We Meet Again, Mr Bond: Spectre Trailer Review

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Lewis: So, the new Spectre trailer… thoughts?

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Ben: Hmmmm, I don’t really know where I stand on it. It is clinically good, but in all honesty, it didn’t excite me.

Lewis: Clinically?

Ben: Yeah. I mean, it was a well-made trailer, plenty of unanswered questions and nothing is given away, but it didn’t excite me. I am probably less interested about it now than I was before; to me it felt a bit clinical.

Lewis: I completely understand that, I think the problem with it is that it gives absolutely nothing away, and so there’s nothing to really ponder on or investigate. It’s not teasing you because it gives you absolutely nothing.
Obviously there’s usually a good mix between full story info and just some meaningless images; this trailer is just a little too much of the latter.

Ben: I am glad you agree, yeah that could be an issue. We all know that it will be a good film, with Mendes’ direction it shouldn’t be another Quantum of Solace, but the trailer didn’t show anything that makes a good Bond film. Despite the change of theme that came with Daniel Craig, a Bond film does need to have a bit of humour in it, and I want this one to get over the relentless self-deprecation we saw in Skyfall.

Lewis: I’m certain we’ll get some humour, and it does look like it’s going to be a good film, even if the trailer isn’t the most flattering…. I hope that the very dark, mysterious film promoted in the teaser is still present in the finished product, because I can’t see much of it here.
Christoph Waltz looks as awesome as ever though.

Ben: I am sure that it will be dark, if there is one thing the Craig Bond films are, it is dark. I expect Waltz to be good, but was there anything in the trailer to prove it?

Lewis: Well we didn’t really see much of him I guess, but it’s Christoph, so he’s bound to be good. Still not sure what role he’s playing though… I couldn’t really tell much else from the trailer to be honest.

Ben: I think that is the major pitfall of this trailer. We know it is going to be good, but there was nothing to prove it or to excite me; in all honesty I am really disappointed. As for Christoph I’m sure he is playing Blofeld.

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Lewis: I just checked and his character is called “Oberhauser”, so I have no idea what his involvement will be. Yeah, I understand why you’re disappointed, especially after how good the teaser was, but I don’t think it was THAT bad…

Ben: Fair enough, I take it back. Perhaps he is like a number 2 to Blofeld, or maybe they are getting rid of Blofeld completely?
No, it isn’t the worst trailer I have seen, but after the teaser and the build-up I can’t help but be disappointed.

Lewis: That’s fair.
As for the other bits in it, it looks like they’re getting back on the gadget-car route, and all the other characters we know and love were there too.

Ben: The gadget-car looks a bit out of place to be honest, and yeah, new Q and M and Moneypenny are all there, and a new head of security who you see very briefly.

Lewis: I did see a glimpse of Tanner too, and Dave Bautista looks bloody brutal as Mr.Hinx.

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Ben: Bautista playing Bautista, kicking and punching the crap out of everyone.

Lewis: He looks pretty good in the role to be honest.
Oh, I didn’t say how sexy that car is.

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Ben: It is a damn cool car….
So what are your story predictions?

Lewis: I’ve noticed that there are a lot of scenes that are very reminiscent of older bond films again, Live and Let Die with the festival and day of the dead stuff, From Russia with Love on the train, The Living Daylights with the car and plane chases in the snow.

dayofthedead But anyway, in terms of story, the teaser had allusions to a secret that James has, whereas this trailer doesn’t really go into that, but I think there’s still going to be something about his personal life that leads him to Spectre.

Ben: It also seems to reference On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in fact there were a lot of references to that.

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Yeah, to me it looks like a vendetta film. Waltz’s line “the author of all your pain” and with Bond finding Mr. White in his shack, makes it look like Waltz’s character is the man behind the crappy rip-off Spectre from Quantum of Solace and the death of Vesper in Casino Royale.

Lewis: Mmmmmm, the mastermind behind it all… or at least one of them. It looks like M isn’t too happy with Bond at the moment, which, judging by the scenes in Mexico City, is probably due to a failed assassination attempt by James.

Ben: Or a successful assassination? Which invokes an investigation from the guy from Sherlock who is a Spectre agent? Which invokes a hydra-type takeover like in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Lewis: Maybe, maybe… but it looks like the entire building explodes, which probably isn’t the way it was supposed to go down. It’s quite tough to tell exactly where any of this is going and why, but it looks like there are a lot of twists and turns in it.

Ben: I would like to see someone survive that explosion.
It does indeed, just like any good Bond film.

Lewis: If it does turn out to be similar to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they could’ve picked a lot of much worse films to emulate….
So are you cool with everything we’ve said?

Ben: Yeah, I am good with that break down.

Lewis: The problem is that there’s not much that stands out really…

Ben: That is why I described it as clinical.

Lewis: Shall I put that in the title? New Bond Film Spectre is “Clinical”- Ben

Ben: No, that would give away the surprise.

Lewis: Fair enough, I’ll have to think up another witty title…

Ben: I will leave that to you.

Lewis: Thanks. Well, I guess that about wraps this up!

Ben: Yeah, I am good with that.

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Trailer Review: Batman Vs Superman SDCC trailer

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Ben: So, Batman Vs Superman. What did you think?

Lewis: I think it looks pretty fuckin’ good

Ben: I think I agree. The teaser trailer left me wondering how it would turn out, but this has confirmed that I am looking forward to this film.

Lewis: It definitely looks a whole lot better than the teaser trailer suggested… I’m actually on board with the premise now, and Affleck actually looks pretty believable as Batman.

Ben: He does, doesn’t he? I like the idea of this film, Batman’s almost hatred and mistrust of Superman due to the fear of what he’s capable of, as well as his anger over the fight between Superman and Zod. I like how it seems to tie into Man of steel rather than just forgetting about it.

Lewis: Yeah, I really like how it’s tying all of it together. Jeremy Irons looks like a really good Alfred too, it’s like he’s acting as the devil’s advocate I debate of whether Batman should fight him. Although, I doubt the whole film will be Batman vs Superman, not with Lex Luthor getting involved.

Ben: Yeah I was going to say that. Mr Irons looks very good in that roll. Do you think this will be a different kind of Alfred compared to Michael Caine’s?
The much debated casting of Jesse Eisnburg as Lex Luther… he is a good actor so I personally don’t have an issue. He seems to be stringing things up for sure, and from the looks of it he is armed with Kryptonite.

Lewis: Hmmmmm, I’m not too sure about Jesse Eisenberg, he usually only plays himself, but I guess we’ll have to see. As for the relationship between Bruce and Alfred, I think it’ll be a little different to Bale and Caine’s take on it. I think they’re both older, so I think they’ll be a little pissier with each other rather than getting on so well. It does all feel very soon though, almost too soon after the Dark Knight Trilogy.

Ben: That’s fair, but I think he has what it takes to bring something new to the part.
I got more of a “coming out of retirement” vibe from Affleck’s Batman… more than just a bit of extra training.
Yeah that is how I saw it, a slightly more bitter relationship but with Alfred still being the grounding factor, which definitely came across in the trailer. Also, how do you mean “too soon”? There were also hints at the Joker possibly making an appearance.

Lewis: I meat that It feels like we only just finished the Dark Knight Trilogy, and now there’s another Batman story arc that could potentially be very different. Then again, it might not completely discount the Dark Knight films.
Yeah that’s true, the scrawled writing teasing Batman could well be him.

Ben: I suppose so, but I think the fact that I know Zack Snyder is going in a different direction means that it doesn’t bother me.
It looks like he’s teasing him about the death of Robin.

Lewis: Wonder Woman looks pretty awesome too, I wonder what part she’ll be playing in the fight?

Ben: Well it looks like something big busted out of Lexcorp, I have heard it could potentially be Doomsday, so she could help in fighting that. Or she could kick both of their arses setting them straight in the process.

Lewis: She could end up taking the more mature standpoint. Doomsday would be interesting, that’d give Batman and Superman something to team up against.

Ben: It is a real possibility. Or something might happen to Zod, there’s some potential in bringing back him back to life. Either way, Doomsday or Zod, I’d like to see Wonder woman win where the other two failed, it’d be a good introduction to the character.

Lewis: Yeah, and the start of the Justice League, which is set to be released in 2017 I believe. All in all I think this is going to be a good introduction to a new series of films. I’m also excited for that solo Batman film that Afleck’s going to be directing/starring in

Ben: Considering Affleck’s directing career that should be good. Will it be able to challenge the Marvel Movie Machine though?

Lewis: I highly doubt it’ll be able to compete, but I think it’ll still have a fair bit of success. Marvel’s already cornered that market, and it will be very difficult for DC to push their way in.

Ben: But if it pushes both to make quality films that can only be a good thing.
One last thing from me, I just want to mention how good the trailer was. It gave us enough to speculate and get excited about but managed not to give everything away; there are plenty of questions still to be answered.

Lewis: Exactly, it reminded me a lot of the Star Wars trailer in that it gave us familiar things but also a lot of things that need answers, and that weren’t answered in a 2 minute trailer (unlike Jurassic World or Terminator Genisys).

Ben: Yes, a lesson can be learned here by a number of franchises…

Happy Anniversary, dear

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Well, well, well, well, well…

One year, huh? I have to admit, I wasn’t sure whether we’d still be doing this after a month, let alone a year… but here we are.

I remember it like it was yesterday…

*Insert shimmery flashback filter and harp music*

-Cuts to three teenagers sitting in a reggae bar in Stratford-

Last summer, before an outdoor viewing of Reservoir Dogs, I asked Ben and another friend whether they wanted to help me make a blog that we could use to; A) act as a creative outlet for our boredom, and B) engage with other people about shared interests. Ben was immediately enthusiastic about it (our other friend less so, but maybe they’ll contribute something in the future). I’ll be honest, if it weren’t for Ben pressuring me to write and edit our content, almost half of it wouldn’t see the light of day. So I think our partnership was a good idea; the blog wouldn’t be possible without him.

(dry your eyes, Ben. It’s unprofessional to get sentimental too often)

Obviously we’ve had people help us out; Alex joined us for a couple of very popular pieces, and Connor will occasionally pop up from the woodwork to offer articles about some of the strangest movies I’ve never heard of.

We also had some fun with Pete and Ben making the podcasts, even if the discussions became stupidly heated and heatedly stupid on a number of occasions. It was all in good fun of course, even if they were wrong almost all the time, and we’ll hopefully see the return of them soon enough. A promise that I’m both keen and not so keen to fulfill, since the podcasts were incredibly fun to film, but incredibly not so fun to edit, but it’s all worth it in the end.

Last, but not least, we had a couple of collaborations with Michael of Four Eyes Productions (yes, a couple, I just haven’t finished editing the other yet…). We’ll definitely be doing more of that in the future; I don’t think we’ve ever had a more agreeable “fight” about films.

All in all, I think we’ve come a long way since we set out to put a stop to our summer boredom, even if we haven’t yet reached the level of content or quality we want to get to. We will get there though, even if it means slogging through another year before we do. More podcasts, more trailer talks, more articles and, hopefully, a few more people willing to help us out.

Thank you all for your support this past year, and I hope that in the following months we can produce at least one piece of content that either makes you laugh, sparks a discussion, or gets you interested in something new.

The next year’s gonna be a good’un!

Terminator Genisys: “Bite me”

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*SPOILERS*

Ben: So, Terminator Genisys

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Lewis: Yes, Terminator Genisys. To put it bluntly, I was pretty underwhelmed by it.

Ben: Yeah it wasn’t great, but was it as bad as everyone else seems to have said it was?

Lewis: Well I’m kinda torn as to how bad it actually was… It was a pretty bad film, and it shouldn’t have been made to be honest (the Terminator franchise has already suffered enough), but I did find myself enjoying it at times.

Ben: I agree with that. It definitely shouldn’t have been made, but then 3 and 4 shouldn’t have been made either. This one is definitely better than 3 and 4, and I did enjoy the Arnie parts.

Lewis: Yeah, but it’s Arnie, you can’t not enjoy his parts.

arniesmile It was just very ‘meh’… the story was ok but it could’ve been done a little better, the script was pretty crappy, the acting was ok but they can only do so much with poor writing, and the special effects weren’t anything spectacular. The only bit that looked naff was the helicopter chase though, the other scenes were solid.

Ben: The writing wasn’t great, and I was a bit disappointed in Emilia Clark (given what she does week in week out on Game of Thrones). I expected a bit more, but yeah that could be down to the writing rather than the actors. However, Jai Courtney was his usual crappy self.

jai-courtney-in-terminator-genisys-movie-7 I have to say, the bus incident was much better in the context of the film than what we saw in the trailer, but yeah, the helicopter chase was a bit crap.

Lewis: Jai Courtney most definitely fell short of the mark. And yeah, that bus crash made a whole lot more sense than the trailer suggested… but then again, they revealed almost every major plot point in the trailer, so I guess it was tough to fit that context in.
I also had a slight issue with Jason Clarke… I think he’s a really good actor, and I usually have no issue with him, but he just wasn’t very believable as John Connor, you know? He just doesn’t really have the characteristics of a great military leader or badass hero.

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Ben: The trailer did give pretty much everything away.
I can see your point about Clarke, but I didn’t really have that much of an issue with him, there were far too many other problems with the film, like how they ripped every good bit from 1 and 2 and warped it to serve their own means.

Lewis: There is a line where a homage becomes a rip-off, and this film did toe that line a few times. I did enjoy the premise though, and, to be honest, even though it wasn’t a great film it would’ve been a decent finish to such an overused franchise (especially with all the references to 1 and 2). But then they had to jump on the end-credit-scene bandwagon and tease a sequel…

Ben: I think if you can forget that it is a Terminator film and treat it as a standalone movie that has nothing to do with the far superior 1st and 2nd films you will enjoy it more. Treat it like a big stupid action film and you may enjoy it.
Yeah, the over-used end credit scene that is a tease for another crappy Terminator film. Why won’t they let the franchise die? Or give it back to the creator James Cameron, and see what he can do with it?

Lewis: You say give it back to James Cameron, but he fully endorsed this film! He’s not the director he once was, and as for treating it as a standalone film, I get where you’re coming from, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that it’s part of the Terminator franchise. No matter what you do you’ll always compare it to its predecessors.

Ben: I think he owed Arnie a few favours.
Yeah that is a fair point, a Cameron Terminator could end up like the Stars Wars prequels…
That comparison will be the issue with every Sequel they make. The first two are (very different) perfect films, and the sequels will never be as good as the originals.

Lewis: I mean, if Cameron could pull off a stunt like George Miller did with Mad Max I’d be all for another sequel. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s really possible anymore; it’s had its time.

Ben: Well there will be at least one more sequel for us to sit through. I mean ‘enjoy’…

Lewis: Yeah… ‘enjoy’.
The only highlight for me was Arnie. He’s literally become a parody of himself.

Ben: He was indeed, any scene without him just felt strange. Ahhh, old “pops”… he is just a walking, talking parody of his former self.

Lewis: I said it to you yesterday but I’ll say it again, he’s basically some guy who can do a really good impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But we still love ‘im of course.

Ben: Good old Arnie, where would we be without him?

Lewis: Who would we have to do terrible impressions of?

Ben: Nick Cage?
We would be lost without him, but I don’t think he should make anymore Terminator films.

Lewis: I’ve never been able to do a decent Cage impression… Well, once, but never since.
To be honest, he’s probably said enough lines for them to just use that CGI model of him and create the lines from soundbites.

Ben: “Hypothetically”
See what I did there? Used Arnie’s new catch phase in a comment about him…

Lewis: Unfortunately, Ben, his new catchphrase is “theoretically”, not “hypothetically”…

Ben: Shit. We can edit that. Just shows how forgettable the film is….

Lewis: Why would we edit out such a brilliant cock-up?
One last thing I want to mention is a personal nitpick, but it’s one that bugs me quite a lot-
Grenades don’t look like that when they explode. There isn’t a massive, swirling fireball. Just a bang. Why don’t they get that?

Ben: I think that is the fault of all Hollywood. Not just this piss poor excuse for a Terminator film

Lewis: Yeah I know, but most of Hollywood has been getting better with realistic explosions, this was the worst example I’ve seen for a while.

Ben: *Sigh* They had to do something to keep people entertained. It was a bit Michael Bay-ish.

Lewis: I think we should stop before we start to change our minds on the quality of this film…
So the consensus is “not very good, but not as bad as it could’ve been”.

Ben: Yeah I’d go with that; not as bad as Terminator 3, marginally better than Terminator 4,

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but nowhere near as fantastic as Terminator 1 and Terminator 2.

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