Ten 2 Ten – It’s cowboy time.
A variety of different films out this week kids. The main event probably being Iron Man 2, but if Old Shell Face isn’t your cup of tea there are some equally interesting cinematic treats out there for you to smash your popcorn to. Get on your horse right about…now.
The Disappearance Of Alice Creed
On a suburban street, two masked men seize a young woman. They bind and gag her and take her to an abandoned, soundproofed apartment. She is Alice Creed, daughter of a millionaire. Her kidnappers, the coldly efficient Vic and his younger accomplice Danny, have worked out a meticulous plan. But Alice is not going to play the perfect victim – she’s not giving in without a fight. In a tense power-play of greed, duplicity and survival we discover that sometimes disappearances can be deceptive…
This super intense thriller looks like the film I will be indulging in this weekend as I try and relax for my new jobbie next week. Perhaps a contradiction in terms, but I like Arterton and think that she needs some meaty films to balance out all her recent blockbuster work like Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia.
Benjamin (Michael Angarano), home-schooled by his eccentric mother (Jennifer Coolidge), is a loveable loner whose passion for writing leads him on an offbeat and hilarious journey as his story first gets ripped off by the legendary fantasy novelist, Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement) and then is adapted into a disastrous movie by the small town’s most prolific homespun filmmaker.
I think I may have been the only person out there to really enjoy this film. Perhaps it was because it was last thing on a Friday, perhaps it was because I was the only one to like Nacho Libre, perhaps it was because Napoleon Dynamite still rings heavy in my mind, who knows. I also really like Jared Hess, but I think my compadre Lewis Bazley’s thoughts are fair enough. You can check out his review here. If I liked it I’m not sure what that says about me other than the fact I think snake diarrhoea is actually quite funny. I really should grow up.
Iron Man 2
In Iron Man 2, the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.
You may have heard some mixed reviews on this film this week. I still stand by my convictions and will say that it’s a top action movie and super funny throughout. I would recommend this if the weather takes a nose dive over the bank holiday weekend. For the full review please see here.
Valhalla Rising tells the story of One-Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, who has been held prisoner by the chieftain Barde for many years. Aided by a boy, Are, he kills his captor and together they escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One-Eye and Are board a Viking vessel but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that first disintegrates as they sight an unknown land. As the new land reveals its secrets and the Vikings meet a ghastly fate, One-Eye discovers his true self. Referencing masters like Akira Kurosawa Sergio Leone, and Andrei Tarkovsky, Valhalla Rising shows how carnage, once invoked, has no fealty but to itself.
This looks dark, mysterious and probably one that I’ll save for a lonely night in at Orme Towers. If you’d like to join me let me know. The bad guy from Casino Royale rolls in another gammy eye performance, so he’s pretty much got the strangest type-cast in the movie biz.
That’s your round-up taken care of this week kids. Have a great bank holiday and please let me know if you see something great or you see something so whack it makes you want to break down in the road and curse the heavens.
Don’t break out your Yo-Yo just yet
There were many cool and not so cool things to come out of the 80’s. Let us take a moment to reminisce. You probably wore your MC Hammer pants with pride, took swimming lessons, built forts, made those paper pyramid things that said who you were going to marry when you opened them up, put the things in Kellogg’s cereals in your bicycle spokes to make cool noises, played with your Etch-A-Sketch, ate Spaghetti O’s, watched the A-Team, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club, listened to New Kids on the Block and finally, got your first erection over Molly Ringwald. Equally 2010 is shaping up to be a saucy mistress both on and off the screen with the arrival of the iPad and screen gems such as Scott Pilgrim and The Expendables. However, when the two are combined you end up with a rather curious mix.
Hot Tub Time Machine rolls out like this. Disappointed at the way their lives have turned out, Adam (John Cusack), Lou (Rob Corddry), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Jacob (Clark Duke) have all seen better days; Adam’s and Nick’s love lives are in the dumps, Lou is clinging to his hard-partying past, and video-game addict Jacob can’t even muster the courage to walk outside. When Lou tries to commit suicide it brings the old group of friends back together and to prevent Lou relapsing they decide that the best plan of action is to stay at the ski resort where the gang made some of their best memories. After boozy night in a magical jacuzzi the boys are transported back to the year 1986. It becomes clear that in order to preserve order in the world they must take necessary steps to live through the 80’s a second time. Determined not to make the same mistakes twice, Adam, Lou, Nick, and Jacob decide to take full advantage of the unique opportunity presented to them, and create the lives they’ve always wanted.
I certainly didn’t agree with a press quote I read recently that said HTTM was like, “The Hangover meets Back to the Future”. Baring in mind Back to the Future is the sole reason that I took an interest in film at a very young age. The 80’s depicted in HTTM didn’t even come close to pinning down that over whelming sense of nostalgia I have when I watch B2TF. Equally HTTM does have some funny gags in it, but if compared to the Hangover it’s some way shy of its super sharp script. However, negatives out of the way, I certainly think there could have been worse ways to spend a Monday evening.
I have, even now as I write this, very conflicting feelings toward the film. It’s got some really genuinely funny moments for example when Lou is considering how to make his fortune based on all his knowledge of the future he proposes combining Twitter and Viagra to create “Twittagra”, but some jokes are predictable and a little smelly like when Nick asks someone what colour Michael Jackson is and predictably they reply “Black” to which causes one of our lead males to drop the kids off and run out screaming. Crispin Glover provides one the funniest and perhaps unexpected jokes to run throughout the course of the film as he is constantly in danger of having his arm chopped off by various hazards on the ski resort. The cast works well together in general. John Cusack looks a little tired and appears to have repurposed his character traits from High Fidelity. The clear standouts are Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson who are given some great dialogue and really work well as characters. There’s also a cheeky cameo from Chevy Chase as he pops up as the mysterious Jacuzzi technician.
It’s certianly daft and if you’re in need of simply being entertained and not challenged in any way, this movie should be fine for a lazy Saturday night.
Hot Tub Time Machine arrives at cinemas May 7. Check out the trailer here
*I must also say thanks to SeeFilmFirst who keep sending me off to screenings to films that I’m not working on. It’s really appreciated.*
Shave me down and call me Gerald, Iron Man 2 rocks.
Around about this time two years ago I arrived through the doors of Feref Towers and a golden ticket to the Premiere of Iron Man at Odeon Leicester Square was pressed firmly into my sweaty little paw and off I skipped down to the theatre of dreams. Little did I know I was about to see one of the funniest, coolest and most unexpected hits of the year. With the immediate announcement of the next Iron Man instalment I was wetter than an otter’s pocket. Fast forward two years and add into the saucepan of excitement all the hype that has surrounded the film like the new additions and departures to the cast plus the theories on where the plot will go now that the world knows Iron Man’s true identity and you have the makings for one spicy pot of cinematic jambalaya.
The plot picks up 6 months after the revelation that the billionaire Tony Stark is Iron Man. However, Tony soon comes under immense pressure from the government, the press and the public and his fiercely competitive rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) to share his technology with the military. As you can imagine Tony is somewhat reluctant to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armour because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. Oh Tony… How right you are. With his health being compromised and a new enemy in his sights in the form of Whip Lash (Mickey Rourke) Tony is made to forge new alliances and confront powerful new forces. Aided by his go to gal Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and best friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) Tony begins to realise that in order to restore order he must negotiate with the one person he’s always battled against. Himself.
The film is a top, top, top action movie, and thanks to the majestically written script by Justin Theroux all the humour and banter that occurs in the first movie has been matched and surpassed by this new addition to the super hero movie collective. The action scenes are nothing short of awesome and clearly big Jon Favreau has had a wail of a time with the larger budget, but not so much that he has forgotten about what made the first film so memorable and fun. It’s a big blow out Hollywood movie with all the charm and charisma of Swingers.
I have always thought that Tony Stark was such an interesting character when suited up he lost something of that personality. Thankfully JF has managed to manage this carefully once again. Some of the most memorable moments occur when tony is suited up but you can see his face. What is interesting is that whilst in one respect the idea anonymity goes clean out of the window, there is still a sense of keeping things under cover and secret, fuelled by the arrival of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) who do their best to keep Tony falling off the rails.
After you have seen the movie, with any luck you will come out with the same feeling as when you dunk your face into a bowl of cold water on a hot summer’s day. It’s testament to all of the factors I have mentioned, that despite not being in 3D, it still blew me away. It’s really is a genuinely good action film. Good to see that despite all the hype of Avatar and the insistence by Louis Leterrier to upscale his Clash of the Titans to 3D, Favreau has let the action and the concrete script do all the work. I’d still go and see it at the IMAX though because let’s face it, any film can be enhanced with little trip down to the Southbank. There is an immensely tense scene on the Monaco race track which actually makes formula one look half interesting and when Mickey Rourke appears flailing his whips (is it just me or are them some heavy S&M connotations with this character? Perhaps a discussion best saved for later) the movie takes a turn for better as the new suit is revealed and Tony takes on his new adversary for the first time.
The cast are all spot on. The chemistry between Pepper and Tony remains with Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff adding some extremely welcome spice to the mix. Having replaced Terrence Howard in the first movie, Don Cheadle is both a worthy and equally entertaining replacement. His first line in the film is quietly brilliant, “It’s me…deal with it.” I think if any one looked of felt out of place it was Samuel L. Jackson who provided Tony with some ammo for banter, looked a little awkward as the S.H.I.E.L.D agent.
However, even with my out of control man-gasm after the film, it is certainly not without its faults. There was an insistence on plugging the new Avengers movie , which for non-fans and those not so clued in to all the forthcoming Marvel films, may have gone over their head. The Captain America shield joke was spot on though (you’ll see what I mean). There is also a period in the second half of the film that could have done with being a little snappier. My criticisms are minor because you’ll leave the cinema with a smile a mile wide. Go with no preconceptions and no expectations, like you probably did with the first one, and you’ll definitely get your 12 nuggets worth.
What drilled down my appreciation for Iron Man 2 was that the moment I got back to the flat, X-Men: The Last Stand was just starting on Film 4. Now there’s how not to direct a super hero movie. Fingers crossed for the next Iron Man movie.
Take a spare change of shorts because Iron Man 2 will make you wet.
Iron Man 2 arrives at cinemas Friday