The Amazing Spider-Man

Posted on July 18, 2012. Filed under: Movies to see before you die, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , |

I tried so hard to stay in denial about this movie. I avoided the production photos. I didn’t watch the trailer until I had no choice at the cinema. I put my fingers in my ears and went “la la la” when people talked about how good it looked. Why? Because I am a big fan of the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire movies, and the continual stream of reboots was starting to grate. Particularly as the dearly departed Spiderman franchise was barely even cold yet. So I went in to denial.

Unfortunately, I gave over to the geek side a long time ago, and if you dangle a Marvel movie in front of me for long enough, sooner or later I’m going to cave. And I did. And I’m not even sorry.

The only criticism I can think of for The Amazing Spider-Man is its dated sounding title. And we can’t really blame them for that since the obvious choice was taken.  In fact, disloyal though it may feel to say it, I think I like it better…Sorry Tobey.

Before I talk about the movie, I want to say a couple of  words about the cinema I saw it in. We went to The Everyman in Baker Street, and I wanted to give it a quick plug for all my fellow Londoners looking for a slightly different cinematic experience.  It’s a cute little theatre (one of 9 in London) with two cosy screens and a basement bar.  It was a big contrast to my last movie outing to the Imax, but it was a really friendly and exclusive feeling atmosphere, particularly on a Monday night when there were only a few of us there. Definitely a recommend if you happen to be a Londoner. Check out the website here.

Seeing the film in such a small theatre also meant I saw it in 2D rather than post production 3D. And I can say with 99% certainty that I don’t think I missed out on anything. I can think of one moment that was put in to make the 3D seem worthwhile. And it would have been gimmicky. There’s no need for this film to be in 3D, so if you have the choice save yourself the extra ticket price.

Right, on with the review.

The big question with any reboot is always can the new guy do it better than the old guy?  In this case, I’m happy to say that Andrew Garfield makes an amazing Spiderman (lol geddit?)  Perhaps slightly too pretty for Peter Parker, but he is so fantastically socially awkward that his geek chic feels plausible.  The characterisation of Spiderman also felt a lot more like the comics (or the cartooons that I grew up with) giving him more cheesy wise cracks and finally managing to make him feel young. One thing that the previous films never quite captured was that Parker was only supposed to be a kid, and that while “with great power comes great responsibility” he also had fun with it. Particularly in the 2nd and 3rd films (AKA Spidey: the EMO years) he was a little bit too serious and strung out all the time. Garfield manages to balance a sense of fun with the gravity of suddenly being depended on, without becoming too dogged by it.  I also liked that fact that this film plays more in to the vigilante idea, in a kind of Daredevil/Batman way; letting us see Peter develop his webshooting tech and making his suit. It gives a grounding and a sense of realism so often missing in comic book movies which, despite their fantastical plot lines, need that anchor in order for the audience to relate.

As far as the plot goes, the basic origin story is the same, but with some added dark past to Peter’s parents and slight re jigging of the facts (more hard core geeks can explain which of the many comic incarnations we’re following here).  There’s no MJ though.  Instead we’re given Gwen Stacey, who is a fairly similar character if we’re honest, but just so happens to work in the lab of the guy who you can tell from the first second you see him is going to turn evil. Rhys Ifans plays a great Curt Connors, fulfilling all the standards of slightly tortured scientist trying to do good and cocking it up most spectacularly and the design for The Lizard was good, managing to stop him looking too much like Godzilla (but still giving them the opportunity to throw in a joke about it.)

The action sequences are well choreographed, and while we’ve seen Spidey swinging through rooftops before it still looks pretty cool, especially in the first person view shots which I suspect were put in for 3D but look just as good without the poppy out bits.  I’ve got to give a nod to the ever fantastic James Horner too, for a score which compliments the story arc perfectly, particularly in the opening prologue.

The Amazing Spider-Man is simply a really good comic book movie. In the Age of the Geek when all things nerd are on the rise, we are being treated (or subjected, depending on how you look at it) to a cornucopia of graphic novel adaptations, which don’t all manage to pull off their leap to the bandwagon, but this one does.  You might not be a Marvel fan, or you might think you’ve seen Spiderman before, but even if comics aren’t your thing, I can recommend Amazing Spider-Man simply as a solid blockbuster. A great way to spend a couple of hours in what has turned out to be a hideously soggy Summer.

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I don’t actually want to write this review…..

Posted on November 14, 2011. Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , |

Those of you unfortunate enough to read this blog on a  regular basis will know that I have been a failure of a so-called Marvel geek and taken far too long to see Thor. I finally got around to it last night.  I hadn’t originally planned to write a review seeing as most of you got over it way back in Summer when it came out. Unfortunately though, I find myself compelled to say some things. (There will be **SPOILERS** throughout as I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen this movie by now)

I never thought I’d find myself writing this, but I didn’t love Thor.

I’m a firm believer in the second time theory, and I’m hoping that watching it again when I’m not so tired (double weekend on duty with St John) will change my opinion, but for a film I had been looking forward to for so long and heard so many great things about, I couldn’t help but be disappointed.

For me, Thor basically fell into the same trap as Daredevil for feeling underdeveloped. None of the characters seemed to really have much depth or motive to what they were doing, and much as I wanted to I couldn’t find myself getting behind any of them that much.  Even Loki, a character I couldn’t wait to see on the big screen didn’t really live up to my expectations.  If you’re going to use the Daddy Issue plot device, you’ve got to give us something to work with, but from what I could see there really wasn’t much for Loki to be complaining about, and the fact hat he said he never wanted to be King  just made his role in the plot even more confusing. I never really got what he was trying to achieve, especially as he was letting the frost giants in all along. I know he’s supposed to be all “mischievous” but selling out your whole world to the monsters from another dimension just for the craic doesn’t really seem to make sense.

As for Thor, yes Chris Hemsworth has pretty hair, but other than that there wasn’t much too him.  The whole point of Thor (brought to my attention by the awesome and far more knowledgeable about these things Jackie) is that unlike other superheroes, he starts out super and loses his power, so instead of having to learn to deal with his strength, he has to learn humility.  Yes, this happens in the movie, but it all seemed a bit too….well, easy.  One little moment of selflessness (and all in the name of a pretty girl) and suddenly all his sins are forgiven.

Speaking of pretty ladies, I’m a big fan of Natalie Portman, and she does well with what she has in the film, but the relationship between her character and Thor just felt forced to me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to fall head over heels for a guy with questionable mental status who I’ve known for about 48 hours. They just didn’t  have any believable chemistry.

Not wanting to keep listing things I didn’t like, but the script felt clunky in places too. I know that some of the lines were cheesy in a deliberate way, but some of the lines that were supposed to be funny fell a bit flat. Maybe that’s a consequence of watching it by myself, I don’t know.

I don’t want to sound massively negative; I definitely didn’t hate the film. I thought the score was great, and the design of Asgard really was beautiful, especially the disco dancefloor bridge. I’ve got to get me one of those.

It’s the age-old problem of a hyped up movie not living up to high expectations. The only thing I’m a little bit worried about is having had a similarly mediocre reaction to Captain America, The Avengers might not be the cinematic event I want it to be. But then Avengers will have one thing these two films didn’t: Iron Man.

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A fleeting visit for something awesome

Posted on October 12, 2011. Filed under: News, Trailers | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I know, I know. I promised you posts and then disappeared. My excuse is the sheer volume of year 2 preclinical medicine. But I couldn’t not blog this. No intro necessary. You know why I’m excited.

 

When (/if) I make it out from under this mountain of anatomy reading, I actually do have drafts written that may or may not become suitable for all you lovely patient readers. And hopefully I’m going to go and see Hugh Jackman punching some robots in the not too distant future.

 

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Don’t die of shock…I’m about to say something good about 3D….

Posted on September 3, 2011. Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , , |

Recovered yet? OK I’ll carry on.  Technically it’s not 3D I’m saying good things about, it’s 4D.

We all know that I’m not a fan of 3D.  Of the few films I’ve seen that used the tech, only one (Avatar) managed to have a couple of  moments where it added rather than detracted, and I still think that they are just as good if not better in good old-fashioned 2D.  I get it though, they’re trying to make the cinema experience something you can’t recreate at home, and the better home cinema systems get, the harder that becomes.

So why my slight change of heart?  Well, it’s a bit of a random one, but last night some lovely friends took me to the Marvel 4D experience at Madame Tussaud’s.  Stay with me.  I’ve always said that 3D works better with animation because the bubble-like appearance of the characters doesn’t seem so weird when they’re already animated, and in this case the use of 3D was actually kind of cool.  Added to that the 4D effects (air jets, water, I won’t ruin it for you) and it became a really fun (short) film experience that made you feel like you really were part of the action.

So this is the conclusion I’ve come to; the problem with 3D movies is that they’re trying too hard not to do the gimmicky things waving out of the screen at you bit and be taken seriously as a special effect. But 3D is a gimmick. It’s always going to be about making you want to duck when things come flying towards you, so if you’re going to make a movie in 3D, embrace that. Don’t pretend you’ve not added on extra frills to try to make people come to the cinema, just go with it!  And if you can throw in some other fancy (and relatively cheap) effects to make the audience jump then why  not?  I’m not saying that mainstream movies should all start embracing 4D (God can you imagine?) but as the death of 3D appears nigh, I think it should be put back in its rightful place.

And for those who were wondering what the actual film was like…it depends on your view of recent Marvel offerings but I reckon it could give Fantastic Four a run for its money 😉

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Captain America (3D)

Posted on August 3, 2011. Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The First Avenger is here (even though he came after Iron Man. And Thor. And no I still haven’t seen it)

I wrote a week or so ago about a few concerns I had about the movie and since then I’ve read some fellow bloggers lukewarm reviews which had somewhat lowered my expectations, and I’m sad to say they might have been right.

There’s been a lot of chatter recently about “superhero fatigue.” It’s true that we have been treated to a cornucopia of spandex clad and super buff protagonists of late, but as far as I’m concerned if the movies continue to be good then the more the merrier.  That’s the thing though; each new hero will inevitably be compared to the last, despite more often than not having a completely different creative team behind them, so the problem becomes not just living up to your own hype, but also that of whoever the last guy was to save the world.  I think that’s where Captain America lost its shine for me, because basically, it’s just not Iron Man.

On with the review then.  Although it sounds like I wasn’t a fan of the film, I did enjoy it, and I think it’s a good popcorn movie which fits nicely into the summer blockbuster season.  I just didn’t leave with that instant need to see it again that I have with other films.  There are good action set pieces, a predictable but effective plot and all the familiar characteristics of a comic book movie.  There’s the little guy who finds out he can be more, is initially rejected by those in power, mooned over by an intelligent and beautiful muse who is equally outcast, and then finally comes good in the big showdown where he saves the world. Superhero by numbers.  There’s not exactly anything wrong with that, it just doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

As I’ve said numerous times, I like my heroes with a bit of an edge, so characters like Superman and the good ol’ Cap have never really done anything for me.  Director Joe Johnston did manage to squeeze a bit of sympathy out of me with Steve’s back story, but in the end he is just a bland character and there’s not much anyone can do about it.  I’m sure the proper comic book nerds out there will disagree with me on that, but I was hoping to be converted to the camp and unfortunately I just wasn’t.

As for the performances, despite my fears, Chris Evans did well as our leading man.  He wont be troubling the Academy any time soon, but he did what he could with a fairly one dimensional character.  Dominic Cooper pulled off a bit of swagger as Stark Snr and Hayley Atwell fitted nicely into the “woman hardened by living in a man’s world” role.  The two stand outs though were Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones. Weaving again pulls out his big baddie card with appropriate menace, although I couldn’t help adding the words “Mr Anderson” to the end of every one of his lines (it’s a fun game, you should try it some time).  The big reveal of his true face is ruined though by the fact that it’s been all over the internet for months and is also in the trailer  Surprisingly, Tommy Lee Jones’ grouchy Colonel was actually my favourite character. He got pretty much all the good lines and was missed when he wasn’t on screen.

The action sequences were good, although they lacked a wow factor, particularly in the final confrontation between Red Skull and Cap.  The plot is well paced and doesn’t drag but I was actually more interested in the film’s prologue and epilogue than the main story.  At least that bodes well for next years Avengers, (I recommend you sit through the credits and wait for the stinger,) which will also benefit from an ensemble cast.

My final assault is levied, predictably, at the 3D.  Those of you unlucky enough to follow my ramblings on twitter will know that I was struggling to find a screening in 2D near me, but in the end I caved and went for the Carl Fredrickson glasses.  For once, I didn’t find the 3D distracting, and the usual problem I have with not being able to focus when the action moves fast didn’t happen (although everything went blurry in a couple of the trailers).  Regardless, there was basically absolutely no point to the film being in 3D whatsoever.  For most of the film I’d completely forgotten it was even in 3D (which is how I know it wasn’t distracting).  The one montage scene of Cap and his team’s various conquests did have a couple of all right 3D moments, but definitely not worth it in the long run.  In this case at least, the 3D seems to have moved from being and irritation to not being anything at all. Neither added nor detracted.  If, like me, you have to pay extra for the privilege of the ugly glasses, try to find somewhere showing good old-fashioned 2D.

I hate to end on a rant.  Captain America is a fine way to spend a summer afternoon and a good set up for the coming Avengers.  I can’t help but think that they would have got away with a simple flashback next year though, as this does feel a little bit like that middle movie of a series that you have to watch so you know what’s going on, but all you really want to do is get to the big finish.

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Why I’m worried about Captain America

Posted on July 18, 2011. Filed under: Ramblings, Trailers | Tags: , , , |

On the 29th July, Captain America: The First Avenger hits cinemas.

This is the sort of thing that should send superhero junkies like me into a frenzy of excitement.  But instead, I’m just a little bit nervous about how the film is going to go down.

My main concern about Cap can be summed up in two words: Chris Evans.  I’ve been saying it for months, and I really hope he proves me wrong, but I don’t like the guy and just don’t see him working. He annoyed the hell out of me in Fantastic Four but seeing as that’s pretty much all I’m basing this on I’m hoping that he was playing an irritating character and will find another dimension when playing Steve Rogers.

The other thing that bugs me is the potential for the film to look dated even before it’s started. I know very little about the comics, because to be honest I was never interested, so correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s always seemed like a very old fashioned character with the kind of excessive patriotism that doesn’t sit as comfortably now as it may have done then.  It might get away with it in the American market but I’m not sure how British audiences will react.  I’m also struggling with the fact that as much as I want to, I’ve never liked Cap. He’s too whiter than white for me, kind of Marvel’s answer to Superman which I just find dull. As I said in the 15 Questions Meme, I’m anti-hero all the way.

And worry number three is just how much stock is tied up in this movie.  They’ve gone ahead and called in The First Avenger. They might as well have stamped the word FRANCHISE across the poster.  If Cap bombs then on the 4th May next year we have a big problem.  So far Iron Man is going strong (even though a lot of people get stressed out over the sequel) and Thor got rave reviews (seriously, someone take me to see that!).  That’s half the team sorted.  But apparently we’re getting yet another version of Bruce Banner in the form of Mark Ruffalo, which scuppers my hopes that they’d somehow get Norton back, and if Evans fails to impress then we’ve got a very precarious situation.  Even more so since he’s supposed to be the brains of the outfit.  I don’t know whether they’d try to skew the film to focus on more popular or successful characters but it all seems a bit messy to me. Especially since they’re also going to try and keep each character’s separate movies going (or at least they are with Iron Man, for now…)

All this seems like a potential disaster.  And a lot of it comes from how much money is riding on these films, which isn’t how it should work.

Having said all that, Hugo Weaving is in this film. Which can only be good. And the trailer looks OK. It didn’t get me as over-excited as some, but it wasn’t as teeth clenchingly cheesy as The Green Lantern. So let’s hope I’m just worrying over nothing.

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X Men: First Class

Posted on June 14, 2011. Filed under: Movies to see before you die, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , |

Cinemas. I remember them. They were those things I used to go to all the time before I started my medical degree.

When I first heard about X Men: First Class I dismissed it as Saved By The Bell with mutants.  But when they decided to combine it with the back stories of Xavier and Magneto (previously pitched as two or even three separate movies) it started to get interesting again. So off to Camden Odeon I went. And here’s what I thought.

X Men: First Class is awesome. I know I overuse that word, but it really is. For X Men fangirls/boys it’s got just enough new mutants to keep us geeking out without falling into the trap of Last Stand by having too many.  Of course, some are more interesting than others.  Although Havok’s existence in the movie was cool, the actual character didn’t do much to grab my attention, and Angel (mark 2? ‘cos I know we’ve already had one underused character called Angel) was just wallpaper.  Emma Frost was forgotten for half the movie, but she was cool to have around while she was there,  Banshee was more fun than I thought he’d be, and other more minor characters fulfilled their roles of having cool powers and then getting out of the way of the plot.

From the outset I’ve had issues with the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. I’m not even sure what it is about her, she just feels wrong. It doesn’t help that I’ve always imagined Raven with black hair (as she had in Last Stand, and hence the name) but Lawrence’s version was a bit too whiny and not cool enough for one of my favourite X Men.

That is my only minor quibble. Other than that this film is brilliant.  It’s being hailed as the best of the franchise, and I’ll definitely agree that it’s up there with the best. McAvoy and Fassbender are well matched as Charles and Eric, without whom this movie would be completely flat. McAvoy in particular shines, with a great balance of dry wit and genuine heart that it is easy to imagine transforming into the Patrick Stewart version we know and love.  The brotherly relationship developed between our two leads is very well written, and sets the scene nicely for how they react to each other in later movies. It’s a kind of old fashioned bromance that works well, knowing as we do what the pair will go through together later

Nicholas Hoult as Beast was almost shockingly good.  Beast isn’t a character I’ve ever got that into, and as much as I love Kelsey Grammar I found his portrayal in the third movie clunky.  Hoult however captures a nerdy shyness within a strength of character that finally makes Beast sympathetic.  His Jekyll and Hyde sub plot is a nice device and although the affinity between him and Mystique is obvious he plays it well.

The plot moves along at a good pace and keeps refreshing itself with new obstacles to overcome.  There are a couple of great throwaway jokes which have managed to recapture the sort of humour that made the first two movies great, while still giving us the action set pieces that we have come to expect from the big budget superhero movies.  The final battle is a feast of visual effects.

As perhaps the only blogger on the planet who didn’t trash Wolverine, I found myself trying to fit this film around the timeline of that one, bearing in mind that some characters cross over.  There are a couple of bits I couldn’t quite match up (probably mostly due to not having seen Wolverine in a while) but on the whole I think the continuity of this film with the rest of the series is much better than what has gone before.  There weren’t any gaping inconsistencies that jumped out at me (apart from possibly one that I need to check) and everything else fit in well with my (albeit limited) knowledge of the X Men universe. Made this Marvel geek very happy.

There’s not much else I can say without wandering into spoiler territory.  Most of the reason I love X Men is  centred around a certain adamantium clawed anti-hero , yet I didn’t find myself missing him. It looks like the X Men movies are finally back on track after one or two slight derailments.  All I know is I left the cinema a couple of hours ago and I already want to go see it again. And again.

Oh, and if that was enough for you, this movie contains the best cameo appearance ever. Ever.

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A Life in Movies

Posted on May 8, 2011. Filed under: Memes and Blogathons, Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The ever-creative Andy has come up with another fantastic blog-a-thon idea and I’m determined to get in on the fun. The idea is to pick a favourite movie for ever year you’ve been alive. (I think it’s his sneaky way of finding out how old we all are.)

Notoriously indecisive as I am, this is probably going to be a tricky one for me…

1988

That’s right folks, I reach the ripe old age of 23 this August

This is actually pretty tricky, putting aside such cinematic wonders as Crocodile Dundee 2 and Police Academy 5, this is also the year that brought us Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Big. The dilemma for me though is choosing between two of my favourite films: Rain Man and Die Hard.

In the end I’m going to have to go for Die Hard. It’s just everything I want in an action film.

1989

This one is a bit easier. Although I’m sure that most of you who were around at the time will be picking Batman starring the fantastic Jack Nicholson as The Joker, I have to go for Dead Poet’s Society.

1990

We’ll just gloss over the fact that this was the year that brought us Kindergarten Cop shall we? 1990 also saw the release of the final (and weakest) installment of the Back to the Future trilogy and the second (and weakest) of the Die Hard quadrilogy. Enough of the slightly dodgy though, there was also some good to ring in my terrible twos, including the surprisingly sweet Mermaids starring Cher and Winona Ryder, the quintessential Christmas film Home Alone and this year’s winner: Edward Scissorhands.

1991

This might be an unpopular choice, but I’m going to pick Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It might involve a more American Robin than we’re used to in the form of Kevin Costner, but Alan Rickman as the sheriff of Nottingham more than makes up for it.


Here’s where I start to change the game a bit….As I was working through finding films that were released in each year, I came across a problem. There are films that came out in these years that I absolutely adored at the time, and still love now, but there are also films I’ve come back to as an adult that might edge out those childhood favourites if I’m asked to choose. So from here on I’ve kind of cheated a bit. Sorry Andy. Hopefully as well as being a massive cheat, it’s interesting for people other than myself to see what I was into at the time, and what I’ve come back to discover later.

1992

So what was the 3-4 year old watching in ’92? Aladdin of course! Meanwhile the grown up (well, not really) version looks back on ’92 as the year that gave us Reservoir Dogs. Bit of a contrast there….

1993

This was a good year for childhood movies.  Not only did it see the release of my guilty pleasure movie Free Willy but also Mrs Doubtfire and Nick Park’s brilliant short film The Wrong Trousers. The best childhood movie of ’93 for me though had to be Cool Runnings. Some people say you know they can’t believe….

Coming back to the ’93 films and I’ve got a tricky choice, but in the end I’m going to pass over Philadelphia in favour of the more feel good Benny and Joon

1994

This seems to be the year of Jim Carrey, with both Ace Ventura and The Mask showcasing his “rubber faced humour” as they love to call it.

There’s no question that the 5-6 year old me’s favourite film is The Lion King, I can still vividly remember going to see it in the cinema. It still a contender for my favourite film of the year , but faces stiff competition from a whole collection of films I love including; Pulp Fiction, Speed, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. In the end I’m going to have to go with the perhaps predictable choice, but outstanding film, Forrest Gump

1995

1995 was a big turning point for animated movies. It was the year Toy Story was released, becoming my favourite film instantly and holding on to that top spot for a long time.

Also that year came Apollo 13, Braveheart, Desperado, Die Hard With A Vengeance and The Usual Suspects, but you know what? I still love Woody the most.

1996

This is an easy pick in both directions.  My favourite film at the time (and I still love it now, because I’m cool like that) was Muppet Treasure Island. Tim Curry as Long John Silver. Yes.

But the best film to come out of ’96 has to be Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. I’ve written about it on this blog more than once, but it really is a fantastically made movie and a clever adaptation of the worlds best known love story.


1997

OK, don’t judge me, but as soon as I saw this on the list of ’97 movies I knew what my favourite film at the time was….George of the Jungle

*ahem* Moving on.

Lots of big Sci-Fi movies in ’97: The Fifth Element is an under-rated movie, sitting alongside Men In Black and GATTACCA.  This was also the year the world went crazy for Jack and Rose in Titanic, but I’m going to pick a film that you might not know: Donnie Brasco. It’s a great look at what it’s like to infiltrate the world of organised crime, made all the more significant because unlike the many other gangster movies out there this one is true.


1998

In the year I hit double figures I have another very clear early cinema memory; going to see A Bug’s Life.  This time it was my little sister (then 5) who was in awe of the big screen for the first time. She stood up for the whole thing.

1998 was also the year of the battle of the killer Meteorites, with both Deep Impact and Armageddon coming up with different ways to prevent the apocalypse. I’ve gotta admit I prefer the ever so slightly cheesy but more fun version involving Bruce Willis and a giant oil drill.

As much as I love both these films though, I think my adult film of ’98 is going to have to be The Truman Show because not only is it a much unloved movie with a beautiful soundtrack that more people should see, but it also proved to me that even though I’d always been a fan of Jim Carrey because his dumb humour made me laugh, it turns out he can actually act too.

1999

It’s 1999! The year I started secondary school and everybody started panicking that the world was going to end when the millenium came. Light relief form these two distressing issues came in the form of a year of great movies including Sleepy Hollow, The Green Mile, Dogma, Notting Hill, The Talented Mr Ripley and 10 Things I Hate About You. This presents both the young and old versions of me with a dilemma because it’s quite hard to pick.

11 year old Katie is torn between The Iron Giant and Toy Story 2. Both amazing films. Both still watched with regualrity. I think my life long love of Pixar will win in the end though.

Meanwhile 11 years older Katie is debating whether I love Fight Club more than The Matrix. I don’t think I do.

Ps. Just in case you were forgetting/mentally blocking/still recevinign counselling for it, this is the year that George Lucas decided three epic Star Wars films wasn’t enough…exit, persued by a Gungan

2000

The world didn’t end. Confused computers didn’t bring civilisation to a standstill and (scarily) we have reached the halfway point in my life. Quite a lot of good “family” films came out this year, and despite being 12 at the time, I still had a soft spot for movies like El Dorado and The Emperors New Groove. Kids movie of the year has to go to Chicken Run, especially because it’s better than the classic its based on.

And while I can imagine a lot of you bloggers out there will pick Gladiator as your movie that kicked off the noughties, for me film of the year is the one that started my transformation from realtively geeky kid into Marvel comic super nerd. Because this is the year they brought out X Men.


And here’s where the split ends….by 2001 I’m 13 and my favourite movies of each year at the time tend to still be firm favourites. That probably has a lot to do with the release of a certain trilogyThere are still a lot of movies that I discovered later, but there’s less of a stark split in tastes as there was in the earlier years, so I’ll stop cheating and go back to only picking one movie per year.

2001

I’m not going to pretend that the next couple of years picks aren’t going to be pretty predictable. I could deliberately pick other movies in the interest of variety, but then I wouldn’t be picking my favourite film, which kind of misses the point now doesn’t it? 2001-2003 was all about three films for me despite other great releases including Donnie Darko and Moulin Rouge in ’01. But there’s never going to be any question that my film of the year is The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. If I hadn’t been to see that film, this blog would not exist. And that’s about all I can say that you haven’t heard a thousand times.

2002

Not even the release of Spiderman can topple Tolkein in ’02.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

2003

As one trilogy came to an end, Pirates of the Caribbean appeared to fill the hole. But the big finish was definitely worth the wait, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King delivered the epic battle scenes and final showdown we’d all been waiting for.

2004

OK, no more LOTR, you can stop rolling your eyes now. ’04 is quite tricky for me because there are a lot of films I really like, but not one that stands out against all the others.  There are some fun films like Spiderman 2, The Day After Tomorrow and Wimbledon but I think I’m going to have to go with The Motorcycle Diaries; a recent discovery that really surprised me with how good it was.

2005

Even though one of my current favourites, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang came out in this year, I’m going to have to pick Brokeback Mountain because not only is it a fantastic piece of cinema, it was quite a moment in movie history, if only for showing us just how talented Heath Ledger was.

2006

2006: I left school and set out for the big smoke to start my degree. 3 fantastic years of new friends and new movies followed.

Loads of great films came out this year, but I’m picking Casino Royale because it was the first film I ever saw on the big screen in Leicester Square, with 3 people who are still among my best friends. It also converted me on Bond films.

2007

Lots of sequels in ’07:  Spiderman 3, Pirates 3, Die Hard 4, but movie of the year for me has to be Stardust. Because its brilliant 😛

2008

I will never forgive 2008 for Mamma Mia. It still gives me chills. It does try to make up for it though with The Dark Knight and the possibly controversially picked, (but I am a Marvel girl after all) Iron Man.

2009

The year I graduated from uni (the first time). The year I started this blog, and a big year for movies. No wonder I was inspired!

I find it impossible to believe that Avatar came out 3 years ago. I was also converted to the trekkie side by J.J. Abrams and got into endless fights with  bloggers about why Wolverine should not be trashed all over the internet. It’s a tough choice, but I think I’m going to pick Sherlock Holmes as my film for ’09, because I can’t wait to see what happens next.

2010

This gets easier as I’ve had less time to get to the cinema and so have seen very few of the films released in the last year. The ones I did see are all strong contenders though; Inception, Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3…I’m going with The King’s Speech. Partly because it got me to finally forgive Colin Firth for the sins of 2008, but mainly because it did what very few films manage to do, it lived up to the hype.

2011

And here we are. Although I still have trouble remembering it actually is 2011. Depressingly this post has made me realise that I haven’t been to the cinema yet this year (is it really May already?) However, with Thor already out, Pirates 4 coming out on May 16th and X Men: First Class hot on its heels in June, I’m sure it’s going to be a very good year. 🙂


And there you have my semi-autobiographical life in movies. I’m back at uni again, and struggling a bit to find time to get to the cinema or post on here, but getting involved in things like this reminds me why I started STRM in the first place. Hope you all enjoy having a read through my tragic taste over they years. Looking forward to being trashed in the comments.

Click HERE to see what everyone else has picked.

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It’s about time for another trailer…

Posted on February 11, 2011. Filed under: News, Trailers | Tags: , , , |

I know this blog has got pretty Marvel heavy recently but I couldn’t let this one go by without a post.  I’ve already caught it on three different blogs this morning so I’d be letting the side down if I didn’t post it too!

X Men: First Class. I had reservations. Then they cast McAvoy.  Now we have a trailer. And it looks gooooooood!

What do you think?

And if you haven’t voted in The Great Debate yet you can do so here

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Marvel vs DC: The story so far…

Posted on January 23, 2011. Filed under: Memes and Blogathons, Ramblings | Tags: , , , |

On January 3rd I opened a can of worms in an attempt to find out who the internet loved more; Marvel or DC.

So far it’s hard to tell.  There’s a lot of love for Marvel out there, but Batman is messing up the argument for a lot of people.  Here’s a (continually updating) run down of the battle so far:

I’m a Marvel…

Me (obviously!)

Kai at The List

…and I’m a DC

Aiden at Cut the Crap Movie Reviews

JT at JT Film Review

Perching precariously on the fence…

Andy at Fandango Groovers

Darren at The Movie Blog

I know there are more posts in the pipeline so let me know if you’re writing and I’ll get you linked.  There have been some great comments on all the posts so far, so thanks for getting involved.

Meanwhile, I’m going to add a poll to this post to see if we can sort it out once and for all.

Jan 29th: Crap. I’m losing my own argument. Where are all my Marvel buddies?!

April 14th: Scores are now tied!

May 31st: A new submission from Darren, but the scores are still tied.

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