Tag Archive: transformers


Back in 1975 Jaws became the highest grossing film to date. It’s arguably one of the most famous films ever that has been parodied and referenced in countless numbers of films and has a theme tune that everyone can hum and recognise. The release and the popularity of Jaws marked the arrival of the summer blockbuster, which would become a staple in the cinema calendar; the summer blockbuster spots are reserved for the biggest studios to bring out the big guns and rake in the profits over summer. The whole idea of a ‘blockbuster film’ has gone through celebration and survived criticism but you can not deny that they are still apparent and, as we have seen this year, are the most bankable films of the year. But the originality has gone, and with that so has some of the fun.

Among the top ten highest grossing films of the year so far there are eight films that have been released in the summer. Only one of those is an original concept: Pacific Rim. When Jaws was released it marked a trend of ‘event’ films that major studios released to compete with Jaws and its sequels. Taking this into account Pacific Rim seems like a typical summer blockbuster remade for a modern audience. It seems like everything a summer audience want: mindless action, giant robots fighting gigantic aliens and what’s more the film had major clout behind it as it was directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Pacific Rim only just managed to double its budget worldwide despite all the hype surrounding it and Idris Elba booming “today we are cancelling the apocalypse” before every other summer film that you would go and see. Of course, one reason why Pacific Rim could have fallen short of expectations is because Michael Bay did such an awful job with the Transformers film that any film with robots in will now be tossed aside without thought.

 

But then a film with fighting robots also became the fifth highest grossing film of all time: Iron Man 3. So this seems to suggest that that was not the only reason for Pacific Rim‘s failure to make a huge impression on the audience. In a world with so many sequels it is becoming more important to see those sequels when they come out, especially with what Marvel are doing with each film becoming a huge stable of cinema in itself and an unmissable event. People want to see what they already know because the first films are so good and successful that it gives a sequel credibility before it is even released. The likes of Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast and Furious 6, Monsters University and even Despicable Me 2 cracked the top ten highest grossing films – all coming off the back of successful franchises or original films. World War Z and Man of Steel also join the list but they’re coming from hugely successful books and comic books. With World War Z it also seems to suggest that star power is also important for a summer blockbuster with Brad Pitt no doubt being responsible for some of the surprisingly huge audience the zombie action film found.

So what of Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp? Three of the biggest movie stars on the planet absolutely tanked at the box office in 2013. Smith’s After Earth and Cruise’s Oblivion both seemed pretty similar in their basic premise: Earth has been abandoned and now Will Smith/Tom Cruise come back to Earth and find out that it’s not as bare as they might have thought. It was assumed that one film would take the spoils because they were too similar but as it turned out, neither film did and both failed. Johnny Depp looked to bring a new franchise to the big screen and should have been more successful being as though The Lone Ranger is integrated in popular culture – everyone has heard “Hi-Yo, Silver!” at least once in their lives. But a difficult time in production seemed to put an end to any plans Disney had of making a sequel. And the less said about R.I.P.D the better.

 

Another one of the most anticipated films of the year was Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. After Blomkamp’s debut feature District 9 was an Oscar nominated film people were expecting something exceptional from Elysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. However, as of now it has only just managed to make back its budget and not set the world alight as people expected. Of course, a late summer release won’t have helped being as though it seems everyone had already spent their money on previously mentioned films. So why is it so hard to find a spot for originality in the summer months?

For me, I think it comes down to the cost of going to the cinema. Over summer the children are off school and people go to the cinema as a family. This means that you’re going to be spending around £25-£35 on tickets and then another £20ish on drinks and popcorn which makes it seem pretty expensive just to go and sit down for a couple of hours. Nobody wants to go and see a bad film at the cinema anyway but when it’s costing that much you want to know that you’re going to enjoy what you watch. Therefore, I believe people are more likely to go and see Iron Man 3 when Marvel have a spotless record and you’re guaranteed a great performance from Robert Downey Jr. rather than take a chance that something like R.I.P.D or Pacific Rim which you don’t know much about.

 

In the next couple of years we are going to see more Marvel films – Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. The Man of Steel sequel featuring Batman is coming out too, the same as the seventh chapter of Star Wars and presumably a third in the new Star Trek trilogy: add to that another Fast & Furious film, a sequel to World War Z and X-Men: Days of Future Past. It seems like so many huge franchises are begging for people’s money that it seems impossible for anything new to turn heads. For the sake of cinema that has to change sooner rather than later.

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Last week it was rumoured that Matthew Vaughn was being heavily linked with the director’s chair of the new Star Wars film and it has been revealed that the shortlist for a director is now down to just 2 names (we don’t know if Vaughn is one of them but I expect he is). However, the news this week is that Michael Arndt is set to write the script. This is a fantastic choice from a critical point of view: Arndt won an Oscar for best screenplay in 2007 for Little Miss Sunshine and received another Oscar nomination for his most recent feature, the incredible Toy Story 3. Arndt is currently overseeing the writing of The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire and will then start work on what is sure to be another brilliant script, this time for Star Wars.

Jack Nicholson is being pursued to play Robert Downey Jr’s father in The Judge. Downey has said that he would love to work with Nicholson but the problem is that Jack Nicholson has only made three films since 2003: the critically acclaimed The Departed, The Bucket List and How Do You Know, the latter of the three showing that it is clearly not a quality script that Nicholson is after. The Judge follows a big-city lawyer (Downey) who returns home after the death of his mother only to discover that his estranged Alzheimer’s-ridden father is suspected of murder, so he represents his father in the case. Although this is by no means a done deal I think it would be perfect casting having Nicholson play Downey’s father.

The LEGO movie spoken about so long ago is finally taking shape and two big name actors have joined the cast this week: Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell. Ferrell will be playing the main villain of the film while Neeson lends his voice to the villain’s henchman. The synopsis for Lego: The Piece of Resistance is: an ordinary Lego mini-figure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil Lego tyrant from gluing the universe together. Ferrell and Neeson join an ever growing cast of Alison Brie, Chris Pratt and Morgan Freeman.

Finally, what began as an internet rumour has this week been confirmed as an official announcement. Transformers 4 has seen the casting of Mark Wahlberg become a reality. And if the Transformers franchise had cast an actual good action star and decent actor in the first place instead of Shia Labeouf and that waste of oxygen Megan Fox then perhaps I would be more inclined to have given them a watch. However, as I have no interest in supporting Michael Bay I am not even sure Wahlberg can persuade me to begin watching this franchise. Transformers 4 will also be taking place 4 years after the previous instalment, Dark of the Moon.

 

After the tragic loss of action director Tony Scott a few weeks ago this is another sad week for Hollywood. The incredible Michael Clarke Duncan has sadly passed away just two months after suffering a heart attack that he never really fully recovered from. It’s horrible news especially considering the fact that news reports have emerged that Duncan and his reality television personality girlfriend planned on getting married next year and had talked about having children together. Michael Clarke Duncan is best known for his role in The Green Mile which he was Oscar nominated for but he also starred in Sin City, The Green Lantern and Armageddon.

In other news there is yet another film in pre-production about former American president Abraham Lincoln. This follows the unique take on the 16th president Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and the upcoming Steven Spielberg biopic starring the hyphenated cast of Daniel Day-Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt entitled Lincoln. The title of the new film is The Green Blade Rises and will be directed by Terrence Malick. In the past Malick has taken long gaps between his films but his schedule seems to be pretty busy for the next two or three years. It’ll be interesting to see whether the success of Spielberg’s Lincoln affects this new take positively or negatively, if even at all.

Daniel Day-Lewis as President Lincoln

As many people will know by now The Hobbit has been announced as a trilogy and there has been a release date and title change for the films. The first part, out later this year, will still be named An Unexpected Journey. The second instalment will be titled The Desolation of Smaug to be released around Christmas 2013 whilst the third and final (for now) chapter adopts the name There and Back Again (originally the title for the second film) and will hit summer 2014.

Michael Bay continued to ruin childhoods this past week. He managed to anger Transformers fans when he continued to make each film worse than the previous one and then angered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans by deciding their new origin would be that they are aliens from another planet. Now the terrible explosion happy director has had to come out and deny that the leaked script for the new TMNT film is actually the final one because everyone who is anyone has been slating it and saying how awful it is. Michael Bay has a lot of work on his hands and is quickly becoming very very unpopular among movie fans and anyone with taste.

I actually enjoyed the most recent CGI outing of TMNT.

Finally, it has been in the pipeline for some time but it has now been announced that Metal Gear Solid, the hugely successful video game, is to be adapted into a film. Avi Arad, who has produced almost every single movie about a Marvel character, will be producing the film. Metal Gear Solid has already been integrated into a hilarious comedy routine by Dara O’Briain but will it be turned into a film just as good? The main problem is who should play main character Snake? Some of the names being touted around fan forums so far include Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Bradley Cooper and Sam Worthington. The favourite and specifically mentioned by the games creator Hideo Kojima seems to be Hugh Jackman. I think Jackman would be a great choice as he can clearly pull off being a bad ass like he has done in the X-Men films playing Wolverine. But if they are to get Jackman they need to start moving forward with the project soon before he gets too old.

Some weeks go by when there is not a single thing happening in the movie world that I am bothered about and then all of a sudden three things come along at once:

 

First up, there is a new Van Helsing film in development! Before you question why this is good news, you first have to know that this will not be a sequel to the awful Hugh Jackman interpretation of the character back in 2004, this will be a complete reboot. The reboot is to be written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, a writing pair that can boast hits such as Star Trek, Fringe, Alias, The Legend of Zorro, Mission: Impossible III, Transformers and, to a lesser extent, Cowboys and Aliens. Kurtzman has said that the reboot will be ‘grounded in reality’ and has high aims as he wants to ‘do for Van Helsing what [Christopher] Nolan has done for Batman’. The other piece of exciting news surrounding this project is who is attached to star as the title character: Tom Cruise. His career seems to have had its own little reboot in the last couple of years and he is being lined up to appear in everything, not that I’m complaining, I think he is a great person to watch and has a fantastic on screen persona. Van Helsing has no set release date yet with Cruise’s hectic schedule but a release of 2014/15 may be realistic.

 

Next up, Bourne! The Bourne trilogy is one of my favourites of all time, I think Matt Damon’s portrayal of super spy Jason Bourne is a character to rival any other and the storyline, the directing and the supporting cast are all fantastic. So when I heard that Damon and director Paul Greengrass would not be returning for fourth film The Bourne Legacy I was understandably disappointed. Then my disappointment faded with the announcement of Jeremy Renner becoming the lead role and playing Aaron Cross in what has been dubbed a ‘paraquel’ (the events take place simultaneously with the original Bourne trilogy). Frank Marshall, the producer of The Bourne Legacy has now said that it is his ‘dream’ to see Matt and Jeremy team up in the fifth installment. Of course, this is just a dream at the minute and Damon has fierce loyalty to director Greengrass and recently had a falling out with writer and new director Tony Gilroy but money talks and a huge payday for Damon could be in line if he was to return to the franchise which would be incredible!

Here is the incredible trailer for Renner’s The Bourne Legacy

And finally…

 

Marvel are riding high on the waves of success at the minute and a few months ago announced the line up for their next few films. among the regulars of Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 there were a couple of surprises with Marvel announcing two secret films. Immediately there was speculation that the 2014 secret movie would be a Black Panther origin story. Black Panther is one of my favourite characters in the Marvel universe and really does deserve a film and in the past week or so there has been no shortage of actors saying that they would love to be a part of the film. Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter) said that he hoped to be a part of The Incredible Hulk but wasn’t and would sign on to Black Panther today; Brian J. White (Cabin in the Woods, Brick) has also said he would love to work with Marvel when he was linked with the role but I don’t think that he looks the part so I would count him out straight away; Aldis Hodge (Leverage) seems to be the current fan favourite out of people who have confirmed their interest in the role and just by looking at him you have to say that he does seem to be the perfect fit. I would still hope that Djimon Hounsou got the part but maybe Marvel will go for a lesser known and cheaper actor for the part.

(left to right) Fan favourite Aldis Hodge; Marvel superhero Black Panther; my pick Djimon Hounsou.

Recently, at a Lexington Comic and Toy Convention, Jason David Frank stated that he would like to see a Power Rangers movie made in a darker tone to the series and that he thinks it could work in the style of Batman or something similar. This may mean nothing, except for the fact that Jason David Frank is the best Power Ranger to ever grace the series; he is Tommy Oliver, green ranger, white ranger, red ranger and black ranger. He is an absolute legend. So could a Power Rangers movie work?

Children all over the world from Japan to the USA to Britain have grown up with the Power Rangers, it is one of the longest running series’ on television and has been running every year since the original series was shown way back in 1993. The fact that the series is still being made proves its popularity among younger audiences but is that really reasoning enough to turn it into a big film franchise. Well why not?

Film executives and studio big wigs nowadays seem to focus on the money aspect of things and there is no doubt that with the Power Rangers popularity and the merchandising deals that could be made, the films could bring in a lot of money. The only problem is in attracting older audiences. I believe that some people, like myself, will remember growing up with the characters and would go and see a film if it was made for sentimental reasons if nothing else.

The Power Rangers is a classic story of good and evil, every series and every episode follows the same strict formula. There is no reason why this formula could not transfer onto the big screen. Hollywood audiences love a good battle between the forces of good and evil as we have seen with Harry Potter and the recent trend of superhero films. And on that note, why not give the series a try as a film whilst audiences are obsessed with superheroes, there’s nothing to lose.

There is no reason why Power Rangers could not be made darker for a more mature audience either. With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles getting a reboot and the Transformers trilogy being made, why not try adapting another children’s classic for a more mature audience. Set the tone darker, keep the fight between good and bad, but add more adult themes. It would work!

I, for one, would love to see a new team of Power Rangers on the big screen and there are a lot of young, talented actors coming through that could be given their big break in a film of this nature. But if a big budget Power Rangers movie does ever get made, Jason David Frank deserves at least a cameo!

So it seems as though Michael Bay is on a one man mission to destroy the childhood of millions. First, he enraged a large majority of Transformers fans with his franchise that consisted mainly of blowing things up and now he has incurred the wrath of millions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans with his latest announcement.

At the annual Nickelodeon presentation producer Michael Bay said of the loveable Turtles in their new film: “These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable.”

Aliens?! The heroes in a half-shell are not aliens, they are mutants: Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles.

Seriously, what is Michael Bay’s problem?

I was looking forward to this film before the latest announcement. Changing the origin changes the whole story of the Turtles and the millions of people who grew up loving the green heroes tutored by a rat are set to be disappointed. And speaking of the mentor rat, Splinter, is he a mutant rat or another alien? Absolutely ridiculous!

This Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film has been slated for a Christmas 2013 release.

The Turtles' last film outing was an enjoyable CGI adventure back in 2007.

2012 Razzie Nominees Announced

What on Earth has happened to Adam Sandler?

With the Oscars just around the corner everbody in the movie industry has their eyes on the Academy Awards. However, this awards season, I am more bothered about the Golden Raspberries or the Razzies, as they are better known, which acknowledge the actors and films that are deemed the worst of the year. This year Adam Sandler has set a record at the Razzies with ELEVEN nominations. Here is the full list of nominations in the main categories and my predictions for the winners (or losers, however you see fit).

Worst Picture

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

Jack and Jill

New Year’s Eve

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I

Whilst I would love to see Transformers or Twilight go home with the Worst Picture award as I cannot stand either of the two franchises I think Jack and Jill seems nailed on to win this, but it could face tough competition from Bucky Larson which managed to acheive an incredible 0% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

Worst Actor

Russel Brand (Arthur)

Nicholas Cage (Drive Angry, Trespass and Season of the Witch)

Taylor Lautner (Abduction and Twilight)

Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill and Just Go With It)

Nick Swardson (Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star)

I can’t say I’m surprised to see any of these actors on the nominees shortlist but with all the negativity surrounding Adam Sandler over the past year it would be daft to put your money on anyone else.

Worst Actress

Martin Lawrence (Big Momma’s House: Like Father, Like Son)

Sarah Palin (Sarah Palin: The Undefeated)

Sarah Jessica Parker (I Don’t Know How She Does It and New Year’s Eve)

Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill)

Kristen Stewart (Twilight)

In true spirit of the Razzies two men are up for the worst actress award and one politician. It would not be unheard of for one of the men to win it but Kristen Stewart does seem to be a favourite of the Razzies making the nominees every year so I’m backing Kristen Stewart to win this one.

Worst Supporting Actor

Patrick Dempsey (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

James Franco (Your Highness)

Ken Jeong (Big Momma’s House, Hangover Part 2, Transformers and Zookeeper)

Al Pacino (Jack and Jill)

Nick Swardson (Jack and Jill and Just Go With It)

There are a couple of big name actors on this list which is a shock. With all the horrible performances he has put in over the past year Ken Jeong seems nailed on to win this award. His main competition will be Al Pacino who’s cameo in Jack and Jill was critically panned. Although how Orlando Bloom managed to escape being nominated is beyond me.

Worst Supporting Actress

Katie Holmes (Jack and Jill)

Brandon T. Jackson (Big Momma’s House 3)

Nicole Kidman (Just Go With It)

David Spade (Jack and Jill)

Rosie Huntington-Whitely (Transformers 3)

I think this one will be going to Katie Holmes who is real Razzie bait. Unfortunately, I can see Rosie Huntington-Whitely being awarded with this too which I think would be unfair because she cannot have done any worse than the ‘actress’ she replaced, Megan Fox.

Worst Screen Ensemble

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

Jack and Jill

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

New Year’s Eve

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Unfortunately, whilst I would be delighted to see Twilight take this award I think it is clear from the nominations in the other category that Jack and Jill will be taking this home. It looks as though Adam Sandler will have a lot of Razzies to throw away in a couple of months.

Worst Director

Michael Bay (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

Tom Brady (Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star)

Bill Condon (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn)

Dennis Dugan (Jack and Jill and Just Go With It)

Gerry Marshall (New Year’s Eve)

I will not be happy until Michael Bay wins a Worst Director award. Blowing things up a lot does not make for good directing. Quit. Seriously.

 

Whilst the Academy Awards attracts all the stars of Hollywood, the Razzies does not usually attract the big names. After all, who would want to accept an award which pans their performance? Sometimes, though, celebrities do turn up and in 2004 Halle Berry turned up to accept her award for Worst Actress for her performace in Catwoman. The speech was hilarious and Halle Berry gave a performance infinitely better than her acting in the film.

Enjoy.