Tag Archive: the rock


With the introduction of Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five, this franchise cemented its place as a must see film among the summer blockbusters; something for die hard action fans. After the commercial and critical success of the fifth installment it left fans wondering just how Fast & Furious 6 would top it? The solution: add a tank, add an aeroplane, bring back Michelle Rodriguez and just generally up the stakes. So what of the result?

“Give them a reason to stay.”

Fast & Furious 6 struggles to find its feet for a while, it’s as if the franchise isn’t quite sure how to better itself or what direction to take. Is it supposed to up the ante with the action sequences or focus on the family side of things and Brian O’Conner’s (Paul Walker) newborn baby. As a result the two strands of action and emotion are ruthlessly combined and don’t quite pack the punch expected, leaving Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and, most surprising of all, Tyrese Gibson to help the film pull through and come out well on the other side.

Enter Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). As Hobbs (the retuning Johnson) reliably informs us, he has been chasing Shaw and his crew across 12 countries stretching over four continents. Right from the off these are set up as some big time criminals, meaning that Hobbs has to put a team together capable of catching criminals like these. And the only team good enough is led by Dom Turetto (Diesel). When Roman (Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) return there is no time for reacquaintance as they are introduced to their target and the real reason Dom has agreed to play for the law this time round: Letty (Rodriguez) is still alive.

“I can reach out and break you whenever I want”

Soon enough the slow emotional parts of the film are eased out and instead of being told “we’re a family”, “you’re a family” over and over again, the real action begins. The team find themselves in London, racing through the streets of the English capital (although how anyone manages to elicit an illegal street race through the center of London is anyone’s guess) and the fights fly. The pick of the bunch early on is seeing Rodriguez go toe to toe with new addition Gina Carano.

The cars get faster, the action gets better and the stunts get bigger throughout and appears to peak in the incredible tank sequence; taking out cars is one thing but when there’s a criminal mastermind manning a tank, firing a cannon down the motorway and not afraid to crush however many innocent people it takes, then it’s going to be difficult going. And just when you think the story is coming to an end it takes another turn…

“This is something we don’t do”

And you end up on what must be the longest runway in the world with Shaw attempting to flee via a plane and Toretto’s crew not having any other option than to bring it down! That’s right… taking out a flying plane with just a handful of cars and Dwayne Johnson’s muscles. The adrenaline pumping finale takes all the worries you had and politely tosses them out as you’re sucked into the exciting ending where the stakes are higher than ever!

The one thing the Fast & Furious franchise has lacked so far in its existence has been that a real defining villain has never really been seen. Shaw has all the makings of it: he’s emotionally cold, he’s as intelligent (if not more so) than our heroes and he’s physically able to hold par with anyone, as seen brilliantly in his brief fight with O’Conner. However, when you leave the screening not really knowing what the villain’s plan was all along, then something has clearly gone wrong. The potential was never reached with Shaw.

“Maybe the Letty we once knew is gone”

But if the post/mid/beginning credits teaser was anything to go by, Fast & Furious 7 will have the real villain it deserves.

My Rating: 7/10

At the tail end of last month Iron Man 3 was released here in the UK… it signalled the start of summer. In May, the huge blockbusters continue.
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I’m So Excited – 3rd May

I’m sure it will be interesting to see what makes the Spaniards laugh. This is the latest feature from Oscar winning director Pedro Almodovar.
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Star Trek Into Darkness – 9th May

This could be JJ Abrams last Star Trek film and it looks as though he’s left us with a treat. I predict that this will be the best film to come out this summer.
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Mud – 10th May

I’ve been looking forward to Mud since I first read about it. Two boys help a fugitive evade the law on a quest to reunite him with his true love.
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The Great Gatsby – 16th May

And I’ve been waiting for this even longer. Gatsby was supposed to have been released back in January but got pushed back here. But with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role it’s bound to do well.
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Fast & Furious 6 – 17th May

Fast Five took this franchise in a much needed change of direction. Now it feels like Ocean’s Eleven with cars and guns and what’s not to like about that? And if you needed another reason to go see this: The. Rock.
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Epic – 22nd May

Every trailer I have seen for Epic just looks beautiful. I’m expecting one of the best animated films of all time right here.
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The Hangover Part III – 24th May

Another trilogy draws to a close at the end of May and it looks as though this might be the best Hangover film yet. Although, no hangover is actually featured by the looks of things.

Snitch Trailer

UK Release Date: 5th April 2013

Stars: Ric Roman Waugh (director), Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Harold Perineau

Plot: A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in drug deal.

Snitch is just one of six films released in 2013 that is set to star the new WWE champion, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. And in all honesty, I don’t believe that this is going to be the best.

The trailer portrays Snitch as your typical action film. It’ll bring nothing new to the genre, just another chance to see Dwayne Johnson on the big screen and it is undoubtedly set to be a fun ride. The plot, from what I took from the trailer, doesn’t really seem to make much sense but I guess we’ll find out when we see more than just two minutes of footage.

It looks as though there will be a slow build up with no real big action footage until towards the end of the film, which will be slightly disappointing for action fans. Even the trailer seems to take the slow build up and doesn’t really inject any adrenaline into viewers, which is something that it’s target audience will have been wanting.

With the news this week that Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman will all be reprising their roles as Professor Xavier, Magneto and Wolverine from the original trilogy in Days of Future Past, I thought it would be fun to take a look at characters from the X-Men universe that are yet to make it to the big screen in a true capacity and who should play them. Here are my thoughts on the top five I would most like to see:

 

Cable

We’ll start with Cable, one of the most popular X-Men in the comic books. Cable is the time-travelling son of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey) and his back story would probably have to be changed in order to fit in with this film series. Although, saying that, with what seems to be a time traveling element added to the series with Days of Future Past then perhaps it is a plausible addition. Suggestions for this role put forward by fans have included Dominic Purcell, Clive Owen (two good actors but bad choices for this role) and Kurt Russell (a better choice). But my favourite is Stephen Lang. This week, Lang has come out and expressed an interest in playing the character and, while he may need to bulk up a little bit more, I think Lang definitely has the bad-assery needed to play Cable.

https://i2.wp.com/www.comicbookmovie.com/images/users/uploads/14267/Stephen%20Lang%20-%20Cable.jpg

 

Bishop

Bishop is another time traveling mutant in the X-Men universe and comes from a dystopian future. Again, a little back story change may be necessary to include Bishop but I know there are plenty of fans that would love to see the arrival of Lucas Bishop on the big screen. Idris Elba is an actor that is linked to every role for a black actor that is going around which is clearly a credit to how highly thought of as an actor he is. However, while I know he can play a complex character with a lot of attitude he wouldn’t be my choice for the role (he’s already appeared in two superhero movies as well). I’m not sure how popular my choice will be but I would suggest the 6’4 hard man Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. His toughness is unquestionable and his ability to act has been proven in his most recent projects.

Dwayne Johnson Bishop

 

Scarlet Witch

All in all, female characters weren’t greatly portrayed in the original trilogy or in X-Men: First Class. Plenty of attention was given to Jean Grey but characters like Shadowcat, Rogue, Emma Frost and Storm didn’t quite reach their full potential in my opinion. Scarlet Witch is one of the greatest and most powerful female mutants there have ever been, with the power to even change a whole universe (which would have come in handy to reboot the series properly). As Magneto’s daughter Scarlet Witch has featured a lot in the comic books over the years. A few big name actresses have been mentioned (Eva Green, Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams among them) however I would choose someone younger in the form of British actress Katie McGrath.

Katie McGrath Scarlet Witch

 

Cannonball

Cannonball, aka Sam Guthrie, is one of my favourite characters from the X-Men comics although how it would come across on screen I’m not so sure. Cannonball’s ability is described as the ability to “bodily generate thermo-chemical energy and release it from his skin. This energy is used as thrust to cause his body to be propelled through the air like a rocket”… or to put it simply, he’s a bit like the Human Torch. Someone young would have to play Cannonball for me and I can’t look past Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) for the part!

Alex Pettyfer Cannonball

 

Psylocke

Okay, so technically Psylocke did appear in X-Men: The Last Stand but if you’re going to count that as a true interpretation of the character then you need to get your head checked. Psylocke is a born leader, a fantastic warrior and one of the more prominent characters in a number of X-Men comic book lines and in some of the biggest events to shape the Marvel universe. There is a lot of debate among fans whether Pyclocke in the film should be British or Asian (long story, Wiki it) but the actress I have chosen, and have seen put forward by other fans, is neither of these. Olivia Wilde.

Olivia Wilde Psylocke

 

Who would you want to see join the ranks of the X-Men on the big screen? And who would you pick to play them?

 

 

Fast Five (2011) Review.

Fast Five was the latest instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise which saw its main cast return, directed by Justin Lin and written by Chris Morgan (the duo previously worked on The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious). It is time that this franchise had some new life injected into it as it had began to grow stale and audience may be getting bored with seeing the same thing over and over again so what was changed and how good is Fast Five really?

The official synopsis of Fast Five is thus: Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story; Fast Five is not just a simple ‘you chase me, I’ll chase you’ story like the original films as the brief synopsis would suggest, instead the characters are put into a different world in South America where they attempt to pull off a huge heist and but their freedom.

The main cast of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster all return with some very familiar faces in the world of The Fast & The Furious; Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Gia Gadot, Matt Schulze and Sung Kang. The return of all these cast members are very obvious nods to the previous films and an acknowledgement of where the franchise has come from. New additions to the cast include Dwayne Johnson, Elsa Pataky and Michael Irby who all come to the franchise with very different qualifications: Johnson is the ‘tough guy’, Pataky is the ‘beautiful woman’ and Irby is the ‘evil foreigner’ and anyone who has watched the rest of these films should be more than familiar with those stereotypes.

So the same cast are back and they’re still driving fast cars and parading around beautiful woman so what exactly makes Fast Five so different to the rest of the films? The heist. This is the first memorable opportunity for us to see just how clever these guys are; obviously Brian O’Conner (Walker) is a former cop and clearly is quite smart but now we get to see Domini Toretto’s intelligence as he plans the heist to perfection and we can now understand how it is that Turetto has managed to outrun the law for so long. There is a great montage where the main trio of characters are talking about different members of the team they are going to need which plays over the scenes of all the characters coming together to meet at the arranged location and the editing is just fantastic. The high quality of editing goes much unnoticed by most people but it is there and it is subtle in Fast Five and it just helps the film to run so smoothly.

Of course, if the main heist at the end of the movie was the only action we got to see many fans of the Fast & Furious franchise would be disappointed. There is plenty of action and enough explosions to entertain audiences increasing in scale right from the off: to being we have a small scale prison break, then a mid-scale train robbery, then we get to see Vin Diesel and ‘the Rock’ take each other on in a great fight scene before the huge scale heist which involves driving away with a safe attached to the back of two cars… from a police station. Some things that happen really do ask the audience to suspend their disbelief for a few moments but it wouldn’t be the great popcorn action flick that it is if it didn’t.

There is a lot here to enjoy for fans of the franchise and is an easy jump-in point for anyone looking to get involved; there isn’t exactly a deep running storyline through these films but Fast Five is well worth watching. It’s pretty much Ocean’s Eleven in cars and one of the best action films of recent years.

Last week Kristen Stewart was named as the highest earning actress in Hollywood of the last year, this week it is the turn of the men. Although Stewart earned over $34million her Twilight co-stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner earned a lot less only just manage to make it onto the top ten of the highest paid men in Hollywood.

Happier times on screen rather than off screen for Cruise.

He may be going through some rocky times in his personal life right now but Tom Cruise has reason to smile as he has been crowned as the highest paid man in Hollywood of the past year having earned a massive $75million. Cruise’s career has seen something of a turn around recently as he has returned to centre stage in films Rock of Ages and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with a number of films in the pipeline to keep his mind off his current divorce and custody battle for daughter Suri Cruise. Although Rock of Ages was deemed a box office failure Cruise proved he is cleverer than some people may think he is after deciding to take a pay cut on Ghost Protocol in return for a share of the profits; the film went on to earn over $700million.

In second place there is a tie with last years highest earner Leonardo DiCaprio and an outlandish and outrageous and totally undeserving actor: Adam Sandler. In acting standards there is a huge gap between these two, DiCaprio rarely has a bad film released (although J. Edgar did not do as well as expected) and is widely accepted as one of the best actors working today whilst Sandler’s good films went out with the dinosaurs; he releases awful film after awful film these days and people are actually paying him to do so? DiCaprio and Sandler both earned $37million but you can’t help but feel that money of Sandler’s should have been paid for him to stop acting.

Any excuse to include The Rock.

Another shock name makes the list at number four but this time it is one of a much happier nature. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is Hollywood’s fourth highest earning actor of the last year… can you believe that?! I am a big fan of his but this news surprises me to no end, although he was pretty much single handedly responsible for the success of Fast Five last year.

Other well known names on the list are Ben Stiller at number five and will hopefully see more money when his next film The Watch is released after all the problems so far with its promotional campaign.  Johnny Depp, another Hollywood mega star going through a divorce, is on the list and despite his Dark Shadows bomb this year Depp is the only actor to have three films cross the $1billion mark globally, now THAT is impressive! Will Smith is always a box office draw and is often thought of as one of the most reliable stars in Hollywood as his name and his face brings in audiences no matter the quality of the film.

Here is the complete Top 10 according to Forbes:

1. Tom Cruise – $75million

2. Leonardo DiCaprio – $37million

= Adam Sandler – $37million

4. Dwayne Johnson – $36million

5. Ben Stiller – $33million

6. Sacha Baron Cohen – $30million

= Johnny Depp – $30million

= Will Smith – $30million

9. Mark Wahlberg – $27million

10. Robert Pattinson – $26.5million

= Taylor Lautner – $26.5million

Doesn't he just seem like a nice guy?

It was recently announced that Dwayne Johnson will be playing the lead role in Brett Ratner’s story of Hercules. He is also the favourite to land the role of Sinbad in another adaptation of a famous story: Arabian Nights. In the next couple of years Johnson looks set to cement his place as a leading action hero among Hollywood’s finest. Not bad for a guy who started out in WWF.

Most people will know Dwayne Johnson by another name: The Rock. He is probably the most famous wrestler ever to grace the ring and has been a fan’s favourite for years. His persona in the ring, his talent, the people’s elbow, ‘can you smell what The Rock is cooking?’ and that weird little thing he did with his eyebrow all memorable traits of his wrestling career. And then the best wrestler in the world made the step into movies.

His acting career didn’t start terribly well with films like The Scorpion King, Welcome to the Jungle and Be Cool. Johnson also didn’t help himself by starring in the very poor movie adaptation of video game Doom, panned by critics.

So, Dwayne, you know that hard man image you use to have? Not so much here.

But Dwayne Johnson did not give up his hopes of becoming an actor and instead of going down the hard man route which was all so easily laid out for him, the man formerly known as The Rock tried his hand at family films. In 2009 he starred in Race to Witch Mountain and the very enjoyable animation Planet 51. What he was thinking when he agreed to play the title role in The Tooth Fairy I don’t think we will ever know but the point is; he was becoming a well-known face on the family film circuit.

 

 

And after his work in Faster and The Other Guys, Johnson was finally given his big break; his chance to make it big as a film star. Dwayne Johnson was cast in Fast Five (or Fast and Furious 5, whichever you like) as Luke Hobbs, starring opposite Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in probably the most predictable franchise of all time. The fourth film in the series gained over $300million at the box office. The addition of Dwayne Johnson to the cast for Fast Five saw box office figures almost double for the fifth film, earning Johnson the unofficial nickname of ‘franchise Viagra’. And to be honest, he was very very good in Fast Five, he completely outshone the rest of the cast in my opinion.

This effect continued with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the sequel to Journey  to the Centre of the Earth starring Brendan Frasier (hands up who had forgotten that even existed?). The first film grossed around $240million whilst the Dwayne Johnson led sequel added another $30million onto that. Studio bosses will be hoping he has that same effect again as he has been cast in G.I. Joe: Retaliation with the franchise already in danger of being run out of the cinemas.

One of these men was the real star of Fast Five. Clue: It wasn't the one on the left.

I will openly admit that when it was announced that The Rock would be trying his hand at acting I had my head in my hands. But who would have thought that the hard man Dwayne Johnson would become such a likeable and bankable actor. He is signed on for at least one more Fast and Furious film and will be starring in Pain and Gain with Mark Wahlberg in 2013. Whether it be action films or family films, you’d better get used to seeing Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on your screens a whole lot more.