The much mocked (mainly by us) Ragnarok Dawn was Steve and I’s first attempt at making a film together and pretty much the first project we ever did. It’s from the 2 Days Later competition 2008 and is about a group of Vikings who get lost in a haunted wood and have to fight zombies.
If you don’t totally understand some bits of the story then that’s fine because I don’t either and I co-wrote it. That part aside though it does feature some fantastic make-up by Ali Reith and some very cool fight scenes by the talent team of Viking reenactors that offered to be involved. You also get to see Steve stab me in the head, which has got to be worth something.
Were you ready for that? Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tyker’s ‘Cloud Atlas’ appears here in a blistering array of dizzying visual motifs. If that sound precocious that’s likely the work of the Wachowski’s. An unsuspecting world wasn’t prepared for the existential conundri that spurged out of the second two movies of the Matrix Trilogy, effectively killing the franchise before it had finished.
The Wachowski’s are comparably weird by anyone’s standard but they are artists working in a medium of film and, with the help of Tykwer – who provided the score along with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil – sound. It just happens that thanks to the notoriety (and from the looks of it Asian budgets) they are working at a more commercial level. Other artists in the passed have loaded their bowels with multicoloured paint and expelled it onto canvas. An artists work isn’t automatically high art or accessible and whether this will be remains unproven.
But this trailer, the longest I’ve ever seen (I think) suggests a plethora of set pieces of such dizzying confidence and clarity that if the build up to the moments depicted in this spell binding trailer bear up in the final reel this has the potential to bring art house cinema crashing successfully into mainstream cinema. Based on the novel by David Mitchell, perhaps the borders laid out by an existing plot will keep the existential nonsense to a minimum. I hope so, because the Wachowskis at their best deserve a place in cinema history for the Matrix alone.
Bond is back – seemingly this time from the death – Mendes at the helm, creepy ass bad guy with a hair colour that doesn’t quite suit him (Javier Bardem, apparently moved on from being a lone pressure gun killer in No Country For Old Men to being MI6’s greatest nemesis to date).
Rumours of the scene, provided by Danny Boyle from excess footage left over from the Olympics, in which the Queen fly kicks a bad guy in the neck at Sandringham, does appear to have been left out of this trailer.
For those who missed it at the Olympic Opening Ceremony (you were one of the 2.3 Billion who missed it, eh?) here’s the quintessential moment in which two icons of the British Empire met for the first time and threw themselves out of a Helicopter….
Red Dwarf’s been going since 1988. Dave Lister, Arnold Rimmer and Cat found themselves locked on a mining ship 3 million years in the future with a deranged computer navigating. In that time a fair few things have changed but the the basic premise of fish out water or slob out of oxygen has held it together for all of those 24 years.
If it’s time to give up on the Dwarfers nobody’s told them – the tenth series is arriving on Dave very soon – and frankly the inexorable nature of the series kind of fits the idea. Dave is old now, and whether he’s staying an unwashed space bum remains to be seen – you’d think he’d’ve pulled it together a little in the last quarter decade.
But the constant, hopefully, will be the manic non-aliens (Gelphs, Simulants, Psirens, Polymorphs et al), the Bazookoid blasting, explosions and rampant ineptitude so often found by a group of idiots left womanless for three full millenia. With no real focus to cause them to up their game, Rimmer, Lister, Kryten and Cat will continue to wander aimlessly along the space lanes in search of curry and Pete Trance’s sister.
This trailer pretty much nails the outer limits of anarchy and testosterone fuelled hyper violence that Red Dwarf has represented for a good chunk of a century… loadsa fun…
Judge Dredd is back on the streets. Judge, Jury and Executioner on the streets of Megacity One. Back in 1995, Sylvester Stallone filled the oversized biker boots of the ultimate Judge – in 2012 it’s the slightly more svelte Karl Urban (LOTR and Star Trek). Obvious critical antipathy aside the problem back then was not Stallone, quite frankly the iconography, CGI, battle sequences and hard edged machismo on display matched what was taking place in the pages of 2000AD at the time very well though in the intervening years it’s aged inevitably, Roy Schneider, too many plot lines and a weird ending derailing a promising comic book adaptation.
The modern remake looks to be taking a less bombastic approach to Megacity One, with intermittent Megablocks between normal buildings, more of a sprawling metropolis than a monolithic tech city – reminiscent of District 9 and Predator 2 rather than Attack of the Clones and Blade Runner – which fits in with the sombre rethinks of other iconic comic book characters in recent years – though is just as likely to date it for future generations. It appears smarter and more universal perhaps than its predecessor on the whole though.
The problem in 1995 was flash-in-the-pan silly voiced ‘comedy actor’ Rob Schneider, dropped in to provide some misjudged light relief. Max Von Sydow and Diane Lane as Chief Justice Fargo and Judge Hershey were well placed but a retread of an old ‘clone’ story in which Dredd’s ‘brother’ Rico (played by Armand Assante) pushed the Sci-fi too far too quickly before Dredd was properly developed. Cramming ABC Warrior references, The Angel Gang (in particular JD strip regular Mean Machine Angel, a clone storyline and an intro that used elements of Wagner’s original Block War storyline into one short film caused a mess to ensue. By the denouement, set in an unexplained hideout in the head of the Statue of Liberty, apparently moved to the middle of Megacity One for no other reason than to have an exciting setting for the ending, things were confusing and a little overblown.
The new version has involved the creative teams that created Dredd in the first place, screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later) has worked closely with Dredd creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra to get the characters as close to the original concept as possible. Their plans seem to be very much more long term as well in this age of franchises, with the trailer suggesting only the utilisation of Wagner’s early Dredd storyline ‘Block Wars’ in which Dredd has to fight his way through one of the Megablocks (giant housing blocks) to take out Ma-Ma Madrigal, the dealer of Slo-Mo, a drug that causes the taker to slow their perception of time.
The other controversy back in 1995 was the decision to reveal Dredd’s face – as Sly – though really this could be a redundant concern as the world and his mates dog knew what Sylvester Stallone looked like and frankly Stallone filled the role very well, even down to the twisted lantern jaw.
This time it looks like the helmet is firmly stuck on, which is a shame in some respects as Karl Urban has a less interesting chin than Sylvester Stallone. This, in itself, might kick up it’s own controversy in film fans that are not so familiar with the source material. Never-the-less, hats off to anyone who wants to stick as resolutely as possible to any long standing character – made easier no doubt by Alex Garland’s position as Producer.
Never the less, both have moments of cleverness, the original’s section in the Cursed Earth and the depiction of the senior Judges (in particular Max Von Sydow’s Chief Judge Fargo) was well translated and the meaty, cartoon violence and tongue in cheek satire of rampant total martial law was imbedded nicely without becoming part of the plot, as in the books themselves. The action sequences were on the whole nicely put together (excluding the last) and Stallone was effectively born to play the Judge of Judges. Ultimately it’s flaws brought it down but it was a worthy attempt brought down through too much fiddling by the powers that be.
This version looks more careful and considered with a sharp eye on the future of the franchise as well as a neat look at the past that inspired it. Whether relying on Wagner and Ezquerra, geniuses though they are, to imbed ideas that have been developed since will prove a great idea is yet to be seen but the more I watch the trailer the more I think they’re on to something. However, in the cold, gritty realism they’ve claerly aimed at alla Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise is there room for Mean Machine Angel and more to the point, the snickering countenance of Judge Death…. probably not based on what we see here… but there’ll always be another franchise in another 17 years and franly I’m psyched to see what this one holds in store for us.
In the meantime, below is the 1995 trailer that inspired me to convince 50 mates to go see it – something I paid for dearly. I still blame Schneider. Pre-CGI Jar Jar that he was!! Compare and contrast – based on the trailer below you’d be a fool to miss it, sadly the end result wasn’t quite on par, but do note how irritating it gets the moment Schneider turns up. Fingers crossed for September 2012.
Steel yourselves for a giggle fit because the launch of Lego Batman 2 comes with a suitably funny launch trailer. The free roaming sequel to the caped crusader’s first foray into the world of bricks promises more heroes, more villains and even more silliness and the trailer certainly delivers on that. Also, we finally get to see what it looks like when the Batmobile looses a wheel and the Joker gets away.
The Star Trek franchise continues with this follow-up to 2009’s reboot. J.J. Abrams returns to direct from a script by Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The cast and crew of the Enterprise come back for a second tour of duty along with acclaimed actor Benedict Cumberbatch making his Trek debut as their most daunting threat yet.
While fans eagerly await any and every piece of content concerning J.J.’s frontier, the guys at MOVIECLIPS took it upon themselves to get their hands dirty in the excitement with this fan-made teaser trailer. They and we’ll be right on deck ready to bring you the official trailer when it debuts, until then, hope you enjoy!
Movieclips have made no secret that they think Cumberbatch is Khan – without a doubt the greatest nemesis of James T Kirk. Clearly taking a more cerebral route on this one (unsurprising for Abrams) if that turns out to be the case it is creating some theories online as to exactly what type of threat Cumberbatch will represent. Khan is very likely as Abrams is happily working back up through the original history (with some detours and re-envisioning).
Never mind what the plot is ; we here at BTB love a bit of the new Trek and will be posting up any new Trek news as and when.
Ethically borderline central characters – Check, 70s Kung Fu Movie simplicity – Check, Coolness bordering on latent homoeroticism – Check. Must be Tarantino’s back. Since the rampaging glory and Revenge of the Jews that was Inglorious Basterds I’ve been waiting (without really thinking about it often) for the next high octane dose of the ‘Tino.
While we’re never going to see the edginess of Pulp Fiction again these films are getting broader and more fun. It looks awesome. And looking at the slightly self aware casting it’s classic Tarantino!
So here it is!! Marvel have gone even closer to taking over the universe by introducing a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (note the lack of RPG at the end of the title). I had to look all those acronyms up and I’m uncertain as to how it’s Massively Multiplayer but not role play as I thought the Role Play part was pretty straight forward to add. Clearly you can’t dress Wolverine in a tutu or make Iron Man a mystic with a goat as a pet – but you kind of have to ask – why not? In spite of this, the idea of being able to be any of possibly hundreds of Marvel Heroes is pretty fun. Available on the PC, at some point…
The Great Gatsby is (and has been since I first read it at the age of 17) my favourite book by some distance. With that in mind I’ve been rather curious about the latest attempt to bring Fitzgerald’s great American novel to the screen. This time around the project is helmed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo & Juliet) and stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role and if the trailer is anything to go by then things seem to be on track.
I’m still not totally convinced that Gatsby needs to be a movie and part of me can’t help but think that DiCaprio is too self assured to work as the lost, delusional Gatsby but I like all of Baz Luhrmann’s films (yes, including Australia. Australia’s great, bum off) and I’ll watch pretty much anything with DiCaprio in (miscast or not). The idea of casting Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway is an interesting one and from the trailer, looks to be a pretty sound decision. Maguire is a great character actor who deserves to be thought of as more than “that guy who played Spider-Man”.
The one thing that baffles me is why on earth, given the largely non-action based story, the movie is in 3D. Most likely it has something to do with studio pressure and the fact that Luhrmann wants to have a bash at it before the horse finally collapses. I would suggest that this is an example of 3D running faster, spreading it’s arms father and hoping for one fine morning…but that would make me a wanker.
Gatsby is out later this year.
Oh and if you want to see a truly great (no pun intended) Gatsby esque film then you should watch Stephen Poliakoff’s Friends and Crocodiles. It’s not a version of the Gatsby story per-say but it has so many parallels that if you like Gatsby then you’ll love it.