Transformers Age Of Extinction vying for best picture oscar

In somewhat surprising news of the week, Paramount have announced that they’re officially pushing for Transformers 4 to win a best picture Oscar, yes, Michael Bays’ Transformers, Michael Bays’ explode-y slow motion, actin films about giant sentient alien robots fighting each other.

The premise of the films does sound a bit ridiculous when you think about it but to be fair I did enjoy Age Of Extinction, more so than Revenge Of the Fallen. But I guess that’s not really saying much.

Paramount are also hoping the film will win best adapted screenplay, best original score and best director (Michael Bay ofc) it’ll be an interesting campaign to say the least and we’ll see how that goes for Paramount. And if it actually does get any of those nominations, best picture especially then we’re obviously living in bizarro world but it would be an interesting shake up to somewhat predictable and dull Oscars in recent years.

 

 

 

A look at some big December movie releases

Btw the default release dates for these films are in the USA, unless another country is stated.

So it’s that time of year again.. Christmas! You say? No, the run up to movie awards season of course and the tail end of the year and the start of a host of quality movie releases crammed into the next 4-6 weeks, this December specifically isn’t exactly chock full of great films, but hey.

The Last: Naruto the movie (Out in Japan 6th of December) – Bit of an alternative choice straight away but a film every Naruto fan probably should see, set between the last two chapters of the now finished manga, it looks interesting enough and should provide another interesting ‘ending’. Though the film is part of the end of the traditional Naruto manga, it’s also the start of the Naruto new project, the manga sequel coming in 2015.

Night At The Museum Secret Of The Tomb (out 19th of December) – The third and final film in the Night At The Museum trilogy, the film will feature some of the previous films popular and well received characters and a plot that concludes the overall story of the series. I’m not a huge fan of the NATM series but it should be a decent watch, good for families and a light hearted break from some of the deeper films out in December.

Unbroken (Out 25th of December) – An interesting period piece taking place during WWII following the exploits and life of legendary Olympic athlete and soldier Louis Zamperini, Unbroken is an ambitious and adventurous film, sort of like The Life Of Pi minus the 3D…. and fantasy elements and the being mostly stranded at sea. The trailers do look pretty impressive and it’s clearly that inspirational, motivational film that gets released around christmas time each year but that being said it does look pretty good, Jack O’ Connell looks like he gives a pretty spirited performance in it.

The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies (12th December UK, 17 December USA) – The film I’m looking forward to the most and the culmination of The Hobbit trilogy, this film focuses more on the titular battle of the five armies, a major and concluding event from The Hobbit book. The last Hobbit film previously was going to focus a bit more on Bilbo and the repercussions of Smaugs attack on Laketown but it’s more action oriented now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the film features a fascinating look at the gradual change of Thorin, the lead up to Saurons’ rise in middle of earth as well as the build up to and the aftermath of the battle of the five armies.

Certainly ambitious for the final Hobbit film (but who does ambitious better than Peter Jackson?) and it’s a bit reminiscent of Return Of The King actually, though I have a feeling the plot may feel a bit more concise, all in all it’s set to be the most action packed, emotionally charged and epic instalment of the Hobbit films and I can’t wait to see it.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (Out 12th of December) – The somewhat controversial biblical film and definitely not the sequel to Noah, which also came out this year, Exodus suffered criticism months before its’ release about the ‘whitewashing’ of its’ portrayal of Egyptians and Israelite characters, Ridley Scott himself has responded to that criticism and ultimately I doubt the controversy will affect the films’ box office too much. Anyway the film itself follows the story of Moses, not from birth however, following him as an adult and close friend to Ramses and you know how the story goes, they grow apart as Moses is chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

In typical Ridley Scott style, the film is looks quite stunning visually and seeing his portrayal of the ten plagues will definitely be one of the highlights of the film, the film is also quite strongly casted in lead roles by Joel Edgerton and Christian Bale (one of my favourite actors), Ridley Scott is also one of my favourite directors so I will for sure be seeing this.

Into The Woods (Out 25th of December) – An interesting take on traditional fairy tales from Disney, a film/musical based on the broadway musical of the same name, the film doesn’t focus on just one fairy tail either, drawing on characters from Jack and the beanstalk, Little red riding hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella. Starting off with a couple who have curse placed on them by a witch, they set off on a journey (into the woods) to break said curse and encounter several characters on the way, this film isn’t really my cup of tea but it may be fairly entertaining.

Starring Meryl Streep as the witch, as well as Emily Blunt, James Corden, Chris Prine, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and Tracey Ullman, it has a pretty great cast and of course Johnny Depp, as he’s the alternative fantasy film character actor. This should be a good watch for families and people of all ages and a hit with anyone that loves Disney movies’ and fantasy in general, though remember it is a musical.

Mad Max Fury Road looks insane… I can't wait

There’s the official theatrical trailer for the 2015 re-boot for Mad Max: Fury Road and yeah… I know, it looks completely nuts and completely awesome, fire tornadoes, more wrecked cars than a Fast and Furious movie, cars with flame exhausts.

As well as the whole steampunk in the desert, post-apocalyptic style of it all, it’s quite visually distinct and it just looks cool, to me anyway, I need to say that I’m familiar with but have never actually seen the original Mad Max films, as they are slightly before my time. But I plan to watch them soon anyway.

Mad Max Fury Road may be one of the most entertaining films of an already awesome looking 2015 and that’s saying a lot, with Star Wars Ep 7, Jurassic World and Avengers Age Of Ultron on the way, so we’ll see how it turns out. The cast is pretty solid enough too, with Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and the fantastic Tom Hardy to name a few.

The Flash mid season finale review – the man in the yellow suit

Holy crap, so we’ve finally seen the long awaited and long teased Reverse Flash, fans of the show have been speculating and theorising for weeks on end in regards to his identity but we know something now, he’s definitely not Eddie Thawne or Harrison Wells.

The Flash meeting the Reverse Flash was arguably the most anticipated part of the show, up there with the Flash – Arrow crossover, as Barry comes up against his arch-nemesis, an enemy he won’t beat in a nice single wrapped up episode and enemy he may never completely beat at that. Hence Reverse Flash being The Flashs’ arch-nemesis, he’s better than The Flash at this point at least, stronger than him and a lot more used to having and using his powers.

Near the start of the episode we see a distressed looking Ronnie Raymond appearing to Caitlyn in a car park aand Firestorm is back. While at a laboratory in Central City, an important Doctor talks to two security guards about what is secretly in development, (something to do with Tachyons) and suddenly the alarm goes off, someone has broken in and said person kills the two security guards with lightning speed, The Reverse Flash.

We see tensions slightly rising with Eddie and Barry, as Eddie suspects Barry has a thing for Iris, which we all know he does, Barry openly denys it of course and then… the Reverse Flash, the man in the yellow suit appears.

Taunting Barry openly as he asks him to catch him to reveal the reasons as to why he killed Barrys’ mother, what follows is a very cool Flash v Flash chase through Central City as Barry just can’t quite catch up to Reverse Flash. They finally throwdown in a football stadium and Reverse Flash predictably hands Barrys’ ass to him, it sucked seeing Barry getting beaten down but it was great seeing a new compelling villain that Barry can’t beat, yet at leastReverse Flash leaves Barry to ponder on what just happened.

Eddie Thawne has a word with Joe West and tells him he’s willing to go above him to put together a task force to take on The Flash, while Team Flash back in Star labs are still devising a plan to catch Reverse Flash using a force field, though Joe and Harrison have decided to not let Barry take part, thinking about his safety.

Barry pays a visit to Iris at her house and wait.. what is he doing? He tells her openly that he loves her, Iris repeats the sentiment in a friendly manner, but Barry tells her that he really loves her and how inappropriate it is to say it now and all while Iris can only listen, crying. Barry then leaves Iris after his bold statement, obviously frustrated.

Meanwhile Caitlyn and Cisco are tracking one fiery meta-human, Ronnie Raymond, Caitlyn approaches him, hoping to remind him of who he is but Ronnie clearly doesn’t seem to remember, or is just pushing her away deliberately, either way that’s a pretty interesting relationship to explore in the rest of the season. All of a sudden the Reverse Flash zooms into the scene, getting trapped in the force field, surrounded by some of Central Citys’ police, Joe and Eddie Thawne, Harrison tries to get information out of man, though he’s predictably tight lipped.

Cisco notes that the containment field powering the force field starts to fail and Reverse Flash grabs Harrison in an instant, bringing him in with him and roughing him up almost to the point of killing him, Joe demands the containment field is turned off by Cisco before Reverse Flash does Harrison. And is it’s turned off and Reverse Flash is loose, he swiftly takes out the police, not killing Eddie Thawne but attacking Joe, Barry gets a message from Caitlyn and races to Star labs, taking on Reverse Flash once again.

They square off, seemingly even at first but Barry gets beaten again, though he’s saved by Firestorm/Ronnie, another awesome appearance, he tells Caitlyn to not follow him and he flies away into the night, Reverse Flash flees the scene, though we’ll definitely see him again soon. We come to the end of the show with Team Flash, Eddie Thawne, Iris and Joe all meeting up for christmas festivities at the Wests’ house, though in a conversation away from the group, Cisco notes that the two Flashes’ fighting earlier produced yellow and red lightning, just like yellow and red lightning was seen when Barrys’ mother was killed.

There were two Flashes there the night Nora Allen was killed, this brings up a host of interesting implications, (Future Flash/Barry was fighting Reverse Flash in the past and accidentally they kill his mother?) and I’m sure fans will be theorising and talking about the end of this episode for weeks and months to come. Finally the episode ends back at Star labs, we see the bruised and battered Harrison Wells, walking to secret opening in his secret room and wait… he’s wearing a Flash ring? The opening reveals a black Flash suit which ‘powers up’, now coloured yellow.

Harrison attaches the tachyon device to the suit and it seems energised, Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash, or Reverse Flash anyway, or is he Reverse Flash at all? This could be just an ingenious left turn from the shows writers, making us think he’s the antagonist all season, while he could be Barry Allen from the future… or a different character significantly tied to Barry somehow – he has been helping him all season to be fair.

But all in all that was an awesome episode in all and a fantastic mid-season finale, my interest is piqued.

Krypton – superman prequel to air on Syfy

It’s been an interesting few weeks for Superman fans out there, CBS has announced Supergirl which officially has the green light and should air next year, though they seem to be looking for an actress to play Kara aka Supergirl as of now. And Krypton has also been announced just recently, a prequel show set on the titular planet, several years before Clark Kent was even born, dealing with internal affairs on Krypton and the establishment of the planet and ruling we have come to be familiar with in various Superman TV shows and films.

Though going by Man Of Steels’ potrayal at least, Krypton wasn’t exactly a beacon of democracy and excellence by the time Clark Kent/Kal-El was born anyway. I have mixed feelings on this announcement, as I did with the announcement of Gotham to be fair – a show I didn’t think would be interesting enough and work without Batman and to be fair it does, in my opinion.

But, Krypton will be a lot different of course, giving this prequel an interesting plot to run on may be a bit difficult as Supermans’ enemies arguably aren’t as compelling or interesting as Batmans’, excluding Lex Luthor of course and that being said, none of his enemies will have even been born and probably won’t feature at all.

I’m just wondering what exactly the show will have to  offer really, pre Clark Kent Krypton isn’t exactly the most fascinating comic book setting, hence why most Superman origins start with the planet blowing up and take us to earth, to establish the character. That and the show being on Syfy doesn’t inspire much confidence either, although Syfy doesn’t always have bad shows, Continuum, Battlestar Galactica for example, airing on Sci-Fi before the channels’ re-branding.

It’s another wait and see type show but I’m not too keen on the idea so far, Smallville for example is a good example of a better placed prequel, following an adolescent Clark Kent and directly leading to Superman, I’m wondering what the pay off for Krypton will be.

Continuum's getting a 4th and final season

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/news/a615445/continuum-renewed-for-fourth-and-final-season-by-syfy.html

So this is pretty cool and out of the blue news, I already thought Continuum was done and dusted with its’ season 3 ending but apparently not, if you’ve never seen it, it’s a Canadian Sci-fi time travel drama and a quite well made one at that. Produced by and airing on Syfy, it’s a bit surprising it’s lasted as long as it has, not because it’s a bad show but the opposite actually, it’s a quality show on Syfy… but it has lasted and it’s been a a very consistent show.

Starring a few not so well known but actually pretty solid actors as well as Rachel Nichols (you may remember her from G.I. Joe or from more obscure role in Star Trek ’09) and the quite good Erik Knudsen as one of the central characters to the show, Alec Sadler. The show is a bit timey-wimey in typical Doctor Who lingo and the storyline does get a bit entangled by season 3, but it stays fairly easy to follow, the action in the show is great as well the technology featured, the CMS system (a system that combat/tech suits operate on the future) is pretty cool to see.

Explaining the whole show would take a while and would end up confusing me too, but the premise is around a group of ‘freedom fighters’, terrorists really, that are set to be executed in the future but hatch a plan to travel to the past to change the future and Kiera Cameron, a future police officer gets caught in the plan and travels to the past with them. And so the show begins, the show branches out a fair amount from that simple premise and it’s been surprising to see how the plot has progressed since then and it’s definitely kept my interest throughout to say the least.

The 4th and final season is set for a 2015 release and I’m looking forward to it, check out the show if you haven’t and you’re big on sci-fi/time travel fiction.

So Naruto ended a few weeks ago… and I'm not too fussed

Disclaimer – I’m a big anime fan and have been a huge Naruto fan for about 9 years, I watched anime here and there as a kid but Naruto got me into seeking out and watching series in full, essentially getting me into anime.

There was a lot of talk among the Manga/Anime world about Naruto ending, even among non-Naruto fans, by virtue of the series being so huge and so global, though a lot of fans have been turned off the series with the convoluted and arguably poorly written ninja war arc, which concluded the manga itself.

The series will be getting a sequel next year, another wait for it… yet another time skip, apparently involving Narutos and Hinatas’ kids, because they get together of course, as do a few of the other main characters/Narutos’ peers, to be hoenst I haven’t actually read the final chapters as I’ve been put off, but I already know the what happens due to general talk about the ending and I’m not impressed.

It’s a shame because the series had been so good up to a point, Shippuden was mostly good and it was awesome seeing some of the main characters slightly older, battling the Akatsuki and the whole search for the 8 jinchuurikis’ leading to Obito/Tobis’ master plan was genuinely great storytelling, unfortunately the ninja arc just featured a bit too much fan fiction in my opinion.

Almost all the major dead characters returned, the strongest villain in the series (Madara) showed up and was basically unbeatable, all the Hokages bar the third returned also, the fights were cool and all but everything just felt so predictable, as if Kishimoto (writer/creator of Naruto) was just throwing in every fan wish he’d come across in the last few years, trying to include as many epic moments as possible, before the inevitable finale.

Which is fair enough I suppose, but the latter stages of the ninja arc were just a bit too much and a Naruto fan reading just 60 chapters before the ending will be wondering what the hell is going on if they had a peek at the last chapters, but it is what it is. I’ll probably catch up on the ending properly and will probably be disappointed but hey, Naruto has been a great series overall and it’s a shame for it to be marred by a predictable, somewhat fan fic-y ending in How I Met Your Mother Style, so I’ll remember it fondly for its pre ninja war story.

2015 films to look out for – Chappie

– Trailer for Chappie

2015 is set to be a pretty great year for sci-fi, providing films like Jurassic World, Jupiter Ascending and Chappie to name a few are all good and Chappie specifically, is a not so well known but interesting looking film from South African director Neil Blomkamp.

Who you may be familiar, he directed District 9 and Elysium and generally themes his movie on social (in)equality, discrimination and the imbalance of poverty and wealth, Chappie is a bit of a different take to his previous films, again sci-fi but focusing on an A.I this time around. The premise is pretty interesting and it has interesting casting as well with Die Antwood (an alternative South African pop duo) being main chararters in the cast, though with Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman, the rest of the cast is definitely solid and we should be in for a treat.

It should be interesting to see what character Sigourney Weaver is playing in this as well, my first thought is that she’ll play an antagonist like Jodie Foster did in Elysium but maybe not, Hugh Jackman seems to be anti-Chappie in the trailer, so he may be the antagonist in this one.

 

Guardians Of The Galaxy review

Ok so this is obviously late, but I also watched the film really late, 4 or so weeks ago as I never got around to seeing it in cinemas unfortunately, but man should I have seen it when it came out because it was really, really good. Based on a maybe not so well known (apart from avid Marvel comic book readers) space series about a misfit group of very different characters, the film was always a gamble for Marvel.

And it wasn’t necessarily expected to do that well either, due to the comic series lack of familiarity with mainstream audiences, but that ended up not being that big of a problem, the film was brilliantly paced and well put together, held by solid, believable performances from each of the Guardians for one.Chris Pratt is a charismatic, likeable but driven goofball, the guy you want to succeed and cheer on throughout the film. Dauve Bautista is awesome as a straight talking, humourless Drax, Zoe Saldana seemed to project her own personality onto a blunt, guarded Gamora and of course Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon nailed his performance, as did Vin Diesel as the one note Groot, ironically stealing the show for some people as the best character.

Groot wasn’t my favourite character, Peter Quill/Starlord was, but c’mon, who didn’t love Groot? The film flowed really well and didn’t feel like it dragged on at all in any parts, this was one of Marvels better paced films in recent times, better than say.. Iron Man 3, which really wasn’t that good in general to be fair.

Guardians kept my interest with a compelling, albeit one dimensional villain in Ronan the accuser, an evil skrull who did feel genuinely unbeatable at points in the film, despite the Guardians efforts, it was cool seeing Thanos in the film as well, though having too much of a near unbeatable titan as a major character in the film have been a bit too much for the film.

One thing in the film that made it great to watch was the character interactions, how they bounced jokes off of and teased each other, Drax failing to grasp the concept of humour, Rocket being sarcastic and wanting to joke around in his own hyperactive style, while Gamora would tease but ultimately insult Peter Quill or Drax somehow. Simply just watching the Guardians interact could have been half the movie and it would have been great, in the way that The Avengers was so entertaining just because we saw some of our favourite marvel heroes together, interacting.

Gamora and Nebulas’ complicated relationship was great to watch as well, though more Nebula in the film wouldn’t have hurt, but all in all, the film worked well with what it had and crafted a believable group of characters together for a thoroughly entertaining and easily re-watchable film, now we wait for a Guardians-Avengers crossover, which may well happen with the Infinity war arc, here’s hoping.

9/10

. The casting for the Guardians is excellent, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana especially imo

. Great character interaction and good humour throughout the film

. Genuinely interesting plot with great pacing

. More Nebula would have been nice and more to Ronans’ character would have been interesting