Tag Archive: shrek


Now, the reason for writing this blog is not to just slag Nicolas Cage off, I actually quite like him. I have enjoyed a lot of his films, old and new, including Con Air, Adaptation and Kick-Ass. But I never realised how many really big hits that Cage has been linked with but either turned them down or didn’t come to fruition (thankfully in the end) so that he could make the likes of Ghost Rider, G-Force and Drive Angry. So what are the biggest roles Cage could have starred in but didn’t?

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Shrek

Cage may be voicing a character in the DreamWorks animation The Croods but a few years ago Cage was approached by executives for the role of Shrek. However, this never came to light because of Cage’s self-professed vanity. His reason for not playing Shrek? He didn’t want to look like an ogre. This turned out okay in the end though as if we had got Cage then the loveable ogre may not have his famous Scottish accent that he is known for now.

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Lord of the Rings

Among the fellowship there were no real Hollywood stars; Ian McKellen perhaps the most famous among the cast. So things would have looked slightly different and it may have been marketed differently if Nicolas Cage had accepted the role of… Aragorn. Cage turned this one down citing “family obligations” and Viggo Mortensen will thank him for that and so will fans of the trilogy: Mortensen’s Aragorn became one of the most popular characters in the film.

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The Matrix

The Matrix is quite an iconic film. It’s sequels divide audiences but the first film is usually regarded pretty highly. And Nicolas Cage could have been in the leading role as Neo. Cage turned down the role due to the fact it was filming in New Zealand and he was committed to raising his children at the time. Of course, eventually Keanu Reeves got the role and enjoyed his career for a few weeks.

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The Wrestler

The Wrestler is the only film on this list that I am genuinely interested to see how Nicolas Cage would have played it. I think that this is a role that Cage could have done a wonderful job with. However, the role did go to Mickey Rourke afterwards and he won for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, as well as being nominated for an Oscar and I loved it. But Cage would have been very interesting in The Wrestler.

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Superman Lives

Before the abomination that is Superman Returns was made, Superman Lives was in development. The script was written by Kevin Smith and was set to be directed by Tim Burton with Nicolas Cage in the lead role as Clark Kent/Superman. The film never got off the ground and Cage of course went on to play another comic book character Ghost Rider. I can’t imagine that it would have been a good thing seeing Cage in the red and blue spandex.

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Rise of the Guardians is the latest animated offering from DreamWorks Animation that will be released later on this year and is already the subject of much hype. I think that this film will be a huge success and, take away The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, this is probably the film that I have been most looking forward to this year. But why?

The Avengers smashed records left, right and centre upon its release earlier this year and brought together characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk to the big screen to all work together. Well, Rise of the Guardians is The Avengers of childhood; everyone has different lives obviously but there are some things that are the same in everyone’s childhood as they grow up and this is their belief in Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost. Rise of the Guardians brings together these heroes of childhood in the same way that The Avengers were brought together, and who is the Loki to Rise of the Guardians team? Someone that every child has nightmares about; the Boogeyman. It’s a brilliant concept for a film to have these famous characters working together and being aware of each and every one of their existences.

Rise of the Guardians is based on William Joyce’s The Guardians of Childhood book series and the books, whilst only released last year were instant hits and are surely going to become classic stories that children will be reading for years. Joyce is also already a big name in the world of animated films; he worked on the art design for Pixar’s Toy Story and A Bug’s Life, produced Robots and wrote Meet the Robinsons. Joyce, as well as writing Rise of the Guardians, is producing and co-directing. The fact that he is writing and co-directing the film is great news because it will mean that he will be able to tell the story exactly as he wants meaning the audience will see the film how it is meant to be seen which always makes a film better!

DreamWorks Animation obviously is in a very difficult position because it has to play second place in the animation world to Pixar, although this is nothing to be ashamed of. I think DreamWorks are pretty up and down: the Shrek series was pretty inconsistent despite a great start, I’m not too keen on the Madagascar series and Shark Tale was worse than average. But when DreamWorks get it right they really do get it right! Flushed Away is brilliant, Kung Fu Panda is great and How to Train Your Dragon is up there with anything Pixar have ever done and even better than some of their films. Rise of the Guardians does look as though it will be one of DreamWorks’ best films to date and that means it will be fantastic! The animation from the trailer itself looks amazing and it will be a treat for all the senses.

Who could have ever imagined that Hugh Jackman, the man who plays the berserker rage suffering Wolverine, would play the Easter Bunny, or Bunnymund as he will be called in Rise of the Guardians. It seems strange casting but just from the trailer it looks spot on! Plus, any film that has Hugh Jackman saying the line “I’m a bunny” just has to be good! Rise of the Guardians’ cast also boasts Chris Pine as Jack Frost, Isla Fisher as Tooth (the Tooth Fairy), Alec Baldwin as North/Santa Claus (brilliant casting!) and Jude Law as Pitch, the Boogeyman. It’s a cast of big names and great voices which will no doubt add to the enjoyment of the film.

When I first saw the trailer I said that it was the best trailer I had seen for a very long time and I still stand by that statement; it tells the story, introduces the characters and packs in lots of laughs in a short space of time. Every little bit of advertising I see for Rise of the Guardians just makes me want to see it even more and the release date cannot come quick enough!

30th November 2012… Legends Unite.

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.