Frank & Lola || Trailer Review

Michael Shannon is terrifying in this trailer. He’s one of those actors, like Christian Slater, that have this edge they can pull out at the drop of a hat. From the first second of this trailer, alarms were going off in my head.

Male obsession is a thoroughly mined genre – possibly because it’s the kind of horror story that is all too relatable – but this doesn’t fit in with the current mold.

In those sort of films the man is clearly the villain but whilst Shannon’s character isn’t somebody I’d like to sit with for afternoon tea; I don’t see him as inherently evil. This looks to be a more complex take on the over-told story with a more nuanced and balanced perspective.

Imogen Poots plays the mysterious, young ingenue whilst Shannon is the tense, and I’m guessing, possessive chef. Tension is the key word with this movie. Every shot and every line had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation for some unknown event.

Most of all, this seems like a character story and I cannot wait to see the journey that these characters embark on.

What did you think of the trailer? Are you a Michael Shannon fan? Let me know in the comments.

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The Best Of This Week’s TV

Did anybody else find that this week just generally had good television or have I just been riding that Doctor Strange high since Tuesday night? Either way, you know how this goes. Before we get to this week’s champion: The Show of the Week, we have to acknowledge some others.

Honourable Mentions

  • Image result for pitch tommy miller tv showBlack-ish – for making “The Purge” fun.
  • Gotham – for finally clarifying that character dynamic.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – for ninjas.
  • Once Upon A Time – for bringing my favourite Disney prince to life and only kind of ruining him.
  • The Flash – for all of the awesome awkwardness.
  • Pitch – for making me care about baseball transfers.
  • Westworld – for… well: they know.

Show of the Week: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

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This week saw the second episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s second season and it is already better than its first. As an upbeat, satirical, black-comedy musical television series it is certainly unique but it also has massive potential for being a trainwreck. Somehow they haven’t only avoided that but they’ve created a fantastic show.

The original songs are funny and enjoyable whilst being insightful and intelligent but most importantly: well-integrated.

If this show had been a rom-com movie then it would have ended at the season one finale. Season two is the rarely seen story of what happens after the credits roll. The characters still have fundamental problems and we get to see how they navigate their way through these issues.

If you’re not already watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend then I would strongly recommend it. It is the only thing of its kind currently on television.

This Week’s Worst: Modern Family

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It physically pains to say a negative word about Modern Family. The show has endured for seven seasons and in its eighth season it looked like it was only going to get better. This week’s episode wasn’t bad: I laughed a few times and it was a good story but it wasn’t great.

Modern Family has placed itself in the terrible position of having to constantly top themselves. This week just didn’t reach the standard that I’m used to from them but I’m fairly certain that this dip isn’t going to become a permanent thing.

What did you watch this week? Are you loving any shows that I think that I should check out? Let me know in the comments.

Doctor Strange || Review

9/10

As far as MCU films go, Doctor Strange has been the one that I was least excited for. Maybe that was because of a lack of advertising; the fact that I didn’t have much prior knowledge of the character; or because it had the incredibly daunting task of following on from Captain America: Civil War. Regardless, I didn’t have that same sense of anticipation that normally accompanies a new Marvel release. Unsurprisingly I now realise that I should have more faith in Marvel.

My biggest worry with this movie was the director, Scott Derrickson – whose previous body of work is almost entirely of the horror genre. Knowing that he fought for the chance to direct this film (completing 8 separate interviews with Marvel) I was sure that he was passionate about the project but passion doesn’t always translate to a good piece of work.

In this case Derrickson produced one of the most cinematically beautiful films in the Marvel catalogue. An obscenely large budget and beautiful sets helped but that doesn’t take away from how perfectly crafted each shot of this film came across.

The cast was fantastic but with actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton, that was always a given. The real star of this movie was the visual effects which were astounding. There were moments where I jumped in my seat because the dimension-bending visual was so realistic.

I struggle to find any fault in this film: it is a truly immersive piece of work (although its musical score’s similarity to the new Star Trek theme was slightly unnerving). However, I will say that it left a lot unexplored and there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered. Fortunately, this was just an origin story and we can look forward to seeing plenty more of Doctor Stephen Strange in the future.

Have you seen Doctor Strange yet? How would rank it compared to its Marvel predecessors? Let me know in the comments.

Are “True Story” Films Exploitative?

When you see “based on a true story” appear on a cinema screen before a film, you have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. You’re familiar with the type of story: a terrible disaster strikes giving one ordinary man the chance to step forward and be a hero. You probably already know most of the major plot points from the news but you still sit on the edge of your seat as you watch the drama unfold on the big screen.

It’s a genre that has a pretty good success rate so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more of them nowadays. With Deepwater Horizon (based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion) still in cinemas, Mark Wahlberg’s next movie – which will be released in December – is Patriots Day (based on the 2013 Boston marathon bombing).

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Did you notice how the events that those movies are based on get more recent?

Information and education are never a bad thing: documenting these events in film are a genuine and acceptable way to preserve a part of our history but when is it okay to start writing scripts?

There’s something uncomfortable about imagining that when a terrible event strikes in some part of the world and people are trying to piece their lives back together, Hollywood execs are sitting down and discussing the best way to make money out of it. You can say that it’s art but that’s the same as stating that war profiteers are providing a service – it may be valid but it doesn’t erase the sleazy element of it all.

The sooner that a movie about an event is made, the better it does. People remember it more clearly, it’s closer to their hearts, and it has the added bonus of people actually knowing what the film is about. All of these reasons help to make sure that as many people as possible see the movie but to what end?

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I think that from a creative standpoint you want people to see your film so that people see your film: the hope is that they enjoy it or they learn something or they come out with a new perspective on the world. However, movies that reach the scale of these biopic disasters can’t be made without big studios bankrolling them which means that another key motivator is money.

Separating the financial aspect from the artistic aspect seems impossible and that’s upsetting because suddenly these films become very exploitative. They use people’s pain and suffering to sell cinema tickets.

Films about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. are the only reason that I know so much about the American Civil Rights Movement as I currently do. Film is one of my favourite mediums and I recognise it’s power and its educational value but is there a waiting period before its okay to make a film about something terrible? Should there be?

Do you think that these types of movies are exploitative? How long do you think that studios should wait before beginning production on films about real life events? Let me know in the comments.

Wait, What Happened? || Geek News

From castings to trailers to director departures, there has been a lot going on this week and it’s a little bit tricky to keep up with it all. In fact, you might find yourself asking: wait, what happened? If that’s the case, then I’ve got you covered.

Tim Miller Leaves Deadpool 2

February’s Deadpool was amazing and even more amazing was the announcement of a sequel with the entire creative team returning. Unfortunately the director of the original movie, Tim Miller, has now left the production citing ‘creative differences’. Despite this irritatingly vague term, insiders have given us some insight as to the real reason he left.

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Essentially Miller was at odds with Ryan Reynolds and the writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who all wanted to keep the sequel similar to the first film (small budget, rooted in good humour) whilst Miller’s vision was a more “stylised” and expensive version. Unsurprisingly, the studios backed the cheaper version based on the model that had already seen make them lots of money.

It’s definitely upsetting that Miller has left the film and to be honest, I’m not convinced that his idea would have been a bad thing. Obviously I enjoyed the first movie and I don’t want it to fall into the trap of making a sequel that values style over substance but it also can’t be the same thing as the first one. If a movie is making a sequel, then that sequel has to be something new and hopefully better.

Netflix Plunges Into Debt – On Purpose

This week Netflix announced a plan to raise $800 million of debt with the intention of creating more original content. This is not entirely unexpected as the company recently announced that their long-term goal is to have 50% of the content on their website be original. The strangest part of this story is how little anybody actually seems to care.

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Whilst Netflix never reveal their figures in terms of views, they are more than happy to let the public know about their subscriber growth which just happens to be booming. The original content on their site is one of the biggest draws for consumers with shows like House of Cards and Luke Cage grabbing as much (and maybe even more) attention than their network and cable television counterparts.

This new debt offering means that the company is technically upwards of $3 billion in debt – I really just need you to stop and take a moment to appreciate the size of that number. $3 billion. That’s $3,000,000,000. Regardless, they’re doing well and we get to see more original content. I do not understand finance.

New X-Men 2 Trailer

You read that right, there is a new trailer for 2003’s X2. It comes in the wake of the release of the trailer for Logan and does its best to imitate that style. The result is amazing: it’s unnerving and intense but amazing. Check it out below:

Do you think that Tim Miller’s departure will negatively affect the Deadpool sequel? Are you a fan of Netflix originals? What did you think of the X2 trailer? Let me know in the comments.

A Beginner’s Guide To Doctor Strange

Everything you need to know before Doctor Strange hits cinemas tomorrow.

What is it?
Doctor Strange is the fourteenth movie in the MCU and the second one in Phase 3 of the MCU.

Wait. I have to watch thirteen other films before this one?
What? No, of course not. I mean, I would whole-heartedly recommend that you do watch all thirteen other films in the MCU if you haven’t already but you don’t need to. You should be able to understand this movie with no prior knowledge.

What’s it about?
Well, this is a bit wild so stay with me. The movie Doctor Strange is about the character Doctor Strange from the comic book Doctor Strange.

I hate you.
I know. Anyway, serious answer:

The character, Doctor Strange (a.k.a. Dr. Stephen Strange) first appeared in Marvel’s Strange Tales #110 in July 1963 and was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.

Dr. Stephen Strange was an amazing surgeon until a car accident destroyed his hands, taking away his ability to perform surgery. He then travels the world looking for a way to repair them and finds the Ancient One who starts him on and guides him in his study of mystic arts. Also, there’s bad guys and stuff.

Who’s in it?
It’s another typically amazing MCU movie line-up: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong, and Benjamin Bratt amongst others. Fingers crossed there are also a couple of wider MCU cameos. Oh, and Stan Lee will pop up somewhere.

What about the creative team?
That’s very interesting: Scott Derrickson is the director and co-writer of this film and if you are familiar with his work then you’ll know that this is a departure. His films include Sinister, Devil’s Knot and Deliver Us From Evil. I don’t think that Marvel are venturing into the horror genre but I have no idea what to expect of this film with Derrickson at the helm.

Are the reviews out?
Indeed and overall they are very positive. Reviewers are going crazy for the special effects and it sounds like it may be worth watching in 3D.

The Boss Baby || Trailer Review

This week it was a toss-up between this trailer and the trailer that just dropped for LoganThe Boss Baby only won because I feel like everybody has already seen the Logan trailer and introducing you to this movie – that may have slipped under your radar – is nothing short of a public service. However if you somehow missed the amazing trailer for Logan you can catch that here.

Where to start with The Boss Baby? I’ve watched the trailer three times and I still don’t know what it’s about. There’s an advanced baby voiced by Alec Baldwin that is both creepy and adorable; Tobey Maguire’s voice in the mix; and it’s by Dreamworks.

Based on that wealth of information I’m excited. Animated films are much better at teasing plots than their live-action counterparts. For the longest time I had no clue what Zootopia was about but from the very first teaser I was hooked. This has had much the same effect.

The animation is of the high standard that I would expect from Dreamworks and as well as Tobey Maguire and Alec Baldwin, the cast includes Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow. Essentially I know nothing about this movie but I’m obsessed with this trailer.

What did you think of the trailer? Are you excited for this movie? Do you have any clue what it is about? Let me know in the comments.