Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Film Treats To Be Excited About In 2010

We’re more than halfway through the year and still revelling over an early display of awesome from 'Kick-Ass'. Here’s my top 5 most anticipated films of the remaining year…

1. Toy Story 3

Toy Story is probably the best CG animation ever made, Toy Story 2 was a good sequel and Pixar have continued to release groundbreaking films that adults enjoy as much as children year after year. This is my most anticipated film of the year. Can't wait!

2. Inception

This is possibly gonna be the biggest film of the year that isn't a sequel to a rubbish vampire film. From director Christopher Nolan, expectation is high after the success of 'The Dark Knight' and with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead and a reported budget of $170 million. I'm a big fan of Nolan's Memento and The Prestige. I'm hoping this will live up to the hype.

3. Predators

What makes this so anticipated for me is that it completely ignores the terrible Alien Vs Predator films and the not so good Predator sequel (starring Danny Glover). And Robert Rodriguez is onboard to produce, with creative control and to watch over director Nimród (yes, 'Nimrod') Antal, director of Armoured (2009). We deserve a good Predator film!

4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

From director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and based on a comic book series. Scott must battle the seven evil ex-boyfriends/girlfriend of the girl of his dreams, before they kill him. It could be stylish, cheesy fun. I have faith in Edgar Wright.

5. Tron: Legacy

Released at the end of the year, this is a sequel to the 1982 cult classic. Jeff Bridges is back and the teaser trailer showed off some pretty slick special effects. The original was a flop, but gained a huge cult following and it’s one I remember fondly from my childhood. Roll on December!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Top 10 Film and TV Geeks

The best nerdy nerd nerds on the big and small screen.

1. Egon Spengler (Ghostbusters 1 and 2).

"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light"

2. Doc Brown (Back to the Future Trilogy).

"Let me show you my plan for sending you home. Please excuse the crudity of this model, I didn't have the time to build it to scale or to paint it. [reveals intricate tabletop model of the town square]"

3. Seth Brundle (The Fly).

Genius physicist, inventor, twitchy, tweed jackets...

4. Steve Wiebe (The King Of Kong).

Devoting your life to beating the Donkey Kong world record is pretty nerdy.

5. Comic Book Guy (The Simpsons).

"I've spent my entire life doing nothing but collecting comic books...and now there's only time to say...Life well spent!"

6. Mulder and Scully (X-Files).

They spend their days investigating extra-terrestrial and paranormal activity…

7. Moss (IT Crowd).

"You see the driver hooks a function by patching the system call table, so it's not safe to unload it unless another thread's about to jump in there and do its stuff, and you don't want to end up in the middle of invalid memory...hello?"

8. Donatello (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

Nuff said.

9. Doctor Sam Beckett (Quantum Leap).

"Oh boy"

10. Sheldon (The Big Bang Theory).

"You have about as much chance of going out with Penny as the Hubble Telescope has of finding that at the center of each black hole there's a little man with a flashlight trying to find the circuit breaker"

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Cult Classic Reviews #2: Scanners

An early film from David Cronenberg, from his first wave of b-movie horror films. Scanners was made the year I was born (1981), I remember seeing it when I was pretty young and finding it a disturbing watch. There was something unsettling about the tone of the film and the idea of someone being able to get inside my head and kill me with just the power of their mind.

Watching it now it’s aged, but still manages to be pretty disturbing all the same. Yeah, most of the acting is wooden, it’s badly dubbed in parts, laughably corny in a few places and the effects might be dated, but they still have a charm and the infamous exploding head is as good today as it was back in 1981.

It’s Cronenberg's intense direction, ideas, and use of audio and visuals that make it effective and these basic elements continue to serve him well today, only with bigger budgets and better casts. The films strongest card is Michael Ironside, who makes for a formidable villain, he seems to be channelling a bit of a angry Jack Nicholson in his performance, snarling and chewing scenery as he epitomises pure evil. It's a solid piece of acting in the midst of the b-grade support. He doesn't seem to get the credit he deserves, but he’ll always have fans in the cult film world for his roles in Scanners, Total Recall and the cult sci-fi series V.

It’s not the best of Cronenberg's films, it's not even the best of his early works, but it’s a memorable piece of b-movie history nonetheless and a movie that always comes up in conversations about cult film. 7/10