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Jury Duty

POSTED ON May 14th, 2014  - POSTED IN Movies, Publishing, TV

So I have returned home to a week I have just blocked out as “comedown”.  I’m tired, jetlagged and missing new friends I made on the trip.  However, something exciting got announced yesterday that I’ve been keeping quiet for a couple of weeks… I’m on a jury for the British Fantasy Awards, specifically the jury for Best Film / Television Episode.  For obvious reasons I won’t be talking about the work I’m doing for it, but I’m both thrilled and honoured to be asked and hope we do the award proud.

Details below the cut.

Why Affleck As Batman Might Not Be A Bad Thing

POSTED ON August 23rd, 2013  - POSTED IN Comics, Movies

So it turns out that Ben Affleck is going to be Batman in the new Zack Snyder Batman / Superman movie.  And as a result the internet has let out a collective WHAT?!  But personally I’ve been proven wrong about casting before and as a result had a little think about this.  And you know what?  I think he could surprise us all and deliver something outstanding.

The Avengers (No Spoilers)

POSTED ON April 30th, 2012  - POSTED IN Comics, Movies

In my opinion, Dark Knight is the finest superhero movie ever made. There’s something about the way it builds its own Batman mythos, borrowing minimally from the comics but adding its own twists to make a great movie that you’d love even if you perhaps weren’t a superhero fan.

Avengers on the other hand is a movie for fanboys. And ordinarily that would be a worry. You’d picture this big, soulless movie, with fanboy moments crammed in, trying to tick boxes instead of telling a story. And when you consider that this movie features the leads from three previous Marvel movies… well, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this thing had ‘mess’ written all over it before the ink was dry on the script.

Confessions Of A Horror Movie Wimp

POSTED ON October 31st, 2011  - POSTED IN Movies

I’ve talked before about how rubbish I am with horror movies. Let’s face it, I’m an embarrassment to my hardcore-horror friends. I immerse myself so deeply that a quick cut to anything, be it zombie or kitten, makes me jump out of my seat and as a result breaks the immersion. As a result the majority of horror doesn’t work for me.

I’ve been reading the entire series of the Walking Dead comic book and absolutely loving it, but still I’ve not watched the television series. Is that because I’m worried they will change important elements of the comic books’ plot? No, I desperately want to watch this show. It’s because zombies jumping out at me will make me jump. I’m such a pussy!

Fan Made Final Fantasy Advent Children Trailer

POSTED ON October 28th, 2011  - POSTED IN Movies

There are elements of anime that I absolutely love. The hyper-reality where everyone’s abilities are ramped up to superhero proportions, huge frickin’ swords and the way that fantasy and SF mix as if it’s no big deal. Japanese storytelling is very different to the 3 act structure you commonly find in the west and as a result the story is rarely something you can guess.

I love the Final Fantasy Advent Children movie for all these reasons. And I’m not that huge a Final Fantasy fan. I get how the movie might not be everyone’s cup of tea and to be honest there are elements that don’t exactly fit for me either, but still, it’s something I really vibe off. It pushes creative buttons.

So in looking for a piece of music from the movie, I came across this fan-made trailer which uses Clint Mansell’s Requeim For A Dream (best known to most of you as the music in the trailer to The Two Towers). I like how the clips match the flow of the music.

If you’ve not seen movie, I think it’s worth a watch, even if there may be bits you hate.

New Non-Fiction: Star Wars Memories

POSTED ON September 1st, 2011  - POSTED IN Movies, Writing

Over at the SciFiNow Blog they are running a series of posts by Star Wars fans recounting their first encounter with the franchise. It’s all connected with their latest issue and with the upcoming release of the movies on Blu-ray later this month. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan for years so I was delighted to be able to contribute to this.

You can read my post about how I never got to see the movie in 1977 here. Enjoy!

Suckerpunch Trailer

POSTED ON August 3rd, 2010  - POSTED IN Movies

This could be brilliant, or it could massively disappoint, but the thing that’s got me excited right now is how it seems to be mixing up genres. Is that a World War 2 plane against a dragon? Oh, I so hope so! Let’s hope the final film looks as cool as the trailer!

Predators

POSTED ON July 22nd, 2010  - POSTED IN Movies

I don’t expect this to prove to be universally true, but for me, Predator is the perfectly paced movie. The story has a rhythm to it that means I can pretty much watch that movie on a continuous loop (and have done so in the past).

After action movies of the 80s where Arnie would always kick arse, it was refreshing to see a movie where the action heroes had it handed to them on a plate. It was essentially G.I. Joe vs Aliens, and I loved that premise.

The predator has remained my favourite movie monster ever since – something about those facial mandibles. I’ve even had chance to talk to some of the people who designed it over the years (including the late Stan Winston).

The Aliens Vs Predator movies never seemed to have enough alien or predator action in them so when I heard about Predators, I was excited.

The premise is pretty simple – The world’s best killers are rounded up and put on a game preserve planet for the predators to hunt. But what I liked about this movie, in a slight twist at one point, is that the killers decide to go after the predators.

It has many of the elements I loved about the original – the jungle setting, the cast getting knocked off one by one, vague references to the original Predator, heck even the mini-gun (officially the greatest movie weapon ever made).

Unusually, you never learn the names of the vast majority of characters (or if we did it was very quick and I missed it) and that can make you disconnect with them slightly. Still, it did feel odd, cheering a serial rapist as he decides to jump a predator. And perhaps that’s the problem. There’s nothing likeable about these characters. They’ve all done terrible things, why should we care that the predators knock them off?

Adrien Brody makes an interesting action hero that retains some of Arnie’s traits but gives it a slightly different twist. I’m not a huge Brody fan, but he is good in this. Topher Grace was the one who surprised me, putting in a very subtle but effective performance.

Look, I doubt this movie will win a lot of critical acclaim, but as a popcorn movie sequel to the original Predator, it does it very very well and I found it thoroughly enjoyable.