Movie Monday: Reboots

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I’d like to use this weeks Movie Monday post to talk about the current trend of Rebooting movies and franchises. In the last few years we have seen An A-Team reboot, a Spider-Man one, Total Recall. We saw Judge Dredd come back to our screens in Dredd. We also have Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. I’ve also heard a rumour that there will be a Starship Troopers  and RoboCop reboot too.

Most of the time these movies are very uninspiring. I found the Spider-Man reboot just that, although Andrew Garfield was very good as Peter Parker and the rest of the cast was mostly very good. The storyline and the fact that the original Spider-Man films are still quite fresh in our memories.

The A-Team movie was okay at best Liam Neeson was as always very solid. Quinton Jackson as B.A. was good and so was Sharlto Copley as Murdock. I felt Bradley Cooper did not do justice to the character of Face. I remember Face to be very Suave when he was played by Dick Benedict in the TV series and Cooper made him to much of a loud mouth. I like Bradly Cooper but he didn’t pull this one-off.

Total Recall I’m still on the fence with. When I watched it I was half asleep so I’d like to give it another watch before deciding once and for all.

Out of the movies that I have mentioned the only remakes that has impressed me was Dredd and the Batman trilogy. Dredd was a lot more raw then the original version and Christophe Nolan gave Batman a whole new edge which worked really well.

I am not anti-reboots, but they have to be good. They have to do something more than just make money. Rebooting Spider-Man so soon after the first three movies were made was not needed really. People know the origin story, so why do it again?

I would love to see Hollywood taking a few chances and make some original movies like Moon by Duncan Jones. Or Christopher Nolan’s Inception. District 9 was an amazing movie as well. If you’re going to do a reboot it needs to be something different to what we have seen, not the same old story time and time again.

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Movie Monday: Judge Dredd

Now if you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I absolutely love last years Dredd, but I have a bit of a confession, I do kind of like the Stallone version too (yes I feel dirty saying that lol) but its not a bad movie. Here’s a quick plot summery.

In the future the earth has been devastated and mankind has crammed into a few Mega City’s and is barely surviving. She these cities were first built the police and the courts were not coping with the level of crime that so many people in such a small space were creating. So the Judges were created. They are the police, courts and where necessary, the executioners.

The story revolves around the legendary Judge Joseph Dredd. He is famed among he’s peers and feared by most criminals. He follows the word of the law strictly. He is framed and sent to a penal colony as a former Judge and a dear friend of Dredd’s escapes from the same penal colony.the shuttle transporting Dredd is shot down and as he is trying to return to Mega City 1 all hell is breaking loose in the city.
So Dredd needs to get the bad guys and save the city from Rico.

This is a little cheesy this one and a typical action movie from the time it was made in. It’s an okay action film but I don’t think it’s in the spirit of Judge Dredd. I get the feeling that they took the character and the setting and made a movie that the director and the producers, and writers wanted to write.
I’m looking forward to getting into the comics and see if this storyline actually takes place in any of them as I’ve heard that it does not. A rumour that I did hear is that fans of the comic actually got up and walked out of the cinema when Stallone (who played Dredd) took his helmet off. I’ve learnt that the character is never seen without his helmet in the comic strip.

As I said I do kind of like this movie, the acting is a little hammy and over the top in places and the storyline feels a little empty in places. The setting looks good, but its not anything that stands out from the other films of its time.

It’s a half decent movie but the 2012 movie, Dredd, is much better and it feels like it is in the spirit of the comic strip more then the earlier movie, but decide for yourselves 🙂

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A Quick Post

Not much has happened in the last few days. I’ve taken things a little easy as I was a little unwell yesterday.

That aside I’ve had a few ideas pop into my head, not only for stories that are in production but also for new stories which have all gone into my idea folder.

I got Dredd for Valentines Day from Tracie and I’ve watched that, a couple of times. What can I say I love the film! It did get me thinking about music and how that can affect writing but I think that deserves an in-depth post.

Speaking of Dredd Tracie also brought me the first collection of the Graphic novel of Judge Dredd so I’m well excited about that and am looking forward to reading it 🙂

I’ve been very slack the last few days I’m afraid. I’ve got a lot of blogs to catch up on reading and I want to get back into a somewhat routine of posting myself.

Time to get back into the saddle.

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Movie Monday: My Top 5 Movies Of 2012

I have seen some very good movies this year, and some very bad ones too, but lets not focus on those but let’s look at what was good.  Some of these movies may not have been released this year, but if I say the movie for the first time this year then it is eligible.

I’m going to start at the top;

  1. The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble here in the U.K.):  This is by a long stretch my favourite movie of the year.  It had everything, action, drama, plot, great characters, humour, breath-taking CGI.  Joss Whedon put an amazing movie together here and I’d go as far to say this is close to being my favourite movie of all time.
  2. The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan’s epic conclusion to this Batman Trilogy was not perfect, but it was close.  It felt rushed in places and some of it felt a little strained but that is easily forgotten as the drama and the enormity of the plot gains pace.
  3. Dredd: I have a dirty confession here, I actually quite like the Stallone version but I can see the cheese factor of the movie.  This version felt a lot more raw and I loved the fact that it was a simple storyline and not Dredd trying to save the world. I’ve never read the comics that the film is based on, but I doubt that each episode has Dredd saving the world or something as grand.  It was just two cops trying to solve a crime, and stop a wider crime wave.
  4. The Hunger Games: I have just started reading the book, but I saw the movie when it first came out and it did really impress me. The changes that I have noticed have not bothered me and I’m looking forward to the next movie, although I am disappointed that Director Gary Ross will not be returning to direct the second film. Dredd only just pipped it to the 3rd place.
  5. Rise OF The Guardians: This is a late comer to the list as it only came out a few weeks ago and gets in by the spirit the movie had. It’s a really great family film which I think deserves its place here.

I’ve got a couple of honorary mentions here.  The first is The Rocky Horror Picture show, Dead Silence, Sinister, Ted and The Women In Black.  All good movies which I wanted to mention as they left a lasting impression on me.

Movie Monday

I want to use this week’s Movie Monday to give a couple of quick thoughts on a few films that I have seen this year that I have not mentioned here.  Firstly The Amazing Spider-Man. I kind of expected this film to as it was, predictable.  My favourite part of it was the chemistry between Martin Sheen and Sally Field.  Andrew Garfield is a far better Peter Parker/Spider-Man then Toby Maguire was.  Emma Stone is also very good as Gwen Stacy, although both her and Garfield look far too old to be high school students.  Rhys Ifans is not really convincing as Dr. Curt Connors.  It was nice seeing a little bit about Parker’s parents though but most of that was clearly in place for any sequel that may be in the pipeline.

The story was not too bad, but the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies are still too fresh in our memories for it to really make a mark on me.  I would have been tempted  to have carried on from the end of the third Raimi film, but with a new cast and director and so forth. Doing a re-boot though opens all the doors that Raimi closed.  The writers, producers and director(s) of a new series of films can pull almost anything they want from the Spider-Man universe.

Another Re-booted movie that was out this summer was Total Recall.  I’m a little unsure of this one, I think I’d like to see it again before really giving a strong opinion on it.  The cast is pretty good, although I’m still to see a film where Jessica Biel really pushes herself as an actress.  Kate Beckinsale is good in it, nice to see her playing a different role to what she normally seems to do.  I do generally like Len Wiseman as a director as well.  If I had to voice an opinion of the film though I would say that it’s not got the edge of the original, and although I do like Wiseman I couldn’t help but think that someone like Duncan Jones or Christopher Nolan would have been able to bring something a bit more to it.  Both of those directors have made films which challenge the viewers interpretation of the world.

I hate writing blog posts like this because it feels like a really negative post and I have no doubt that many of the people involved in these films worked incredibly hard to put them together.  They were not the films that I had hoped that they would be.  We are in a stage in our (movie) culture where Hollywood is recycling so many movies it’s kind of hard to get really excited about some of these re-boots.  I know I list The Dark Knight Rises as one of the best movies of the year so far, and yes that is a re-boot but it is an impressive re-boot.  There’s not been many other re-boots that have been as impressive or better, well aside from Dredd that is 😀

Dredd

As I begin I feel I must confess a dirty little secret, I actually like the original Judge Dredd film, the one with Stallone in it.  but after seeing this movie I realise how far off the Stallone film was.  This new Dredd film feels a lot more dirty and real.  Karl Urban as Dredd is probably the best bit of casting I’ve seen for a long time.  From a rumour I’ve heard Urban sort out the producers and asked to be considered for the role.  With the character never taking his helmet off it took an outstanding actor to bring the character to life but Urban did not bat an eyelid.  He had the voice down, the body language and the on-screen presence to pull us, the audience into it fully.

For those of you who do not know who Judge Dredd is he is a lawman in a post apocalyptic america where to escape the dead earth hundreds of millions of people have squeezed into mega cities.  The one where this is set is Mega City One.  Outside is the Cursed Earth.  With so many people inside these cities the justice system had to change so the Judges were created.  They have the power to not only arrest criminals but to give, and carry out any sentences they deem to be justified.  Including the death penalty.

In this movie Dredd is asked to give a Rookie with psychic abilities an on the job evaluation to see if she is made of the right stuff to be a Judge, but they get trapped in a giant tower block and have to fight their way to the crime lord Ma-Ma.  Played by the fantastic Lena Headly.  She is distributing a new drug called Slo-Mo and Dredd needs to not only stop her but also to survive in a tower block where all of Ma-Ma’s henchmen are out to kill him and the Rookie.  There is more to the plot then that obviously but I don’t like spoiling details.

As you have no doubt guessed there is a lot of violence in this film as Dredd and the Rookie, Anderson make their way to where Ma-Ma is.   Anderson has to come to terms with being a Judge whereas Dredd want’s to bring justice to this tower block.  It is full of action and as I said Karl Urban as Dredd is brilliant.  I would recommend this film to anyone who likes no holds bar action and in 3D it is amazing.  I’ve not been impressed with any of the films that I have seen in 3D until this one.

I am now actually thinking about buying some of the comics that this movie is based on, and I’m not a comic person.  That’s how much I enjoyed it 🙂

Wrapping Up The Week

This week has been a little hit and miss I’m afraid.  Writing started off well but veered off viciously towards the end of the week.  I’ve had to re-watch the three Lord Of The Rings movies to make sure that I know what Owen is talking about with some of his references so that’s taken up a fair amount of time.  I wanted to have it done by tomorrow so I’m just watching the last one now.  I also went and saw Dredd with a friend and all I will say here is ‘Wow!’ 😀  So that wiped a night out.  I have also had a couple of personal things pop up which.  There are times when writing can write.  It also served as a reminder of why I write and why I want the world to see what I write.  I am slowly putting a plan together for next year.  I know which two of my personal works I want to focus on, and I want to get the one that Owen has just finished tidied up and put out into the world.  So that is three major projects for next year already decided.  Now I just have to get them done.