Tag Archive: oceans twelve


Later this year Ender’s Game is set to be released to an audience that is already planning to boycott the film. The threat comes due to Orson Scott Card’s (the author of the original novel) controversial, to put it nicely, views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage; the author is set to earn some royalties from the film and some fans are unwilling to line his pockets, quite understandably. Just how serious these threats are remains to be seen, but for now lets just focus on the film itself. Here’s the trailer:

If you can’t tell from that, which you really can’t, what the storyline is, it is thus: 70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. With this synopsis comes the promise of all out science fiction glory with special effects and battle scenes that will only be worth seeing on the big screen.

Now, obviously a brilliant cast does not always make a great film (Ocean’s Twelve, Alexander) but it doesn’t help to bring together many critically acclaimed actors, actresses and crew members, so who’s working on this?
Oscar winner Gavin Hood – 2006: Tsotsi won Best Foreign Language Film
Oscar winner Ben Kingsley – for his performance in Gandhi, seen in Ender’s Game sporting an interesting facial tattoo
Oscar nominee Harrison Ford – in my opinion over rated and very dull, but each to their own
Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin – Best Supporting Actress in Little Miss Sunshine
Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld – a young actress with a HUGE career ahead of her
Oscar nominee Viola Davis – Leading actress in The Help and Supporting Actress in Doubt
Basically, not a bad cast on paper!

But the film really hinges on the performance of Asa Butterfield in the lead role of Ender himself. He has previously appeared in Hugo and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and audiences do seem to have taken to him so far, now it is his time to carry a major franchise. Surrounding him with all of the talent mentioned above won’t damage his performance either and can only be a good thing.

The special effects from the trailer look pretty good, however the second half of the trailer does seem to tail off and become a little dull compared to the jumpy, action packed introduction. Ender’s Game does seem very similar to The Hunger Games which, based on its premise, should have been a lot darker in tone than it was; Ender’s Game seemingly takes a pretty darker approach than you would expect and could win many fans for that alone.

I am not entirely convinced by Ender’s Game just yet although I am interested in it. There just seems to be a certain spark missing. Hopefully, towards the release date promotion and marketing will be cranked up and the executives will be doing all they can to make Ender’s Game look as good as it can.

Side Effects Review

Steven Soderbergh, director Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Thirteen (Ocean’s Twelve too but I’m trying to build him up, not condemn him) and more recently Magic Mike, has previously stated that Side Effects marks the end of his directorial career for a few years as he intends to take a sabbatical. So with Side Effects, is Soderbergh going out on a high?

It’s probably best to go into Side Effects knowing very little about it and prepare to just be taken with it. But at it’s very basic the story can be split into two parts: the first half chronicles Emily Taylor’s (Rooney Mara) battle with depression and the meetings she has with her psychiatrist before she suffers traumatic side effects of a new anti-depressant; the second half is about her psychiatrist (Jude Law) as he attempts to unravel the truth and find out who is guilty of the events caused by the drugs.

As a psychological neo-thriller Side Effects requires some top notch acting from its headline stars. And Mara and Law do not disappoint at all. All I could think while Rooney Mara was on screen was “this is the same girl from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?” because she is completely different but still puts in a wonderful performance. Based on her performances that I have seen so far she is set to become one of the best, most versatile actresses of her generation. At only 27, she has the whole world of film at her feet.
I will admit that I am guilty of absolutely lambasting Jude Law in the early years of this century, but since about 2009 my opinion of him could not have changed more. In recent years he has emerged as one of my favourite actors to watch now; his performances are consistently good and that does not change here with one of his best performances to date in Side Effects as the obsessed psychiatrist.

Side Effects really does crank up the tension and suspense in a way that Hitchcock would be proud of. The story is very well thought out and once the first twist hits the audience it’s as if you’re on a roller coaster with twists and turns coming thick and fast, you can never really be sure what it actually happening. There are a lot of clever plot points that are made and this helps to make it such a compelling watch.

Unfortunately though, the twist and turn nature also lets the film down a little. In a film such as this there always comes the inevitable point where you have to tell everything to the audience, which sort of takes away the point of making such a clever film. And in Side Effects, Emily Taylor’s narration does not make it as interesting as it should and could be. The underlying back story that is given at this point does not seem strong enough for the rest of the actions that took place.

Jude Law’s character makes some very good commentaries on the state of counseling and depression which are well worth considering, the whole cast put in very good dramatic performances and while I was in the cinema I was truly gripped. However, after leaving I felt like I was missing out, that I had been unfulfilled and underwhelmed.

Multiple viewings are prescribed.

My Rating: 7/10.

UK Release Date: 11th July 2012.

Plot: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.

Magic Mike is a comedy drama which has pulled a pretty mismatched cast together to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, the man who was at the helm of the Ocean’s trilogy. In the lead role is Channing Tatum; pretty boy turned actor, supporting him is Alex Pettyfer; teenage superspy Alex Rider from Stormbreaker; the wonderful Matt Bomer; charming con artist from the brilliant television series White Collar and finally all round bad actor Matthew McConaughey.

No doubt this is probably a film for the female audience to enjoy but I think that it could turn out be a great laugh for all audiences. I think that the trailer picks up on some pretty good points (the opening scene in the trailer of the strippers arriving at the party was pretty amusing) and there is no doubt that Steven Soderbergh can inject humour into his films as he did with Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Thirteen (the less said about Ocean’s Twelve the better).

It feels as if this role will suit Channing Tatum perfectly; he used to be a model, he has a big female fan base and he showed his comedy credentials earlier this year in 21 Jump Street. He should be able to excel in the title role and I think he could have some fun with the role because I highly doubt this is going to be a film that takes itself 100% seriously.

I think its a film that could go either way but it does have a lot of positives going for it and hopefully it will be a great laugh for everyone.

Arrested for making such a horrible sequel.

When audiences enjoy a film, sometimes they want more, they feel like the character’s journey is not complete. They want to see their favourite characters on the big screen more than once and fall in love with them all over again. Yet when they get their wishes there is always a section of the fans who lambast the producers and film makers for daring to make a sequel and, in some cases, for ruining the first movie as well. So why is it difficult to make a sequel work? Below are some of the reasons I have picked out.

Attempts to be too clever: Ocean’s Twelve is the epitome of awful sequels. The first, Ocean’s Eleven, was brilliant; it brought charm, wit, humour, style and smooth to the screen. It was everything Ocean’s Twelve wasn’t. Twelve tried to run a clever storyline with a twist at the end and it didn’t work at all. It just ended up being a horrible, boring film and the less said about it, the better.

Iron Man 2 tried to run too many storylines with too many new characters.

Trying to do too much: A lot of sequels fall into this category. The first film sets up the characters and completes a story and then, in order to make the sequel better, writers, producers and directors try to cram too much into the next film and it takes away the experience because the storyline runs too thin. This is the case with sequels such as Iron Man 2, in which a lot of work is needed to be done in order to tie in to The Avengers appropriately and so that storyline is thinned out as well as the other storyline involving Whiplash and audiences are left with a boring, lacklustre sequel to a film that promised so much.

No returning cast members: Sometimes, the big wigs at production companies decide that they can make a sequel work even without the stars of the first film. The classic case of this is Grease 2. Grease had charm, loveable characters and great humour and the two leads were perfect: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. But the two decided they would not return for a sequel and it was made without them. In a sequel audiences want to see their favourite characters return to the screen, not be introduced to more random people.

Cashing in: It doesn’t take a genius to realise that a lot of sequels, if not all of them, are made to cash in on the commercial success of the original film. This leads to film makers taking good parts of the original film and making it more important in the sequel. An example of this is Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; everyone loves Captain Jack Sparrow in the first film, but he plays in support to the main story of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann and his appearances make the film comical.  In At World’s End, we are given too much Jack Sparrow to the point of huge annoyance.

The best of Bourne was saved for the third instalment.

The above are just a selection of some of the various reasons sequels do not work and a few examples of bad sequels. This is not to say that all sequels are bad. When done right they can add character development, build up great storylines and become some of the best films ever made. The Bourne Ultimatum, Spider-man 2, The Dark Knight and X2: X-men United are all examples of sequels getting it right.