Not every film needs to be a TV series

Okay, so I think this just has to be addressed with the slew of films and film series inexplicably being turned into TV series, not every single one needs a series as you know and in fact, the vast majority never need to become a series, I mean The Notebook has been announced to be in the works and is coming to the CW in the near future and seriously, The Notebook?

I just don’t quite see the necessity for this to be happening, also coming to the CW is Friday The 13th the series. And slated for this autumn we already have Minority Report on Fox which is less than stellar, Rush Hour the series is coming and Ash Vs Evil Dead is already on Starz, joining Scream which has finished its first season on MTV and is already renewed for season 2. I’m wondering what the reasoning behind commissioning all of these shows is as they’re far from guaranteed success for one and secondly, news of them is always met with a collective “whaaaa” around the internet. I get the idea of people wanting to expand on certain film lore and stories and make series of them but we’re about to cross the threshold of plausibility here and it won’t be long before we start getting series like The Thing and Karate Kid and no, just no, stop it.

The thing with these shows like Scream on MTV is that they don’t bring anything new or exciting to their own universe, the show exists as non-canon in relation to the film which is fair enough but why would you want to watch a show based on a film that you may like but with none of the characters from the film and with a different tone and style to it? It really is a bizarre set up but networks seem to running with the trend and commissioning more and more of the series, I get that the sound of a spin off of a popular and entertaining film may seem good at first but when you really break it down, a lot of premises for TV series of films sort of fall apart.

In slight defense of this recent trend (that doesn’t really work imo), right now can be seen as a golden age for TV with a slew of high profile actors flocking to TV and sometimes staying there, the budgets for TV networks are huge and can  rival movies in special effects and in scope with huge casts and now more than ever, there’s lot of creativity in genres that don’t tend to do well as films these days – horror and fantasy. So I can see why going with a TV series rather than another re-boot or pointless sequel could be an option but it just doesn’t quite work for some films and funnily enough the few films you may actually want as series aren’t the ones getting touched, so the situation does kinda suck. Bates Motel is the big exception to the rule, a successful drama based on Norman Bates and a prequel to Psycho, but even it isn’t exactly a stellar drama and okay I’ll give it to the Fargo series, not my cup of tea but it is fairly highly acclaimed and has good ratings.

But come on Hollywood, you’re not out of ideas just yet, we don’t need a Notebook or Die Hard or Fight Club series and a lot of films stand well enough on their own as they are and don’t need that extra adaptation.

And more to the point, some ideas for films just don’t really work as TV show, hence how you can have a great film but a terrible attempt at a TV show from the same material, this trend may not go away for a while yet but hopefully the big networks don’t go anywhere near the all time classics, Jaws the series? Godfather the series? No thank you.

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World review

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is an action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, based on the comic book series of the same name, set in an alternate modern world following the adventure of impetuous young adult Scott Pilgrim as he meets and falls for Ramona Flowers, a girl with ever changing moods and hair colour, having to battle her seven evil exes to fully win her over. The film stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick, Mark Webber, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Allison Pill, and the actors bring their characters to life with some enthusiastic and memorable performances, almost all of which are pretty hilarious, especially Kieran Culkin, Mark Webber and Michael Cera.

Edgar Wright was the perfect choice in directing the films as his own style shines through in the films’ visuals, plot and writing – which is one of the best parts of the film, the films is pretty hilarious with some very funny, fast paced dialogue, the characters bounce off each other well with lines making the film feel almost like a sitcom at times, which is credit to how well the actors deliver the rather well written lines. And the film is also full of very quotable and funny one liners “Chicken isn’t vegan?”, the characters are also just as memorable as the lines they come out with, with Ramonas’ evil exes ironically being more interesting and dynamic than she is, they’re all larger than life and pose interesting, different challenges for Scott who grows grows increasingly tired of fighting them altogether.

Edgar Wrights humorous and eclectic directorial style is evident in the film which itself looks like a comic book with superimposed writing, ‘Whack’ ‘Thud coming up on screen when characters get hit, while scenes also transition with comic book panelling, the visuals are fantastic and have some cool comic book and video game references peppered through it. The films’ effects are great, from Scotts’ flaming sword to the flashing red portraying characters that are badly hurt and in danger in video game style (reference to Legend of Zelda there) and in HD everything looks vibrant, colourful and is practically jumping off the screen, just like the characters, who are almost all lively and over the top.

Scott Pilgrim also has a brilliant soundtrack, included as a sort of joke in the plot to mock bands in that style, Scotts’ band is actually pretty good and they make some angst ridden songs, the musical side to the film is also important with Scotts’ band being a big part of his life, while scenes like Scotts’ band battling the Katayanagi twins is one of the better scenes in the movie. The films plot flows well from point to point in a natural way as each ex is introduced and the fights never feel too forced, they come about in different ways and don’t feel exactly the same, with each fight concluding differently as well as Scott tries to figure out how to win.

A few factors contribute to the film being a fun and very entertaining ride that’s very well paced and put together, the story is great and it’s one of the funniest films I’ve seen in recent years, perfectly capturing the feeling and tone of a comic book and translating that onto screen very effectively, it’s a film I’d recommend to any comic book film fan as well as to any fan of good comedy.

7.5/10

. Interesting, engaging story

. Awesome selection of hilarious of characters

. Visually great looking film

Captain America Civil War trailer #1

So this was a bit of an unexpected drop, though the trailer was long due, the first trailer for Civil War. We start off with that end credits that we first saw from Ant Man of Cap and Falcon sort of interrogating Bucky aka the Winter Soldier but they’re more trying to get him to join their side than trying to get info out of him, it seems that Bucky’s been on the run and the government has been after him.

The foundations of superhero registration get laid out by General Thunderbolt Ross who is back in action, describing how some people view Cap as a hero but some view him as a vigilante, acting without supervision and going about doing whatever he wanted (though it’s always good), this is the crux of the comic book storyline as well. With superpowered characters having free reign to go wherever and do whatever, the government and people in general got paranoid and wanted them to be registered.

And it’s interesting to see the battle lines get drawn, Falcon being with Cap, Black Widow definitely siding with him if things go down and Bucky as well. We then finally see Tony Stark who backs superhero registration but isn’t overly aggresive about it as he tries to get Cap on his side early on, the action scenes look pretty good and I’m loving seeing more Falcon, as well as the two sides on opposing sides of registration finally square off against each other and Black Panther is also finally here. And even with the plethora of characters, this is a Captain America film after all so that’s why a lot of it seems to be shown from his point of view.

The rosters does look a bit small understandably with notable omissions being The Hulk and Thor of course, as well as no Fantastic Four or mutants but the action looks good for the characters they’re working with – plus we know Ant Man and Spiderman are also in the story but we just haven’t seen them in trailer. I think Civil War will do what fans have really wanted for a while in bringing together multiple characters from the MCU together for a great story, The Avengers did in part do that but of course without Bucky, Black Panther and Spiderman but this is something completely different and there will be some weighty emotional drama here. And importantly we have something completely new for the MCU with superheroes fighting each other  over moral beliefs and ideas rather than fighting an evil supervillain.

And that final scene with Bucky, Cap and Iron Man, wow. I actually really can’t wait to see this film and to see any other possible surprises to come, it’s looking great so far.

Top 5 film Fantasy Worlds

Fantasy is a great genre, in which the imagination can run wild and you can see wonderful, fantastical powers, creatures and things that take place in very creatively designed and iconic worlds that often tend to stay in your memory for one reason or another, here are some of my favourite picks in no particular order.

Middle Earth Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy

Middle Earth is a vividly imagined and awesome designed fantasy world with various races creatures, monsters and magic galore, the quintessential fantasy world and it’s also of course the setting to a great story, Middle Earths scope is vast, so much so that it’s not entirely covered through the films and in general it’s just a really interesting creation from the mind of Tolkien. With the various locales making for some spectacular backdrops as well as being pivotal places for points and a lot of action in the story.Interestingly Middle Earth also looks an awful lot like New Zealand, I wonder why…

Narnia – The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy

The world of Narnia is a vivid, bright and colourful place full of a vast array of creatures, people and various other beings, full of magic, talking animals and the like, it’s very much a childrens fantasy world but a well imagined one nonetheless with a neat pairing of humans and talking animals (of course) in what I feel is a rather unique way. Also the various creatures featured are pretty distinct and make for a colourful cast of characters for the books and films.

Oz – The Wizard of Oz, Oz The Great And Powerful

A land full of weird and wonderful creatures, people, tin men and scarecrows, Oz is vibrant and colourful and really feels like a rather joyful place, despite the wicked witches and evil flying monkeys, almost everything and everyone there just seems really, really happy so it must be great, plus the place has some stellar brick road layers.

Wonderland – Alice In Wonderland

Wonderland, a creatively designed fantasy world from the mind of Lewis Caroll, full of trippy characters and a rather bizarre political system with people that are also cards… it’s weird but also just really different, it’s totally something you might conjure up in your mind if you were on something but nevertheless, Wonderland is a fantastical world that feels distinct to other worlds even on this list with its wacky characters, design and vibe.

The Wizarding world – Harry Potter series

Of course things would be amiss on a list like this without Harry Potter, a world in which magical powers that can do just about anything, good or evil sounds pretty awesome to me, though things may get a bit complicated when you run into death eaters or dark lords. The world of Harry Potter is a brilliantly crafted world with interesting and complex lore from its history, to rules on magic to its colorful array of creatures and characters that populate it, all in all it seems li a pretty fun place to be in and or go to, if you’re not a muggle anyway.

Honourable mentions:

  • The Labyrinth (Labyrinth), Underground Realm (Pans Labyrinth), Jumanji (Jumanji), Fantasia (The Neverending Story), The land of Ever After (Shrek), Neverland (Peter Pan), World of Spirited Away (Spirited Away).

Ranking the X-Men franchise

The X-Men are one of the most recognized and beloved group of characters in all comic books, let alone Marvel and they’ve provided us with some awesome movies over the past 15 years, it’s crazy to think there have been 7 movies already and that there’s still room for more, with the list subject to change with the upcoming X-Men Apocalypse. Here’s my ranking of the films so far.

 

X-Men First Class – 8/10

First Class is the franchises re-boot point in essence and it works well in bringing the X-Men to the past, while still presenting a compelling story, seeing Xavier and Eriks developing relationship come rivalry is great, as is seeing the foundations of the X-Men we’ve come to know and love. First Class brought the rejuvenation that the franchise badly needed, set in the swinging 60s at the height of the cuban missile crisis, I loved seeing mutants not seen on the big srcreen before like Havok, Azazel and Banshee, while we got to see the origins for favourites like Magneto and played fantastically by James Mcavoy, Michael Fassbender, while Kevin Bacon makes a surprisingly good villain as Sebastian Shaw (who also has a pretty awesome power).

X-Men Days Of Future Past – 8/10

Days Of Future Past represents the franchises’ ambition in going to very different places and settings with different X-Men stories and it definitely payed off, the feel of the film was that of classic X-Men with the team battling seemingly impossible odds and using creative methods to do so, with time travel in this case. Seeing a continuation of past Xavier and Eriks’ stories and relationship was great, as was seeing a plethora of X-men mutants in the future, Days Of Future Past brought together things fans had wanted to see and it was a fairly faithful adaptation of the comic story, being an engaging story with some great set pieces and some well emotional points. Mystique almost steals the show as one of the big players this time around and again the cast is on their A game.

X2 – 8/10

X2 is the pinnacle of great action, some of the most memorable and iconic in the X-Men franchise and it’s a fantastic blockbuster, full of great characters, great action and very good story with some pretty tense scenes, the film’s geat because it has that right balance of thrilling action, drama and a compeling story to boot. Stryker is an awesome villain for the plot and poses a threat to mutants as a whole, bringing Magneto and his ideals together with the X-Men which makes for an interesting dynamic, X2 flourishes with a plethora of mutants in the story who all feel unique and get a decent amount of time (apart from Cyclops), a great balancing act and a great film.

X-Men 7/10

X-Men is a great movie, often overlooked when people think about the trilogy, it’s a great starting point for everything and has some great set pieces, great dialogue and is a very well put together film, it does some great world building and set up for things to come with the time it has and the story is great, with a contained feel of a classic X-Men story of Xavier Vs Magneto.

The Wolverine – 7/10

The Wolverine is the best solo mutant film to date and… 1 of 2, to be fare, we’ll see how Deadpool and Gambit turn out, but it’s a solid film, putting Logan in a different setting and a very different situation, we see different sides to the character and most importantly, see him being Wolverine at some of his best with some great action. It’s not the most memorable X-Men related film but a good watch.

X-Men The Last Stand – 6/10

The Last Stand is… disappointing, falling far short of the heighs reached by X2, the film took an awesome X-Men story in the Phoenix saga and rushed it into a final movie in a trilogy alongside the cure storyline which just didn’t work, the set pieces in the film are decent though quite cheesy and there is a feeling of finality to everything but the conclusion is far from satisfying and the plot itself is stretched way too thin to satisfy fans of the series.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – 6/10

Origins was an unfortunate film, cashing in on the desire to see more backstory to Wolverine and include more mutants in the story, the films plot simply wasn’t that interesting and had one too many cheesy lines and throwaway characters, including Will.I.Am, seriously remember how Will.I.Am is in the movie? Though to be fair it did have some decent action scenes in it and it had Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, a fun character that he’s now getting to portray properly.