July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
When you call a film The Amazing Spiderman then there has to be confidence in the script. Honestly, I think calling it ‘amazing’ could have been slightly dangerous with all the big superhero films out this year, and also the fact that this is the first movie with the wonderful Andrew Garfield.
So, is it amazing? In a word, yes. It’s funny, it’s action filled and it’s romantic. It also helps that it features two wonderful lead actors in the form of Andrew Garfield (swoons) and Emma Stone. The chemistry between the two is electric and I’m not surprised they are now a couple. I never really believed in the whole Toby Maguire/Kirsten Dunst romance, even with that famous kiss.
I’ve adored Andrew Garfield ever since I first saw him in Lions for Lambs, and he proved himself to be a phenomenal actor in the British dramas Boy A and Red Riding Hood. It’s always been clear that he’s a very gifted actor, and it’s great that he’s finally been given his moment to shine. He is without a doubt the most perfect Peter Parker. He is strong yet vulnerable, and cute yet geeky. You can imagine him living next door to you, and then kicking the anti-social kids’ ass when they bothered you in the street. Am I over-thinking this?
I love an actor that can cry at the drop of a hat, because very few actors can and it never feels genuine when it’s forced. Andrew sheds a little tear in the movie and it seems so authentic. Even his physicality screams angst and pain. That’s another great thing about the film, the fight scenes aren’t like normal fighting. They’re kind of … beautiful. They have so much grace and show the audience that this guy knows how to fight.
As stated earlier, I love an actor who can cry on cue, so you can imagine my delight when I heard that Sally Field would play Parker’s Aunt. There is something so magical about Sally Field when she’s on screen. I can’t explain it but she kind of just steals the show. If you’ve ever seen Steel Magnolias and that funeral scene then you’ll know what I’m talking about. The only criticism I would have is that she seemed very much like Nora Walker, who she played in Brothers and Sisters. I don’t know if this is something they were going for or what, but it would have been a bit nice to see her in a role that was a little bit different.
Emma Stone could make Hollyoaks look good. If you don’t know what Hollyoaks is then count your blessings. She’s a phenomenal actress and I’ve yet to see her in a bad film. Sometimes I think she should be in more comedies because she has superb comic timing, but she also does drama so well that I think she could be like a future Meryl Streep.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk about the script. The movie was better than I expected, and I expected a lot. I didn’t expect it to be so funny, and I didn’t expect to fall in love with the characters as much as I did. However, it’s definitely filled with its fair share of heartbreak and I defy you not to reach for the tissues. Call me a wimp but I welled up twice. The dialogue is spot on and you can’t really see the twists and turns coming. While it’s no Avengers (but what is?), it is a compelling movie that will give you that little floaty feeling when you leave the cinema theatre.
June 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
Anyone who has ever been in a long term relationship will undoubtedly relate to The Five Year Engagement. It’s sure to scare the life out couples across the world that what happens to Violet and Tom could happen to them to them, too.
The film shows the other side to the perfect relationship, and is the ideal movie for both women and men – as there’s enough comedy to weigh out all the romantic bits. However, in my opinion, Friends with Kids, which is released this Friday, looks like the type of film to overshadow it as it features some of the loveable stars from Bridesmaids – my favourite movie of last year after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.
Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) was unexpectedly brilliant as the leading lady and she has great onscreen chemistry with Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall). I’m pretty sure this is Blunt’s first starring role and she’ll most likely receive plenty more job offers following the movie’s huge success. One thing Segel does well is write fantastic characters, and Violet actually has a fully-formed personality that so many female protagonists lack. She’s witty, intelligent and endearing – even in her low moments you can’t help but like for and there wasn’t one moment throughout the film when I didn’t root for her. That doesn’t mean she’s not flawed, because she is – she’s also selfish and snobbish, but you still end up liking her.
You know that you’re going to love Jason Segel’s character even before the opening credits start to role. He’s just extremely loveable. One thing he does well is play nice guys well, and that’s exactly what Tom is. He’s a very nice guy. Sometimes he’s too nice. He’s a bit of an idiot and a little bit weak, but he’s devoted to Violet and you never question his love for her – even though you do question hers for him.
Tom’s best friend, Alex, and Violet’s sister, Audrey, also help bring the comedy during the really serious parts of the movie. Audrey is clearly too good for immature Alex but they work well together, and can both act as silly and obsessed as each other.
So, are there any flaws? Well, yes. The one problem that really stuck out in my mind is the sense of time. It’s called The Five Year Engagement but I never know what year they’re in. You get a bit of an idea because of where they are situated in their lives, but it’s never very clear. It’s also very long for a comedy and it probably didn’t need to be as drawn out as it was – but that’s not really a big deal.
My highlights were undoubtedly the Cookie Monster scene and the proposals, but I think I enjoyed ever moment from start to finish.
This surprisingly real and incredibly funny film deserves the critical acclaim it’s received from UK movie critics, and it is the perfect flick for those wanting to watch a feel good movie with their other half or group of friends. While it probably won’t be the film of the year, it’ll be up there with the best romantic comedies of 2012.
Seen the movie? Looking forward to it? Leave a comment below and let us know.
June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
I was excited for Snow White and the Huntsman from the minute I seen the trailer. However, due to its mixed reviews, I’ll admit that my excitement dwindled a little and I didn’t have that lovely fuzzy feeling in my stomach as the opening credits started to roll.
Please be aware that this blog may contain spoilers, so if you don’t want to ruin it for yourself then maybe you should browse my other blogs.
I expected the plot to probably be a little slow, for the acting to maybe be below par or for the action to just depend on superb CGI. However, I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The graphics are incredible but they only add to the inventive story. The acting was excellent with both excellent accents from Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart. I was hooked from the first moment and I don’t think I sat back on my seat until the end of the movie.
I’m not saying the film doesn’t have any flaws, because it does, but if you are looking to absorb yourself in a movie and take it at face value then you will most probably love it. There’s no hidden subtext, but so what? Not every film has to have it be enjoyable.
So, what are the flaws? Well, in my opinion, there really is no need for the character William, played by Sam Claflin. He’s merely there just to throw Snow White into a love triangle, and even then there isn’t really any contest. I also think that the only thing he really adds to the story is that he kisses Snow White and she doesn’t wake up – so he’s not the prince. Take him out and you still have the same movie.
It also seems that Snow White becomes this strong person over night. One moment she’s been locked in a tower for a few years and then the next minute she’s fighting her way out. I understand that it could be due to the fact that she’s most likely fighting for her life and that she’s finally of age, but it all just seems too soon. She seems to know how valuable she is despite the fact that no one has tried to save her, she was a child when she was taken and that people are trying to kill her.
Kristen Stewart’s acting has always been open to criticism, but she really excelled in the role as Snow White. What I like about her is that she can be both vulnerable and strong at the same time, which is some feat. Yes, the character is similar to Bella Swan due to the fact that she is passionate, magnetic and strong, but the tale is completely different. There is a reason why she is now one of the most popular female protagonists in film right now, because she is believable and sincere.
Chris Hemsworth’s Scottish accent is also fantastic and proves that is acting skills aren’t limited to just the American and Australian drawl. His handsome looks and muscular physique make him the perfect love interest, and his superb acting skills means you really absorb into his back story.
Charlize Theron is the perfect evil Queen Ravenna, but there was also tenderness beneath her character that makes you really sympathise with her. She is more evil and insecure than any other wicked stepmother in film, and everything about her demeanour and body language screams bitch. I would have just loved to have seen a bit more onscreen time with both the Queen and Snow White.
The eight dwarves really add a touch of much needed comedy to this dark tale, and I wouldn’t trade them for the seven Disney dwarves. I also find it quite funny that Universal Pictures had to add another dwarf as the seven dwarves are copyrighted by Disney.
The backdrop for the film is simply stunning and was reportedly filmed in Quiraing, Skye, in the Scottish Highlands. The direction was truly superb and first time Director Rupert Sanders should be applauded for it’s inventive and bold cinematography.
So, if you want to see an intense, warm and gripping movie that’s full of action and romance, make sure you go see Snow White and the Huntsman. Once you’ve done that, make sure you come back to The Dark Passenger to tell us what you thought of the film.
If you’ve already seen the movie and agree or disagree with my review, please leave a comment below.
June 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m a bookworm. I’m also a movie geek. So you can only imagine how much I love the amalgamation of the two things. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog then you do, too. So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
One of the biggest dystopian books to hit the shelves, Divergent by Veronica Roth is intense, thought provoking and completely gripping. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games then you’ll probably adore this book if you haven’t read it, and if you have read it then you’ll most likely be bursting to see the movie adaptation.
It is set in a world where a person gets to choose a faction to live in once they turn sixteen and possibly leave their whole family behind. The protagonist is called Tris, or Beatrice as she’s otherwise known, and she ultimately decides to leave the selfless faction behind for one that is completely different to the life she is used to. However, when unrest occurs between her old faction and new one, Tris has to decide whether to remain true to her new life or her old one.
Tris reminds me of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games except she’s a lot more likeable. For someone who doubts her abilities so much, she is incredibly strong and determined – which basically makes her the perfect protagonist. Her love interest, Four, is also even more likeable and leaves characters such as Edward Cullen and Peeta Mallark look like whiny little boys.
There is a danger that the producers could make the movie seem a bit silly or take out a lot of the violence to ensure it’s suitable for the younger readership. While this book is aimed at young adults, I’m pretty sure adults young and old across the world will be picking this book up once it’s released in cinema theatres.
My main concern is that the film won’t be as brave as the book, and that they’ll play down the big moments in order to get bums on seats. There’s a lot of death in the novels which make the trilogy so compelling. The Hunger Games movie cleverly skirted around some of the more violent scenes, but I think the level of action and death in Divergent would make avoiding it a very big challenge.
However, fans of the book will have to wait until 2015 for its big release, although the date could change depending on the production company, Lionsgate – the same producer as the Twilight Saga. The cast has yet to be confirmed and my mind is racing of who could possibly play Tris, Four, Christina and all the other loveable and dislikeable characters in this fantastic trilogy. The screenplay is being written by Evan Daugherty who also wrote Snow White and the Huntsman. If the movie is a success then undoubtedly the second book, ‘Insurgent’, and the third book, which is yet to be written, will also be produced.
Looking forward to the movie? Got an opinion on the book or who could play some of the characters? Leave a comment below.
Fifty Shades of Grey
I admit that I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James yet even though it is absolutely everywhere. I can’t log on to Facebook or Twitter without reading about how much someone loves it. However, I intend to buy it this weekend so don’t judge me too soon.
The book, which originally began as just a Twilight fan fiction piece, is now one of the bestselling books of 2012. Originally distributed in 2011, word of mouth has made this novel an international hit and its success has ultimately led to the movie development.
However, this novel is not for the faint hearted as it is apparently a modern day erotica. It’s made reading dirty books cool and casual, and I’m pretty sure women across the world won’t have trouble getting their boyfriends to watch the film with them.
Filming is scheduled to start in September; however, the cast has yet to be confirmed and the screenplay hasn’t even been written – they better get a rush on! However, Bret Easton Ellis, writer of the book and movie American Psycho, has already strongly expressed interest in penning the script and is in talks with the production company, Universal Studios. Angelina Jolie is also interested in directing the film
There is also a lot of speculation about who will play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Alexander Skarsgard, Ian Somerhalder, Ashley Benson and Ryan Gosling are all tipped to play Christian, and Kristen Stewart, Selena Gomez and Scarlett Johansson have been touted to play Ana. Got any thoughts about who should play them? Let us know!
The film isn’t expected to be released until 2016, but with all the fuss surrounding the book and future film it could be sooner.
It was announced today that the second instalment of The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire, will be released on 22nd November 2013. While it’s frustrating that fans will have just over a year until the new movie, good things come to those who wait!
The movie, adapted from the novel by Suzanne Collins, will lead on from what happened after Katniss and Peeta escaped the arena. However, things aren’t so rosy now that they’re champions and President Snow is definitely out for revenge.
In my opinion, the first Hunger Games movie only really got interesting once she stepped into the arena – and I kind of felt the same way about the book. As only half of Catching Fire shows the arena, I worry that it may potentially frustrate the audience.
The same cast are expected to return as Katniss, Haymitch, Peeta, Gale and President Snow. New faces will also be signing on too – Phillip Seymour Hoffman has reportedly been approached to play the role of the new Head Gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee, and there is speculation that Robert Pattinson could play the handsome champion Finnick Odair from District 4.
Gary Ross will not return to direct the new movie, so the role falls to Francis Lawrence who has directed Water for Elephants, Constantine, I Am Legend, the TV show Touch and several music videos. Michael Arndt who wrote Toy Story 3 will also write the screenplay.
Life of Pi
The novel by Yann Martel was a massive success when it was released in 2001, and twelve years later the movie adaptation will be released in movie theatres. The movie date has been up in the air for a long time now since a change in director but it is now only just a few months away from arriving on our screens.
Expected to be released in the UK on 21st December 2012, the Life of Pi should be one of the biggest films of the winter season. The movie was scheduled for the 14th but was pushed back a week due to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This move was most likely made to ensure that the film wasn’t overshadowed, and it would be a great shame if it doesn’t get the acknowledgement it deserves.
Toby Maguire will star as a zookeeper’s son called Pi and is the only person who has survived the sinking freighter. As a result, he ends up on a lifeboat with just a zebra, a Bengal tiger, an orang-utan and a hyena.
The movie will be directed by the magnificent Ang Lee who directed the truly beautiful Brokeback Mountain. The screenplay has been written by the talented David Magee who wrote Finding Neverland.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be the last instalment of the saga, which means that Stephanie Meyer’s can finally relax and enjoy the fruit of her labours … or not. While her latest novel, The Host, hasn’t quite had the attention of those blood sucking vampires and grizzly werewolves, all that will probably change once the movie adaptation is released on the 29th March 2013.
The story is basically about a parasitic alien soul that enters Melanie Stryder’s body via an injection. Expected to continue with her race’s mission to conquer Earth, she ultimately forms a bond with ‘the host’ in an attempt to help other humans and calls herself Wanda. Sound good?
Both written and directed by Andrew Nichol, this movie will probably be a great way for ‘Twihards’ to move on from Meyer’s first saga. Irish actress, Saoirse Ronan, star of The Lovely Bones and Hanna, will play the protagonist and will star with other famous faces such as William Hurt, Frances Fisher and Diane Kruger.
How I Live Now
Published in 2004, How I Live Now by Meg Rossoff is about a fifteen year old girl called Elizabeth, otherwise known as Daisy. She moves away from her evil stepmother in Manhattan and is sent to live on a remote farm with her cousins in the English countryside. She quickly falls in love with her cousin, Edmond, but then her whole world is turned upside down.
The award-winning book has been adapted into a movie which is scheduled for release in 2012 – the actual date is yet to be confirmed. Just like The Host, the protagonist will also be played by Saoirse Ronan, but the rest of the cast is unconfirmed.
The novel is incredibly powerful yet funny, rude but honest and never fails to hook you in. If the book is anything to go by, we are in for one hell of a movie.
June 10, 2012 § 2 Comments
So, you’ve probably heard about the sequels to Avatar, Iron Man and Star Trek, but there are some pretty big movie sequels that have slipped under the radar. Here at The Dark Passenger we are dedicated to providing the very best movie news and reviews, which is why we have gathered together a list of what we believe will be the very best sequels to hit the box office in the near and distant future.
Monsters, Inc. 2
The 2001 animation movie was such a big success that Walt Disney Studios have announced that they are currently creating Monsters Inc. 2 which will hit UK movie screens in summer 2013. Word on the street is that the movie will be a prequel and will show Mike and Sully in school together and how they once hated each other.
There’s not much information online about the new film, but there are rumours that it could possibly be released in 2013. However, there are also rumours that it is in ‘development hell.’ Either way, the prospect is exciting.
Despicable Me 2
It’s a shame that Despicable Me is so underrated in the UK, because it is a superb animation which was incredibly successful across the globe. The sequel is due to be released on the 13th July 2013, and will reportedly include the same voices including some new additions, including Al Pacino and Steve Coogan.
Die Hard 5
The sequel is reportedly going to be called ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ and is expected to be released next Valentine’s Day. Skip Woods, writer of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is penning the script and it will be directed by John Moore. Bruce Willis will return as John McClane along with many old and new characters.
I, Robot 2
Will Smith is the new king of sequels as he has signed up for a fair few this year. However, fans waiting for the sequel will have to wait for its release until 2015.
Kick Ass 2
The sequel will continue a few months on from the first Kick Ass movie and will focus on Hit-Girl and Kick Ass. The sequel has been planned for a long time now and it is expected that it will be the second part of a trilogy. Kick Ass 2 : Balls to the Wall is scheduled to go into production in September 2012 with Jeff Wadlow as Director.
Falling Down 2
The 1993 crime-drama movie was such a success that Warner Bros. are planning on releasing a second movie. However, this one will unfortunately not feature Michael Douglas.
I told you Will Smith had signed up to many movie sequels this year. If you were a fan of the first movie then you’ll be delighted to hear that Hancock 2 will be released in 2014. It is unknown whether Charlize Theron or Jason Bateman will be returning.
I Am Legend
That’s right, another Will Smith sequel (even though it’s a prequel). 2013 is the expected release date and New York City will become the home for the creatures called the Infected which caused the plague.
Independence Day 2
Yes, that’s right, another Will Smith movie! Well, hopefully. It is unknown whether or not he will return – but let’s face it, it would be pretty crappy without him. The actor is reportedly asking for too much money to return – because it’s not like he doesn’t have any other films in the pipeline. There are also rumours that there will be a third instalment of the disaster movie. The film is expected to hit cinemas July 2013 and will once again be written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.
Liam Neeson will return in the movie sequal as Bryan Mills, except this time he will be the victim of revenge by the Father of one of the kidnappers. His wife will be taken hostage during a holiday in Istanbul and it will be up to Bryan and his daughter to help save her. The film will be released in the UK on October 5th 2012.
Top Gun 2
This movie sequel has been in the works for a fair few years now, but it seems that it will be on our cinema screens in 2013. Tom Cruise has reportedly signed on for the second instalment. Jerry Bruckheimer will produce the movie, Peter Craig will write the screenplay and Tony Scott will be the Director.
Blade Runner Prequel
Blade Runner changed cinema when it was released in 1982, so any movie buff will be thoroughly excited of the prospect of prequel. To add to the excitement, Ridley Scott has also signed on again to write and direct the movie. Harrison Ford, however, will not be returning. Filming is expected to begin at the start of 2013, which means it will most likely be released in 2014.
Drew Goddard will return to write the new sequel, and JJ Abrams is also reportedly involved with the movie’s development. It is unknown whether the film will be shot in real time again. Look out for it in 2014.
Kill Bill Vol. 3
Quentin Tarantino has announced that Kill Bill Vol. 3 will be released in 2014. He’s stated that the movie will probably take time to create – like most Tarantino movies do – but here at The Dark Passenger we are pretty sure it will be worth the wait.
Now that he’s no longer Governor of California, Arnie is now free to do any movie he likes and it seems that Terminator 5 is his movie of choice. However, James Cameron won’t be attached to the film and director Justin Lin has fled the project, so it could take a little while for the movie to hit our screens.
Excited about these new films? Know a few more? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
May 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
As today is the UK movie release of Dark Shadows, it is the perfect opportunity to look back at the movie career of Johnny Depp and see where it all went so right. No doubt I’ll open up a bit of debate about the list, but with such a broad catalogue of films I went for the movies that really caught my imagination and made Depp stand out from all the other Hollywood actors.
10. Finding Neverland
Portraying the playwright J. M. Barrie, Depp depicted the writer’s relationship with the family that inspired Peter Pan. This uplifting movie brought both a smile and a tear, and was a great representation of Barrie’s life. Johnny Depp really brought the character to life and demonstrated that his acting skills aren’t dependant upon sensational characters.
9. Alice in Wonderland
Undoubtedly one of Depp’s most fantastical roles, he shined as the Mad Hatter in a somewhat average movie. While the film itself lacked pace at times, Johnny Depp’s performance confirmed yet again why he is one of entertainment’s most loveable actors.
8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The remake of this wonderful children’s film had to be great, and there was only one way to make sure it was: Johnny Depp. If you ask me about the movie then I’d struggle to remember much other than Depp himself. However, there are times when he scared the life out of me – but that’s what you expect from a Tim Burton film.
7. Cry Baby
I honestly didn’t think this film would be good, but I was so wrong. It’s so different to anything I’ve ever seen and it parodied famous musicals such as Grease. Johnny Depp plays the role of Wade ‘Cry Baby’ Walker who was a gang leader of the ‘Drapes’. Wade is most definitely the cool guy in a ground of delinquents, and it was one of the first unusual roles of many for the A-lister. If you haven’t seen it then you haven’t lived.
6. Ed Wood
Some of you might be thinking “what’s Ed Wood? I’ve never heard of it” – well shame on you! Ever wondered what it would be like to witness Johnny as a cross dressing alcoholic? Then you need to see this film. Ed Wood was the actor’s second collaboration with director Tim Burton, and its mixture of darkness and funny anecdotes make this film a must-see for all Depp fans.
5. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
If you have not seen this film then you need to head to your local DVD store and buy it now. While Leonardo DiCaprio is a massive scene stealer, Johnny Depp held his own and their acting complements each other. He silently portrays a brother struggling to be his brother’s carer and man of the house, whilst also trying to stay young and be in love.
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Unlike many Depp films, this movie is not for children. This black comedy shows the hilarious situations that his character Duke and friend Gonzo (Del Toro) find themselves in. While this movie isn’t for everyone, it has a massive cult following and this is most likely due to the performance of both leading men.
3. Sweeney Todd
Everything about this film screams genius to me. Johnny Depp plays the role of the serial killer wonderfully, and his relationship with Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) is a delight. While his singing voice is something to be desired, the motivations of his character and his presence make this one of the best musicals to hit the cinema screens in recent years.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
One of the most defining roles Johnny Depp has ever played is Captain Jack Sparrow. His drunken pirate humour, enviable charisma and comic timing is a talent that his fellow onscreen partners often struggle to achieve. Let’s face it, without him there would never have been a trilogy of this middle of the road story.
1. Edward Scissorhands
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to most of you that Edward Scissorhands is number one. This was the first collaboration with Tim Burton and ultimately led to a beautiful personal and professional relationship. Twenty-two years on from this fantastic movie, Depp and Burton are still collaborating on several projects. However, I think it is pretty fair to say that none have ever, and most likely will ever, compare to the vulnerable and sweet Edward Scissorhands.
This romantic fantasy film captured hearts across the globe when it was released in 1990, and follows the story of an artificial man who ends up living with a suburban family but falling in love with their teenage daughter.
So, do you agree with the list above? Or do you hate every word I’ve said? If so, I want to hear from you in the comment section below, and you can even leave your own list.