Tag Archives: Films

First Official Fantastic Four Teaser Trailer

The first teaser trailer for the new Fantastic Four movie was released a few days ago. Now I adore all things superhero-related. I read comics as a kid, was addicted to Buffy, Angel and Smallville, and have eagerly anticipated each Marvel release as it’s been announced. The latest success came in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy, which I absolutely loved.

And I have to admit, I am a little excited to see the Fantastic Four film when it eventually arrives on our cinema screens. But there are a few things that irked my Marvel-loving brain when I watched this trailer.

1. Is it too soon to be releasing a Fantastic Four re-make, with a whole new cast? It might have been a fair few years ago, but it seems only yesterday Jessica Alba and company were making the promotional rounds for, admittedly, one of the worst Marvel adaptations ever made. The sequel was marginally better, but only because it included the Silver Surfer, one of the best comic book characters ever created. However, just because it wasn’t all that good, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be left alone for just a little bit longer. There’s currently an annoying school of thought in the film industry that superheroes should be capitalised on as much as is humanly possible, while they are still popular.  It is an irritating trend that I hope fades soon.

2. While the first trailer has been released, we won’t actually get to see the film for another six months. Look Hollywood, I know you want to make tons of money from superheroes, and that you want to have a big build up to this movie, where you release lots of trailers, clips and interviews with actors who ‘accidentally’ reveal plot details, in order to do. But here’s the thing, six months from now, when this movie is actually available for me to watch at my local cinema, I might not even bother. I’ll have had enough of the waiting and the taunting, and, frankly, I will just want it to be over. I know that this is how Hollywood works, but I think the industry should have a good long look at itself, and consider changing its ways.

3. What made the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers so great? The fact that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They are injected with enough humour to make them enjoyable to everyone. Too many thrills and not enough laughs can destroy a movie like this. And the teaser trailer is ridiculously dark. There’s not an ounce of funny in that entire thing. This may not reflect the entire film, but then isn’t that what a trailer is supposed to do? I just hope Miles Teller will bring some of his charisma and natural comedic ability to the role, to lighten the mood a bit. Otherwise we could be facing another not-so-good Fantastic Four movie that is forgotten about and re-made in a couple of years.

Have a look at the trailer and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Top Ten Ultimate Horror Movies

***Warning- this post contains spoilers***

With Hallowe’en fast approaching, I thought it was about time to draw up a list of the ultimate horror movies to stick on the DVD player this weekend. While big-time horror movie buffs will advise every cult movie from the obscure to the downright disgusting, I (as someone who only enjoys a scary film from time to time) will be focusing on the classics- those that exploded onto the mainstream movie scene with a pile of blood, guts and high-pitched screams.

10. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Fulfilling the compulsory sci-fi selection, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a superbly creepy depiction of an alien takeover. With an all-star cast, including Leonard Nimoy and Donald Sutherland, the acting is also much better than many horror movies. Ultimate scary moment: Donald’s Sutherland shriek at the end… obviously.

9. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

What would a horror movie list be without a film about a group of horny teenagers getting picked off one by one? Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my particular faves (I dressed up as Freddy Krueger for Hallowe’en when I was ten). Despite its cheesy 80s nature, it still delivers a whole lot of scares. Ultimate scary moment: the death of Glen a.k.a a young, hot Johnny Depp- he was just too beautiful to die.

8. Paranormal Activity (2007)

This series has its lovers and its haters but if I can say one thing for the first film, it does make you jump right outta your skin. I swear your heartbeat only just regulates before the next scare causes it to Usain Bolt its way out of your chest. Ultimate scary moment: where do those footprints in the flour come from?

7. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Definitely the best of the werewolf genre, the story of the man that finds himself acting a bit weird around the full moon before full on changing into a fuzzy killer is humorous, thrilling and terrifying all in one. Ultimate scary moment: the first time he changes into a werewolf- it literally looks like every vein is about to pop out of his body.

6. Saw (2004)

While this series definitely got dragged on for too long (apparently they’re thinking of making more – WHY?!) the original premise was brilliant and executed expertly in the first film. It manages to deliver 1001 different shocks, and it’s all (mostly) filmed in one dingy bathroom with like two guys and a saw? Incredible. Ultimate scary moment: when the guy saws his fricking foot off with a handsaw – again, pretty obvious.

5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Is it not every mother-to-be’s nightmare that she will give birth to a monster? Well if it’s not it will be after watching a pregnant woman slowly discover she is giving birth to the devil incarnate. Ultimate scary moment: the raw liver scene – all that needs to be said.

4. The Exorcist (1973)

Disgusting and terrifying, this depiction of a young girl possessed by an evil spirit and the priest that tries to save her has branded itself on the brain of everyone who has ever watched it. Ultimate scary moment: the scene of the possessed girl masturbating with a crucifix is probably the most awful thing that ever made it onto the big screen.

3. The Wicker Man (1973)

Okay I can handle monsters, gore and suspense but human ritual sacrifice and a messed up cult led by Christopher Lee (one of the creepiest individuals on the planet) is something that gives me nightmares. Plus it’s set in Scotland (where I live). A clever but massively disturbing suspense ridden thrill ride, which ends in devastation. Ultimate scary moment: the appearance of people in creepy animal masks, which triggers the realisation that he won’t make it off the island.

2. The Shining (1980)

Absolute classic starring Jack Nicholson who suffers from a case of the crazies after too long spent alone with his family in a hotel. Based on the Stephen King novel, the movie exudes supernatural elegance and psychological trauma. Ultimate scary moment: HERE’S JOHNNY!!!

1. 28 Days Later (2002)

Some might consider it a travesty that I’ve picked this as my number one over others but hear me out. Directed by Danny Boyle, one of the best guys ever, it is the most stylishly executed zombie apocalypse movie of all time. From fantastic acting to gory yet subtle special effects, the film becomes believable and downright terrifying. It manages horror without the over the top nature of so many in the genre. Ultimate scary moment: when a drop of infected blood hits the dad in the eye and he zombifies right in front of his teenage daughter- heart-breaking yet petrifying.

Disagree with my list? Feel free to post your favourite horror classics in the comments section below.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Giuseppe Broccolo (flickr.com/photos/gibro)

Flipping Fairy Tales

Disney’s latest blockbuster Maleficent starring Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie is causing a bit of a stir amongst the masses by alleging that one of the most terrifying creatures in children’s stories is more of a victim than a villain.

Flipping fairy tales and children’s stories has become pretty fashionable in recent years, with several films and books looking at them from ‘the other side’ portraying the bad guys as not that bad and the good guys as not that good. Wicked began the trend with it’s opening assertion that ‘No One Mourns the Wicked’ before explaining the true, rather devastating, story of the Wicked Witch of the West. And let’s not forget about Disney’s latest success story, Frozen, which transformed the infamous Ice Queen into a loving sister who was oppressed by her parents and terrified of her own powers.

Part of me is irritated by this latest trend. When I was younger the appeal of reading and going to watch films, plays and pantomimes was the knowledge that you would have a good guy to support and cheer for and a bad guy to hate and jeer at. It was simple. It taught me that there are always going to be villains, but that there will also always be heroes to defeat them.

But a much larger part of my recognises that this is a silly way to see it. These reformed stories convey that, most of the time, the bad people haven’t been bad their whole life and the way they have turned out isn’t necessarily their fault. They also show that good people aren’t perfect, and can have far darker sides. They reveal that while the hero defeating the villain is necessary, it is not something we should all be entirely happy about.

In life, people that you love will let you down and those you hate may be the ones to come through for you in the end. It doesn’t matter how much you don’t like someone, you will never relish their downfall, for they are a human being too. These lessons are ones we should be teaching children. While they are confusing and, perhaps, not as satisfying, they will prepare them for later life.

For while we may enjoy teaching our children stories of monsters, we should try to remind them that monsters were once people too.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Global Panorama (https://www.flickr.com/photos/121483302@N02/)

Flight

Everyone loves a bit of Denzel Washington… I have tried to find a fault with him over the years and I just can’t. He is simply brilliant.

And no less so in his latest feature Flight, in which he plays William “Whip” Whitaker, a pilot who manages to, against the odds, land his crashing plane to avoid many casualties and becomes an automatic, old-fashioned, American hero.

However, he is also an alcoholic, cocaine user and generally messed up guy, having little contact with his former wife and son, who have both given up on him. The crash forces him to face up to his shortcomings as it is revealed that he had a high level of alcohol and cocaine in his system on  the day of the flight, leading to potential charges of manslaughter and jail time. As he fights with lawyers and co-workers to prevent being sent to prison his dependency on alcohol and drugs become more and more apparent.

Despite the film being overly long and arguably anti-climactic at the end, it is still a good watch. Both the writing and Denzel’s acting abilities manage to draw you further and further into a poor man’s fight- not against the authorities- but against the damage he does to himself. Managing to touch on religious influences and other American societal issues as well, the director, Robert Zemeckis, is able to keep the viewer engaged throughout.

So what are you waiting for? Go and get your Denzel fix for the week.

-Claire Flynn

– Image courtesy of Pam Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/35528040@N04/)

Film Releases to Look Out For In 2013

The world hasn’t ended so LET’S ALL GO TO THE CINEMA! 2013 promises to be another year full of sequels, prequels and even some brand new flicks to grab our attention. So here is a countdown of films to look out for in the next year.

  1. World War Z- Set in Philadelphia, but filmed in our very own Glasgow, this film tells the story of a U.N. employee’s battle to stop the outbreak of a deadly zombie pandemic. Starring the lovely Brad Pitt, it will be worth watching just to see the zombie invasion of George Square.
  2. jOBS- The closing film at the Sundance Film Festival 2013, this feature tells the story of one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American History, Steve Jobs. This indie number, directed by Joshua Michael Stern, promises to be a candid and inspiring tale of the last 30 years of Jobs’ life.
  3. Kick Ass 2- Kick Ass, Hit Girl and Red Mist return in June to… well, kick some ass. Kick-Ass has joined forces with a group of other normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick Ass knows.
  4. This Is The End- Featuring an all-star cast, this film tells the story of Seth Rogen and numerous other celebrities attending a party at James Franco’s house only to face the apocalypse. With the number of funny men involved this is likely to be a barrel of laughs with countless silly antics taking place.
  5. Iron Man 3- The cool, clever and funny Tony Stark returns this year in his metallic body armour with the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow at his side. This time he must face his most powerful enemy yet: the Mandarin.
  6. After Earth- The latest in creepy sci-fi flicks from director M. Night Shyamalan, this film tells the story of a father and son exploring a planet that was evacuated by humans 1000 years earlier, after they crash land on it. Starring Will Smith and his son Jadyn, it will be worth it just to watch the Smith boys in action together again.
  7. Star Trek Into Darkness- Chris Pine return as Captain Kirk leading the crew of the Enterprise. After the crew find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organisation, Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.
  8. Man of Steel- An alien infant is raised on earth and grows up with superhuman abilities, which he uses to protect his adopted home planet. The tale of Superman flies back on to cinema screens with Henry Cavill as Clark Kent and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.
  9. The Great Gatsby- Based on the classic book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this film tells the story of Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner living on Long Island, who becomes fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbour, Jay Gatsby. This is the latest of Baz Luhrmann’s works and stars Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan. Audiences will undoubtedly be unable to tear their eyes from the screen as they are drawn into a world of Fitzgerald and Luhrmann combined.
  10. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug- The first part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel may have only just been released last month, but the second part has already become one of the most highly anticipated film releases of 2013. In this part the Dwarfs, Gandalf and Bilbo have escaped the Misty Mountains and continue their journey to re-obtain gold from the dragon Smaug. It is a long wait until it’s release in December but hey- it gives us something to look forward to.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of BagoGames (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/)

Les Misérables

The adaptation of the world famous musical to the big screen has finally arrived and Hooper’s masterpiece, featuring an all-star cast, does not disappoint. The story is already well-known to most- set in 19th century France, ex-convict Jean Valjean attempts to live a Christian life after being redeemed despite being pursued by rigid upholder of the law, Inspector Javert, for breaking parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s daughter, Cosette, the fateful decision changes both their lives forever. This is a tale of love set against the backdrop of revolutionary France, depicting political upheaval and class divide. It is an emotional rollercoaster that will leave audiences crying out in anguish, clapping with amazement and feeling unexpectedly uplifted.

It is undoubtedly one of the best musicals to arrive on the cinema screens in a long time. The music and lyrics of Les Misérables, famous around the world, hold the film together well, driving the story on and the themes out well, with the raw energy of the musical performances being captivating in their own right. Hathaway’s performance of ‘I Dreamed a Dreamed’ is delivered from the depths of such degradation and with such force, tears are difficult to prevent. And the empowering nature of ‘Can You Hear the People Sing’ certainly succeeds in lifting spirits. Although, some may find it cringe-worthy to watch actors continually singing their conversations at one another, even the toughest of cynics will find it difficult not to be caught up in the music, stories and amazing cinematic creation that is Les Misérables. Nominated for eight Oscars, it will, no doubt, sweep up countless awards, and deservedly so.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Marian Stanton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/marirn/)