An update.

Right so it’s been a little while since my last post so i’ll just jump straight into it. First thing: I just returned from a superb holiday in wales which has prompted the cover of this very blog to include a beautiful shot of  me admiring the landscape of  Snowdon. Secondly in the last month or so I have seen Spider-Man Homecoming, War For The Planet Of The Apes, Baby Driver, Captain Underpants and Dunkirk among others. I plan to discuss my thoughts about them here. Finally as any of my Instagram followers will know, I am a huge Lego enthusiast and often do some Lego photography and I also am somewhat of a Blu Ray collector, so there’s an opportunity for future posts regarding those things to surface. Basically there should be some content on here in the coming weeks. To finish off you’ll find an awkward action shot of me jumping across some river in Wales headlining this post (full disclosure I thought it was gonna look cooler at the time). Hope you folks are enjoying your summer as much as I’m loving mine.

 

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Five reasons why I am excited for The Mummy (2017)

So unless you’ve been buried in a tomb for over 500 years ( see what i did there) you would likely have heard of the new take on The Mummy coming out in cinemas in a few short days. Now there’s been no small amount of reluctance from some of my generation and quite a lot of the previous generation towards this film and personally I find that slightly unfair. Yes we’ve had two notable classic Mummy films released that have quite the fan base, Brendan Frasier’s Rick O’Connell in the 1999 remake and of course Boris Karloff as the Mummy in the 1932 classic, both which are great examples of how to make a Mummy movie, no doubt.

The point I put across is simple, the reason that filmmakers come up with new takes on the mythology is because of their love for what came before and because they want to give today’s audience a Mummy of their own to fear and I think that is intriguing, not least because of the fact that they want a connected monster movie universe for the modern age much like the classic monster-verse. The idea itself of bringing those iconic monsters up to date is exciting because we’ve never seen them interact with the modern world in live action, it’s arguably a different, darker more cynical world we live in than it was in the 1930s but much like the 1930s we still crave escapism due to some horrible things going on in the world at this moment. So here are my reasons for wanting this to succeed:

Darker Tone:

It’s no secret that the 1999 Mummy is more tilted towards action adventure than the horror genre than it’s predecessor. That tone really works for it and makes it a fun swashbuckling adventure full of laughs, scares and scrapes with devilish villains it’s just a very fun adventure film in general. The idea however of bringing this new take of the Mummy back to the intensity and darkness of the original or perhaps even darker is very appealing. Particularly this is evident in the cinematography, the lighting, the locations and the performance of the Mummy. A shot in the latest trailer depicts Amhanet not yet fully formed almost writhing and crawling in rags across London’s cobbles toward Cruise’s Nick. The jump in age rating from the 1999’s 12 to this versions 15 rating over here could also allow for more horror elements and more scares which would be great.

“Welcome to Prodigium”

The most intriguing concept behind this film is the introduction of Russell Crowe’s Dr Henry Jekyll and his shadowy monster combating organisation. What exactly their methods or reasoning is for their work is something the movie will no doubt elaborate on but the idea of this underground organisation hunting down evil across this monster universe is exciting. There is a mystery element to what they are doing and why and there is also an interesting more unpredictable element in the film especially because, as any self respecting classic monster fan will tell you Doctor Jekyll has a very dark side of himself that he hides.

A female Mummy:

This is interesting because it has never been done before, i’ve seen lots of people dismiss this as some kind of diversity thing but I don’t think that’s the case at all. There’s something I think quite, scary, haunting and seductive in a female villain that you don’t quite get with a male one, especially with the Mummy you can already tell from Sofia Boutella’s performance in the trailer there’s a wicked glee to her version but also in her vulnerability you can tell there is pain behind her evil and that makes her an interesting character. A male Mummy I don’t find particularly scary as great as Imhotep was, but this sort of decayed, vicious, slick haired villainess that Boutella seems to be playing quite frankly looks terrifying.

Tom Cruise; Stuntman, Producer, Actor extraordinaire:

Okay this is going to be pretty divisive I reckon. Full disclosure I know Cruise has a very bizarre personal life but I don’t let that affect when I think of him as an actor or as a filmmaker. So to the reason then, Cruise is brilliant at staging incredible action and incredible stunt-work and by all accounts brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and drive to every film he’s in. Personally I admire his commitment and his energy, and you hear the same from the stars who work with him. Just hearing him talk about this project and how passionate he is about the classic monster movies you can tell he actually cares about this story. Looking at the plane stunt that they filmed on an actual plane in zero gravity to add to the realism further shows how creative his approach to producing and acting in a Mummy film is.

Brian Tyler’s Score:

Brian Tyler is a composer you’re unlikely to have heard of in great detail but he’s scored tons of recent films, most notably a few of the Marvel offerings, not all of them successes but the man has talent. Itunes recently posted some samples of his work on The Mummy and it sounds pretty incredible and dare I say like classic orchestration along the lines of the lovechild of Jerry Goldsmith, Alan Silvestri and Danny Elfman. His “Amhanet Suite” both utilizes the ancient Egyptian cadence some deeply unsettling higher notes and some hugely imposing choral power which all I think will add that further darker atmosphere to the film.

So those are my thoughts on why I’m excited to see the Mummy it comes out June 8th but I’ll be seeing it on the 9th so I guess we’ll know by the end of Friday whether it lives up to expectations, I do hope it succeeds though because the possibilities of this monster-verse are really exciting.

Late For Bingo aka: What I’ve been up to.

Earlier in this very blog I promised a recap of what I’ve been doing to keep me away so long. The short answer: University and lots of making films. The longer answer, recently a I wrote my first 10 minute short screenplay and by some miracle we actually made it into a film thanks to Village Green pictures, a small rising production company I am a part of formed by one of my closest friends during University. Pleasingly it is starting to get more traction and projects from clients which is very exciting. So without further ado, below you will find a short film that took up a large chunk of my life, sanity and creativity, hope you enjoy dear readers:

A bit of a change.

So it’s no secret that I haven’t used this blog since 2014 and to be perfectly honest I’ve done so much and learnt so much since then I don’t even think I’ve found to the time to revisit it. That however is about to change starting from now, due to those annoying gaps between semesters some call ‘ extended-holidays’ I find myself somewhat idle, other than the odd film project and of course the ongoing job search that we all must face, and ‘shudders’ planning  for the dreaded dissertation! So as I’ve been up to fair deal since my last post, for a little while this blog will serve as a recap for the few people who followed my blog back in the day but also hopefully an ongoing outpouring of my thoughts on films, filmmaker and assorted other crazed musings. To any new readers I say welcome and to the few that remain I tip my hat to you and say it’s good to be back.

Thor: The Dark World Clip: Asgard Under attack

An excellent scene from the new Thor film where the realm eternal comes under attack from Malekith the accursed and his dark elves. Idris Elba shows off some very impressive stunt work finally getting to do something in a thor film other than stand on his pedestal in the Bifrost observatory.

The thing which really got me about this video isn’t the clip itself but how people are arguing about the skin colour of a fictional alien character based on a Norse god in a comic book movie in the comments below. Has the world gone mad? Or are some people just petty??!

This is a Disney movie and yet they are arguing about skin colour of one character out of billions. Seriously is it worth getting this upset about? Why do people just have to bring religion or culture into every movie nowadays! I prefer a time when people could enjoy movies for what they were.

Time Of The Doctor: A personal opinion

Spoilers for Time Of The Doctor may follow

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I have noticed recently that Matt Smith’s truly amazing swan-song has been taking a lot of heat from some viewers. Some of these criticisms to me appear unjust and based on circumstance or own agendas rather than the content of
the episode.

The episode set on trenzalore is quite a unique one, loaded with action. Humour and most importantly the end of a 4 year long arc. Since the first episode of matt smith’s era we have been teased by certain questions throughout smith’s entire tenure. All of these questions are answered in this episode as everything finally comes together in the most complete way imaginable

Who'd have thought that a crack in a wall could go from being sinister to being a positive thing In just 3 years.

Who’d have thought that a crack in a wall could go from being sinister to being a positive thing In just 4 years.

A bell has been tolling through the universe drawing a collection of creatures to a backyard unimportant planet known as trenzalore. The doctor is also drawn to this planet and after an amusing encounter with the cybermen and Daleks, is recruited by the church of the papal mainframe (The UN of space) and Orla Brady’s  Tasha Lem to investigate what this signal means.

The least said about this the better I think...

The least said about this the better I think…

And the award to the oddest shaped spaceship in doctor who goes to.....

And the award to the oddest shaped spaceship in doctor who goes to…..

What the doctor finds instantly ties up not only recent plot arcs but plot arcs first raised in 2010. Due to the nature of what the doctor finds his enemies descend on the planet and specifically on the town dubbed “Christmas-Town”. The doctor stays on trenzalore for over 300 years in sequences that depict him ageing into an old man, over the years protecting the Town from an array of enemies.

Waiting so long for Sherlock really took it's toll on the doctor.

Waiting so long for Sherlock really took it’s toll on the doctor.

The silence make a return as their function is for the first time explained. In the end the doctor teams with the very enemy who tried to destroy him in series 6 to stop the very event shown in this episode in an incredible sequence(albeit brief) that pits the silence and the papal mainframe against Daleks and cybermen in a catastrophic battle.

So much win in this picture. the only thing that could make it more epic is if David Tennant and John Hurt were added in ;)

So much win in this picture. the only thing that could make it more epic is if David Tennant and John Hurt were added in 😉

Of course the main attraction of the story is Matt Smith’s Regeneration which is absolutely spectacular. At the end of his final life, wearing the most realistic prosthetics I’ve ever seen, smith climbs to the top of a clock-tower frail and old leaning on a walking stick. After a very unexpected turn of events, smith does the impossible! He regenerates beyond 12 regenerations which is the limit of times his body can change.

If you thought David tenant's regeneration was explosive you've seen nothing yet!

If you thought David tenant’s regeneration was explosive you’ve seen nothing yet!

In this jaw dropping sequence the doctor regenerates shouting one last remark at the dalek fleet around him before obliterating the Daleks with his regeneration energy and sending a shockwave of destruction through the town.

The only regeneration possibly visible from space.

The only regeneration possibly visible from space.

Smith plays the doctor so well in this episode that  he blows away every other doctor’s final performance. Never have I been more impressed with an actor than when watching smith in this. His emotional acting is second to none and he brings so much personality and gravitas to the doctor especially as he ages into an elderly man, his voice is weaker but using his full dynamic range, smith roars out ” If You Want My Life, Come And Get IT”! Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald also continues to surprise us with an excellent tear inducing performance.

A truly amazing performance from one of the best actors to grace the role.

A truly amazing performance from one of the best actors to grace the role.

Peter Capaldi the next doctor in his brief appearance shows us the face that those eyebrows we saw in day of the doctor belong to and believe me the face is even scarier than the eyebrows. He will be an excellent doctor for sure just by the rage and determination in his eyes.

Those eyebrows surely must have at least 100 twitter accounts by now...

Those eyebrows surely must have at least 100 twitter accounts by now…

A Notable mention must go to Handles, a severed cybermen head the doctor has reprogrammed to be a constant companion in his winter years who is both funny and brilliant. He has been dubbed “The only cyberman we ever liked” and in an emotional scene involving the inevitability of time with him I admit I teared up. Orla Brady as Tasha lem also delivers a psychopathic performance with enough sass to leave Christopher Ecclestone and Colin Baker speechless.

Ahh the feels as they say..

Ahh the feels as they say..

If there is one thing this episode will do it is test your emotional range and make you feel. I think that a film or television programme is at its best if it encourages you to feel for the characters and tests all of your emotions.

And the sadness continues..

And the sadness continues..

As for the criticisms of this episode I found that a lot of people have castigated Moffat for making it “Too Complicated” And I say to that that if there are viewers who didn’t understand then that’s a shame as there were multiple explanations of everything in the plot even flashbacks. I noticed certainly a lot of people weren’t caught up with the story arc and instead throw the blame on Steven Moffat for “Bad Writing”. This is unfounded, as he has proven he is one of the finest and most popular writer’s for television in the country. In my personal opinion if they wanted to watch this episode teased publically as an episode set to tie up the most recent 3 series then they owe it to their enjoyment of the show to recap those arcs. They wouldn’t even have to watch them all as there are plenty of arc recaps on YouTube, that detail all of the most recent plotline in 2 minutes or less.

Overall I found this along with the other two episodes that preceded it a return to form after the jumbled series 7 and uninspiring resolution of series 6. My rating is 9.5/10 for this episode as it was an excellent adventure and ending for the matt smith era. A slightly extended length would have benefitted the exceptionally brief conflicts on trenzalore.

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