two hours and feel like their nose is being crushed by these bricks you are forced to wear to enjoy the film in all it’s ‘glory’.

You don't need 3D to enjoy Woody and Buzz!

And finally, does 3D really add anything to the film? The films I have seen in 3D (Toy Story 3, Shrek Forever After, Thor, among others) have not really benefited from the technology. I’m not saying that the 3D didn’t look good, because it did, but I would have quite happily watched these films in 2D and still felt the same.

In my opinion, 3D was a scheme by studio bosses to try and make audiences fork out more money for the films as almost every decision made high up is about money. But audiences have now seen a 3D film or two and decided that they are quite happy with 2D without the intimacy this new effect offers. I could quite happily go the rest of my life without watching another 3D film. I know some people enjoy it and good for them, but I am yet to see a reason why it is needed.