Tag Archive: live action


A VERY happy Mr. James Marsden

James Marsden is a recognisable face in the world of movies. Marsden has been in some very popular films of a couple of genres so it strikes me that he is not more famous than he is, but there is a very good reason (or very bad, depending on how you look at it) as to why his career hasn’t quite reached the heights that I thought it would earlier in his career. This reason is the cause of the title for this post and all will become clear in a few minutes.

James Paul Marsden began acting in the 1990s and his career began like so many others, with bit part appearances here and there in a number of, what can only be deemed unsuccessful, television shows. Luckily, in 1996 Marsden landing a lead role in family drama TV series Second Noah and this ran for two seasons, with a further three final episodes being commissioned after fan campaigns. After the shows cancellation Marsden moved into films; after a couple of made for television movies he appeared in Disturbing Behaviour alongside Katie Holmes (the film didn’t do very well) and then Gossip which only made half of its budget back and again failed. After this start it’s a wonder Marsden made it as big as he has done, but he could have been bigger. Here’s what happened…

In the year 2000, after the success of Blade, a movie was being made out of another popular Marvel property. It was of course, the best superhero team of all time, the X-Men. And James Marsden was cast in the role of Scott Summers, or as he is more popularly known Cyclops. This SHOULD have propelled James Marsden into a huge Hollywood star, should being the most important word here. Anyone who knows anything about the X-Men knows that Cyclops is the rightful leader of the X-Men. However, this was a characteristic drastically overlooked during the X-Men films (although this was the only real complaint I have about the first two films, the third is a different kettle of fish altogether). So really, Cyclops and James Marsden should have taken centre stage in one of the most successful trilogies of all time and would have rightfully become a household name; the unfortunate truth is that unless you take a real interest in the X-Men films or make a habit of watching romantic comedies, you probably won’t know who he is. Why? Simple.

Wolverine. The popularity of Wolverine among comic book fans is very rarely matched by another character and it is for this reason that in all three of the X-Men films featuring James Marsden Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine took centre stage. This forced the character of Cyclops into the background and he became a bit of an unimportant character, seemingly his only function was to marginally get in the way of Wolverine and Jean Grey’s romance and he didn’t even do that well. You can’t blame James Marsden for taking the part as leader of the X-Men but surely he would have hoped for a more heroic role in the films before tragically being sort of (I still don’t believe he actually died) killed off in X-Men: The Last Stand.

The reason for Cyclops disappearing in X-Men: The Last Stand was because James Marsden had taken a part in Superman Returns, another film in which he had a relatively small and unimportant part, there again to have his on screen ruined by the main hero of the piece (he does get a bit of bad luck this James Marsden chap) and of course Superman Returns disappeared into comic book movie obscurity rather unsurprisingly as it was very dull. But aside from comic book movies James Marsden has mainly stuck to romantic movies. He had a role in arguably one of the most popular films of all time – The Notebook. He has also starred in romantic comedies such as 27 Dresses and Sex Drive; the musical Hairspray; the fantasy half animated-half live action Enchanted and a film some critics called the worst of all time The Box.

This year, Marsden made a successful move back to television with a role in comedy 30 Rock although his time on television this time looks set to be short lived with 2013 having quite a few films slated for release with James Marsden attached. There’s dramedy As Cool As I Am, thriller The Loft, Enchanted 2 is in the pipeline to be made in the next couple of years. Perhaps the most exciting movie James Marsden is attached to at the minute though is something I am very much looking forward to and is a shoe-in for a few Oscar nominations when it is released. This is The Butler about the life of Cecil Gaines who served as White House butler to eight American presidents over three decades. The cast is full of real Hollywood stars and emerging talent: James Marsden, Forest Whitaker, Alan Rickman, Robyn Williams, Alex Pettyfer, Melissa Leo, Minka Kelly, John Cusack,  Jane Fonda, Terrence Howard, Liev Schreiber and Lenny Kravitz. James Marsden will be playing the great John F. Kennedy himself.

With The Butler, James Marsden has the chance to get the recognition he deserves and reach the heights of fame that he should have done a decade or so ago. If the films had been more true to the comic books with the X-Men then James Marsden would already have achieved so much more than he has. Of course, this isn’t to say that his career has been a washout because he has still had it pretty good; but if X-Men didn’t focus so much on Wolverine it could have all been so different for James Marsden. He never looks disappointed though, I’ve never seen a picture of him without a smile on his face!

James Marsden on set as John F. Kennedy – he’s either blinking or sneakily checking out Minka Kelly… you decide.

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A LEGO Movie, Really?

For some time now a LEGO movie has been in development, that’s right, LEGO, those little bricks you used to play with when you were a kid, the ones that really hurt if you stood on them by accident, they’re making a film out of that. This week it has been announced that the film will be released in 3D on the 28th of February 2014. But why do this?

For years, the LEGO building blocks have been best sellers all year round in the toy department. They have already moved into the video game genre with the likes of LEGO Star Wars or LEGO Harry Potter. So why not try films?

I think that using LEGO to make a film could be something very interesting. It’s not a film about LEGO, it’s just a film with its own characters and its own story; the LEGO is just the material being used to make the film, just like the clay used in Aardman Animations films. This is just another type of animation and if it works on the big screen we may even get more films made in this style.

Apparently up to 20% of the film could be live action but the whole backdrop for the film will be LEGO. This includes any car chases or explosions, they will all be made out of LEGO. There have even been rumours that characters such as LEGO Harry Potter or LEGO Indiana Jones could pop up in the film.

Okay, so the idea of this may not sound very interesting at all to some people. But when you find out that the directors are Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of one of the funniest films this year and surprise hit 21 Jump Street, then that must intrigue the avid moviegoer a little bit. After coming off the back of two very successful films commercially, their other being Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, then there must be something in the LEGO movie that has them excited.

Nothing of the plot is really known yet and it will be some time before we get a glimpse of the film but this is something to ponder. Maybe it will be nice to have a new ‘style’ of film competing and who knows, it could turn out to be brilliant.

UK Release Date: 3rd August 2012.

Ted is the upcoming live action/CGI animated film that is directed, written and produced by Seth MacFarlane and so if the film goes well, all credit to him, if it goes badly MacFarlance only has himself to blame. Since creating hit animated television shows Family Guy and American Dad, MacFarlane has tasted success but also splits audiences right down the line, for all the fans he has he sure does have his haters too.

Ted is the story of a young boy’s wish coming true. When he was younger, John wished that his teddy bear (Ted) could come to life and talk to him. As John got older, Ted also got older and as an adult John’s attempts to embrace his adulthood and move forward in a relationship with the love of his life, Lori, are scuppered by Ted’s irresponsible and vulgar lifestyle.

For Seth MacFarlance’s live action directorial debut he has got a pretty good cast on his hands. Mark Wahlberg plays John while Mila Kunis plays Lori and the cast is filled out with Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton and Laura Vandervoort.

Whilst you may not be able to tell this from the trailer, Ted is supposed to be a comedy and not just a piece of rubbish. To say it’s a comedy there aren’t many, if any at all, funny parts of the trailer. Ted himself just comes across as someone you just want to punch and the overall type of comedy just seems immature and dated. I won’t be lining up to see this, that’s for sure.