Archive for January, 2013


Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty (2013)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Starring Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton,

zero-dark-thirty-greatest-manhunt-in-history-movie-bigelow

Following 9/11, the CIA increase their efforts to find Bin Laden with a small task force including Maya (Chastain), who, over the decade-long search, becomes consumed by it.

 

Zero Dark Thirty is incredibly powerful. It’s both long – over 2hr30 – and slow paced – the focus is on piecing fragments of information together – but ZDT is gripping. I found myself fidgeting with tension, willing Maya to find the final elements, willing the CIA to listen to her while knowing how the film was going to end. ZDT has got a lot of publicity as people think that it justifies torture but I didn’t get that impression. The torture scenes are brutal and the deaths in the film do not have the “Hollywood” touch. Chastain, at the centre of everything, is excellent and fully deserves all the recognition she is getting and the journey she has, from a timid and meek start to the solid conviction, is fantastic.

 

Recommend

This might not be for everyone but I thought it was excellent. Think the approach of The Hurt Locker but more realistic. It’s a slow burner, but don’t let it put you off: it’s seeing a story that has shaped the very recent history of the world brought to life. This is definitely going to be one of my films of the year.

The FriedGold rating – 10/10 – Zero Dark Perfect

If you like this then you might like:

The Hurt Locker – Bigelow’s Best Picture winner about bomb disposal in Iraq

 

 

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Is J.J. the director we were looking for?

So the news coming from across the pond is that J.J. Abrams has been selected to take on the directing duties for Star Wars Episode VII even though it was only a few weeks ago that he was ruling himself out of it.
I think this is fantastic news given J.J.’s track record of Alias, Lost, Fringe and then turning to films like Cloverfield, Mission Impossible, Super 8 and taking the reins of Star Trek on the big screen. This man seems to have a golden touch and is probably the best possible person to work on bringing Star Wars back to its original roots. His work with Star Trek was fantastic, yes he might have changed the history of Kirk and the Enterprise crew by creating an alternate timeline but by doing this he helped create a new fan base by giving it a refresh while at the same time keeping so much in for the original hard-core Trekkies.
Not just with Star Trek but with his other work he cared about the audience and wants to please them/us so I don’t see why Star Wars would be any different. We will obviously have new characters, stories, and I’m sure some good old J.J. camera flare shots but he will also include aspects of the Star Wars history, and returning characters, to keep everyone happy.
One person who I imagine is ecstatic by this news will be Simon Pegg. As a massive self-confessed Star Wars geek I’m sure he will be hoping to team up with J.J. once again and get a role in the film having worked with him in two Mission Impossible films and two Star Trek films.

The only negative that could arise from this is what will happen to the futures of Mission Impossible and more importantly Star Trek? Given there has been a 4 year gap between Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness we could see the same sort of wait for Star Trek 3 meaning a 2017 release giving plenty of time for Star Wars.
However I think we can all agree now, and we didn’t want to believe it, that J.J. Abrams is indeed our father. YYYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Top 15 films to look out for in 2013

Following on from last year I have compiled a list of films, that I am looking forward to, being released this in 2013. It was going to be a top 10 but there were far too many so I made it a top 15 to look out for.

So have a read and see if any of these are getting you excited for the film year ahead.

 

 

A Good Day to Die Harda_good_way_to_die_hard_poster_2

Directed by John Moore

Starring Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney

Taking place in Russia, John McClain goes after his son who is in a spot of trouble with some local authorities. Expect guns, explosions, witty one liners and a Yippie-ki-yay…….

Out February 14th

 

 

Oz the Great and Powerfuloz-the-great-and-powerful-poster

Directed by Sam Raimi

Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams

Ever wondered how the wizard ever came to live in OZ. This tells the story of how a young magician is transported to the Land of Oz and his encounters with the inhabitants.

Out March 8th 

 

 

Iron Man 3  Iron-Man-3-Poster

Directed by Shane Black

Starring Robert Downey Jnr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley and Guy Pierce

Taking place right after the events of Avengers Assemble, Tony Stark is trying to deal with who he is. The man or the suit? Stark comes up against his toughest threat yet in the Mandarin as his personal world crumbles around him.

Out April 26th

 

 

Star Trek into Darkness star-trek-into-darkness-poster

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and Benedict Cumberbatch

The crew of the Enterprise find Starfleet and the Earth in chaos and it is up to the Kirk and his crew to find who is responsible and settle an old score.

Out May 17th

 

 

 

Only God Forgivesonly_god_forgives_poster

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas

This film reunites the team that brought us Drive, Refn and Gosling. The film is about a Thai boxing club that is the front for a family’s drug business. Things don’t go to plan and Gosling is forced to find the people who killed his brother.

Out May 23rd

 

 

 

 

 

The Hangover 3hangover_wolfpack

Directed by Todd Phillips

Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zack Galifianakis

Not much has been released about this yet, a possible funeral, possible mental home…. But what we do know is that they will be returning to Vegas and the Wolf pack is sure to have one crazy final blowout.

Out May 24th

 

 

 

Man of Steelsuperman_man_of_steel

Directed by Zach Snyder

Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne and Russell Crowe

Yes this is another Superman film and we will probably see a lot of Kal-el becoming Clark Kent and Clark Kent becoming Superman once again but this will be different. Christopher Nolan is helping produce and helped write the story which already adds anticipation considering what he did for the Batman franchise.

Out June 14th

 

 

 

 

Monsters Universitymonsters_university_poster

Directed by Dan Scanlon

Starring the voices of John Goodman and Billy Crystal

This is the story of how Mike Wazowski and James P. “Sully” Sullivan met at university and became best friends before going into the scaring business.

Out July 12th

 

 

 

 

The Wolverine the-wolverine-poster

Directed by James Mangold

Starring Hugh Jackman

Taking place after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Logan travels to Japan to deal with his continuing issues but soon finds himself in a battle against someone from his past.

Out July 26th

 

 

 

 

 

The Worlds End  the_worlds_end_poster

Directed by Edgar Wright

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman

This is the final part in the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’ which will see the green mint choc-chip ice cream being used. The story is based around five child hood friends who meet up to repeat a pub crawl that they did in their younger days which finishes in The Worlds End pub. However things don’t go according to plan and they realise that it’s not just their own lives they should worry about but the whole worlds.

Out August 14th 

 

 

 

Elysiummatt_damon_elysium

Directed by Neill Blomkamp

Starring Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley and Jodie Foster

There are two types of people that live in the year 2159. Wealthy ones who live on the space station Elysium and the rest who live on an overpopulated and destroyed Earth. The film sees a plan to make everyone equal by sending ex-con Damon on a mission to make the 2 worlds 1.

Out September 20th

 

 

 

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For  Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-Poster

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Starring Mickey Rourke, Michael Madsen, Jamie King, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon Levitt

Mostly based on the second book in the Sin City series by Frank Miller Sin City: A Dame to Kill For follows the same path of the first film looking over 4 different stories that intertwine. 1 of the stories is new and has Joseph Gordon Levitt playing a cocky gambler called Johnny. Anything with JGL in gets my vote.

Out October 2nd

 

 

 

 

Thor: The Dark Worldthor_2

Directed by Alan Taylor

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Christopher Ecclestone

A primeval race intends to send the universe in to darkness while at the same time Thor battles to save all the Nine Realms. Thor must team with Jane Foster to save the universe from the evil Malekith. What makes this even more interesting is director Alan Taylor has also worked on the 1st and 2nd series of Game of Thrones.

Out October 30th

 

 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug TheHobbit_

Directed by Peter Jackson

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage and Andy Serkis

Continues on from where The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey left off. Expect stunning visuals and great fun.

Out December 13th 

 

 

 

Anchorman: The Legend Continues anchorman_2_poster

Directed by Adam McKay

Starring Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate

Not much has been released about what we can expect from this film. All we know is that the news team are reuniting and that the story may involve a custody battle and some bowling.

Out December 20th

 

The Grey

The Grey (2012)

Directed by Joe Carnahan

Starring Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, and Dermot Mulroney

 

the-grey-poster

 

In the middle of the Alaska, John Ralph Ottway works at an Oil drilling plant as a protector of the workers from the wild wolves that roam the area. Acting as a sniper he takes down any that get close. Not in a good place personally Ottway doesn’t know what to do with his life but all this changes when the plane home crashes and he, along with several other survivors, must survive the freezing conditions and the wild wolves.

 

The film is a lot more serious and real than I expected and deals with Neeson’s character trying to get through his life. You see flashes to his home life and you know he has some personal issues that he has not dealt with properly. When the plane goes down he jumps right into survival mode knowing that the wolves that he is trained to take out will soon be after them.

Some of the CG on the wolves looks a bit dodgy and they have covered it up well with close up shots that are mostly in the dark of the night. There is a reveal of Ottway’s personal life towards the end which makes earlier points understandable and gives the character real depth.

 

Recommend

This was a very serious film with some gruesome deaths. It was an enjoyable film and went against the Hollywood way of thinking but was not up there with the best and there was less action than I was expecting. Still worth a watch.

TheFriedGold rating – 6/10 – Neeson dances with wolves

 

Film Fact

Bradley Cooper was cast as a much-younger lead character in the lead role, but he was eventually replaced by Neeson.

Django Unchained

Django Unchained

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio

 

Django_Unchained_Poster

 

A German bounty hunter needs help from a slave called Django, and then sets out to help Django rescue his wife who was sold as a slave to Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Calvin Candie.

 

This is as classic Tarantino as you can get, B movie feel, lots of blood, swearing like you wouldn’t believe, fantastic dialogue, unbelievable deaths and brilliant acting from everyone involved. The duo of Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx have great chemistry and are brilliantly funny throughout the film. Di Caprio is smooth and cool while turning completely mental and unbelievably racist to get his way and comes across as a very scary person. There are cameos right the way through with some you probably wouldn’t expect. It’s hard to say what my favourite scene in the film is as there were many excellent moments but I would probably say the scene about the hoods is clever and very funny.

The deaths in the film are so over the top that they are comical but don’t take anything away from the story. There is an excessive use of the word ‘nigger’ in the film and the first few times you hear it, it does shock you a little. But it goes on and on and you kind of get used to it. There were a lot of the older generation of viewers in the cinema when I saw it and I was unsure if they were aware what the film would be like and if they would make it to the end. I imagine they heard of a DiCaprio film about slavery, set in western times, that has received lot of awards nominations. However no one walked out.

 

Recommend

If you are a fan of Tarantino then you will love this as you will know what to expect. You will laugh, you will enjoy. Go and see this at the cinema while you can.

 

TheFriedGold rating – 8/10 – Tarantino is Unchained

 

 

Film Fact

After an accident in training where Christoph Waltz was thrown off his horse and broke his pelvis, Jamie Foxx gave him a gift to make him feel better about riding a horse: a saddle with a seat belt.