BRIDESMAIDS

Roll Out The Support

Director
Paul Feig

Starring
Kristen Wiig
Melissa McCarthy
Rose Byrne



Working a tedious retail job, sharing a flat with an irritating brother/sister combo and being involved in a futureless open-relationship, Annie [Wiig] claims to have reached rock bottom. On top of all this, her childhood best friend, Lillian [Rudolph] gets engaged and asks Annie to be the maid of honour; a task which requires Annie’s complete focus to assist in organising the wedding and all the events leading up to it. At the engagement party, Annie is introduced to Lillian’s newest friend, Helen [Byrne] (a connection through her fiancée), who Annie proclaims to be the epitome of glamour, wealth and success. The film happily steams along through various scenarios as Helen and Annie compete for Lillian’s attention, while undergoing fittings, bachelorette parties and other outings. Running parallel to this, Annie suffers a series of misfortunes both at work and at home and turns to a friendly policeman [Chris O’Dowd] for council.

There has been a great deal of circulated positivity regarding this film – especially in the United States, which saw the release of this movie a month-or-so ago. Many critics are claiming it’s a raucous female comedy, the likes of which hasn’t been seen on-screen for a very long time. And to a degree, they’re right; I would agree that there is a dramatic difference between women writing comedy and men writing comedy for women. We’re all familiar with crass comedies, laden with swearing and toilet humour, which sometimes work exceptionally well when fuelled by a genuinely tender story but somewhere along the line, despite the amusing scenarios and memorable performances, the pundits and promoters seem to have overlooked the glaring flaws, so as not to snub the chances of this ‘new’ thing. I, on the other hand, don’t particularly care and just because a female-driven crude comedy has been produced, I don’t feel obliged to promote it, even if it’s sub-par.

One could argue that this film is essentially The Hangover for girls, which is a fair enough statement but the reason the first Hangover film worked was the keen pacing and knowing how to time a joke. More often than not Bridesmaids feels bloated, milking jokes long after they have outstayed their welcome. A prime example occurred at the start of the film, as Annie and Helen are competing for the last word during the speeches at the engagement party. It started as an amusing rivalry but after the mic had passed back-and-forth four or more times, they were practically flogging a dead horse and even then it continued for a further four minutes, culminating in a strange, uncomfortable duet. The best thing about this movie is that despite the blunt and crude nature of the comedy, it was actually very funny. However, not knowing when to move on to the next development or simply stop the joke ruined any and all positivity. I’m not entirely sure if it was the script or a post-production decision but in addition to the jokes, the pacing and editing were completely off and dragging the events out for just over two hours was absolutely agonising at times.

On the technical side of things, it was reasonably well executed. The score seemed fitting and the cinematography work was wholly commendable but the key success for this film was down to the performances. Kristen Wiig centres the film well and gels beautifully with Maya Rudolph, producing a very credible on-screen friendship. Rose Byrne’s character was a tad paint-by-numbers and there wasn’t a great deal to develop but she still managed to keep up with her co-stars. And although she was used as the obvious butt for a lot of jokes and developments, I thought Melissa McCarthy stole every scene she was present in and made the whole film tolerable. The male cast did well for their supporting roles, the two key players being Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm, both of whom provided equally amusing comic relief. In fact, I could quite easily list every cast member and detail how well they did but as the performances were the film’s strongest point, that seems a tad moot.

Overall, I’m left disappointed by the entire thing – although I really shouldn’t have expected much from the director of Unaccompanied Minors. It was badly advertised but I had hopes that this would be the start of a wave of decent comedy films written by women and helmed by female writers. As grumpy and misogynistic as I often sound, I genuinely don’t want people to simply assume I’m writing this movie off because I’m not a girl or don’t understand it (as I have been accused of twice before in the past. This has nothing to do with male/female comedy, I simply don’t enjoy badly made films… often. Still, there is a great deal of potential within and for that reason, I would still recommend it to select individuals.


Release Date:
24th June 2011

The Scene To Look Out For:
**There’s a good chance I may possibly spoil two films here**
Of all the various setups, the one I giggled at the most was little more than a reaction shot. Having lost her job and subsequently moved back in with her mother, Annie is watching Cast Away. Having never seen it before, Annie witnesses the point where Tom Hanks’ character abandons Wilson (I’m not explaining it, if you haven’t seen it). It’s a moment of realisation for Annie and she just sits on the couch, sobbing, “No.. Wilson”

Notable Characters:
As stated, Melissa McCarthy is drawn upon heavily for the butt of comedic setups throughout but she carries her role extremely well. Rather than being the cheaply drawn character-type you would expect her to be (and there are plenty of reasons/opportunities to confirm that status) she still manages to be both endearing and entertaining as well as disgusting. If you take anything away from watching this full, good or bad, it will no doubt be a Melissa McCarthy heavy scene.

Highlighted Quote:
“Do you want to tell a cop about it? We’re just like priests.. except we get to tell everybody afterwards”

In A Few Words:
“A sheer and utter disappointment from start to finish, with promising performances overshadowed by uncomfortably over-milked jokes and tedious developments”

Total Score:

2/5

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

The Fight For Earth Has Begun

Director
Michael Bay

Starring
Shia LaBeouf
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Josh Duhamel
John Turturro



As with its predecessors, Dark Of The Moon opens with a narration by Optimus Prime explaining the turning point of the war on Cybertron. A ship carrying the autobot leader, Sentinel Prime [Leonard Nimoy] goes missing and crash lands on our moon. This event is picked up by US satellites in the early sixties and the space-race begins. Once Apollo 11 lands on the moon, Armstrong and Aldrin race to the downed ship and collect what information they can. The narrative then cuts to the present day; Sam Witwicky [LaBeouf] is living in Washington DC with his new British girlfriend, Carly [Huntington-Whiteley] but despite saving the world and receiving a medal from the President, remains unemployed. Still working alongside the NEST military group, the autobots discover part of Sentinel’s ship, hidden in a laboratory in the heart of Chernobyl. Frustrated by this lack of disclosure, Optimus demands to know everything. Following an exchange with the Secretary Of Defence [Frances McDormand] the autobots journey to the moon, retrieve Sentinel’s body and return. Then we follow a series of cryptic events for at least an hour detailing cover-ups, double crossing and executions before the story twists and an epic invasion of Earth begins.

With the ditching of the writers for the last two films, this outing feels like a bit of a backlash; almost as if Bay is taunting critics and sceptics with the overly convoluted plot and severe reduction in his characteristic trademarks. But this is still another journey to the sun-kissed cities of BayWorld and in BayWorld, there are three key priorities: firstly, the action set pieces have to be big and loud, second, there needs to be lashings of comic relief to offset the over-the-top action and thirdly, there needs to be plenty of PG-rated sex appeal – no actual nudity, of course, just a parade of talentless faces and features. Notice how plot doesn’t really factor into those heavy-hitters? No, plot’s not that important, as long as your story is convoluted – that’s doubles as ‘clever’, right? In all seriousness though, the story is a bit of a sham, leaping from one ridiculous setup to another for almost two hours and yet you seem to forgive it to a degree because the editing and pacing flow rather neatly. Then, after two hours of exposition and developments, the third act is a visual onslaught utilising the 3D element extremely well (even if I still think it’s little more than a gimmick). And after a stupidly abrupt finale, you stumble out of the cinema with the distinct impression that so much could have been pruned from the start to trim down the bloated running time.

This film is far from perfect but excluding the unnecessarily weighty first half, it’s actually quite entertaining. However, there are still plenty of Bay-isms littered throughout. As always, the cast have been hired primarily for their visual and aesthetic appeal as opposed to any acting credibility. The hideously offensive racist and homophobic stereotypings are still present but concealed in a much more subtle manner this time round – nothing nearly as ridiculous as the twins in the last instalment but really not far off. Then there’s the direction of the action which has been dramatically improved upon but still feels like you’re fighting a continuous battle to figure out just what the fuck is going on. And finally, excessive swearing; I realise there is a certain hypocrisy there as I just said ‘fuck’ in my previous sentence but almost every scene is littered with frequent instances of mild swearing. I don’t know why it bugged me but it really did.

Being a BayWorld flick, it’s genuinely hard to talk about acting. One of the biggest complaints from the fans was that Bay always made the mistake of basing the film on Sam instead of the robots, assuming audiences couldn’t relate to anything that isn’t human (see the inclusion of Agent Meyers in Hellboy). What’s worse is that they made this whiney comedic relief the main character but gave him nothing to do, bar running around screaming BUMBLEBEE and OPTIMUS repeatedly after getting into trouble. Finally, this has been addressed, acknowledging that Sam is not wanted by the military or the US government and is seen as little more than a messenger – allowing him to prove himself to his peers as both a strategist and soldier (albeit slightly haphazardly). But even then you can’t help but analyse the mystifying Witwicky appeal. What do women find so alluring about this annoying little punk? Honestly! He was dating the mother of all high school air-heads in the first two films, who subsequently dumps him (no further explanation needed, Bay didn’t deem it important), only to hook up with her blonde British twin. Now, admittedly, Rosie whatever her name is may never have acted a day in her life but she was still better than Megan Fox – having said that, she’s still horrendously wooden and unbearable to watch. And if it wasn’t insulting enough that Bay overlooks decent acting talent for nubile twenty-somethings, he routinely wastes the opportunity to use the exceptional actors at his disposal: Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Alan Tudyk, for example, were all given remarkably shite two dimensional characters.

Bar the improvements over the second film – which this movie all but admits you don’t need to see – there are actually some genuinely positive points. First off, the last hour is stunning. As the largest action scene attempted by Michael Bay, it also feels like one of the most epic city-based action set pieces in a long time. Additionally, Steve Jablonsky’s musical score compliments the on-screen carnage without stooping to the atypical clichés one might expect. Although, just as I’ve typed that, I did remember that during one particular scene, the score felt slightly reminiscent of Hans Zimmer’s work on Inception – as most things do at present.

At this stage, I don’t think anyone’s aiming for new fans — although arguably you would only need to see the first film and this one, the events (and new characters) of the second are almost completely removed. Ultimately, if you enjoyed the first Transformers film (regardless of your opinion of the second) then you will enjoy Dark Of The Moon; if you disliked either film, for whatever reason, don’t bother with this one.


Release Date:
12th June 2011

The Scene To Look Out For:
**Elements of spoilers here..**
During the massive invasion of Chicago, with thousands of citizens dead and debris flying everywhere, Carly somehow focuses and approaches Megatron and then uses her amazing powers of reverse psychology to provoke the decepticon into acting. The whole exchange was a cheap, nasty and fucking shocking affair in the midst of a decently choreographed action segment.

Notable Characters:
**..here too**
Many people may not realise that Leonard Nimoy wasn’t solely hired because he play Spock on Star Trek. In the 1986 animated film he voiced the lead villain, Galvatron – and he played the role extremely well, for what it was. Here he gives a certain weight and credibility to Sentinel Prime, embodying the embittered old general rather well.

Highlighted Quote:
“I don’t care about your exotic milk, I care about respect”

In A Few Words:
“Bloated, self indulgent and almost without plot but for the last hour alone, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the most visually interesting of the franchise”

Total Score:

2/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #48

[19 June 2011]


Winning Team:
Blade’s Runner

Genre – A harrowing tale of a vampire’s man-servant

Runners Up:
Androids Do But Repli-Can’t
Genre – Paradoxical and theoretical film about dreaming sheep
Slade Gunner
Genre – Father Christmas hunts down renegade elves
Blade, Runner
Genre – Behind-the-scenes documentary about a runner on the film Blade
Cool Blade Runnings
Genre – Jamaican replicants take on the olympic bobsleigh
Stair Runner
Genre – Carpet World Cinema


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What is the only name given for the hitman in Luc Besson’s Leon?
LEON
What colour is Robert De Niro’s taxi in Taxi Driver?
YELLOW
3. Which 1999 cult success stars Brad Pitt and Ed Norton as founders of a club for fighting (before evolving into a method of striking back at capitalism and the phoniness of the contemporary American dream, acting as forgotten and under-represented agents of chaos of mayhem – in case anyone accuses me of mislabelling the film being solely about fighting)?
FIGHT CLUB
4. Which actor voices the dragon in Dragonheart? [bonus point for stating the dragon’s name]
SEAN CONNERY [Draco]
5. The following titles all star which martial artist? Police Story? Rush Hour? Rumble In The Bronx?
JACKIE CHAN
6. Dances With Wolves is set during which military conflict? Vietnam? US Civil War? World War One?
US CIVIL WAR
7. Which planet is Discovery One heading to in 2001: A Space Odyssey? [bonus point for naming the year it was released]
JUPITER [1968]
8. What is the subtitle of Superman IV?
THE QUEST FOR PEACE
9. Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective is a rough adaptation of the tale of which literary figure? [bonus point for naming the actor who voices the villain, Professor Ratigan]
SHERLOCK HOLMES [Vincent Price]
10. What is Thomas Anderson’s hacking alias in The Matrix?
NEO
11. What movie did Quentin Tarantino direct in between Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill?
JACKIE BROWN
12. What type of animal is Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda?
SNOW LEOPARD

ROUND II: Filming [Blade Runner Special]
1. Who directed Blade Runner?
RIDLEY SCOTT
2. What is the name of the lead, played by Harrison Ford? (one point per name)
RICK DECKARD
3. What was the name of Philip K Dick’s original story that Blade Runner was based on?
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?
4. What type of animal does Zhora keep as a pet?
SNAKE (Burmese Python)
5. To date, how many versions have been released (excluding the San Diego sneak peak and the US broadcast version)? [bonus points for naming them]
FIVE [Workprint / US Theatrical / International / Director’s Cut / Final Cut]
6. What is the lifespan of the Nexus 6 models?
FOUR YEARS
7. What was the name given to the flying cars that featured in the film?
SPINNERS
8. Who composed the Blade Runner’s synth-heavy score
VANGELIS
9. What are Roy’s last words?
TIME TO DIE
10. During the opening Voight/Kampf test, Leon is given a hypothetical scenario in a desert with what type of animal?
TORTOISE
11. Who was the original choice to play the lead role?
DUSTIN HOFFMAN
12. Towards the end of filming, Ridley Scott said in a newspaper that he didn’t like working with Americans, preferring British people who just say “Yes gov’nor” This sparked retaliation amongst the crew who wore t-shirts with slogans such as “Yes gov’nor, my ass” “You soar with eagles when you fly with turkeys” and “Will Rogers never met Ridley Scott” True or False?
TRUE

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. Which four actors played the lead roles in Deliverance? (one point per correct answer)
BURT REYNOLDS / JON VOIGHT / RONNY COX / NED BEATTY
2. What is the name of the coveted trophy in the Pixar film, Cars?
THE PISTON CUP
3. What is Luke Jackson arrested for at the start of Cool Hand Luke?
STEALING FROM PARKING METRES
4. The lead characters in The Breakfast Club are given nicknames: Molly Ringwald was The Princess and Judd Nelson was The Criminal. What were the other three? (one point per correct answer)
BRAIN / ATHLETE / BASKET CASE
5. What is the last line in Double Indemnity?
I LOVE YOU, TOO
6. How does the following riddle, from Die Hard With A Vengeance, end? Said Simple Simon to the pieman going to the fair, “Give me your pies..”
OR I’LL CAVE YOUR HEAD IN
7. How many films has Mel Gibson directed? [bonus points for naming the titles]
FOUR [The Man Without A Face / Braveheart / The Passion Of The Christ / Apocalypto]
8. Despite being the film’s lead, where was Alan Ladd billed on the poster for The Glass Key?
THIRD (behind Brian Donlevy and Veronica Lake)
9. What is the name of Walt’s dog in Gran Torino?
DAISY
10. What is the four digit code used by the CDA in Monsters Inc. ?
23-19
11. What is the name of Dr. Leo Marvin’s latest book in What About Bob?
BABY STEPS
12. What is the name of Blain’s minigun in Predator?
OL’ PAINLESS

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Constance Ockelman was the real name of which actress? Lana Turner? Veronica Lake? Rita Hayworth?
VERONICA LAKE
2. The Day The Earth Stood Still, West Side Story and Star Trek: The Motion Picture were directed by whom? Robert Wise? Guy Hamilton? Sergei Bondarchuk?
ROBERT WISE
3. Which of the following films did not feature Robert Mitchum? The Forbidden Past? A Gathering Of Eagles? Farewell, My Lovely?
A GATHERING OF EAGLES
4. Which of Kurosawa’s films was the first to receive international acclaim outside of Japan, unbeknownst to the director himself? Rashomon? Seven Samurai? Throne Of Blood?
RASHOMON
5. What is the name of the street gang that kidnap Miao Yin in Big Trouble In Little China? Masters Of Fear? Lords Of Death? The Pain Boys?
LORDS OF DEATH
6. Of his three screenplays, which did Raymond Chandler pen first? Strangers On A Train? Double Indemnity? The Blue Dahlia?
THE BLUE DAHLIA
7. Who plays Arthur in A Kid In Kid Arthur’s Court? Joss Ackland? Terence Stamp? Charles Dance?
JOSS ACKLAND
8. What is the name of the first newspaper that Charles Kane takes control of in Citizen Kane? The Los Angeles Post? The New York Inquirer? The Daily Times?
THE NEW YORK INQUIRER
9. What is the name of the play David Shayne is trying to get financing for in Bullets Over Broadway? Lives Of Our Brothers? God Of Our Fathers? Pain Of Our Mothers? [bonus point for naming the actor who plays Shayne]
GOD OF OUR FATHERS [John Cusack]
10. Which of the following films did Rob Schneider star in and direct? Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo? The Hot Chick? Big Stan?
BIG STAN
11. What is Vito Corleone’s first criminal act, as shown in The Godfather: Part II? Steal a rug? Sell drugs? Dispose of a body?
STEAL A RUG
12. In Ben Hurr, the role of Jesus was played by opera singer Claude Heater, as there was originally a scene in which he sings to Ben Hurr from the cross – the only time you would see his face – but it was cut at the last minute. True or False
FALSE

GREEN LANTERN

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

Director
Martin Campbell

Starring
Ryan Reynolds
Blake Lively
Peter Sarsgaard
Mark Strong



I’ve been toying with the idea of releasing two versions of this review: a breakdown of the film from a cinematic perspective and an analysis as a fan of comics. Instead I’m going to try to compile everything here and hope for the best.

The opening narrative covers a large amount of exposition, explaining that an ancient race of beings called The Guardians, formed a galactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps, armed with rings that could harness the power of will – in other words, the ringbearer could construct anything they could imagine. The strongest lantern, Abin Sur, defeated Parallax, a being which uses the energy of fear, imprisoning him on a ruined planet. Centuries later, Parallax escapes and heads for the Corps’ homeworld, Oa, to seek revenge. After a fatal encounter with the fear entity, Abin Sur is wounded and his ring automatically locates the next ringbearer. This brings him crashing down to Earth and we are introduced to young, brash test pilot, Hal Jordan [Reynolds]. Hal works with his childhood friend and fellow pilot, Carol Ferris [Lively] and after a demonstration of a new unmanned craft goes awry, he is put on suspension. Shortly after this, Hal is consumed by a green ball of energy and transported to Abin Sur’s downed ship. Before dying, Abin Sur hands over his ring and lantern battery (to recharge the ring). Having eventually figured out what to do, Hal is transported (again by a green energy ball) across light years of space to Oa. Here he is BRIEFLY instructed on the function and ways of the Corps. Meanwhile, eccentric scientist, Hector Hammond [Sarsgaard] is examining the body of Abin Sur when he is infected with a residual element of Parallax’s yellow… evil… goop… stuff. So before the movie’s conclusion, Hal has to master his new powers, repair his personal relationships, overcome his fears, stop Parallax and defeat Hector Hammond. Now, I’m aware of the Hollywood misconception that if you don’t have a film based on Earth or heroes/villains that look humanoid, people won’t be able to relate but that’s utter horseshit. What should have happened was a story briefly explaining the Corps, followed by Hal receiving the ring, spend the majority learning the ways of the Corps and training up on Oa before proving himself by saving Earth (and the universe). Done. But instead we’re fed a clichéd, poorly constructed love story and a laughable villain on Earth, followed lastly by a very disappointing finale.

Taking into account the positive elements, Mark Strong is perfectly cast as Sinestro; absolutely perfect. That’s pretty much it. The action, writing and effects are better than TV-movie releases but certainly subpar for a budget of this scale.

So, with all the positive elements out of the way (I’m not even kidding), let’s look at the towering weight of negativity. First off, and possibly most importantly, the entire film is completely miscast. I didn’t have so much of a problem with Ryan Reynolds acting but he didn’t really embody the character – but more on that later. I felt significantly bad for Blake Lively who proved herself so well in The Town, only to be offered a flat role with little required of her here. I would say Hal’s fellow Lanterns weren’t too bad but as they’re only on-screen for a total of maybe ten minutes, it’s barely worth mentioning. On top of that, the characters themselves failed to gel. There’s a running implication that Hal, Carol and Hector were childhood friends but it’s never fully explored or explained, so when they share the screen together there’s almost an uncomfortable tension, in that, “Heeeeey, fancy seeing you here. Noooo, I’m good. Thanks. And.. and you? Yeah, cool. Really gotta run. Good seeing you again” etc – but this isn’t limited to the characters, it seems to have stemmed from the actors who have no idea how to work with the individual in front of them — this isn’t necessarily the actor’s fault, it’s a problem that should have been spotted and taken care of in pre-production. Then there are our two lead villains, who were terrible. Hector Hammond with his large head and retarded grin was flat-out laughable. The persona was never really captured or sold, so we’re treated to this screaming, wailing mental with a gigantic head for almost half of the film. Secondly, Parallax is a floating lightbulb-for-a-face surrounded by black/yellow tentacles, like a dirty space mop. Neither of which really poses much of a threat and are pretty quickly dealt with (yeah, that’s a bit of a spoiler, I don’t care). Worst of all, the movie seems to favour the almost camp nature of the 1960’s TV adaptations, meandering through a thin plot without ever hitting the level of successful humour seen in Marvel releases.

On the technical side of things, the film is a complete and utter failure. The issues with plot and character could have been overlooked if the visuals had been done well – much in the way that the Fantastic Four films were pretty dire but at least they were mildly entertaining. The visual effects were abysmal; everything felt plastic and CGI and choosing to make the suit a computer generated effect left Ryan Reynold’s bobbling head as the only unrendered element, which stood out dramatically. Equally, the various sets and prosthetics looked incredibly cheap. As stated, Hammond was monstrously dumb to behold and every interior location lacked the grand spectacle of a summer blockbuster. I was also incredibly surprised by James Newton Howard’s pitiful musical score, parping out uninspired themes and melodies that ranged from completely unnoticeable to messy and invasive. From an editing perspective, the flow was choppy and the pacing was terrible, darting back-and-forth between Oa and Earth shouldn’t have been a big deal but when you have problems connecting two parallel character threads, you know you have real issues. The problem I seem to have is that I am simply unable to comprehend why anyone with a creative bone in their body would squander decades of source material. I agree that adaptations often need to feel different in order to translate from book to screen but the choices and changes made here was inexcusable and incomprehensible.

So, very quickly, I’d just like to cover my reaction to this film as a fan of comic books, comparing this release to DC’s Green Lantern range. A lot of flak was generated over the casting of Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. As stated previously, he doesn’t do an exceptionally bad job but he felt more like Kyle Rayner than Hal Jordan. What’s more, I didn’t even like or sympathise with his interpretation of Hal – largely due to the writing – which tried to pass him off as a cocky but loveable guy, when all I saw was a frat boy with daddy issues, who got lucky. Secondly, his suit being a CGI thing didn’t bug me so much, it seemed fine but despite the amount of money thrown at it, still didn’t feel right – more than likely because of that damned mask. And I don’t even think the mask was necessarily the problem, more the fact that his irises change from brown to a pale green/white, which makes him look like he’s wearing Marilyn Manson’s contact lenses. Also, the few constructs we see in the film are really uninspired. It’s not that they looked bad, but the cartoonish style in which they arrive clearly identifies the target audience as teenage boys. The time spent on Oa is fucking shocking, as is the representation of the remainder of the Corps. Having spent ten minutes under Kilowog and Sinestro’s tutelage, Hal not only quits but manages to excel and become the greatest lantern ever. The inclusion of both Parallax and Hammond was a mistake, as was their ridiculous interpretation. The whole thing feels like a very poor amalgamation of Emerald Dawn and Secret Origins without drawing from the successes of either. With Geoff Johns being so closely involved, I don’t understand why just a literal translation of Secret Origins wasn’t optioned.

In all honesty, if you’re interested in watching a reasonable interpretation of Green Lantern, you would be better off with the most recent animated film, Emerald Knights, which acts as a handful of short stories explaining the universe without dabbling too heavily in origin stories. As a counter argument, I imagine you could say, “How is this film as bad as something like Cat Woman or Howard The Duck/?” Well, in all honesty, it’s not – those are the ultimate lows in comic book adaptations but this film, much like Ang Lee’s Hulk has several positive elements working for it but fail to act cohesively and produce an astoundingly shoddy-looking mess.


Release Date:
17th June 2011

The Scene To Look Out For:
There are plenty of bad scenes and terrible shots (usually CGI) but the most frustrating for me was the training segment. Hal Jordan has just made his way to Oa and is being schooled on his powers. It is here that he learns that constructs are only as powerful as the will that conjures them. After being battered for a few minutes he buggers off home, crying like a spoiled brat, only to be told on Earth that he’s an idiot for passing up this opportunity. The nature of an origin film means that you are limited to certain restrictions, one of which being the discovery of your lead character’s powers but that doesn’t mean you get to offer us a five minute look-in before slamming the door, shouting, “That’ll do! Hal’s gotta get back to Earth and work his way into Carol’s pants! Quick! There’s no time!”

Notable Characters:
As stated, Mark Strong is the literal embodiment of Sinestro and if, by some unknown grace, this film gains a sequel, I would be very happy to see how they develop his character. I think the really obvious standout character for me was the interpretation of Hector Hammond. I appreciate that his character works in the comic universe but he’s treated like a pointless henchman to the real enemy.. who turns out to be just as useless.

Highlighted Quote:
“Hal Jordan. Worst pilot I’ve ever seen.. or the best. Not quite sure”

In A Few Words:
“Absolutely atrocious, Green Lantern single handedly sets comic book adaptations back twenty years and nails the coffin on any form of Justice League film outside of the animated universe”

Total Score:

1/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #47

[05 June 2011]


Winning Team:
Popped In Mary

Genre – A harrowing adult drama

Runners Up:
XXX-Men: First Arse
Genre – Mutant porn
Julia’s Thighs
Genre – Spanish thriller where Sister traces the liposuction death of her twin
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Diagnosis Murder
Genre – Mary Poppins spin-off with Julie Andrews as a murderer and Dick Van Dyke diagnosing it
The Four Velos
Genre – Comedy
Mary Parpins
Genre – Toilet humour film starring Dick Van Dyke doing another bad accent (Norfolk)


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. How is John Candy’s character related to the kids in Uncle Buck?
UNCLE
2. What is the name of the genre commonly set in the western states of America during the 1800’s?
WESTERN
3. “Hasta La Vista, Baby” “There is no fate but what we make” and “Now I know why you cry” are quotes from which film?
TERMINATOR 2
4. What colour is the mask in the Jim Carrey film, The Mask? [bonus point for naming the Norse god it belongs to]
GREEN [Loki]
5. Which actor and actress play the lead roles in Sleepless In Seattle? (one point per correct answer)
TOM HANKS / MEG RYAN
6. What was the full title of the first Conan film?
CONAN THE BARBARIAN
7. A Man For All Seasons features which British monarch? [bonus point for naming the actor who portrays him]
KING HENRY VIII [Robert Shaw]
8. Which of James Cameron’s films has afforded him the most academy awards?
TITANIC
9. Which of the ghostbusters is first seen on-screen? Venkman? Stantz? Spengler?
VENKMAN
10. What is the name of the 1968 buddy comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau?
THE ODD COUPLE
11. Which two films were adapted from Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon? (one point per correct answer)
RED DRAGON / MANHUNTER
12. Who directed A Beautiful Mind?
RON HOWARD

ROUND II: Filming [Mary Poppins Special]
1. What is Mary Poppins’ profession?
NANNY
2. What item/accessory does Mary Poppins use to fly?
UMBRELLA
3. What is the name of Dick Van Dyke’s character?
BERT
4. What colour coat is Mary Poppins’ wearing when she is first introduced?
BLACK
5. Which of the following songs did not feature in the film? Stay Awake? Let’s Go Fly A Kite? Goodbye So Soon?
GOODBYE SO SOON (from The Great Mouse Detective)
6. The film was adapted from which original medium? Musical? Play? Novel?
NOVEL
7. Mary Poppins was released in what year? [bonus point for naming the year it was set]
1964 [1910]
8. What do the children chase after that causes the first nanny to quit?
A KITE
9. How many academy awards was Mary Poppins nominated for? [bonus point for naming how many it won]
THIRTEEN [Five]
10. How many times is the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious said in the song of the same name? (specifically the whole word, not including backwards or spelled-out variations)
NINE
11. What are the first words of the film, as spoken by Dick Van Dyke?
ALL RIGHT, LADIES AND GENTS!
12. Julie Andrews wore a wig throughout the entire filming process. True or False?
TRUE

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. What is the name of the class in Battle Royale?
CLASS B
2. What are the names of the three Pre-Cogs in Minority Report? (one point per correct answer)
ARTHUR / AGATHA / DASHIELL
3. What is the name of the 1961 Richard Fleischer epic starring Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano and Arthur Kennedy?
BARABBAS
4. What is the surname of the mob family in The Goonies?
THE FRATELLIS
5. The majority of Braveheart takes place in which century?
THIRTEENTH (1200s)
6. What do Gaz and friends use to distract Gerald during his interview in The Full Monty?
GNOMES
7. What nationality was Charlton Heston’s character in Touch Of Evil?
MEXICAN
8. What type of metabolic disease does Shelby suffer from in Steel Magnolias?
DIABETES
9. “You will orbit into the fantastic future” was the poster tagline for which film?
THE TIME MACHINE (1960)
10. At the start of 24 Hour Party People Steve Coogan breaks the fourth wall and references which Greek legend?
ICARUS
11. What were the three films that made up Chan-Wook Park’s Vengeance Trilogy? (one point per correct answer)
SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE / OLDBOY / LADY VENGEANCE
12. What was the title of the first film released by MTV Films?
JOE’S APARTMENT

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Who plans and leads the takeover of the plane in Con Air? Ving Rhames? John Malkovich? Nick Chinlund?
JOHN MALKOVICH
2. Having failed to deactivate the bomb, what does Riggs say before it explodes in Lethal Weapon 3? Grab the cat? We should go? Hand me the vest?
GRAB THE CAT
3. Who voiced the title character in the 1968 Disney release Blackbeard’s Ghost? Peter Ustinov? Robert Shaw? Gregory Peck?
PETER USTINOV
4. Where was the plane carrying General Carnaby flying to in Where Eagles Dare? Austria? Crete? Sicily?
CRETE
5. During his suspension from narcotics, which department of the LAPD is Jack Vincennes transferred to, in LA Confidential? Homicide? Arson? Vice?
VICE
6. In which film does John Wayne play a safari hunter, capturing and selling animals to zoos? Hatari? The Magnificent Showman? Hondo?
HATARI
7. What is Juan’s nickname for John in A Fistful Of Dynamite? El Diablo? Firecracker? Senor Irish? [bonus points for naming the actors who played Juan and John]
FIRECRACKER [Rod Steiger / James Coburn]
8. During his cameo appearance in Strangers On A Train, what is Alfred Hitchcock carrying? Oil Painting? Pug? Double Bass?
DOUBLE BASS
9. What year was Khartoum, starring Laurence Olivier and Charlton Heston, released? 1966? 1967? 1968?
1966
10. The two sons of Adam Trask, in East Of Eden, are representative of biblical figure Cain (Cal) and Abel (Aron) – which one was played by James Dean? Cal? Aron? Neither?
CAL
11. What did D.W. Griffith direct after Birth Of A Nation? Hearts Of The World? Intolerance? The Great Love?
INTOLERANCE
12. Tennessee Williams disliked the adaptaion of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof so much that he drove around Los Angeles and persuaded people in the queues to go home. True or False?
TRUE (he said the film would set the industry back fifty years)