Posted by Ali Gray
at 10:00 on 18 Apr 2016
Hi guys, just to let you know, the marketing arm of Marvel have been in contact with me as they have with all of the UK press to offer The Shiznit payment for giving Captain America: Civil War a positive review. I'm sure you remember that they already paid us the first £5,000 for giving Batman V Superman a negative review, but they've confirmed that the rest of the bribe will be delivered upon publication of our Civil War review, which I'm seeing tomorrow. Not that it matters.
Posted by Ali Gray
at 15:30 on 15 Apr 2016
Is there a word used on social media and comment threads more cringeworthy than "Avatards"? Not only is it not remotely funny, it's usually accompanied by a lazy, sneering dismissal of James Cameron's Avatar sequels, or more specifically, the rapidly increasing volume of them. I admit, I am fascinated by the highs and lows of the Avatar franchise, the record-breaking box office haul and the subsequent disappearing act from the nation's consciousness (this article from Forbes
, on Avatar's lack of "pop-culture footprint", is sadly accurate). But have we really become so jaded and so short-sighted that we're dismissing out of hand sequels to the most popular movie of all time; a movie that, just seven years ago, we ALL paid money hand over fist to go and see? You and I are both complicit: we all were Avatards and we will be again (and again, and again, and finally once more in 2023).
Will they... will they be singing? The 1967 classic animation is so embedded in the public consciousness that it's difficult to know what to expect from this live-action retelling. What will the life-like animals look like when they talk? Will Mowgli look just like
cartoon Mowgli? Will Baloo at any point wear coconut shells and a hula skirt? And what of the songs? Those legendary earworms so infectious that it's going to be hard not to resort to punning references throughout this entire review? Thankfully, Jon Favreau delivers a film that is just as wonderful and captivating as that original classic, and he does so by concentrating on the bare n-... the basics. He concentrates on the basics.
Miles Ahead is obviously an awful punning title for a Miles Davis biopic, like "The Biggie They Are, The Harder They Smalls" or something. Or so I thought until someone told me it was the name of one of his albums, which reveals how much I know about jazz and how much Miles Davis knew about good puns.
Everybody looks likes someone or something else in Criminal: Ryan Reynolds looks like a worried owl, Tommy Lee Jones looks like Maz Kanata and Kevin Costner is trying his best to channel Nicolas Cage. Even the film itself is trying to be a Bourne-style thriller, but instead is a weird mishmash of Self/Less and that episode of The Simpsons when Homer has a crayon stuck up his nose.
The new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is finally here
, but how many other 'Star Wars stories' are on the way? What if there were a host of other TV-related spin-offs in the pipeline? Ever wondered what those posters might look like? I think you know where I'm going with this...
Posted by Ali Gray
at 00:15 on 01 Apr 2016
How many movies make up a renaissance? Without getting too hung up on terminology, I'm interested how we categorise, rank and file nascent movies - the age of this, the era of that etc. When does a hot streak cool into something of more substance? I only ask because Zootropolis is the latest in an increasingly long line of movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios that can rightfully call itself a classic. If you start with 2010's Tangled (and discount the still rather delightful 2011 Winnie The Pooh kiddy pic), that streak also includes Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen and Big Hero 6, all movies with iconic characters, impressively progressive agendas, humour and heart. Shouldn't we be talking about this decade's body of Disney in more grandiose terms? Zootropolis represents the apex of Disney's sparkling Digital Age; a blissfully beautiful, adventurous and charismatic movie that's typical of the studio of late.
The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man.
By which, of course, I mean Zack Snyder, the all-powerful harbinger of wanton destruction, versus us, the humble cinema-goer, merely looking for some entertainment. Some cool stuff, for sure. Maybe even a joke of two. It's Student from the School of Michael Bay versus, say, Andy from Dagenham. Who will win?
Reports from the Suicide Squad set
indicate that Jared Leto immersed himself in the role of the Joker by giving "horrific gifts" to his co-stars, including a dead pig and a live rat. This is anarchy on a scale not seen since Johnny Rotten said a rude word on the telly, leading to the overnight collapse of Judeo-Christian society. How much further could Leto go, yo? These unverified set reports suggest he was willing to push it to the limit.
10 Cloverfield Lane
Posted by Ali Gray
at 07:00 on 21 Mar 2016
is the latest mystery box from man/magician JJ Abrams: a revolutionary new sort-of-sequel
to his 2008 monster movie classic Cloverfield
. He calls it a "blood relative" but what this means in real terms is "a sequel in all but name only". It's a technique that could catch on in the monster genre - spin-offs that springboard off an iconic monster attack but focus on something way less spectacular (and way cheaper to create). We humbly present the next 10 revolutionary new sort-of sequels to monster movie classics. That's right, JJ. We've bust your mystery box wide open.