Is Godzilla (2014) King of the Screen?

Title: Godzilla
Running Time: 123 minutes
Rating (out of 5): 3.5

When I was much younger, I was a massive fan of Godzilla; I had two toys of this triumphant lizard, two Mothras, three Rodans, three Hydras, two members of Godzilla force, a Godzilla force fighter jet, and a set of trading cards, not to mention several pairs of clothing depicting this massive creation.

Where Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla failed, due to repetitive action sequences, immature dialogue, and certain aspects of the storyline which were unable to make coherent sense, I was hoping this particular reboot would find a way of telling a far superior story.

Now, if a feature happens to be named after one of the major characters (Riddick, the Bourne franchise, etc) you expect said character to play an incredibly pivotal role. Although many in Godzilla believed this terrific behemoth was the only hope in stopping other ancient predators, his entire screen presence lasted probably ten minutes (excluding the moments you see his fins as he swims through the oceans).

Much like in Alien Vs Predator Requiem, the human characters have the more significant roles, and although at the beginning this was of little concern, for the remainder of the film was still yet to transpire, by the end, there is this disgruntled sense of unquenched entertainment that settles over the cinema, as you come to realize the shocking absence of this tyrannical monstrosity.

Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) was a scientist at a Japanese power plant when it was inexplicably destroyed by an unexplainable force of unparallelled proportions. 15 years later, and his son, Lieutenant Ford Brody (Araon Taylor-Johnson) who has discovered a career for himself in the Navy, is officially over his father’s wild conspiracy theories that lead him back to Japan.

There, Dr. Daisuke Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and his team of scientists who have existed since before the events of the Japanese power plant, have been running experiments on an unidentified creature located at the epicenter of the destroyed reactor.  But when the creature is released from its egg-sack and begins to run, or more aptly, fly rampantly across the terrain in search of food, the military, including Jason Strathairn as an Admiral and Richard T. Jones as a fellow high ranking commander, are brought in to help bring an end to the chaos that is only escalating.

This particular version of Godzilla returns the frachise back to its origins, with these triumphant ancient beasts having a high tolerance, and general appetite, for all things nuclear, the male Rodan-esque creature released from the egg thus making its way from one potential source of radiation to another in the hopes of finding food. When another creature of the same species eventually erupts out from its burial chamber, this particular creature identified as a female, you can begin to imagine what their intentions are, which can only spell further catastrophic trouble for humanity, unless something of equal strength can fight them. Some believe nuclear arsenals are the answer, whilst others, especially Dr. Serizawa, believe firmly in Godzilla.

Although the Rodan like creatures, which are initially introduced as some kind of ancient monstrous parasite, receive considerably more face time with the audience than Godzilla does, it is still not nearly enough to satisfy one’s thirst for special effects. These creatures look almost robotic, with rather square block heads and a red nuclear light pulsating across the underside of their bodies, and along the tips of their elongated clawed fingers. This is no criticism however, the special effects being exceptional in this creature feature; I only wish that the creatures had a far greater screen presence.

What further fails to fill my appetite are the fight scenes between the monsters, a number of them being cut short; at one point the fight scene takes place over a couple of incredibly quick frames on a television screen hundreds of miles away, Moreover, on the occasions when you are in the thick of it, the blanket of night fall does all manner of annoyances. Although you can often make out what is happening, daylight would have been preferable in illustrating these magnificent creatures in their truest form.

A story of family at heart, it seems the developers of this particular feature on occasion forgot that Godzilla was supposed to play a paramount role, and for this reason the audience suffers greatly. If this studio plans on making a sequel, which may prove unlikely (think what happened last time America decided to create a spinoff), hopefully the creators may consider having any further incursions taking place during the day.

Advertisements

Riddick Review

I never did believe that Pitch Black was the best movie ever, and ironically, even though the Chronicles of Riddick was seen as a flop in the eyes of Universal, it to this day remains one of my all time favorite movies; in fact, it was this particular film that caused me to admire Vin Diesel professionally as an actor and inevitably have an avid fascination with every film he has been in since.

The one thing I have always appreciated about Riddick in general, is that he is the traditional anti-hero, much like Mad Max. Although Riddick is essentially an American creation (and I do not mean to be negative) but Americans always love their heroes – they are always patriotic and willing to lay down their lives to save the day for no reason at all other than the fact they simply can. Riddick will do this of course – but he wants something in return, which is the true definition of an anti-hero.

For anyone who has been a massive fan of the franchise thus far, then like me you may very well have been waiting with bated breath for the better part of a year for the film to finally be released. Riddick is more like the original Pitch Black, and for those like me who preferred Chronicles, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that you wouldn’t like this film – after all, there is still plenty of bad-ass Riddick action going on for any fan of the franchise to enjoy.

Right from the very beginning, the film captures the attention of its audience as Mr. Diesel efficaciously commands the screen as usual with his powerful presence. Originally starting with Riddick being marooned on an unknown world, Riddick not long afterwards remembers how it was that he managed to find himself on such a hell hole.

Riddick, who is tired of running and tired of being the lead commanding officer of the Necromonger horde asks Vaako (Karl Urban) for assistance in finding his home planet of Furya. Instead, Riddick finds himself in the middle of a violent coup for power, inevitably resulting in him being left for dead after the betrayal he didn’t see coming. (Instead of writing a small portion of information about the movie here, I have placed it at the end of the article. I would not call this a spoiler per se, but some people reading this may find the information unnecessary. If you wish to know, proceed to the end of the article).

For the first half an hour of the film, Riddick adjusts to his new surroundings, which includes striking up a partnership with an alien dingo who eventually becomes his companion. Fans of Chronicles may remember Riddick befriending a creature on the planet Crematoria, and this is no different. Perhaps this was deliberately orchestrated to provide some humanity to Riddick’s character, for in previous films Riddick was often fighting alongside Jack and other comrades he met along the way.

Unable to stay forever on the planet, Riddick eventually finds a bounty hunter station and activates the distress beacon which brings two mercenary shuttles down atop of his head. One group is led by the violently deranged Santana (Jordi Molla), whilst the other is commanded by Boss Johns (Matt Nable), and those familiar with Pitch Black may recognise the familial similarity in the name, providing a clue as to why he is seeking Riddick out.

Upon the mercenaries arrival, Riddick’s role overtime becomes a little shorter, appearing every so often during scenes as the film begins to focus primarily on the mercenaries. This can seem a little strange; naming the film ‘Riddick’, and yet the lead character is absent from at least a third of the film, if not more. This may have something to do with the fact that Mr. Diesel seems to be quite the busy actor at the moment, with a sequel to Fast and the Furious franchise in the works and another XXX on the horizon. Perhaps on occasion Mr. Diesel was needed elsewhere to ensure that his other perspective films were released on schedule?

This however does allow the mercenaries to be explored and their opinions of Riddick to be known. This gives the audience the opportunity to decide whether they believe Riddick is the scary monster all of the mercenaries visualise him to be, morals being one of the key principle driving forces of the film.

However, the question of whether Riddick is the real bad guy he is made out to be is overshadowed by the extraterrestrial scorpions that inhabit the planet, who seem to have a fondness for mammals – or more aptly, the meat that mammals have on their bones, and the eventual confrontation between these creatures and everyone else is quite an impressive showdown.

An unnecessary feature of the movie though might very well be that every woman in the film with the exception of one shows off their breasts at one stage or another. Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) additionally is a character that seems to be developed in an incredibly peculiar way. Being very verbose about her sexuality, it is awful strange that Riddick shoots her a few sexual references over the course of the movie, visualising a potential want to have a romantic relationship with her, and her occasional one-liners about this may cause the viewer to wonder whether or not writer David Twohy knows the definition between a lesbian and a heterosexual.

Again, Riddick is more like Pitch Black, but this in no way means that it is not entertaining. The special effects are fantastic, and the tenseness of the film is very well articulated. The addition of more blood for the viewer’s pleasure is enough to empower the action scenes with extra bite, and the occasional profanity allows more realism to be incorporated into the scenes, both of which were absent from Chronicles.

Any fan of the Riddick franchise should feel quite at home with this particular film, and fans of science fiction should additionally have a fair amount of fun with this new addition to the series. The film is left wide open at the end for a sequel, and maybe if we are lucky Universal will put some time and effort (and money) into a possible fourth edition. Fingers crossed!

All in all, I give Riddick a 4 out of 5.

 

INFO FROM MIDDLE OF DOCUMENT: For those who are fans of Karl Urban’s work (and I am one of them) you may be disappointed to learn that Mr. Urban only appears in one scene at the beginning of the feature. Upon Riddick been cast down upon the planet, all of the Necromonger’s leave and you never see them again. I really liked the Necromonger’s as the enemy in Chronicles and maybe we will have the opportunity to see them again if a sequel is promulgated.

Furious Six Review

Title: Furious Six
Distributor: Universal
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Rating (out of 5): 5

Summary: Justin Lin and Chris Morgan deliver yet another outstanding action feature

Suspension of disbelief. That is the one concept a person going to see this film should keep in their mind at all times; that everything happening in this film is really a load of bull. There is no way that any of the characters could ever possibly survive the absolutely deranged action scenes that take place within this film, and yet they always manage to get away just by the skin of their teeth. This however is not a bad thing, but it certainly will make you gasp in awe time and time again at how brilliantly conceived the action is and how amazingly convenient many of the scenarios are.

Picking up where Fast Five ended, Furious Six begins with Special Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) looking to take down the internationally dangerous Shaw (Luke Evans), whose team are taking down militarised convoys in an attempt to build a device worth billions to the highest bidder; a device that could do an unfathomable amount of damage when successfully put together.

With traditional methods out of the question for acquiring such a man and his team, Hobbs is forced to recruit a ‘wolf to hunt a wolf”, in this case Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his team. At the  end of Fast Five, Hobbs receives proof that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is still alive and working with this antagonistic crew, and it is this information he uses to procure Dom and have him and his team meet him in London to help take down this new threat.

Mia (Jordana Brewster’s) role is rather short in this film as she is now the mother of the child that she and Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) have had, which furthers the idea of family which flows throughout this entire feature.

Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), Gisele (Gal Gabot) and Han (Sung Kang) once again join the team, with Roman and Tej being primarily in control of delivering the wealth of humor throughout the piece which is efficaciously delivered.

As with the previous films, the connection between each of the characters seems extraordinarily powerful and makes the film’s storyline and the emotional interactions between the characters even more believable. There is not one moment that goes by where you don’t believe all of these friends are not a giant family, and thanks to the flawless acting and terrific writing, this is never challenged which only makes the experience even more easy to devour.

In a film spanning 130 minutes, the feature basically is one action scene after another, with a brief separation in-between each for character interaction and planning for the next deranged action-oriented occurrence, and by deranged, I truly mean that; cars go flying in all directions as cars and even later on a tank alike collide with others in this vehicular slaughter-fest. The amount of damage done in this film is unfathomable, and simply needs to be seen to be believed, and even then you probably won’t believe it. Like I said earlier, many action scenes seem convenient; there is always a car to escape in, or some horrible thing that does not immediately take place, which leads to the characters living to fight another day.

Just when the action seems to be over though, another scene even wilder than the last takes place, and even then you still can’t be sure that the film is over. Be sure to stay after the first few seconds of credits for a terrific little (convenient (again!)) cinematic featuring Jason Stratham, which leaves the film wide open for yet another sequel.

You want my opinion? Universal can make a dozen more Fast and the Furious sequels, for if they are all as good as this, then I will surely love to see how far they can push this truly entertaining series.

Simply put, if there is one action film you see this year, then Fast and the Furious Six is definitely that movie! A must see!

 

Descend into the Darkness in the new Star Trek feature

Title: Star Trek: Into Darkness
Distributor: Paramount
Producers: Sky Dance/Bad Robot
Director: J.J. Abrams

Rating (out of 5): 3

Synopsis: Terrific special effects and a few action sequences are not enough to save Star Trek: Into Darkness from itself.

Review: For those of you aware of the idea that a sequel is never able to live up to the expectations of the original, or the stereotypical notion that there is in fact no such thing as a bad trailer, then you will completely understand when I say that Star Trek: Into Darkness represents both of these ideologies.

For those of you, like me, who saw the trailer for the new Star Trek film and thought how riveting it looked; do not be fooled. Luckily for me I was able to see the film free due to my new membership with the cinema that I frequent, because if I had paid money to see this film, I may be even more disappointed.

Star Trek: Into Darkness begins, how do I put this, almost pointlessly. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise are on an alien planet where the local fauna are comprised of primitive humanoids yet to acquire the mantel of technology. Kirk decides to intervene with the course of the history the planet is to take by sending Spock (Zachary Quinto) into a volcano on the verge of erupting, the goal being to cease this event immediately, and for some odd reason this requires stealing a scroll from the local primitives and running through the woods.

After this scene the film does pick up the pace by informing you why this  was applicable; this shows that Kirk is yet to take the role of being a Captain seriously. He has no respect for authority or the rules and is incapable of conforming to Star-fleet’s way of handling missions. This inevitably leads to Kirk being removed as Captain and re-instated as first officer, whilst Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) is recommissioned as the ships’ captain.

Whilst this occurs, in London, Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), the primary antagionist of the movie approaches a Star-fleet officer and his wife, whose daughter is gravely ill, and says that he will help save her, at a cost, this being only the start of his major plan which results in the deaths of many members of Star-fleet’s highest ranking officers. After this onslaught of violence takes place, Kirk, thirsty for vengeance requests that Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller), the highest ranking officer in humanity’s fleet give him permission to pursue Khan to where he is hiding on the Klingon world of Kronos. Marcus agrees to the savagery of the operation, despite it going against the general code of the fleet for this is a mission of destruction, rather than what Star-fleet stereotypically handles. Kirk is provided with no less than 72 missiles to be dropped onto Khan’s head to bring retribution to all he has harmed with his plots. The Enterprise however is to do its best not to alert the Klingon’s to their presence for they have been itching for a reason to go to war against them for so long now that it is basically inevitable.

Of course, not everything goes according to the plan…The movie is not as plain and simple as one might initially imagine, with a very intriguing storyline filled with a fair amount of depth, telling a tale of betrayal, redemption, vengeance, family and love. Not everyone is as good as they seem, just as the bad guys are not so terrible as they may originally appear. There are many twists and turns that ought to keep anyone entertained, but it is there that the film begins to lose points in my opinion.

Although yes, there are a number of action scenes, these often go by so fast that you only begin to enjoy them when they suddenly come to a conclusion. On top of that, Khan is built up to be this incredibly impressive one man killing machine and yet the amount of screen time he has where he is indeed kicking ass and taking names is not quite as much as I would have liked. True, he does a fair bit of damage by the end, but if you are going to have a powerhouse of an enemy, you might as well show off all of his skills. He throws some guys around and breaks some skulls (literally) but apart from that I really wanted to be impressed, after all, he is later hailed as the greatest threat that they ever faced, and yet his reign of terror is eventually halted so darn easily. Mr. Cumberbatch, the actor who portrays Khan did an admirable portrayal of the enemy which only further increased my frustration. The actor was such a fantastic bad guy, I only wished that the film makers had further milked what could have been generated.

On top of this, although the crew do descend to the planet Kronos, the amount of Klingons that are seen could be counted on yours hands (and maybe one of your toes). The War Birds look impressive, but, in my opinion, if you are going to place the crew of the Enterprise on one of the single most inhospitable planets in the known universe, the least you could do is have some extra fighting. There is one particularly engrossing fight scene, and after this the film moves on. All this talk of war with the Klingons and yet, where is it?

The music provides very little new content to the genre, most of the themes been rehashed from the original feature. The cameo role by Leonard Nimoy will no doubt cause your eyes to roll to the side as this was perhaps unnecessary, and although he provides invaluable information, this could have been acquired via alternate methods. On top of this, the cameo by Nazneen Contractor additionally seems odd – I mean, why hire a known actress to play an unbelievably small role?

Moreover, Zoe Saldana’s role as Uhura is not quite as large as many fans of such a character may enjoy. In fact, the amount of screen time that she and Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) receive in the film does not begin to even contrast with the amount of screen time the blocks receive, this movie being basically a guy’s night out, with the intellectually powerful women being limited in their roles.

Towards the end, a scene that age old Star Trek fans will be familiar with is reflected in the film, and although it is orchestrated very powerfully by the actors involved, it seems cliche when in regards to the scene it is based upon (you’ll know what I mean when you see it!).

In conclusion, Star Trek: Into Darkness will entertain you – but it will leave you hungry for so much more. Let’s just hope that in the future, the next Star Trek villain who claims to be an unstoppable force to be reckoned with really lives up to the title.

Cruise across the desolate remnants of Earth in the new sci-fi feature ‘Oblivion’

 

Title: Oblivion
Distributor: Universal
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Stars: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo

More Entertaining Than: Moon

Less Entertaining Than: Avatar

Rating (out of 5): 4

In 2077 the Earth is a desolate waste. An antagonistic alien enemy destroyed the moon, and in doing so, this caused the Earth to turn against the human race; earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. Then the invasion occurred and it was at this point that humanity retaliated with a full nuclear offensive strategy. This ultimately won the war, but the result was the destruction of the planet. Most humans, those that survived, now live on Titan, Jupiter’s largest moon, whilst a few humans stay behind on Earth to watch over its decommission. These small teams watch over the water pumping stations that turn the remaining major bodies of water into usage energy, and additionally ensure that the defense drones that protect these huge operations run flawlessly. The alien scavengers, or what remains of them at least, are still out there and in no way can they hinder the operations humanity has taking place on Earth.

Jack (Tom Cruise) awakes from a dream; a memory actually. Before being stationed on Earth his memory was wiped as to ensure that if captured by the enemy, they could extract no useable information from him about his mission. Julia (Olga Kurykenko) was there, as always, her memory haunting his dreams as he attempts to understand what she means to him.
He makes his way out from the station he resides upon and soars above the ground in an attractive cruiser, whilst Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) remains back at the station to monitor his progress and report everything that happens back to Sally (Melissa Leo) at Command, a mysterious figurehead observing the entire mission. But when Jack is captured by the enemy, he finds himself in the presence of Beech (Morgan Freeman) who opens his eyes to the truth; and in one moment, all that he once knew is shattered completely.

As always, the banter between Tom Cruise and his fellow actors over the longevity of the feature is entertaining, well scripted and timed. The emotional connection that one character has with another throughout the feature is an incredibly powerful drive that keeps the film moving forward. True, the numerous action scenes and very attractive special effects efficaciously aid in establishing the audience’s attention to the film, but it is the emotions that run throughout its heart.

Mr. Cruise often seems to choose roles that involve being romantically involved with a beautiful young woman, and this film is no different. Right from the very beginning the film introduces us to a love story and tells a tale about a love so strong that one doesn’t have to know a person; one doesn’t have to have met a person; one doesn’t have to be even near a person, to love them more than life itself, and this is continued through to the very end.

On top of this, the film is a story of sacrifice and choice and the immense and incredible power of the human will to survive and the resolve to live free without tyranny or oppression from foreign enemies.

Some may be disappointed to note that there are no ‘aliens’ per se to be seen, so don’t go into the film expecting any little green men. Instead, the battles that take place are often between robotic entities that rove to be just as merciless as any alien could ever be.

Adjunctively, one needs to see the film through to the end to grasp the entire storyline, for this is not a stereotypically easy narrative to understand, and the only way to acutely comprehend all that has happened throughout the back story and all that is happening over the duration of the film is to see the feature through to the final frame. Throughout the film some occurrences and story elements may make little sense at all, but I can promise you that by the end, many of those lingering questions will finally be allocated answers. I can also promise you that the film’s conclusion will most certainly leave you smiling.

Apart from being a thrilling sci-fi action romance, the feature is adjunctively proof that actors the likes of Mr. Cruise can still be counted on to appear in films of an astounding caliber and that actors the likes of Ms. Kurylenko deserve more cinematic roles rather than ones on the television.

Set the entertainment for Cruise Control in the new intense action thriller ‘Jack Reacher’

 

I never did read the novel ‘One Shot’ from acclaimed writer Lee Child, so please forgive me if my interpretation of the film seems way off when in comparison with the text. What I do know about the character from the book is that he was apparently well over six feet in height, which actor Tom Cruise is not. Height however, has nothing to do with talent, and Mr. Cruise sure brings a lot of it in this new thriller which is adjunctively produced by him.

With a new Mission Impossible film having been announced, perhaps Mr. Cruise is looking to be involved in another franchise. There can only be so many more Mission Impossible features that writers could possibly develop, and if Mr. Cruise is looking to become involved in a new phenomenal action series, then he has certainly put his money, and his talents, into the right film. Whether or not the fans agree will depend on whether more features based upon the series of books are indeed conceived.

Now apparently at fifty years of age, one may expect that Mr. Cruise is beginning to enter a stage in his career where he could consider retiring from blockbuster action features. But if the feature Jack Reacher has anything to say about his future prospects, that idea is probably not going to come to fruition just yet. During the fight scenes, Jack Reacher moves like liquid, easily taking out his opponents, often with little difficulty and/or injury, and if Mr. Cruise was involved in a majority of the stunts, then that is proof enough that he is surely capable of continuing his action career for quite a while longer. Fingers crossed.

The film opens to the senseless massacre of five innocent individuals going about their daily lives; each of whom are shot by a retired sniper. It seems like an ironclad case against the offender; his bullets and fingerprints were found at the scene, and his vehicle matches the tire treads found there as well. Life in jail with no parole or death are the only options available to this man now, who asks for a Mr. Jack Reacher to become involved in the case.

Jack Reacher, alerted by the news to the senseless shooting, and having a past with the accused, shows up almost immediately to begin digging into what happened. He instantly believes that the accused is the shooter and will do everything in his power to bury him.

The lawyer of the accussed, Helen (played by the beautiful Rosamund Pike), who is the daughter of the District Attorney, immediately takes a shine to Mr. Reacher’s impeccable investigative qualities and asks for him to participate in the case as her primary investigator.

The relationship between both Helen and Reacher is often one of ‘will they or won’t they?’, with many options being available throughout the feature for a possible romance to be generated between the characters.

However, this film is most unlike others that Mr. Cruise often dedicates his time too; Reacher is not the stereotypical protagonist, but then again he is in no way an anti-hero either. He is, to put it shortly, quite the bad ass, and Mr. Cruise does an impeccable job at creating such a hardened hero with ruthlessly efficient combat methodologies, highly intellectual investigative skills and an unbelievable awareness of his surroundings from his prior life in the military as an army police officer.

The case against the accused however is not a normal one, and is instead shrouded in intrigue, corruption and a major set up that has ties to those who are meant to uphold and protect the law. Nothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe. Luckily, as the tag line of the feature might suggest, Mr. Reacher has no limits to what he will do to ensure that the righteous and the just are safely secure from the hands of antagonists, and that villains get exactly what is coming to them. So with Mr. Reacher on the case, the ominous bad guys have officially met their match.

Appearing rather spookily in the eyes of the enemy, and having the ability to make the blood of his opponents boil anxiously with dread, the darkness that Mr. Cruise brings to his powerful character is furthered with the often dark night scenes that occur throughout the film, the depths of the plot and the incredibly loud sounds of guns going off and cars slamming into surfaces. At times, such great techniques within the feature will cause you to jump unexpectedly, as you are pulled into this dark world that Mr. Reacher inhabits.

Of course, darkness is not the only aspect of the film that poses as a lure. The film itself does not require drawn out action sequences or explosions to capture your interest, but does so with other great abilities; the smart, intelligent dialogue; the witty action sequences and the ways Mr. Reacher takes his opponents down; additional likeable characters the likes of Cash, played by the unfathomably well known Robert Duvall, who portrays a fun sniper at a gun range adds a sense of fun to a dark, foreboding landscape; and the in-depth characterisation that Mr. Cruise brings to his character, not to mention his good looks, which he has amazingly managed to preserve efficaciously benefit the film.

Jack Reacher is a film that immediacy captures your attention and refuses to let you go until the final thrilling sequence. To put my final opinion of the feature simply; you have to watch this film. Whether you are a fan of Mr. Cruise’s work, or enjoy intriguing, intelligent plots and dramatic action thrillers, Jack Reacher has it all and more, and frequently keeps you guessing as to who is trustworthy; and who the real enemy is.

My Star Wars Episode 7 Rant-a-thon (in which the writer goes insane and is taken away by men in white coats)

 

I have never being one to come out with my own opinion every time an occurrence that could be described as ‘breaking news’ is dropped upon society. So, with that said, perhaps people who read this might find it in their heart’s to forgive me if I suddenly appear hypocritical as I analyse my thoughts on the seventh episode in the Star Wars saga that was unveiled last week.

The biggest thought crippling me so may very well be one that other fans of the sci-fi franchise have thought frequently since the new title was announced: why? Of course, many of them (I know I did) may not ask the question in such a gentle, or be it, formal way, with perhaps a few profanities being blasted at the thought of this new feature.

Let’s face it – and the fans will probably agree with me – Star Wars ended perfectly.

Although I myself had doubts about how Episode Three could successfully lead into the original installment, I was amazed at how well crafted, engineered and written the end of the new series successfully followed through into the old.

Adjunctively, the storyline that pushed the new series along beautifully made sense when in contrast with the original series, with the plot, storylines and characters all coming together in what could only be described as ‘magical’. Although there was a lengthy hiatus between the end of the original series and the beginning of the new, I personally could not have asked for a better Star Wars franchise.

So, on that note, again, I ask why? Why must a new film be written and directed when obviously, there is no need for it? Of course, those who can smell the tarnished scent of money and power will obviously be able to answer my question. Why? That’s simple – with George Lucas selling the rights to his franchise to the major movie monopoly Disney, it is obvious that this humongous conglomerate wishes to cash in on as much economical gratification as it can.

To renew the audience’s love of the franchise and to prove that life still exists in the old dog, it is a requirement of Disney to release a new film as to whet the appetite of old and new fans alike. However, is it a requirement of Disney to perhaps heinously tarnish the reputation of this inspiring series as well? I certainly hope not.

Additionally, buying the Star Wars brand from Mr. Lucas would not have been cheap – and they obviously require compensation for that which was required to gain such expensive film rights.

Now, Disney fans may read the paragraph that came before the one directly above and suddenly perceive me as a pariah. However, allow me to say this. I don’t doubt that someone could write up a storyline that could perhaps compliment the franchise. I don’t doubt that Disney has the budget or the special effects crew to successfully deliver to the audience amazing graphics and imagery. I simply doubt the point to this entire exercise.

There are other ways that Disney could have brought new life into the franchise (which by the way they are pursuing with talks of a couple new TV shows happening) without them having to develop a new film. So, with that said, here are my questions (and comments) in regards to the idea that I have been generating – why? Additionally, how and what will be involved in the promulgation of this film?

One – Episode six of the saga came out in 1983 – by my count that was quite a while ago. My point? Well, do I really need to elaborate on this obvious ideology?

The actors who portrayed the primary characters in the original franchise would have matured considerably. Mr. Ford, who portrayed the plucky Han Solo is 70 this year, whilst Mr. Hamill who portrayed the revered hero Luke Skywalker is somewhere in his mid sixties, whilst Ms. Fisher, a.k.a Princess Leia being either 55 or 56 (I’m not totally down on the low down).

Now, I realise that with digital effects these days anyone of any age can look brilliant (Digital Jeff Bridges), but even with that said, I cannot imagine Mr. Ford running around a set like he used to, blasting away storm troopers, making out with his girlfriend and cracking jokes with his fellow hairy companion.

On this note, due to the longevity of time between episode six and seven, how do the writers intend to attribute this into the feature? Will the old gang be the lead protagonists once more? Or will they be in the background, with a new group of younger protagonists ready to steal the stage?

Two – Obi Wan Kenobi made several appearances in the original series as the spectral guide to Luke Skywalker, beneficially aiding him in his quest for knowledge and aid. Now, Alec Guinness is unfortunately no longer a part of the acting community, God rest his soul, so who might they choose to portray him in this new feature?

Seriously, Obi Wan Kenobi was in all six of the films! You cannot make another without him! One might imagine that Mr. McGregor could reprise his roll, with some digital effects to age him; however I doubt the likeness will be successful.

Three – Will Lando Calrissian be making an appearance?

What about other characters, the likes of R2-D2, C3PO, Chewbacca and other protagonists from the saga?

Four – Yoda – quite possibly one of the single most lovable sci-fi characters ever conceived. Will Yoda appear as a specter from the Netherworld of the Force? Addendum – Frank Oz earlier this year stated that he no longer wished to do any voice acting roles that involved him portraying the character Yoda. So, if our ‘little green friend’ as a certain Sith Lord once called him makes a surprise appearance in this new feature, who will voice him?

Five – Twilek women. Come on, they’re gorgeous! Will any of them appear? I guess it will be asking too much that Aayla Secura returns from the Netherworld of the force, right?

Six – Does anyone recall the character Kyle Katarn? Those who read the fan fiction may remember such a name, but, more importantly, those who played the ‘Dark Forces’ games certainly will recognise him.

Appearing in the original Dark Forces game as the central protagonist, along with his pilot, Jan Ors, who flew the vessel the Moldy Crew from one mission site to the next, Katarn was initially an Imperial, who came to the realisation that what he was doing was wrong. Becoming a mercenary for the Rebellion, he remained primarily neutral throughout the war effort, however did efficaciously aid the Rebellion by stealing the plans for the original Death Star, and discovering the threat of the ominous ‘Dark Troopers’, who were a significant upgrade of the regular Storm Troopers. Those who played the multiplayer game ‘Battlefront’ will recall this particular character class – well, those who played Dark Forces will remember they were far more bad ass in that – and creepy. Baring in mind I was considerably younger when I played the original game, so to have a giant man in a suit flying towards you with a plasma gun with a rocket launcher attachment was especially creepy.

Then, in the sequel, Dark Forces II Jedi Knight, Katarn discovered his family’s connection with the force and trained himself to become a Jedi, fighting against the ruthless Sith Lord Jerec and his numerous municipals. It was where this story ended that the fan fiction began, with Katarn befriending Luke Skywalker, the two of them establishing Jedi training temples together, although Katarn, fearing the dark side of the force, eventually handed his light sabre over to Skywalker and turned away from the powers of the Jedi.

My point – will the seventh film introduce characters that were not in the original film series, but played significant roles within the other forms of media based texts that were conceived in regards to the original Star Wars universe, such as Katarn, Ors, and others?

If so, they could rehire Jason Court, who played the character of Katarn during the cinematics of the second game, and, who additionally is the person that all versions of Katarn have being based upon since the release of the second game.

Other characters could very well be Zac, Tash and Uncle Hoole from the Galaxy of Fear franchise, after all, often in almost each text they did interact with the lead protagonists from the original film franchise, and it was Luke Skywalker himself who convinced Tash through his amazing Force abilities that she should attempt to control her own and become the Jedi she always wanted to be – just a thought.

Seven – Will the vile Huts be present in the feature?

Eight – Will characters the likes of Ahsoka Tano and others who were specifically in the Clone Wars TV show make an appearance in the film?

Nine – In regards to the Sixth question, in which I made reference in the dark Jedi Jerec, it is obvious that the universe is potentially filled with other members of the Sith code. My point? With the death of the lead antagonist at the conclusion of the Star Wars saga, who will take up the role in this new feature?

Ten – An overview, rather than a question; Disney are most notably known for the creation of features that are targeted towards a younger generation. True, films the likes of Tron Legacy and John Carter are quite mature in regards to other features and are enjoyable for all ages, not that their other films are not, but Disney will always ensure that their films can appease a younger market, not just an older one. Might this factor get in the way of successfully developing a new Star Wars feature that is reminiscent of its predecessors?

Thank you for reading. I hope my rant did not prove too deranged.

Also, I would like to mention one final statement – when the seventh film is released, I will attend the theatre and watch it on a cinematic screen, and if the new film proves to be a spectacular blockbuster, I will personally develop a new post saying how wrong I was to rant about it and how meticulously well conceived the film was. If the film doesn’t prove to be a blockbuster – well, don’t hold your breath on any positive posts being postulated in regards to it.

What thoughts do you have on the development of a seventh Star Wars film? Do you believe it to be necessary, or a waste of time and money?

Do you agree with any of my rants, from 1 – 10? What are your opinions? What might you want to see in this new feature that was present in the original six films?

I would like to know your thoughts!

Photos of our Special Days – do we really need them?

 

On Wednesday the 24th of October I celebrated my birthday. So, now with another year gone, that officially makes me the big two three.

Of course, the age difference is not really what was the most exciting about such an event. What was however were the many gifts that I received from family and friends.

I had mentioned that I primarily wanted to indulge in films, TV on DVD, music, clothing, aftershave and jewellery, and long and behold a miracle – my family and friends actually listened to me for a change!

Often in the past my friends and family have bought what they thought I would want rather than that which I had asked for, so I was glad to actually receive what I was after.

This included one necklace, two shirts and a wide variety of music, film and TV shows.

Additionally, a rather sumptuously delicious cake from Michelle’s Patisserie was purchased to coincide with my birthday. Often when cakes were purchased for my birthday in the past, they were sponges procured from Coles and Safeway, so it was nice to have a specially made cake with my name on it.

Now, I know that I perhaps should have made a post about this last week when such an occasion happened, but again my life has become a little clustered with business.

Of course, this leads me to the next part of my post – the pictures.

As you may have noticed – there are none.

No matter the situation, whether it be a birthday celebration, an occasion the likes of New Year’s Eve or Christmas, or even a night out with my girlfriend, my opinion remains the same. It’s not that I don’t like taking photos, or that I am simply too lazy to do so, no – there is a completely different reason at work here. The reason is that I really do not see the point.

True, a photo does seal a memory in time forever and is a great way to remember an occurrence that transpired in one’s life. The question I am going to ask however is; how could I, or anyone else for that matter, ever honestly forget a moment in life of such significance or import?

How could I forget a Christmas with my family and friends? How could I forget a birthday? How could I forget a night out with the woman of my dreams?

All of these occurrences in my life would be so valuable, that I would not need a photograph to remind me of them – they would be forever with me – permanently imprinted within my mind. I would constantly carry these moments with me – so why would I ever need assistance in reminding myself of something that meant so much? I wouldn’t – and that is why there are no photos of my birthday.

If you have your own views on this subject, please, by all means, comment at the end of this post!

Cheers!

The one film I would die hard for!

 

After seeing this trailer I just have to show it around!

If you have not seen the trailer for the upcoming ‘A Good day to Die Hard’, the fifth film in the action packed Die Hard franchise, then here it is!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riIaTrjyGZ4

 

In this new addition to the franchise, McClain travels to Russia to see his son Jack who appears to be in a bit of trouble, and a bit more than John could ever have imagined when he finds his son is in fact an operative working for the CIA who is in deep cover attempting to take down an illegal arms smuggling operation!

Looks not half bad so far, but it is a new direction in the series that has specifically focused on an American backdrop for the previous films. It will be quite the interesting ride to see how this one goes!

Have a great day!