3 reasons why Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar could be the best film of 2014.

I am a Nolanite. I have been since i saw Batman Begins in 2005. In my opinion he has yet to have made a bad movie, and yes i am one of the people who loved 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. When it was announced that he was to direct a sci-fi epic written by him and his brother, i was pumped. After the first teaser was released, people were disappointed because it generally didn’t show any of the movie and was very ambiguous in nature. But, after seeing the latest trailer, the public (myself included) began to see what an epic, grand scale movie Nolan was making and how it, like Gravity, could be a game changer for the movie industry.

Here are three main reasons i am excited, and will be there opening night at IMAX. 

1.) Emotional resonance.

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The biggest criticism of Nolan and his films are often how they are very plot based and don’t have much emotional strength. I beg to differ, citing his first and last Batman movies as evidence, but i agree that Inception was very plot focused. To be a really, really great movie this needs to inspire and to tug on the heart strings. From the looks of the trailer, the father/daughter relationship will be at the emotional core of this movie. Great child actors are very hard to come by, but Nolan looks to have cast a fantastic one in the form of Mackenzie Foy. The dialogue in the trailer between her and McConaughey was chilling and the meaning behind the Murphy’s law and her name makes for a good set up for strong chemistry between the characters of Coop and Murph.

It can still be a good movie and be mainly plot driven, but to really invigorate everyone watching, Nolan needs to make use of his fantastic actors to give emotional, spellbinding performances. 

2.) Space and wormholes.

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From the second trailer, the space shots look absolutely incredible. The curving of the stars and other celestial objects as McConaughey and his ship travel through the galaxy look phenomenal and Nolan has really used some never before seen space imagery that looks amazing and trippy. Even thought much of the trailer is set on earth, it is rumored that roughly two thirds of themovie is set either in space or on a foreign planet and if this is true, then almost nothing has been shown from that standpoint.

What is really exciting is that while space has been done before, many times in film, there has never been such a high profile and sophisticated movie dealing with wormholes, especially by such a gifted director. While Wally Pfister (Nolan’s previous DoP) is not working on Interstellar, Nolan has brought in the talented Hoyte Van Hotema (Her) to give his movie a beautiful and unique look. While the earth moments in the film look fantastic and poignant, it’s the space shots that will really sell the movie to a wide audience.

3.) The Cast.

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A high caliber cast doesn’t begin to describe this ensemble of actors.. McConaughey, Hathaway, Chastain, Bentley, Affleck and Caine aren’t just big names, but incredible actors to boot. What a great few years for Matthew McCounaughey! Films like Mud, The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, The Wolf Of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club have really cemented McConaughey as not just a rom-com actor who likes to take his shirt off, but a serious and talented Oscar caliber performer. Smart move by Nolan to cast the up and coming A lister as an ‘everyman.’ While the buzz around Anne Hathaway has died down after her Oscar win for Les Miserables, her talent has not and Interstellar is sure to shoot her back into the spotlight, Nolan must have really liked what he saw with her portrayal of Catwoman in his epic final to the dark knight saga in 2012.

I also firmly believe that Jessica Chastain is the greatest actress working today. She disappears into every role she plays and seems to be so extremely dedicated to her work and to her director’s. In an absolutely flooring performance in Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain was deservedly nominated for an Oscar and while Jennifer Lawrence won for Silver Linings Playbook, Chastain’s performance was superior in my opinion. Here’s hoping she lands more roles like this because her acting chops are phenomenal.

Rounding out the cast is the previously mentioned Mackenzie Foy, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine. Those names are enough to lead a blockbuster movie on talent alone, and here they are supporting one. These actors will bring subtlety, emotional resonance and depth to these characters and their presence could not excite me more. 

So are you excited for Interstellar? What aspects intrigue you?

– Logan.

Why Edge Of Tomorrow deserves to be a box office success.

Edge Of Tomorrow honestly deserves to be a box office success, and in doing so it would encourage Hollywood to make the kind of movies it needs to in order to remain fresh and exciting. Here are my reasons why.

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A few weeks ago, i got to go to the Melbourne premiere of Edge Of Tomorrow at Crown Casino and was naturally very excited about it. After a live video feed from Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and director Doug Liman, the crowd was psyched to see the movie.

It seemed like a fresh, original sci-fi movie with an interesting director and a great cast. Don’t get me wrong, i love the age of superhero movies as much as the next nerd, but it was exciting to go into a movie where the characters were unfamiliar and the story unknown. I expected this movie to be entertaining at very least, but i truly underestimated it.

I was honestly blown away. Apparently the estimates for box office numbers have been disappointing and this is really a bad thing for the movie business. Eventually in god knows how many years, people are going to get tired of superhero movies and sequels. Hollywood needs these movies to succeed to ensure the continuing blockbuster business.

As a film on its own, it honestly deserves to succeed greatly. Tom Cruise is enigmatic, Emily Blunt radiant and Bill Paxton, the action is breathtaking and exhilarating and the story, even though similar things have been done before, feels fresh. A great aspect i loved of it, was that it didn’t always take itself so seriously like many movies in the past few years. Sure, there were dark moments but they were balanced nicely with a refreshing injection of humor into the action. I highly recommend this movie on so many levels. 

Hopefully the estimated numbers are off, and the great reviews push this movie to unseen heights.

Seen Edge Of Tomorrow? What did you think of it?

– Logan. 

 

Interstellar teaser trailer review.

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This truly is a teaser. And while I can see why people are frustrated by the lack of footage, I also love the fact that nothing has been given away while still growing interest for this ambitious movie worldwide.

A spine tingling and ponderous track from the legendary Hans ZImmer in the background provides an excellent base for a trailer which shows previous space and aviation missions with a monologue by McConaughey on how it is our destiny to explore space and how in order to achieve great things, we need to continue to push the boundaries of human travel.

A very poignant trailer which sets up the tone and emphasises the gravity (no pun intended) of this movie’s story.

A great teaser. Shows enough to get is excited but nothing major to do with the characters. A typical Nolan troll.

Can’t wait for November 2014.

– Logan.

American Hustle: review.

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This movie was one of my most anticipated come this awards season so naturally I went to see it on opening day. My theatre was packed and most cinema goers were excited to see what director David O’Russell and his stellar cast had created.

My reaction: slightly disappointed though extremely entertained.

The movie begins at a weird point and then jumps back a bit in the timeline without the viewer realising. The pacing is great throughout but the beginning seemed a little rushed. For the visuals, lots of yellow colours and 70s sets make this a great film to look at, David O’Russell doesn’t waste any shot and makes each one interesting and well thought out.

For the acting, Bale was phenomenal. He displays range in an actor rarely seen on screen these days and really draws you into his performance. Cooper played a character who was a angry, aggressive an a little crazy at some stages and shows that he can do a lot more than comedy as proved by this film and Silver Linings Playbook. Amy Adams is phenomenal playing a character with multiple egos and she simply lights up the screen. Her English accent is impeccable and she blends the personas of Sidney and Edith into one complex individual who is a little lost in regards to where she wants to be. Jeremy Renner plays the most likeable character and you generally feel sorry for him when conned by Bale and co. He portrays a mayor at the centre of a financial scam and he believes he is just doing business. Renner’s best performance since The Town.

But the real woman who everybody in my theatre couldn’t get enough of was Jennifer Lawrence. What an actress. She brings humour, warmth and charm to a movie that needs all three. She is glowing on screen and provides an excellent moral compass for Bale’s character Irving. One point she does a mad karaoke dance to Paul McCartney’s classic, Live And Let Die and it is one of the funniest scenes in cinema this year.

But as far as the story went, I wasn’t completely engaged in where it was going and what the stakes were. The movie didn’t seem too concerned with the story telling aspect. I loved the characters and their intricacies but generally I found the plot a little lacking and I just wanted to see some more mad antics from Bale, Adams, Cooper, Renner and especially Lawrence.

Some of the personas in this film are shocking and Bradley Cooper’s FBI agent is especially unpredictable and grows more so as the film progresses. He wasn’t an extremely likeable character which I thought was a great choice to make the film more balanced by O’Russell because the rest of the cast are so amiable in their roles that it could make it a little one sided if Cooper’s character was this way as well.

The soundtrack is appropriate for the time it is set ala the 70s and it provides a good beat and rhythm to the events unfolding on screen. Where the plot is lacking, O’Russell makes up for it in genuine laughs and pure entertainment from the 5 main actors. A brilliantly acted and directed film with each line delivered perfectly and not going to waste but as a whole, the general story was lacking. Still I recommend this movie whole heatedly and I believe it should get nominated and quite possibly win a few acting related Oscars come awards season.

8/10

– Logan.

Godzilla: trailer review. (WOW)

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Wow! This trailer is incredible. Excellently crafted, riveting and still yet not giving much away, this is a preview the way they were meant to be made.

The amazing first half shows a team of untrained soldiers jumping out of an aircraft to the unknown. The eerie music and rousing dialogue from the army man make for an epic opening to a trailer that shows a Godzilla movie for the 21st century. After the men land on what looks to be Godzilla’s back, the trailer goes to flashing images of the movie including ones of Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, soldiers closing in on a target and one of Bryan Cranston in his first role since the mighty Breaking Bad.

Gareth Edwards looks to have matured as a filmmaker since the solid yet forgettable ‘Monsters’, The shots in this trailer are breathtaking and spine chilling. The one reservation I have of this movie is Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s husband and wife characters being the typical cliche family in trouble. Time will tell whether the movie can break this familiar bond.

All in all, probably the most exciting and memorable trailer I’ve seen this year and I will definitely be there on opening day to see ‘Godzilla’.

What did you think of this trailer?

– Logan.

Thoughts on X-Men: Apocalypse.

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Recently it was announced via Bryan Singer’s twitter account that the next instalment in the X-Men franchise was to be titled X-Men: Apocalypse. This was a big surprise to everyone because while the general public expected another X-Men sequel to be announced eventually, no one expected it to be done this soon with a title and a director already attached.

For me, this is a good sign. If 20th Century Fox weren’t satisfied with what they have seen of X-Men: Days Of Future Past from Bryan Singer, then they would not greenlight a direct sequel so quickly and especially not with him as director. This says to me that they believe that they have a great movie on their hands that they think will be successful and that they think the man in the directors chair is good enough and capable to bring in the next instalment.

From what I’ve heard rumour wise, it will take place solely in the First Class universe with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender’s Professor X and Magneto returning. This is a good sign. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s characters, while good have had their arcs and stories told and it is time for the younger versions to shine.

Apocalypse could be a fantastic villain because he brings a new threat other than anti-mutant personas like Stryker and Bolivar Trask, manages to be a compelling character and his name works well as a title. Hopefully Fox takes this opportunity to bring Gambit into the universe once and for all.

What do you think of this news? What do you want to see in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse? Let me know in the comments.

– Logan.

Jack Reacher sequel coming, with Paramount adapting the novel: ‘Never Go Back’.

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Great news! I was slightly dubious of the prospects of a sequel to Tom Cruise’s vehicle ‘Jack Reacher’, but thankfully the modest box office success ensured that Paramount make a 2nd Reacher movie.

I liked the first movie, but I thought some aspects could have been improved including the casting. Not Cruise, but Rosamund Pike was shaky as Helen Rodin and Jai Courtney wasn’t the most convincing villain. All in all though, a solid action movie with a riveting story told brilliantly on screen by Christopher McQuarrie.

It’s an interesting choice, going with Never Go Back. A quality Reacher novel, but there are better choices including the fantastic ‘Persuader’ and the first book ‘Killing Floor’. Nevertheless, news of a sequel is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what Paramount and Cruise cool up in this next movie.

Excited for the next Jack Reacher? Let me know in the comments.

– Logan.