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The Avengers (2012)
The Greatest Action Adventure Movie EVER!
I am unsure if words could describe how enthusiastic I was about this movie - I do not go to the cinema for many reasons, but for this, I went twice. The cast are more than super heroes, they are astoundingly brilliant at portraying the fear, anxiety, arrogance, and sheer audacity of these Marvel Cartoon heroes - the plot is steady throughout and the reveals are amazing - I won't even try to describe the SFX because they cannot properly be adequately descriptive enough - SEE IT! The sure helmsman, Joss Whedon has exploded into a place so many of us Whedonites have known about for so long - we lost Buffy, Angel, Spike etc., We lost Captain Mal and Jayne, but now Joss has finally given the world what we all know he's capable of - an explosion of action/adventure that never fails to amaze, engage and to take the breath away - add that to the most fantastic one liners, sharp dialogue, character focus and the asset that is Robert Downey Jnr as Tony Stark/Iron Man and you've got a complete set of everything. Chris Hemsworth brings such surety as Thor, his presence is god like in many ways whilst Tom Hiddleston plays the most charismatic bad guy in years. Add in the fantastic Hawkeye, portrayed brilliantly by Jeremy Renner - Chris Evans as Captain America and Scarlett Johanson as Black Widow - finished off with an awe inspiring performance from Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and you pretty much have the most incredible spectacle in cinema history. I am a huge fan of the individual movies, but this just smashed the lot. The size is beyond words and let us not forget what Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg bring to the cast. Fantastic, brilliant, amazing - watch out for the great battles between Thor and Hulk, Iron Man and Hulk and how well they fit into the film.
Samuel L Jackson is rumoured to have a Nick Fury movie coming soon - I can hardly wait - I hope Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johanson get their own movies too. Fabulous way to start the Avengers story. Joss Whedon needs to be heralded for his work and television bosses should sit up and see what they miss when a genuinely amazing talent goes to cinema.
Supernatural meets SuperReality
I've been watching Supernatural since it began. I am thrilled the show has gone from strength to strength with intelligent story lines, action, comedy and some scares along the way. Dean and Sam Winchester, two brothers in search of their missing father and we learn when Dean tells his younger brother, Dad's on a hunting trip and hasn't been home in days' that the 'hunting' isn't the kind of hunting one would automatically assume!
The cast are amazing - from Season 1-3 Jensen Ackles(Dean)and Jared Padalecki(Sam) have been awe-inspiring as they tackled all kinds of stories with their constantly battling brothers in search of the monster responsible for the death of their mother. They have both died, and come back - Sam's death at the tail end of season two was short lived, Dean's deal with a crossroads demon meant he would have only 1 year and as promised, despite many twists and turns during a shortened S3 due to the writers strike - he ended up as a 'hell hounds chew toy'. Enter another spectrum to this multifaceted Supernatural world - Angelic and much swooned over, Castiel, played brilliantly by Misha Collins. Since the introduction of Collins (much like James Marsters in Buffy) this character has become a cast regular and a firm fan favourite. There is little doubt that Collins, Ackles and Padalecki are all VERY attractive, but none of them rest on those laurels. Each has a superb grasp of dismantling idolatry and acting their way through. A shout for Bobby Singer played with absolute brilliance by one Jim Beaver. Bobby provides some much needed grounding for both Dean and Sam Winchester, and often utilises his favourite word 'ejit' for both. Other notable performances and cameos - Stephen Williams as Rufus, Alona Tal, playing Jo and Samantha Ferris playing her mother, Ellen. Traci Dinwiddie as Pamela is amazing - whilst Mark Sheppard who enters the show in Season 5 is also very adept at his role. Season six is a masterpiece - the show always had a five year arc - but so successful had it been that Season 6 was inevitable and so it has turned out to be. Without giving too much away, the boys and their motley crew have averted the apocalypse, and the aftermath is proving some incredibly interesting fodder for the writers. The last episode watched 'The French Mistake' was a masterpiece - no it was really. I have yet to see one bad review and I've been looking. We're talking the boys being flung through a portal into another dimension and finding themselves in a television show called... yep! Supernatural. Inspired, brilliant, Sera Gamble is doing a fine job as show runner, with our Kripke-nite in the background. Season 8...9...10 would be a brilliant, please CW!
The King's Speech (2010)
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, with admirable support from Helena Bonham Carter lead this wonderful historic record with breathtaking ease. The characterisation, understated portrayals and absolute grasp of their craft offers an incite into a world that has only been guessed at.
Rush is superb, Firth masterful and with the delightful and wonderfully rounded balance of Helena Bonham Carter - I was absolutely captivated for the entire movie. Dealing with a stammer/stutter in the present day is a difficult proposition - back then, with a country on the verge of conflict and a more innocent age - it must have been crippling. This movie is why I watch films of this kind - I was given such a stimulating experience and marvelled at the direction, performances and historical content I felt educated as well as entertained.
Thanks to the production, which was flawless - the direction which allowed the film to flow and each and every person who worked on this masterpiece of story telling. Brilliant!
Outstanding - see this if you want to...
I am still wondering why this show was cancelled. So short sighted, but not for the first time. This gives us a look into the world of John Connor and Sarah Connor of now (well 2008/09) since they terminated it far too quickly. It introduces some fascinating plot twists and ensures you're at the edge of your seat the whole time. You never know what's coming and when, who is good, bad or simply ignorant of what's coming and whether characters you grow to love will survive the Prue-apocalyptic scenario as Connors, plural fight to stop Skynet ever being built.
The introduction of the female terminator as protector is as intriguing as it is watchable - Summer Glau of Serenity and other Joss Whedon shows demonstrates why she was such a great choice for this particular role. Thomas Dekker plays our future leader as both admirable and frustrating, as he should be, he is not a machine! He makes mistakes, a learning curve you feel is meant to be the journey and reason for the show. Lena Headey is superb as Sarah, both driven and despairing by her errant son - whilst the introduction of a stalking FBI agent and a terminator played by Richard T Jones and Garret Dillahunt respectively are a balance of sheer 'edge of seat' dramatics. One of the most welcome character introduction is Derek Reese, Kyle's brother, whom we learn about as the show goes on - does he know, doesn't he know about Connor's identity as his nephew. It is well written, well acted from everyone, especially Shirley Manson who plays an intriguing role and you literally have no idea what side she's on until (sadly) the last episode (sadly because they ended it too soon). Garret Dillahunt should get a shout here - he's brilliant as Cromartie, the pursuing 'metal' and his story is equally as intriguing. Some amazing cameos, and set piece story lines blend together equally. It is a tragedy that this show was not given at least three or four seasons to unfold. The potential was amazing and yet as always lack of foresight and the desire for mega-hits in short order brought a very premature end to a fantastic show.