Tag Archive: marc webb


Last week we discovered that Star Wars was going to return to the cinema screens in 2015 with the help of new owners, Disney. This week there has been speculation as to who will be the director and a couple of cast members stating that they would like to return to the series. Harrison Ford, who famously played the iconic hero Han Solo, has stated that he would love to reprise his roles in the sequel/reboot/continuation. Also said to be considering returning are Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Jeremy Bulloch famously brought Boba Fett to life back in the original trilogy and has stated his optimism and willingness to return but doubts that he will get his chance. I don’t think the story will really involve Luke, Leia and Han that much but it would be nice to see them back to make a connection between the films. Reports this week have linked Matthew Vaughn with the directing gig. Vaughn recently dropped out of directing X-Men: Days of Future Past and is not directing Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall either so his schedule should be pretty clear for this job.

 

One of the most enjoyable films that has been released this year, in my opinion, is The Muppets. The best bit about The Muppets was the music sequences without a doubt and it is not very well known that Bret McKenzie, one half of comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, was responsible for this music. And it has been announced that McKenzie is writing some new music for the sequel, set to his screens Christmas 2013. Nicholas Stoller is once again writing the script even though Jason Segel will not be returning. Attached to star at the minute is Christoph Waltz of Inglourious Basterds and upcoming Django Unchained. Waltz and Kermit the Frog don’t seem to go hand in hand but it can only lead to success!

 

The Amazing Spider-Man successfully rebooted the Marvel hero this year with Andrew Garfield in the lead role. With Garfield, Emma Stone and Marc Webb all returning for the sequel all they need is a villain, and it looks as though they may have found one. Jamie Foxx, who will coincidently be starring alongside Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained at the end of this year, is in very early talks to play the super villain Electro. Electro is another villain that we are yet to see on the big screen and Marc Webb has described Foxx as one of the best actors around today and he is pretty good, it has to be said.

 

Finally, a couple of weeks ago it was announced that Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul would be taking the lead role in the upcoming Need for Speed movie adaptation. Now it has been announced that young British actor Dominic Cooper will be joining him in the driving seat. I am a big fan of Dominic Cooper and this would be something very different to what he normally does, I look forward to seeing it.

Advertisements

Again, nothing seems to have really peaked my interest THAT much in the world of movies this week, other than the release of the brilliant Looper, of course.

First up, the best news of the week I think is the announcement that writer and actor Seth MacFarlane will be hosting the 85th Academy Awards, or the Oscars as the rest of us know them. In recent years the awards have opted for actors/actresses to host the ceremony so it is a nice change that a writer will be hosting it, meaning a lot of his material will be his own. Now this obviously becomes somewhat of a risk because MacFarlane is known for being pretty intense with his jokes and right on the border between what is acceptable and what is not (that line being crossed on more than one occasion). However, I am looking forward to his performance as I do think he is a very talented writer and he should be able to keep everyone entertained with ease. When James Franco co-hosted the Oscars in 2010 (alongside Anne Hathaway) he was nominated for Best Actor, I doubt that MacFarlane’s Ted will be winning anything though.

Also this week Fox announced that Mark Millar has been hired to oversee all of their current Marvel products, much in the same way that Joss Whedon is doing actually AT Marvel but probably to less effect in Millar’s case and to a lot less excitement. That being said, this is probably a good move because Millar has a history writing comic books for Marvel having contributed to X-Men comic books and the Civil War storyline. He clearly has an understanding of how comic books work and how the comic book should influence the movies (much like Whedon) and God knows Fox do need some help with their Marvel properties. Fox currently has X-Men: Days of Future Past and a Fantastic Four reboot in the pipeline.

In other Marvel related news (I don’t know if you can tell from my blog but I do love Marvel) there is more good news! The Amazing Spider-Man came out this year and was without a doubt the best film based on a Marvel property not made by Marvel Studios in a good few years! Part of this was down to the fact that Marc Webb was directing and Andrew Garfield was playing a role he suits down to the ground: Peter Parker. I had always assumed that Garfield would be returning for the sequel but directors are usually more touch and go with many directors leaving after one instalment. But this week the return of both Webb and Garfield was announced to a chorus of cheers.

Not many directors ever get THAT famous among mainstream cinema fans. It really, I believe, takes someone special and a great storyteller, someone who is good enough to make sure that every single one of their films stands up on the big screen to both critics and fans alike; the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese and Danny Boyle have been able to do this and are a few of the most famous directors around but are there any new directors around who could one day join the ranks of the best directors EVER? For my choices I have limited the candidates to have directed, at most, 3 feature length films or have shown enough in two or just the one feature film that they have great potential as a director. In no particular order, let’s have a look.

 

Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson has to be the first person I mention because it was him that influenced me to write this blog. I recently saw Johnson’s latest film Looper and along with his previous two feature films (Brick and The Brothers Bloom) Looper was both written and directed Johnson and also starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt (although JGL’s appearance in The Brothers Bloom was a cameo). Looper has really announced Johnson on the scene as one of the best story tellers around. I won’t go into too much detail but if you read my review of the film here, you will get an idea of just how good Johnson is. He has managed to revolutionise the science fiction genre and the whole theories surrounding time travel. I think Looper will inspire a new generation of film makers and if Johnson continues to direct at this high standard he will be regarded as one of the best ever.

 

Joss Whedon

If you don’t know who Joss Whedon is by now where have you been all year? Whedon has a vast amount of experience in television and film working as a screenwriter for many years and having created hit shows such as Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse. Yet this year Whedon was welcomed with open arms to the masses as he directed this year’s highest grossing film Marvel’s The Avengers. Whedon’s only previous feature film was Serenity (a continuation of the Firefly universe) and, of course, flopped at the box office. However, I thought Serenity was great and there is no doubting Whedon’s talent for writing believable characters and dialogue. With him signed on to oversee Marvel’s phase 2 and direct The Avengers 2, the world is his oyster.

 

Marc Webb

Marc Webb is the only director on this list who I would not class as a science fiction director (despite the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man could be described as science fiction but I think that the superhero genre is now a genre in itself rather than a subsidiary of sci-fi but that’s a whole other argument). Webb arrived on the scene with the incredible, hilarious and touching story in (500) Days of Summer and then, like I mentioned, went on to have another summer hit this year with the reboot The Amazing Spider-Man which was more than capable of holding its own against The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Webb seems to specialise in relationships and he has this amazing ability to capture moments in relationships and develop them over time that I haven’t seen in a long time. I hope he continues to work in other genres but keeps his focus on character.

 

Neill Blomkamp

These last two are a little more unknown than the previous candidates but that doesn’t mean they are not as good. Blomkamp has, at the time of writing, only directed one feature length film with Disctrict 9. However, the praise that District 9 gathered and all the rave reviews about it really reshaping the genre of science-fiction and the sequel to his debut smash is highly anticipated, despite his next film being something completely unrelated to that. His next film is another trip into sci-fi and stars Matt Damon and is entitled Elysium. If this does as well as District 9 then stardom really does beckon for this man.

 

Duncan Jones

And finally we have Duncan Jones. Jones’ first film Moon is one of the greatest directorial debuts I have ever seen. Moon is a true masterpiece and Sam Rockwell’s performance along with the directorial skill of Jones is enough to grab the audience without having a mass of characters. His follow up Source Code was purely his directing and this time he had no part in the writing of the film yet still managed to pull off a great action film and again, a magnificent piece of directing because seeing the same 15-20 minutes over and over again can become tiresome for the audience but Jones manages to sustain interest. His next project is a biopic of Ian Fleming and Duncan Jones could well have another hit on his hands.

When The Amazing Spider-Man was announced there was a mixture of uproar and confusion among audiences. After all, Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s trilogy had only ended in 2007 and Spider-Man 3 became the highest grossing movie of that franchise so why start from scratch again, why not continue? Everyone had an opinion on whether it should be rebooted or not but one thing was guarantee; whether it was Spider-Man 4 or The Amazing Spider-Man people were going to see it because Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes in the world. I will only make one comparison between The Amazing Spider-Man and the trilogy of the last decade and it is this:

Things that are better in The Amazing Spider-Man than in Sam Raimi’s trilogy: EVERYTHING.

Andrew Garfield takes on the role of teenager Peter Parker who after being bitten by a spider… blah blah blah. Everyone knows the story, so what is different here? This time Peter Parker is looking to try and find out who he is, why his parents disappeared when Peter was just a child, what work his father was working on that was kept so secret. All the time, trying to come to terms with his new abilities and manage a love life with the beautiful Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), avoid being captured by the head of New York Police who just so happens to be Gwen Stacy’s father (Denis Leary) and eventually saving New York from a huge giant Lizard, or Dr Curt Connors, if you would prefer, (Rhys Ifans). So really, he’s got it easy.

Andrew Garfield in the lead role is superb. A genuine fan of Spider-Man since he was a kid and it shows in the charisma and life he brings to the troubled teenager on screen; he carries a great emotional range and the one liners and witty remarks are delivered perfectly. The chemistry with his co-star Emma Stone is there for all to see and she puts in a performance to rival that of Garfield’s. The lead duo are supported excellently by Rhys Ifans, a man born to play villains. But my favourite performance of The Amazing Spider-Man is from Michael Sheen as Uncle Ben, really really fantastic!

The Amazing Spider-Man is visually wonderful and I really would not have expected anything less from director Marc Webb. A lot of trust was put in Webb with this being only his second ever film and his first on a big budget but he proved with (500) Days of Summer that he has a great talent for capturing great performances, stunning visuals and examining relationships.

Despite this being a clear superhero comic book movie film, the superhero antics seem to take a back seat and we are allowed to delve deeper into the characters. Peter Parker is clearly a conflicted guy who has grown up having a troubled life which isn’t about to get any easier and the relationships he forms with his Uncle and Aunt are really well written, his relationship with Gwen Stacy (a vital part of Spider-Man history in the comic books) is dealt with wonderfully and with a huge deal of respect. You get a real sense that all of these characters are believable in their motivations, their friendships, their triumphs and short comings.

The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t quite match up to The Avengers and probably won’t beat The Dark Knight Rises either but what we have here is proof that they were right to reboot the Spider-Man series. Seeing Andrew Garfield as the wise-cracking friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is a treat that everyone should witness.

My Rating: 9/10

In a blatant marketing ploy, Sony is advertising this Spider-Man reboot as the most anticipated movie of the summer. However, this is clearly not true with the arrival of The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus all released this summer as well. The Amazing Spider-Man is like that kid in school that everybody knows who they are, but nobody really wants to hang out with them; this may change as we approach its release date of July 3rd but right now, lets have a look at why we should be anticipating the new Peter Parker’s arrival.

Sony recently released the above preview; four minutes of footage from The Amazing Spider-Man and, although some scenes we had seen already, we were offered a new look at Spidey saving a child on a bridge which looks just as amazing as the title of the film suggests. It is possible to tell from what we have seen already and what we know that Marc Webb’s reboot of the character is really trying to distance itself from its predecessors.

Andrew Garfield unmasked as Spidey.

Andrew Garfield looks perfect as Peter Parker and he seems to be bringing some much needed wit and humour to New York’s friendliest web slinger, something that lacked with Tobey Maguire’s incarnation of the character. Being a fan of the comic book hero himself Garfield brings great enthusiasm to the role and his performance as Spider-Man is something to look forward to in itself. It will be interesting to see how the story plays out because we have seen more than one image of Spider-Man without the mask so will people know the secret identity of our hero? How will that work?

Ooh la la… Spidey’s love interest is blonde this time around.

One person who does know Peter Parker’s identity is love interest Gwen Stacy, played by the talented and wonderful actress Emma Stone. Gwen Stacy was Peter’s first love interest in the comic books and was largely unmentioned until she made an appearance in the final instalment of the previous trilogy played by Bryce Dallas Howard. In the comic books Gwen was unaware of Spider-Man’s true identity and her father knew Peter Parker was Spidey but in the film these roles have been reversed and it will be interesting to see how the fact that Gwen knows about Peter plays out and how their relationship develops with that knowledge.

Spider-Man’s foe in this reboot is Dr. Curt Connors or The Lizard as he may be better known to fans. The Lizard is a very popular nemesis of Spider-Man among fans and was to be featured in Sam Raimi’s next film if he continued his own franchise. Other differences from the original trilogy include mechanical web slingers rather than the controversial biological ones Peter inherited before and also the back story of Peter Parker. With his family’s past being a key plot detail in The Amazing Spider-Man it has been hinted that it won’t just be the spider bite that gives Peter his powers, but maybe something to do with his parents tampering with his biological structure. How this move will go down with fans remains to be seen yet.

With Marc Webb directing I think that a great importance will be paid to the relationships between characters as this is something that Webb brought out superbly in (500) Days of Summer. He has claimed that this reboot will hint at future villains and storylines and has even said that he will be working on the sequel, therefore he and Sony must feel that they have a hit on their hands here.

A brief look at Spider-Man taking on The Lizard featured in one of the trailers.

The Amazing Spider-Man has been largely pushed to the side do far this year and maybe rightly so; The Avengers was something everyone was waiting for to see their favourite heroes on screen together while The Dark Knight Rises concludes Christopher Nolan’s near perfect Batman trilogy but hopefully the film won’t suffer because of the other comic book movies out this year. The trailers show promise, as do Garfield and Stone and I for one, am hotly anticipating Spider-Man’s next arrival.

“This is not a love story, this is a story about love” – even the tagline for this film is brilliant!

(500) Days of Summer is a romantic comedy which chronicles the story of Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the 500 days that it takes him to meet Summer (Zooey Deschanel), have a relationship with her and then deal with the heartbreak that she causes him.

There are plenty of reasons why I love this film and it is definitely one of my favourites of all time. Firstly, the basic premise of the film is great. It takes the usual rom-com formula of boy meets girl, girl falls in love, boy doesn’t want her and then the girl wins the boy over and flips it completely on its head: boy meets girl, boy falls in love, and girl breaks his heart. It’s not a happy story for the majority but it works.

The artistic direction of the film is second to none and credit has to go to Marc Webb for that.. Watching (500) Days of Summer, the colour of blue comes through a lot and this is done in order to make Zooey Deschanel’s eyes stand out which they do and make her come across as even more beautiful than she is, which is important for the story. The film, visually is very pleasing and easy on the eyes.

The soundtrack for (500) Days of Summer is undeniably great. It features songs from classic English band The Smiths, established rock band Black Lips, Regina Spektor and relatively new indie bands Mumm-Ra and Temper Trap.  It’s a soundtrack that combines a lot of genres of music and they really help to tell the story.

(500) Days of Summer is a piece of incredible writing. It follows a non-linear structure and this adds to the humour as well as the story. The dialogue is real and the comedy is really well written, with physical and verbal comedy being used and the non-linear story structure sometimes makes things seem funnier than they would otherwise.

The cast and characters. These two factors come as one because with a different cast the real character of Tom and Summer may not have come through as well as it does here. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of my favourite actors and everything he does is gold in my eyes. Here though, he puts in a top notch performance and breathes life into Tom Hansen. I’m not sure whether this is a compliment to him or not but Joseph Gordon-Levitt is someone you can buy as falling in love easily and having his heart broken (although this might come from first seeing him in 10 Things I Hate About You). Tom is incredibly well written and I think that a lot of people can empathise with his position; you fall in love with someone, think everything is going well and then have your heart broken by that person who you would have given everything for. I think this again comes from the writing as Scott Neustadter, co-writer of the film, based the story on one of his own love experiences.

Summer, I guess, is the villain of the piece. She is this fun loving girl who our hero, Tom, falls in love with and then stamps on his heart. She makes me angry all the time and I hate her more and more with each watch. Zooey Deschanel brings a certain innocence to the role and plays her superbly in a way that almost make her motives and feelings seem true. I guess, if you try really hard (which I don’t want to do) you can see Summer’s side of the story; she told Tom up front she didn’t want to get serious and he agreed with that, technically she did nothing wrong. But I still hate her.

The ending. Both characters have a happy ending, just not together, which is really nice. The film obviously places bigger importance on Tom’s happy ending but it is good to see that Summer was happy too. Maybe later on she got divorced and realised she never should have dumped Tom but who knows. Luckily, Tom meets another woman and we can assume that he makes it work with her. I know the ending splits a lot of people but I thought that naming the new girl Autumn was a stroke of genius.

(500) Days of Summer is one of my favourite films of all time. It tells a real story of love, that nothing ever runs smoothly and that just because you lose one person that you loved you can still find happiness. I can watch it over and over again and not get bored. I recommend it as highly as recommendations can get. Seriously, watch it! And if you have already seen it, re-watch it!

Which one of these three comic book films will rule the box office?

Superhero films have been increasing in popularity since they first hit the big screen and this year comic book fans have even more to be excited about. 2012 promises to be an unforgettable year for fans of the comic book genre as three of the years most anticipated films feature some of the most popular superheroes of all time: The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. But with all these heroes fighting for top spot at the box office which one will reign supreme?

The Dark Knight Rises

UK Release: 20th July 2012.

The Stars: Christopher Nolan (director), Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman.

The Hype: It’s the sequel to The Dark Knight, need I say more? This is the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s, so far, brilliant Batman franchise. Christian Bale has done a good job as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego but the buzz about this film is the villain: Bane. And with Ra’s al Ghul returning to the franchise, along with his daughter, the mere thought of this film has the Batman fanboys and the Nolanites frothing at the mouth.

The Drawbacks: After the huge success of The Dark Knight it’s going to be hard to follow that and with high expectations come huge disappointment. The casting of Anne Hathaway didn’t go down very well with fans so it’s risky as to whether that will work. Bane’s voice has been the cause of much controversy surrounding the film but that will soon be forgotten surely.

My Opinion: I’ve never been a huge fan of Batman and I didn’t enjoy The Dark Knight as much as everybody else seemed to either, although Heath Ledger was fantastic, there is no doubting that. I’m a fan of Tom Hardy (not so keen on Anne Hathaway) so he gets my interest in this film anyway. I really enjoyed Batman Begins and it has been claimed that this final piece will focus more on Bruce Wayne than Batman, more in the style of Batman Begins than The Dark Knight so this bodes well for me, I think. Whatever happens, I’ll be seeing this on the opening day anyway.

The Avengers

UK Release: 27th April 2012

The Stars: Joss Whedon (director), Robert Downey Jnr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddlestone

The Hype: Just look back at the cast. It’s great to see so many top quality actors sharing the screen together. Not just the actors, but the characters; it is every comic book fan’s dream to see the big three (Captain America, Iron Man and Thor) on screen together. Bringing the characters together through solo films leading to this moment have been some of the greatest events in comic book movie history. Joss Whedon is known for writing brilliant characters and dialogue so this should all point towards success.

The Drawbacks: Since he has had two films, Iron Man is most known to audiences and has been leading the promotion of The Avengers which hasn’t gone down well with the whole of the fan community. There is also the danger that too many characters means not enough development and lack of story but hopefully this will not be the case.

My Opinion: Out of the three, this is the one that I am most excited for. I cannot wait to see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Hawkeye all share the limelight. I’ve loved watching all the solo movies waiting for The Avengers and with the release of the second trailer which was incredible it just does not get any more exciting. This has the potential to be the greatest comic book movie ever made. It’s going to be amazing.

The Amazing Spider-Man

UK Release: 4th July 2012

The Stars: Marc Webb (director), Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen

The Hype: Spider-Man is one of the most iconic heroes of all time and Marvel’s most popular and highest selling character. This is an interesting retelling of Peter Parker’s backstory and features initial love interest Gwen Stacy rather than the more universally known Mary Jane. The Lizard is Spider-Man’s enemy in this film in a move to excite fans as he was strongly suggested for a Spider-Man 4 that never came to be.

The Drawbacks: We’ve just had a Spider-Man trilogy in the last ten years. This could be a factor that puts a lot of mainstream cinema goers off the film; do they really need to see another origins story for Spider-Man, a character that, let’s be honest, doesn’t really have that much of an interesting origin anyway.

My Opinion: I’m really looking forward to seeing Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man as I think he is a brilliant young actor. From the trailer the new Spider-Man seems a lot more like the comic book character with his wise-cracking attitude which I cannot wait to see. Although, I do think that this will gross a lot worse than the other two big comic book films coming out this year.

Who Will Win?

Batman. Hands down, which is a shame. The Dark Knight grossed over a billion dollars and so there is already a HUGE market in place for The Dark Knight Rises. No matter how hard it tries to topple it’s competition I think The Avengers will fall short, whilst The Amazing Spider-Man will be the third film that doesn’t really stand a chance against the two big boys.