Monday, 23 July 2012
I was bitten (ha) by the horror bug early: I saw Jaws as a youngster, loved it and have been loving it ever since. It's one of those films that I'll never get tired of watching; brilliant acting, soundtrack, special effects and thrilling scenes that make me jump every time, even though I'm expecting them. This was re-released in cinemas recently so HTB and I gleefully took ourselves off to indulge in some gory big screen shark attacks. Made in 1975, this still holds up surprisingly well by the standards of today's movie shock tactics. Everybody in the cinema jumped at the same scary moments, enabled by the famous musical score which constantly builds tension and suspense. Arguably one of Speilberg's best films, this regularly makes the top 100 greatest movie lists and Speilberg himself has previously commented that his directional style for Jaws is similar to that of Alfred Hitchcock (so it's no wonder I like it). It was also the start of the "hollywood summer blockbuster", such was it's success. Basically it's a classic and if you haven't seen it you should probably rectify that, stat! For those who haven't seen it, it centers on Amity Island- an American seaside resort, overcrowded with tourists for the 4th of July weekend celebrations. Unfortunately for the Island's inhabitants and visitors, a man-eating great white shark shows up and starts devouring people with a crazed vengeance. The sheriff, an oceanographer and a crusty old sea captain/shark killer set off to destroy old Jawsy..and that's all I'll say! We also unfortunately decided to watch Jaws 2 (we wanted more shark action). It was a mistake. It's a VERY different film ("it's a very different film Ted, it's a different shark!"). It was literally laugh out loud funny, but that wasn't intentional humour. Avoid.
The Amazing Spiderman
This is a reboot following the Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst Spiderman trilogy (the first was released in 2002..I feel old). Basically it's the exact same story, Peter Parker is a big nerd (ably played by Andrew Garfield) who gets bitten by a fancy spider, discovers he has superpowers and starts solving crime after the untimely death of his uncle at the hands of a street thug. This time there's no Mary-Jane, instead we have Gwen (played by Emma Stone- love her) who is also a big nerd but has much better social skills then Peter, naturally. Anyway, the main storyline involves a scientist turning himself into a mutant creature and trying to destroy New York (pretty sure the same thing happened in the 2002 Spiderman) which isn't really all that exciting and if I'm honest I spent the majority of those scenes wondering to myself where the "Amazing Spiderman" t shirt I used to wear when I was 18 is. So that's probably not the greatest recommendation ever. Having said that, the scenes between Garfield (Andrew that is, no lasagne-loving-cat here) and Stone are pretty great. There is some serious chemistry between these two (they're a real life couple, so probably not that surprising) and their relationship on screen is easily the main selling point of this film. In related news, I have yet to look for the t-shirt.
Dear God, the anticipation for this film in my house was just unreal. Every time a new trailer came out for it HTB and I were all over it, like a pair of nerds at their first ComicCon. Oh yes, we've been waiting for this for a long while. The Dark knight Rises is the final installment in Christopher Nolan's epic trilogy and features the usual suspects- Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine, along with the newbies- Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordan-Levitt, and Marion Cotillard. A bum numbing 2 hrs 45 mins later (top tip-bring refreshments) and we were not disappointed. Set 8 years after the last Batman and we find Bruce Wayne literally on his last legs, living like a hermit and no longer doing the whole caped crusader thing. Which is unfortunate as new terrifying baddie Bane (great job by Tom Hardy) shows up to wreak havoc upon Gotham City. As the baddies are wont to do. Anne Hathaway gives a surprisingly excellent performance as Catwoman, which I was more than happy to be proved wrong about, as up 'til now I haven't been her biggest fan. They were all pretty great in this to be honest, in previous films I struggled to watch the likes of Katie Holmes and then Maggie Gyllenhall, but I genuinely thought each character worked really well together in this film. As an aside, I was also really happy with the strong female characters played by Hathaway and Cotillard..nice for a change in a big action blockbuster like this.
I can't say anymore without giving away the plot so all I will say is- go see it! If you've been a fan of the Batman franchise then you won't be disappointed, equally if you happen to enjoy a good action/thriller then you'll be happy out too. I'm just sad that there'll be no more after this..sniff.