Tag Archives: harry potter

Failed Critics Podcast: Unremarkable Gits and Where to Find Them

fantastic-beasts

The team have all got their wands out and they’re not afraid to DM unsolicited pictures of them show them in the latest triple bill episode of the Failed Critics podcast in honour of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Meddie Redbayne as Newt Scaramanger.

Hosts Steve Norman, Owen Hughes and Tony Black pick three movies each from the back catalogue of various stars from the big new release that’s reigniting the Harry Potter extended universe (ugh), with an accompanying review courtesy of Mr Black.

That’s not the only latest release on this week’s episode to receive a review, as Owen explains why his Twitter went nuts after he watched the Ken Loach drama, I, Daniel Blake. Meanwhile Steve rounds up what’s happened so far in The Walking Dead as we slowly lurch closer to the mid-season break.

There’s quizzing, a chat about video game adaptations with the news that another attempt at making a Mortal Kombat movie gets off the ground, and a futile rant about the lack of independent movies shown in Cineworld.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

fantastic-beasts-where-find-them-posters

“You endangered human life. With a beast.”

It’s a strange feeling to walk into a screening of a film based in a universe you are completely indifferent about, starring an imbecile you really don’t want to watch on a big screen again, completely expecting to hate every minute; only to walk out a couple of hours later desperately clawing for something negative to say because as much as you enjoyed it, you still really, really want to hate it.

So, that Fantastic Beasts nonsense, huh? It’s a bit long, innit?
That’s all I’ve got. Seriously.

Having just completed a worldwide expedition documenting any and all magical creatures he can find, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in 1926 New York with a suitcase filled with the beasts he’s been collecting. When one of his creatures escapes from the bag he’s carrying and causes a little carnage in a bank, it puts the young wizard in the path of regular, non-wizard, New York citizen Jacob (Dan Fogler) and into a situation where the pair accidentally switch cases. After more of Newt’s creatures get loose and start causing havoc, he convinces disgraced magical investigator Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) to help him recover the case and its contents.

While in New York, Newt finds himself tangled up with the local investigative arm of the Magical Congress of the United States of America and a strange entity that is terrorising the city making it really tough for the wizard community to live in secrecy from the rest of the world (I will not say muggles, I will NOT say muggles). Being chased by Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) and trying to unpick the mess that New York is in at the same time needs Newt, Tina, Tina’s sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob to work together to beat the magical forces seemingly around every corner stacking the odds up against the group.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an interesting… beast. Essentially a prequel to the Harry Potter series and set in a different country, long time Potter director David Yates gets to have fun inside this world (let’s be honest, Harry Potter is the only time this guy does well. *Cough* Tarzan *cough*) and yet he gets to build a whole new world inside of it. Whole new, somewhat simplified, names for things we’ve all come to know in this universe are here for us to learn. But we learn with Newt, who, as a former Hogwarts student, knows all the stuff we know and has to unlearn everything as we do.

Muggles (God-fucking-dammit) are now No-Mag’s (yeah, seriously, no magics – told you it was simplified), the counsel now has a fun sounding acronym – MACUSA, said how it’s spelt, like a second-rate bond bad guy. And plenty more I won’t spoil here. But amazingly, as a person indifferent to Harry Potter and its legacy, I managed to keep up with everything, keep track of what was going on and understand almost everything said on screen – something tells me that’s the point of this nice new/old setting. Those like me can still enjoy and get invested in a world so many others have lived in for a long, long time.

But the stars of the show are, as the title suggests, the Fantastic Beasts. Inside Newt’s bag – a bag that puts Mary Poppins’ bag to shame – live some of the greatest monsters ever put to film. From the tiny stick insect lookalikes to the enormous rhino-a-like that spends a bit of time totalling New York City Zoo and forcing Newt to do one of the stranger things you’ll see in this film as he does an insane mating ritual to try and entice this thing that looks like a dinosaur back into his case. Winged beasties, invisible troublemakers and a collection of dragons makes Newt’s case a modern day Noah’s ark. Just with animals on board that could set it on fire!

But man, the effects team have done an outstanding job on the creatures. You could literally go to the cinema just to see the Beasts on the big screen and not bother with the rest of the film and still come out satisfied.

Like I said back at the start, the film could definitely do with trimming maybe half an hour from its run time. The film felt very, very long and by the time I got to the end, as fun as it was, my arse had had just about enough of the torturous run time and was begging me to get up and go for a walk. More than a few scenes could’ve done with a couple of minutes shaving from them to tighten up what is otherwise a decent film.

The direction is everything I’d expect from a Harry Potter veteran and even the performances were universally good to very good – even from Redmayne, a man I only recently spent time on the podcast slating for his lack of ability to do anything but look like an effeminate piece of cardboard. I mean, he’s still the big screen equivalent of a lumpy fart, but I didn’t utterly hate him this time around. Overall, though, everyone did their part and made it an entertaining couple of hours.

Now the universe has been built and the series bad guy has been introduced, I expect a much better, much tighter sequel in a couple of years. But until then, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a surprisingly fun outing and a refreshing take on a rather stale world.

Failed Critics Podcast: Unfriending the Monsters

infernalWelcome to another episode of the Failed Critics Podcast! Our special guests this week are Mike Shawcross and Andrew Brooker (that we know of, there could also have been a spooky spectre lurking on our Skype call) who join our regular hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes.

We review two new releases, the cyber-slasher Unfriended and the “infuriating” Monsters: Dark Continent alongside our usual quiz, news and ‘what we’ve been watching’ sections. The latter of which sees Steve finally complete the Harry Potter franchise, dropping the mic at the suggestion of a proposed remake; Mike reminds us all how good Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is; in full old man moaning mode, Owen apologises for disliking Bryan Coyne’s Infernal; and Brooker gets disappointed with Gareth Edwards’ Monsters.

Much like the past few weeks, our news section is dominated by Marvel and particularly Age of Ultron, which has run away with the recent US box office records and smashed them to bits. However, DC manage to squeeze in on the action with the emergence of the first images from their new project, Suicide Squad.

Join us again next week for a top secret triple bill and new release review of Spooks: The Greater Good.

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Failed Critics Podcast: Furious 7, John Wick and Occasionally Jokes

john wicikWelcome to this week’s Failed Critics podcast! Back down to our normal run time of just over an hour you’ll be glad to hear after our mammoth 150th episode podcast last week.

Regulars Steve Norman and Owen Hughes are joined by Callum Petch and making his debut on one of our proper podcasts, the equivalent of us bringing in Jason Statham to our franchise I’m sure you’ll all agree, is Jackson Tyler.

On that topic, the team review new releases including the box office juggernaut Fast & Furious 7 (or Furious 7, or whatever you want to call it), revenge thriller John Wick, teen comedy The DUFF and the latest from Noah Baumbach, While We’re Young.

There’s also time to discuss the latest news which is, erm, well, there wasn’t really any. We also take a look back at the classic Jim Henson fantasy movie The Dark Crystal; Callum shares his LCD Soundsystem love with documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits; Jackson revisits the Tenacious D movie The Pick of Destiny; whilst Steve continues with his foray through the Harry Potter series.

Join us next week as we finally get around to inducting Jean-Claude Van Damme into our illustrious Corridor of Praise!

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Failed Critics Podcast: Little Villainous Three

kingsmanFollow us down the secret service elevator to this week’s Failed Critics Podcast. Fist-bumping his way onto this episode is our very own Callum Petch.

The main release reviews this week see the team chat about Matthew Vaughn’s new action-comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service starring Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong and Taron Egerton; as well as the latest in Disney’s recent animation resurgence, Big Hero 6.

From Steve’s second excursion through the Harry Potter franchise and Callum’s complete bafflement at Luxembourgian comedy The Notorious Guys, to Owen’s elongated gushing over German high-brow arty-farty Werner Herzog film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, there’s plenty to mull over in this week’s edition.

The team also managed to fit in conversations about the Sundance Film Festival and Annie Award winners, even with Steve’s threat to up the ante in the quiz after finally forcing himself to watch I, Frankenstein looming over proceedings. Uh oh!

Join us again next week as we’ll be reviewing The Interview, Jupiter Ascending and picking through the weekend’s BAFTA winners.

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Paddington

Although it’s lightweight and its effects are awful, Paddington gets by on charm, sweetness, some decent laughs, and a strong personality.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

paddington 2Paddington never looks quite right.  There are a few angles and distances where he looks appealing enough, although never quite as cute as the film would like for him to be seen as, but from pretty much everywhere else he looks… off.  His face creeps rather than enchants, his top half seems slightly more animated than his bottom half, his eyes frequently give off this unnerving thousand-yard stare, and any movement that requires some semblance of haste is covered up with several dozen slabs of motion blur to hide the jerkiness and general low-quality nature of his CG.

Paddington, relatedly, never looks quite right.  I’m not referring to the live-action stuff; that looks great – there’s a dynamism to proceedings and a real sense of visual splendour, a desire to impress and engage the eyes with surreal sets that still recognisably exist in our world.  I’m referring to the CG.  The copious amount of CG and, good lord, does it ever look awful.  Whether it be Paddington himself, or the jungles of Peru, or a flock of seagulls that terrorise any unsuspecting prey that holds sandwiches, or any flames whatsoever, none of the film’s vast amounts of CGI ever manages to convince.  This isn’t like in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah where the CG creatures are not supposed to fully convince, these are just incredibly low-quality CG effects and they almost serve to destroy the whole film.

Their incredibly low-quality ends up catching the eye, demanding its attention and focus, and sticking in the brain for far longer than they’ve been on screen for.  They threaten to overtake the whole film, to direct attention away from the film they’re attached to and to simply be too ugly for events on screen.  Fortunately, miraculously even, they don’t end up sinking the film, despite being a large part of it.  Paddington instead manages to get by on sheer bloody charm.  It’s low-key, knows this, and therefore plays to those strengths.  This is a family film in the truest sense of the word, of the kind that they simply just don’t make anymore.

Our plot, then, follows Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw), a rare species of bear that resides in Darkest Peru and acts very human-like.  Years before, his kind had been discovered by an Explorer and Paddington’s Aunt and Uncle have nursed a desire to visit The Explorer in London ever since.  When an earthquake takes Paddington’s home and claims the life of his uncle, his Aunt sends him to live in London.  There he is taken in by the Brown family: consisting of the uptight safety-freak Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville), the charitable but out-of-touch Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins), the permanently-mortally-embarrassed daughter Judy Brown (Madeline Harris), and the daredevil and resourceful son Simon Brown (Samuel Joslin).  Paddington, however, is also now being hunted by an evil taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) who wishes to add him to the Natural History Museum.

The film goes pretty much as you’d expect from there.  Paddington has a hard time fitting into London life, the Browns slowly warm up to him and grow closer as a family as a result, the taxidermist is comically psychopathic and single-minded in her pursuit of Paddington…  It’s all very obvious, but in an earnest and likeable way.  The film is rarely mean-spirited – I mean, there’s the apparently-now-obligatory prison rape joke, but that’s about it – and has a lot of love for all of its cast.  Everything is light, everything is low-stakes, the villain’s punishment is really rather tame, the film’s one big chase scene only lasts about 5 or 6 streets, the pacing is calm and measured.

It reminds me very much of films like The Borrowers, or MouseHunt, or early Harry Potter – not coincidentally, Harry Potter producer David Heyman is a producer on this – that kind of gentile mid-90s/early-00s family film.  That same earnestness, that same joy, that same way of distorting our reality through extravagant and colourful sets that don’t always call attention to themselves.  Hiring Paul King, of The Mighty Boosh fame, to write and direct ends up being a clever choice.  He knows how to frame shots, how to make places like The Brown’s home feel recognisable and relatively attainable without losing a sense of wonder.  The Geographer’s Association headquarters, in particular, feels a hell of a lot like Gringotts in terms of scale, filming style and overall feel.

There’s a lot of charm, here.  A lot of charm and a full-on genuine personality bursting out from every corner of the frame.  Everything is silly, everything is fun, everything is clearly loving, everything is slightly different to what else is on the market right now.  There’s no real big action setpiece, a lack of pop culture references – aside from one blatant and wholly unnecessary call-out to the bit in Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol where Tom Cruise climbs the Burj Khalifa – and there’s a real care in the visual presentation of the film.  Shot compositions and camerawork are very deliberate, very staged to heighten the unreality of the events in our very real world.  There’s also a very nice recurring dollhouse visual with the family members that I want to call attention to but can’t find any way to smoothly integrate into this paragraph.

The film does occasionally tease touching on or tackling important and weighty themes – immigration, environmentalism, our broken economic system that forces those of us without access to fall-back resources to have to live on the street in a constant state of judgement with no help – but Paddington backs away from these subjects just as soon as they’re brought up; their appearance coming built into the source material and story rather than from, any conscious effort.  Instead, the film concerns itself with messages of acceptance, tolerance, and loving one’s family – y’know, obvious stuff that every other family film ever has used as their thematic backbone.  Again, though, it works because the film is so damn earnest and charming.  It knows what it wants to be and it’s proud of that fact.

That, ultimately, is why Paddington gets a pass from me: charm and personality.  Its laughs are minor but relatively constant, its heart is proudly displayed on its sleeve, and it is very good at being the nice lightweight trifle of a film that it aims to be.  If it had a few more big laughs and if its CG effects weren’t so utterly abysmal – inexcusable for a film that cost between $50 million and $55 million – then I’d be offering a full-blown praising, similar as I did to The Love Punch back in April.  As it stands though, and especially considering how much I expected it to suck prior to the film rolling in front of my eyeballs, Paddington is a charming delight that’s worth a look.

Callum Petch is ready to show himself to you.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 has only one major flaw, and it’s right there in the title.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

mocking jay 3Do you think that The Wachowskis and Quentin Tarantino ever regret splitting up The Matrix 2 and Kill Bill respectively?  I mean, considering what it hath wrought on today’s blockbuster landscape where nothing ends anymore and everything is always building towards a thing that’s being held off until the next film.  Were their various artistic decisions, driven by their split films being stylistically and distinctly different from one another – Kill Bill Vol. 1 being an action packed Asian-influenced martial arts flick and Vol. 2 being a slow-moving character-driven Spaghetti Western, whilst The Matrix Reloaded was the openly philosophical and purposefully cock-teasing one and The Matrix Revolutions was the sh*t one – now solely reduced to green money-shaped lights in hungry movie executives’ eyes?

In this recent wave of films that abuse an audience’s patience in order to swindle them out of more of their hard-earned cash, only Harry Potter has truly gotten it right.  The Deathly Hallows films, overlong as they may be (which is a criticism you can apply to pretty much any Harry Potter film really), had two distinct parts.  Part 1 was the slow-moving character piece, where the growing distance between the core trio was finally addressed head-on and done in such a way that it essentially completed the majority of their character arcs in time for the final film; ending on a solemn, downbeat note that re-enforces stakes and provides a vital character beat to send viewers home with.  Part 2 is the glorious, excessive blow-out party celebrating the franchise’s existence that, quite honestly, it deserved and would have felt weird if it went out any other way.  There’s a clear distinction.

Most films nowadays that do The Split, however, don’t craft two distinct parts.  They don’t use this creative opportunity to tell a story that was simply too in-depth for a standard 2 hour 30 minute runtime, or to create two parts that stylistically and creatively do different things from one another.  They just occur to make some cold hard cash, and the films suffer majorly from the bloat and lack of any real satisfying closure at the end of Part 1.  Twilight did it.  The Hobbit did it.  Divergent is doing it – which amazes me as there was barely enough material in the first frickin’ film.  The Maze Runner is going to do it and you are deluding yourself if you believe otherwise.  And, now, The Hunger Games has done it.

Quite honestly, the Part 1 segment of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 title is the best and worst thing about the film.  See, I have been of the opinion that prior Hunger Games movies are always two-thirds of an outstanding movie, and one-third of a really good but relatively uninteresting movie.  That one-third, surprisingly, has always been the Games part.  They’re not bad, they’re just incredibly perfunctory and uninteresting compared to the non-Games stuff: the propaganda, the class warfare, the media satirising, the emotional state of Katniss who is one of the most dynamic and interesting lead characters I have seen in a franchise in a long while, oppressive governments… all that stuff, and The Games just got in the way of that.

Mockingjay, Part 1 dispenses with them entirely.  Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) breaking of the 75th Hunger Games ended up being the spark that lit the powder-keg and now a full-on revolution has broken out in Panem.  The despotic head of The Capital, President Snow (Donald Sutherland), has razed her home, District 12, to the ground, its streets lined with the rotting skeletons of those caught in its bomb blasts, whilst Katniss herself has been “rescued” by District 13, long thought to have disappeared.  Its leader, President Coin (Julianne Moore) with the help of Plutarch Heavensbee (the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman), wants to mould Katniss into a symbol of hope for the revelation, to rally all of the Districts around for a full-scale invasion of The Capital, but Katniss wants absolutely nothing to do with it – only wishing to be reunited with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who has been captured by The Capital to act as the figurehead for their side of the war.

And that is pretty much Mockingjay, Part 1; two hours of moving characters into place for Part 2 where everything will likely pay off with lots of explosions.  That sounds bad on paper, but in actuality this breathing room allows the film to really dig deep into the stuff I mentioned that I loved earlier.  The main thrust of the film comes from Katniss slowly but surely, and even a tinge regretfully, coming into and accepting the role of the symbol of the revolution, but it’s not something she immediately hops on board with – she spends a good stretch of the film just begging to be let out and for them to rescue Peeta so that she and him can just sequester themselves away from the mess she inadvertently caused.

It’s a completely understandable viewpoint, too.  Katniss is basically broken by this point – having been thrown into the Games twice, shoved into the public spotlight and being constantly reminded of the horrors she has unwittingly caused at every turn.  It makes sense that she latches onto Peeta and a desire to run away and just be happy; the poor girl deserves it.  But she can’t, she could never, and the film goes to great lengths to show that her eventual embracing of her position is just as much, if not more so, down to her strength of character when the chips are down as it is the propaganda folk carefully manoeuvring her into position behind-the-scenes.  This means that she flip-flops constantly, but it comes across in a believable way instead of mere padding.

Credit can go to Danny Strong and Peter Craig’s screenplay for this, but the plaudits should mostly be thrown the way of Jennifer Lawrence.  The series is pretty much The Jennifer Lawrence Show anyway, due to the narrative’s hyper-specific focus on Katniss, but such an observation is more of a compliment when you consider just how good she is.  Much of Katniss’ PTSD and completely frazzled emotional state is left as subtext – or possibly been cut for time, I haven’t read the books so I don’t know – but Lawrence hones in on it and just runs with it.  She keeps finding new spins on Katniss’ icy demeanour, her emotional distress, the heartbreak that Katniss suffers whenever The Capital drags up Peeta to, essentially, taunt her that the film never feels like it’s going round in circles.  And when she gets big showy material – like a rousing speech for District 8 that reads as utterly ridiculous on paper – she knocks it out of the park and elevates it significantly.

Mind you, the film is almost stolen out from under her by, who else, Philip Seymour Hoffman who essentially gets to defiantly answer those of us who went “Well, why would you cast the incredible Philip Seymour Hoffman in a role that looks that minor and inconsequential?” in Catching Fire with a firm and defiant “THAT’S why!”  As is the usual case for a lot of his best roles, Hoffman plays Heavensbee very understatedly, as the guy who prefers to blend into the background and say the right things at the right time, rather than openly standing forward and controlling the scene – which is what ends up happening to Hoffman, too.  He commands one’s attention purely by saying the right things at the right time and knowing when to cede the spotlight back to everyone else.  As final performances go, it’s obviously not up there with his turn in A Most Wanted Man from earlier this year – because it’s not trying to be – but it’s the kind of performance that reminds me of just how much talent this guy had and how much of a shame it is that we lost him so soon.

It probably also helps that the propaganda stuff that Plutarch is helping mastermind is the best part of the film by a good country mile.  Action is minimised significantly in Mockingjay, Part 1 which ends up emphasising how important aesthetics and propaganda are to a successful military effort, and the battle of the propaganda between District 13 and The Capital, each represented by one half of the series’ end-game couple for extra dramatic weight, ends up as the thematic thrust of the film.  The scenes of Haymitch, Effie, Plutarch, and Coin brainstorming ways in which to present Katniss as a fitting hero for the revolution – noting her hard-to-like uncut self as deadly in the game of propaganda – carries a lot of parallels towards the modern celebrity PR machine that are especially fitting considering the actress playing Katniss.  Whilst Peeta’s scenes at The Capital, primarily being interviewed in a very leading fashion by Caesar Flickerman, recall similar style interviews on talk shows and such.

It’s that depth – seriously, the film really goes hard for this concept, I’m not doing it justice – thematically that has always made The Hunger Games stand out from the pack and a full film based on that really is as good as it sounds.  Yes, I wish that I got to see more of the actual revolution ongoing in order to better contextualise District 13’s struggle, but that only reinforces how little the actual fighting matters in the game of war and would also take away from Katniss’ story.  Yes, I wish that characters like Effie got a more expanded screen-time to better integrate themselves into the story, but that’s the sort of thing that Part 2 could pay off.  I even found the film to be incredibly well-paced, the two hours just breezing by!

Then, at two hours, Mockingjay, Part 1 stops.mocking jay 5

It just stops.  It smash cuts to credits, shouts “Right, that’s your lot!  Get out!” and then forcibly removes you from the theatre.  There is a cliffhanger, but it’s not a great one.  To put it another way: Catching Fire’s cliffhanger felt like an exclamation point.  The adventures of Katniss Everdeen clearly weren’t done, but the story there clearly was – coming to a halt by following through on President Snow’s promise to destroy her life if she continued to rebel.  It makes sense as a stopping point.  Mockingjay, Part 1’s cliffhanger is like if the author telling you the story had been shot halfway through and you had to wait a year for them to come out of their coma.  Oh, and you need to pay another £10 for the privilege of hearing them finish the story because they conveniently forgot that you already paid them once before.

There’s no closure, no sense that this is where we get off, no satisfaction.  Just blue balls and a whole lot of withholding.  I don’t feel like I’ve seen a full movie, I feel like I’ve seen two-thirds of a movie and somebody’s misplaced the final reel.  It’s especially troubling and irritating because the film that Part 1 is setting Part 2 up to be – a big action blow-out where stuff goes bang – is not the film that I want to see.  It’s the film that I could not be less interested in seeing.  This, quite simply, should have been one three-hour movie.  Cut a few scenes from Part 1, scale down what would be Part 2 into that third hour, and you would have a film that more than likely would have been excellent and a fantastic send-off for the franchise.

Instead, Lionsgate have near-fatally kneecapped The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 to be able to double their goes at the money pump.  I love the film that I have – I really, really do; I think it’s outstanding – but I haven’t got a full film.  I’ve gotten two-thirds of a full film, and that fact is why my dissatisfaction and personal lack of closure is only festering and growing with time.  If Mockingjay, Part 2 does, in fact, have so much quality material and stuff to fill both of the hours that it is going to take up, and pays off everything in this film spectacularly and moves me to tears, then I will take back all of these negative thoughts and worship at the series’ altar.  However, I have the feeling that even a transcendental Part 2 will not make up for a film that’s not finished and a conclusion that

Callum Petch is not in the swing of things yet.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

Failed Critics Podcast: Hobbity tosh, Pottery hogwash & Intersellar oh-my-gosh

interstellarWelcome to this week’s super-professional well-researched spick-and-span highly-polished episode of the Failed Critics podcast!

The main release review this week is Christopher Nolan’s $165m space-time-travelling science fiction thriller Interstellar. A film so long, we extended our podcast an extra 15 minutes with the return of our Spoiler Alert section alongside our regular spoiler-free review.

Despite that, there was even time for Owen to take in the first two (well, one and a half) Lord of the Rings films this week; for Steve to reveal exactly why he’s watching through all seven Harry Potter movies; and for Carole to have a meta-meta experience with 90’s slasher sequel Scream 2.

Jon us again next week as we review the acclaimed wartime drama The Imitation Game.

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The Week In Film – 9 October 2014: Who Do They Think They’re Kidding?

Tell us, Steve. What’s happened in the world of film news in the past week..?

by Steve Norman (@StevePN86)

dads army 2DON’T PANIC

Sitcom Dad’s Army is being given a big screen makeover nearly 40 years after the T.V. show stopped being made.

Rumours of a film adaptation have been around for some time but this week a cast has been announced, some four decades after Captain Mainwaring uttered the fantastic line ‘don’t tell them your name, Pike’.

Toby Jones will play Mainwaring, the man in charge of Walmington On Sea’s Home Guard unit during World War 2. Billy Nighy takes on the role of Sergeant Arthur Wilson and the Inbetweeners Blake Harrison steps into Ian Lavender’s shoes as Private Pike while Michael Gambon, Danny Mays and Catherine Zeta-Jones are all set to feature.

The cast is pretty impressive and encouraging but the writer is the man behind Johnny English: Reborn and Mr Bean’s Holiday. So there is cause for both concern and positivity around this venture.

Anyway since the announcement the theme tune has been stuck in my head and I like most of you have it committed to memory.

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler…

Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Befuddle

J.K Rowling was in cryptic form this week tweeting the following anagram

Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.

Some believed this to mean a return to either the silver screen or to book/e-book for Harry Potter but apparently not. However, the Potter universe, or the Potterverse as it will be hereby be known, is to be expanded with a movie based on a minor character from the books/films, Newt Scamander.

I Do It On The Night

Hugh Grant revealed live on television that he is a lazy so and so who does not prepare for roles.

He told some ITV morning programme (not Jeremey Kyle – now that would be an interesting lie detector) “I’ve barely ever done any research for a film. I just turn up and say the lines and hope they sound convincing.”

Sometimes it really does show Hugh.

Indecisive Man

Robert Downey Jr. signs on to Iron Man 4 according to reports, but then the man himself denies it on US T.V.

This leaves the Iron Man section of the Avengers/Marvel franchise up in the air. Will they leave it alone or will War Machine or someone else become Iron Man?

Downey Jr. did however reveal he would remain involved with Marvel suggesting that while he may no longer be up for standalone Iron Man outings he will stick around for future Avengers assembles.iron man 2

Comic Book News

With Comic Book movies and shows so popular and rife it may just be worth having a section of this weekly roundup dedicated to anything from the genre.

So briefly there may be an X-Men live action T.V series from Fox to partner the upcoming Deadpool; Dredd looks set for a seven episode mini-series although there is no news on Karl Urban’s involvement; and once again tentative whispers about Sony and Marvel working together to see Spider-Man appear in something produced by Marvel.

Join us again next week, where we will return to give you another round up of the latest in film news.