CharlieV the Movie Fanatic

Must See Movies 2013: A Glimpse So Far

Below are the movies I am most excited about for first half of the year or so. Release dates indicated are for South Africa, and are subject to change. Only movies with trailers and confirmed SA release dates are shown here. Watch my monthly posts for more up to date info. Source for release dates: http://moviesite.co.za/CPR.pdf

 

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January

Django Unchained

Prediction: Damn funny and will rock, plenty of Oscar nominations.

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Also watch out for Argo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w918Eh3fij0

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February

A Good Day To Die Hard

Prediction: Not really too sure, but should be good fun :)

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Lincoln

Prediction: Gonna be amazing!

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Also watch out for Zero Dark Thirty if only to see what the hype is about – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxC_JNz5Vbg

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March

Oz the Great & Powerful

Prediction: Looks promising

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Red Dawn

Prediction: Probably will be the same old formula, but should be entertaining

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April

Oblivion

Prediction: Even if it sucks, it should be interesting or at least entertaining, it’s win-win

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Seven Psychopaths

Prediction: It’s a winner! Why? 1) Woody Harrelson, 2) Christopher Walken, 3) It’s looks awesome

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Also watch out for the Carrie remake – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaHzUMq8iaM

May

Iron Man 3

Prediction: Looks very dark…

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Evil Dead (Remake)

Prediction: Where’s Bruce? No really… ooh wait this looks kinda freaky actually :)

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Fast and Furious 6

Prediction: Another one? Only the big names are gonna save this one…

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Also watch out for the Texas Chainsaw 3D (yet another scray movie remake) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqCe2pDfICE

And don’t forget about Stoker – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brjtL-2kE9A

June

Man of Steel 

Prediction: Oooh dark… plus Christopher Nolan (producer) and Zack Snyder (300) are involved in it

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After Earth

Prediction: Should be pretty cool, starring Will Smith and son, Jaden

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Star Trek – Into Darkness 

Prediction: Never really got into old Star Trek (*gasp*), so the reboot since the previous film has me hooked :)

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July

World War Z 

Prediction: Bad CGI aside, it should be pretty cool, even if it doesn’t look anything like I’d have pictured the book.

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The Lone Ranger

Prediction: Looks pretty damn cool

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Despicable Me 2 

Prediction: Laughs and fun all around

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August

Pacific Rim

Prediction: Prepare to be blown away…

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September

Elysium

Prediction: Since this isn’t really a trailer, it’s kinda difficult to say, but if Neill Blomkamp bought us District 9 with $30m, imagine what he can do with $120m and Matt Damon?

The mystery around this film reminds me of the mysterious build up and viral campaign of “fakeverts” and the rest that he did with District 9. Less is known about this film that some films coming out in 2014.


Must See Movies 2012 #9: The Hobbit, Life of Pi (& Jack Reacher)

Week 1

There was nothing really worth watching in the first week in December in my opinion, and since that was the case, I’m going to recommend that you watch Skyfall (again if you already have), which opened the last week on November here in South Africa. See my previous blog post, Must See Movies 2012 #8: Skyfall Review

Otherwise The Hobbit is a winner!

Week 2: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

hobbit_an_unexpected_journey_ver2This past weekend marked the release of the long awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings. I watched it on Saturday night and all the people I went with were impressed.

The Hobbit is directed again by Peter Jackson and marks the return of several familiar faces. In case you didn’t know (like my fiancée) the Hobbit has been split into three movies: ‘The Unexpected Journey (2012)’, ‘The Desolation of Smaug (2013)’ and lastly ‘There And Back Again (2014)’. I have seen the meme doing the rounds and was expecting it to be very drawn out. While it could have (and should have) been done in one movie, the pace of the movie moves along pretty nicely and you rarely (although not never) get bored. Some critics moaned about it being a overproduced and being about the special effects, but I don’t see how you can make these movies and not.

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Hobbit Meme

The Hobbit also debuts the new HFR 3D technology, where the films are shot at 48 frames per second compared to the normal 24 of other films. Reviews have been mixed but the major advantage to the technology is the minimising of motion blur which affects other 3D movies. Unfortunately the cinema we were at didn’t have the infrastructure so I saw it in normal 3D, so I can’t really tell you more. Feel free to comment if you have.

IMDB Moviemeter: 1

Other IMDB: Top 250 #84 | 5 nominations

Tomatometer: 65%

Trailer 1

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Trailer 2

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Week 3: Life of Pi

Li of Pi

Based on the fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi tells the story of a 16 year old boy, Piscione Molitor Patel, or Pi, when his family is killed in a shipwreck while  moving their zoo to Canada. The story is told from an older Pi’s perspective as he relays his story to a novelist who thinks his story would make a great novel.

A blog I follow did a pretty cool review for this movie. Have a look at the The Focused Filmographer review here

IMDB Moviemeter: 5

Other IMDB: Top 250 #242 | Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 10 wins & 21 nominations

Tomatometer: 88%

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Week 4: Jack Reacher

Jack_reacherI’m not convinced, but it might, just might, surprise me, so for that fact alone, give it a go if you haven’t see any of the first three films I mentioned. The critics seems to like it.

Tom Cruise stars as a homicide investigator who digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper that shot five random victims.

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Trailer 1

(When I first heard the soundtrack from the trailer, I thought it was a new Mission Impossible (1:02))

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Trailer 2

 

 

 

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Must See Movies 2012 #8: Skyfall Review

Skyfall - IMPAwards.com

Source – IMPAwards.com

WARNING: Possible spoilers!

Last month, my one recommendation was the new Bond film, Skyfall. I am happy to say I still stand by this recommendation, it is definitely a must see movie, especially for Bond fans, but then again if you are a Bond fan, I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you this. You’ve already seen the movie and are telling others the same thing… I hope…

Building up to Skyfall, I did a Bond marathon, my third one (which explains my lack of blogging for the last little while), and had managed to get to The World is Not Enough (1999, Pierce Brosnan) the day before I went to watch Skyfall. Up to this point, good old Roger Moore was my favourite Bond with Sean Connery in a very, very, very close second. I liked the Connery era SPECTRE storyline but Moore was just a better Bond for me. George Lazenby wasn’t around long enough to make an impression on me, but I still preferred him to Timothy Dalton & Pierce Brosnan. The Brosnan movies weren’t necessarily bad, although they may have been a bit over the top and worst of all they used BMW for the Bond cars, but I just didn’t like Brosnan. Timothy Dalton was a bit better, but still nowhere near Moore or Connery, and still not as good as Lazenby.

In my first Bond marathon, Brosnan was the current Bond and I was still in school, so I didn’t pay the attention I should have. It was something to watch while I was doing other stuff. I had watched Goldeneye on VHS, didn’t have DVD then, from the local video store where I lived. It was about a year after Goldeneye had come out, and since they had the whole collection, I thought why not. I would like to say I was a fan after that, but that would be a lie, I was just too young I think…

My second Marathon was almost 10 years later, just before the release of Casino Royale. I think this is when I officially became a Bond fan. The second time round I definitely paid more attention, to the characters which were repeated through the movies, the little inside jokes (“This never happened to the other chap” – George Lazenby), the quirks of the different Bonds, the cars, the airplanes and more. It was then that I decided that Moore was my favourite Bond. I watched Casino Royale afterwards when it came to the big screen and also watched Quantum of Solace a few years later and thoroughly enjoyed them.

A few months back when the 50 years of Bond hype was around and talk of Skyfall was on the rise, I decided to do my third marathon from Dr No up to Quantum of Solace and slowly but surely I made it through to The World Is Not Enough. That was just before the weekend of Skyfall’s release in South Africa. I then had the choice to wait until I actually finished my marathon, or to watch Skyfall that weekend. I watched it as you could guess and I was blown away, but I finished the remaining movies in the week afterwards. Which brings me to the one Bond that I haven’t mentioned yet, the current one, Daniel Craig.  He is definitely not the sophisticated, suave Bond that was portrayed by all the previous Bonds, although you can see his growth as a 00 through the first three movies.

But there’s a reason for that, in Casino Royale, the Bond movies took a drastic twist that some, non-Bond fans mostly, may not have noticed, it was a complete reset of the Bond Universe. It wasn’t so much of a new story as a new twist on it. Casino Royale was to Bond what Batman Begins was to Batman. Casino Royale was actually also the first book in Ian Fleming’s Bond novels.

Casino Royale Director Martin Campbell confirmed this:

“The producers felt it had gone off the rails a bit after Die Another Day, with invisible cars and all that. I told them, we have to go back to the books. We even discussed doing it as a period piece.We settled on a more fucked-up character with a dark streak in him – drinking too much, dodgy liver – all that’s in the book. In Casino, he also had a real relationship with a woman. He doesn’t just have a dozen for king and country.”

I didn’t know this when I first watched Casino Royale, it took a second watch a month or two later.  There were other things related to this that I also didn’t realise, like the reboot of the Felix Leiter character as well.

In Casino Royale, we see James Bond’s promotion to the ranks of the 00’s. He is definitely the darkest Bond of the series as we see him falling in love with the character Vesper and being betrayed by her near the end. In Quantum of Solace we are made more aware of the Quantum organisation (replacing both SMERSH and SPECTRE of the early films and novels in this reboot) and find that our villians in this film and the previous one are all part of Quantum, including Vesper and her killer/lover, Yusef Kabira.

In Skyfall, the foundation for the new Bond universe is set even more. We are introduced to the new Moneypenny straight away even if we don’t realise it and to the new Q a bit later. Many fans and even Daniel Craig expressed wishes for their return, and quite a return they have made (What did you expect, an exploding pen?).

If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know about the whole M situation, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Ralph Fiennes is a pretty damn good actor and while I loved Judie Dench as M, she reminded me too much of the Brosnan era.

With Skyfall, Daniel Craig officially became my new favourite James Bond. I thought he was brilliant in Casino Royale, a little less brilliant in Quantum of Solace, although only a little bit less. In Skyfall he has me hooked to Bond 2.0. He was brilliant and even managed to not let Javier Bardiem outshine him, not easy, with Bardiem as the villian, ex-00 agent Raoul Silva (aka Tiago Rodriguez)

Don’t rely on me to convince you to watch though, go read some reviews if you need to, but the fact that it is the highest grossing movie of all time in the UK, and has almost reached the billion Dollar mark ($922 million at the time of this post) which would put in on top as the highest earning Bond film of all time (relative to inflation) which is currently held by Goldfinger at the magic $1 billion mark.

If you’re still looking at me for some reasons to go watch it, where do I start? The best Bond villian for a long time: Javier Bardiem, the sexy Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe, who plays Severine and the moment you see what Aston he is gonna drive (I heard about 5-10 “whoas” when I watched it in the cinema. Not to say those are it’s only good points, they’re just the most prominent ones.

Wanna have another look at that trailer? Sure!


Pixar, Marvel & Now Lucasfilm. The Force Is Strong With Disney

Disney

DisneyYesterday it was announced that Disney are to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. This is all “subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions.”

But everything has been approved by both Disney and Lucasfilm’s sole shareholder, George Lucas. So what does this mean for the fans?

Well, besides three new movies, with “Episode 7″ being released in 2015 and all sorts of merchandising/theme parks spin-offs, only time will tell.

Did anyone really notice the changes in Pixar and Marvel. I didn’t. Let’s look at this from the fan viewpoint and the easiest way is to look at the responses to films before and after. Comparing Pixar before and after is relatively easy, but Marvel is a bit more complex as they licensed their comics to various companies for production & distribution, some good and some not so much.

Have a look at the two tables below, which are split into 2 sections (post- and pre-Disney) which are split again into public opinion and critic’s opinion. The abbreviations are as follows:

Lets start with Pixar:

PRE-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) IMDB RT (F) MC
Toy Story 1995 81 8.3 100 92
A Bug’s Life 1998 61 7.2 92 77
Toy Story 2 1999 72 8 100 88
Monsters, Inc. 2001 84 8 95 78
Finding Nemo 2003 82 8.1 99 89
The Incredibles 2004 67 8 97 90
Cars 2006 80 7.3 74 73
AVERAGE 75.3 7.8 93.9 83.9
POST-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) IMDB RT (F) MC
Ratatouille 2007 84 8 96 96
WALL-E 2008 89 8.5 96 94
Up 2009 86 8.3 98 88
Toy Story 3 2010 91 8.5 99 92
Cars 2 2011 54 6.4 38 57
Brave 2012 80 7.5 78 69
AVERAGE 80.7 7.9 84.2 82.7

A quick look the average public ratings (RT(AR) and IMDB) show us that the public prefer the post-Disney Pixar, if only slightly. If you take a closer look, Cars 2 was a major let-down for post-Disney Pixar. If we take that one out, things are very different the averages go up to 86, 8.2, 93.4 & 87.8 respectively. If you look atthe critic’s opinions however, Rotten Tomatoes says that Disney is not doing a great job, while Metacritics says it’s pretty much the same, unless again, you take out Cars 2.

But the jump from Disney to Pixar is not that huge, not as much as it is for Marvel… So what is the verdict with regards to Marvel. Up until 1998, Marvel never really made the jump to the big screen, with only a four movies coming out, including two versions of Captain America. From 1998, they started licensing out more movies to various companies until Disney bought them out in 2009 for $4.24 billion.

PRE-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) RT (F) IMDB MC
Year Title
1944 Captain America - - 6.6 -
1986 Howard the Duck - - 4.3 -
1989 The Punisher 42 24 5.4 -
1990 Captain America 20 11 3 -
1998 Blade 78 55 7 45
2000 X-Men 83 82 7.4 64
2002 Blade II 72 59 6.6 52
Spider-Man 65 89 7.3 73
2003 Daredevil 46 45 5.4 42
X2 84 88 7.6 68
Hulk 34 62 5.7 54
2004 The Punisher 68 29 6.4 33
Spider-Man 2 81 93 7.5 83
Blade: Trinity 70 26 5.8 38
2005 Elektra 47 10 4.8 34
Man-Thing 18 20 4 -
Fantastic Four 57 27 5.7 40
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand 73 57 6.8 58
2007 Ghost Rider 56 26 5.2 35
Spider-Man 3 54 63 6.3 59
FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer 55 37 5.7 45
2008 Iron Man 91 94 7.9 79
The Incredible Hulk. 75 67 6.9 61
Punisher: War Zone 45 27 6 30
AVERAGE 59.7 49.6 6.1 52.3
POST-DISNEY
Title Year RT (AR) RT (F) IMDB MC
2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 72 37 6.7 -
2010 Iron Man 2 80 75 7.1 57
2011 Thor 80 77 7 57
X-Men: First Class 88 87 7.8 65
CPT America: The First Avenger 75 79 6.8 66
2012 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 32 18 4.4 32
Marvel’s The Avengers 96 92 8.4 69
The Amazing Spider-Man 81 73 7.4 66
AVERAGE 75.5 67.3 7.0 58.9

No matter which way you look at it, Disney is doing a pretty damn good job, except when it comes to Ghost Rider 2, which was neither produced or distributed by them or Marvel, since talk of it’s production began in 2007 already.

Ultimately, as I said, time will tell, but I’m pretty sure they’ll do a good job


Must See Movies 2012 #7: Cloud Atlas & Skyfall

cloud_atlas_ver2

AKA:  Must Miss Movies 2012 #1: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

This month isn’t one of the more promising months when it comes to movies.

Of course, if you’re a Twilight fan, then you may think that how can I say that, but I refuse to watch it, simple, so therefore it can’t be a must see movie for me.

Week 1: Cloud Atlas

Written and Directed by Tom Twyker (Run Lola Run) & The Wachowskis (Matrix Trilogy, V for Vendetta), the movie is based on the award winning book of the same name from David Mitchell. The movie consists of different stories ranging from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future and is “an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future.”

The film’s premier in Toronto received a ten minute standing ovation. Almost every actor in the film plays 3-6 different characters within an almost mind-exploding weave of locales. It stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, and many more.

The movies was released in the US on 26 October 2012, but comes to us in SA on 2 November 2012.

IMDB Moviemeter: 19

Tomatometer: 62%

Trailer 1 (Extended):

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Trailer 2:

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Week 2: ParaNorman

It’s an animated movie, I know… but it has zombies in, that’s enough for me. If that’s not enough for you, how about the fact that it was done in stop-motion?

The movie used 31000 interchangeable parts to make the movie’s characters capable of 1.5 million expressions. Norman’s eye-rig alone has 40 parts and the faces were printed with a 3D printer. The rigs used for each character needed to be precise and even each individual stone & clump of dirt that is flung around when the zombies rise was controlled by individual wires.

On average, Laika’s 35 animators and 58 visual effects artists created all 244733 frames at an average of 4.4 seconds of footage. – (Source: www.wired.co.uk)

IMDB Moviemeter: Top 5000

Tomatometer: 86%

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Week 3 & 4

Nada :/

Yeah, that’s right, unless you’re a Twilight fan, in which case, you have my condolences.

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Week 5: Skyfall

I’m a huge bond fan, and there are quite a few of us out there. Those who like Bond will already know about this, the 23rd film in the 007 series and those that don’t like Bond will not watch it no matter what I say. For those that are on the fence, the trailer should convince you either way.

Skyfall was released in the UK on 26 October 2012 and is due for release on 2 November 2012 in SA.

IMDB Moviemeter: 11

Tomatometer: 94%

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Must See Movies 2012 #6: Frankenweenie, Moonrise Kingdom and more

Week 1: How I Spent My Summer Vacation (aka Get the Gringo)

This movie, starring Mel Gibson as a career criminal is due out in South Africa on the 5th of October. Caught by the Mexican authorities, he is thrown in a rough & tough prison, where a ten year old kid teaches him the ropes.

The sad thing is that this movie was already out in March in the USA and is already out on DVD there (since July), so most people have seen it already, probably. If not, give it a go…

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 80%

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Week 2: Taken 2

The sequel to one of the more entertaining action flicks that has come out in recent years, Mills (Liam Neeson) and his wife are taken hostage while on holiday in Istanbul. Should be good fun, but the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 11% has me worried.

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IMDB Moviemeter: 19

Tomatometer: 11%

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Week 3: Moonrise Kingdom 

I am really not sure where to start with this movie. If I tell you that it’s about two 12 year old kids who fall in love and run away together, you’re probably gonna give me weird looks, but that’d be understandable as that doesn’t sum it up properly. Directed by Wes Anderson (Royal Tenenbaums, Darjeeling Unlimited) and starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, this must be one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

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IMDB Moviemeter: 2

Tomatometer: 94% (Certified fresh)

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Week 4: Frankenweenie

Directed by Tim Burton and not featuring Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter (c-c-c-c-combobreaker), this black & white, stop motion film in 3D is about a boy who brings his dead dog back to life with dire consequences. Should be good pre-Halloween fun.

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 81%

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In Case There’s Nothing Else 

Week 1: Premium Rush

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 75% (Certified Fresh)

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Week 4: The Campaign

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IMDB Moviemeter: Top 500

Tomatometer: 67%

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Must See Movies 2012 #5: Total Recall, Resident Evil & Dredd (and others)

Over the next two months, there are three movies I cannot miss and some others I will try my best to see.

First up at the end of this week today is the remake of Total Recall. I loved the original with Arnie and am hoping that Colin Farrell won’t let me down. I don’t expect it to be better than the original, and am not going to walk in comparing them, but the trailer looks pretty kick-ass so I have a little bit of hope.

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In the middle of September, the day after my birthday actually, comes Resident Evil Retribution. Honestly I think this series of movies has been going on for way too long, but it has zombies and Milla Jovovich, so it’s a must see! :)

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At the end of September, comes a movie that I have been hoping for since the first attempt in 1995. That movie of course is Dredd 3D.

When I was in boarding school, every Friday afternoon would be spent at the bookstore in town reading the latest 2000AD comic. If I couldn’t read all of it, I would make sure that I had read at least the Judge Dredd part.

When I heard about the first movie in 1995, I was excited beyond words, until I watched it. It sucked and that is all I have to say about it…

Fast forward a few years (13 to be exact) and it was announced that Alex Garland (28 Days Later) would be the writer of the new movie.   Reviews of the initial screening of the movie have been positive with IGN giving it a 8/10. Even better has been the talk of a Dredd being a trilogy (did I mention how excited I am?)

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In summary here are the films to look out up to the end of September, including the above:

August

Now: Expendables 2

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Coming up: Total Recall

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September

Week 1: The Watch

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Week 2: Resident Evil Retribution

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Week 3: The Bourne Legacy

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Week 4: Dredd 3D


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