Even at the age of 34 there is nothing I like more than sneaking around the house in the weeks before my birthday or Christmas, hunting for presents. This practice greatly annoys my better half as she claims it spoils the surprise on the big day. My reasoning is that if it’s a good present it only enhances the anticipation leading up to the big day and if it’s a bad present it enables me to get into character and act in gleeful surprise when I unwrap another pair of gardening shears.
Unfortunately, this twisted logic doesn’t quite apply to film spoilers; although I have the desire to find out as much about an interesting film as possible it has often left the actual viewing a slightly hollow experience. This is one of the reasons why I love Christopher Nolan’s secretive approach to filmmaking so much.
While I have a very high tolerance for cheese in my film diet, and am a sucker for many an 80s action movie, I have never had any love for Hot Shots remake Top Gun. Nothing gets me in a rage like the news of another pointless sequel (particularly one that is almost three decades after the original) so you can imagine the pain and anguish I have gone through over recent months following reports that Top Gun 2 is in the works.
Sci-fi fan networks have been abuzz with speculation after photos were leaked recently depicting Benedict Cumberbatch at loggerheads with Zachary Quinto’s Spock whilst filming the next Star Trek installment.
The Raven opens with a title card stating "On October 7th 1849, Edgar Allan Poe was found delirious and near death on a Baltimore park bench. Not much is known about the events of Poe's last days". This film decides to create a fictional scenario where Poe was drawn into the investigation of a serial killer who commits his murders in the style of scenes from Poe's novels.
John Carter of Mars is a character already a hundred years old. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter first appeared in magazine serials in the 1910’s and has been a major influence on sci-fi filmmakers ever since. It is amazing, then, that the space-travelling hero has had to wait this long for his big screen debut. Andrew Stanton, director of Pixar favourites Finding Nemo and Wall-E, takes on the goliath task, adapting the 1917 book, A Princess of Mars, which is quite possibly the first of a brewing franchise.
The first Judd Apatow produced movie of 2012 arrives this week in the shape of fish-out-of-water comedy Wanderlust. In comparison with the vast pantheon of films the comedy supremo has ushered to the big screen, Wanderlust doesn’t quite reach the dizzy heights of Superbad, Bridesmaids or Step Brothers but comfortably sits in the ‘above average’ section with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek and Role Models. It’s the director of Role Models, David Wain, who helms this outing and as one can imagine from this producer/director team, there’s plenty of near-the-knuckle comedy on display.
Last week’s dire double header of This Means War and Project X had critics sharpening their literary knives in preparation for this week’s headliner John Carter. Certain to prove as divisive as a very hot knife through incredibly soft butter, this Mars (ahem, I meant Barsoom) set sci-fi epic, takes top billing in what is once again a week of questionable quality. Elsewhere, Sean Bean kidney punches hookers and murders terrorists, a hirsute John Cusack tracks a serial killer, R Patz shags his way around Paris and Michael Winterbottom transports Thomas Hardy to Rajasthan.
Cannes 2011 saw an American director kick things off, with Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris selected as the curtain-raiser for one of the most high-profile festivals on the cinematic calendar. Today, Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux announced that there will be an American opener for the second year running, as Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom has been chosen as the big intro.
The latest trailer/collection of action set-piece clips is still fresh in our minds and there's still around two months until its release, but Avengers Assemble director Joss Whedon is already being asked about a sequel to his April blockbuster - and obliging with some answers.
Love him or loathe him, Nicolas Cage is a man who knows what he likes. With passions for motorcycles, automobiles and poisonous reptiles all manifesting themselves in opulent spending on extensive collections, it is well documented that he has invested a lot of time and money pursuing such extravagances. Another joy in the actor's life is reportedly the collection of comic-books, a pastime which privileges those who attain and preserve the oldest and rarest editions.