Saturday, 29 December 2012

Ross Bishop's Top Ten Films of 2012

It's been a momentous year in cinema, one that I doubt we will see repeat itself ever again. In 2012 we had five of the biggest movie franchises releasing new films. We had new James Bond (for the 50th anniversary no less), Batman (the concluding part in the Dark Knight Trilogy), a rebooted Spider-Man, returned to Middle-Earth with The Hobbit and the ultimate assemble piece with The Avengers.

So 2012 was always going to be a big year, but where did these films fit into my Top Ten Movies of the year...

Please bare in mind, this is a hobby so I haven't had the opportunity to see every single film that has been released in 2012, I also haven't had the chance to see a couple of films that were released towards the end of the year yet (The Life of Pi and Jack Reacher) which may also need to be included. If so, I'll update this post once I've seen them.

10. The Amazing Spider-Man (8.5/10)
This definitely isn't the best superhero film ever made, but I'm a huge fan of Spider-man and I think the reboot did an admirable job of bringing the character back to the big screen. I also think Andrew Garfield is the best Peter Parker so far which contributes a lot to the overall success of the movie.

9. Seven Psychopaths (8.5/10)
I was a huge fan of In Bruges and although this is a very different film, I still think its great fun with great characters, clever dialogue and an interesting premise.

8. The Hobbit (9/10)
Although I don't think it's technically better than any of the original Lord of the Rings films, the first of the prequels to return to Middle-Earth is still truly epic and great fantasy tale. The fact I can't wait for Part 2 shows how well this sets The Hobbit trilogy up.

7. The Dark Knight Rises (9/10)
I'll be honest if someone told me The Dark Knight Rises wasn't going to be in my top 5 at the start of 2012 I wouldn't have believed them. But here we are, it's an epic end to the trilogy overall and a solid film, but there's no denying the film has problems that prevent it from being truly great. This is the first film I've seen from director Christopher Nolan that relies too much on coincidence and convenience, which frustrate me because so much of the movie is excellent. Despite my gripes (mainly due to my own high expectations) this still fits comfortably into my top ten.

6. The Flowers of War (9.5/10)
A truly shocking story based on true events during World War II. I wasn't expecting this film to have quite the impact it did, but I was engaged from start to finish and truly love this masterful film.

5. End of Watch (9.5/10)
Exceptional acting. Perfect filming. Great characters. One hell of a buddy cop movie. Easily one of the best films I've seen this year. I was on the edge of my sit for the whole film and couldn't stop talking about it for days after. Go. See. This. Film.

4. The Raid (9.5/10)
Some of the best action and fight choreography in a film ever made. A high concept that delivers and hits hard from the get go. If you like action films, you owe it to yourself to watch this.

3. Looper (9.5/10)
One of the most clever and thoughtful films of the year (if not the decade). It ties up all the plot threads but leave enough up to the viewers interpretation that you can get lost talking about it for months if not years. A very special film.

2. Skyfall (9.5/10)
James Bond's 50th anniversary was celebrated with the best film in the series (and by the looks of it the most successful). It mixes up the typical James Bond structure, tells a smaller and much more personal story but in doing so successfully delivers 007's most impactful adventure.

1. The Avengers (10/10)
Whether or not this would be the best film of the year for anyone who hasn't seen all the previous films leading up to it is debatable, but for me this was the most fun I'd had at the cinema with a movie all year. I laughed, I cheered, I was amazed, I was surprised, I was excited and couldn't imagine a better way of bringing these huge characters to the screen in this amazing assemble movie.

Bring on 2013, you have a very tough act to follow...

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey My Thoughts

Peter Jackson's first part in The Hobbit trilogy is finally here, my thoughts follow...

First, I haven't read The Hobbit, so I wasn't looking at the film picking out what had been added or what had been missed I just enjoyed the story unfold on the screen. However, I was concerned when they said they were expanding the book into three films if there wasn't enough content to support it, the films would just be full of filler. The first half hour did feel like this may be the case, as a returning cast member seemed to serve no purpose rather than stop us getting to this films story. However, once we leave the Shire the film really picks up.

I really enjoyed An Unexpected Journey and returning to Middle-Earth. Due to the simple nature of the story this allows the film to be more focused and stay with the main protagonists for the majority of the films running time.

The action sequence are all incredibly well crafted and exhilarating to watch. The CGI is a step above where it was 10 years ago and this adds to the experience. Gollum also returns for one of the films (and maybe the franchises) most memorable scenes!

There's been some negative reviews saying the stakes aren't as high compared to LOTR, which is true but I don't really think you need the world to be ending to create an interesting and engaging story. Once these films are complete and you can watch the six films in order, I think the fact that these films are smaller in scale will serve the overall story much better in the long-term.

My favourite film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was Fellowship of the Ring, which actually works out quite well because The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's structure is pretty much exactly the same. We start in the Shire, the adventure begins after some debating in the Baggins household, after a little travelling the party reach Rivendale to set out on their quest proper and the journey continues with various action sequences and creatures attacking them, before leaving the audience waiting a year for the next instalment.

However, it felt strange having to wait until next year for the next part as because LOTR already exists, you know where the story eventually ends up, but hey that's the inevitable problem with prequels.

Now what about the 48FPS? Well, I've seen The Hobbit in both 2D and the 3D HFR now and although I'm glad I saw it in 24FPS first I really enjoyed the new format. Let me explain, watching the movie for the first time in the usual format meant I could enjoy the film for its story and characters. Then the second time I could marvel at the new visual technology. I'm not going to lie, for about the first 10 minutes or so I was distracted, motion seemed too fast and humans moved uncharacteristically quick, it felt like the film was running at 1.5 times speed. However, after I got use to this you can really appreciate the clarity and smoothness of everything. The 3D looked much better and some shots felt like you were watching the film right in front of you rather than on a screen. Seriously some of the shots in Bagend, were as if they were directly there in the cinema, it was amazing.

This is definitely the future of cinema, to anyone wondering what it's like I'd say its very much like watching 3D on a high end LED TV (but on a screen 100ft wide).

One criticism I've read is that HFR makes CGI stand out more when it's on top of real environments, and although there's one sequence where this is true the sequence looked fake in 2D 24FPS as well. For the most part, I'd actually say all the other CGI actually looked better in 48FPS.

Although, I wouldn't say The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is quite as good as any films in the previous trilogy I'd still say it was a stellar film and Peter Jackson is still the master of the fantasy epic. I can't wait for The Desolation of Smaulg!

9/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

New Man of Steel Movie Trailer

I was not expecting this to be released today! But my god does it look awesome! The second Man Of Steel movie trailer has been released...



My hair stood on end as he prepared to take off...

What do think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Friday, 7 December 2012

Epic Poster for Tom Cruise's New Film Oblivion

I can't wait for the trailer for this, it was completely off my radar but this looks epic in scope and scale.


Hope the trailer delivers when it's released on Sunday.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Monday, 3 December 2012

Star Trek Into Darkness Has An Awesome New Poster

The title says it all..


In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Man With The Golden Gun - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

As I was watching The Man With The Golden Gun I realised I’ve never actually seen the whole film (or I couldn’t remember a lot of the first hour). I’ve definitely watched it from the boat/car chase onwards, but a lot of the earlier scenes felt new to me.

However, I really enjoyed the film and I’d put in on par with Live And Let Die, although this felt more like a traditional Bond film with more tropical location. Phuket was looks just beautiful and I’d love to go on holiday there. However some of karate / dojo scenes feel a bit forced in to the narrative but apart from that

I enjoyed Roger Moore’s performance again thoroughly. Before I started reviewing the Bond 50 Blu-Ray boxset I mentioned I wasn’t a huge Roger Moore fan compared to the other Bond’s but I think I’d have to go back on myself as he works well in the films and appears to do most of his own stunts and fight scenes.

Again as with Live and Let Die, the blu-ray contains a picture that is almost completely full screen which looks incredible. It's really great watching a film that’s almost 40 years only in crystal clear clarity.

I watched the Bond documentary Everything or Nothing last month and in that I’m sure they said The Man With The Golden Gun wasn’t well received, but I can’t see why it feels like a very traditional Bond film and I really enjoyed it.

8/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Live And Let Die - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

Roger Moore takes over the 007 mantle.

I've never considered myself a huge Roger Moore fan, however Live And Let Die has always been one of my favourite Moore films. Re-watching the movie now, it still stands up. The story is relatively well structured and makes sense, rather than feeling like a globe trotting adventure.

There are some great action scenes, with the stand out being by far the speed boat chase across the New Orleans lagoons, the stunt work is absolutely incredible.

In terms of Moore's performance, I actually quite enjoyed it. Sean Connery can sometimes comes across as arrogant, but Moore is much more charming and charismatic. The Bond girl Solitaire (played by Jane Seymour) is also one of my favourites, especially looks wise.

I was pleasantly pleased with the blu-ray transfer. The picture returns to almost full screen (the same aspect ratio used for the first three films) on a HDTV and the quality itself is pretty good throughout (with the exception of a bit of stock footage).

Roger Moore's venture into the Bond world starts off strong.

8/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Epic Movie Trailer Is Beautiful

Beautiful.



In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Diamonds Are Forever - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

I seem to remember having very fond memories of Diamonds Are Forever, but after re-watching it I'm not really sure why. It is definitely the weakest of the 007 films I've watched from the Bond 50 Blu-Ray yet.

Whereas You Only Live Twice went big and over-the-top and On Her Majesty's Secret Service grounded the series with some awesome action sequences. Diamonds makes things smaller, remove's most of the action as well as anything interesting. There's not really any gadgets and the most memorable set-piece is the car on two wheels in Las Vegas.

Diamonds doesn't really have any flaws per-se but the film prior to it (OHMSS) was so well structured and paced, it's hard to really get excited or be impressed with this film.

Yes, they got Sean Connery back, but he came back for a pretty poor film so it's a bit pointless. He also doesn't seem as interested playing the role and therefore becomes less charming, he does a few funny one-liners though.

The HD picture is pretty crisp and consistent, however I would say it's not quite as sharp as the previous films in the series.

The film isn't terrible and it's an easy watch, but nothing overly memorable or exciting happens in it. The theme song is a classic and if it wasn't for that, this would probably be one of the more forgettable Bond films.

7/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Friday, 16 November 2012

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

Why had I only watched this film once properly before?!

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is an awesome Bond film. I’m angry with myself for not watching this more recently as it’s easily stands among one of the best in the series.

The story is extremely well structured, with each scene progressing the plot which builds to a third act filled with action. After the over the top antics of You Only Live Twice its refreshing for the film to be more grounded and the plot really benefits from this.

OHMSS is also one of the first early Bond films that stands up extremely well even by today's standards. The more realistic approach means there are literally no special effects, so nothing looks dated. The cinematography over mountain landscapes and sunsets still looks incredible.

George Lazenby has always got quite a bit of flack for being the worst Bond and I think it’s 50/50. In the straight scenes and the fights he is really good and works well, however the sequences that involve charm or witty one liners fall a bit flat which is a shame. However I can't imagine Sean Connery or Roger Moore in the role for this particular storyline. Especially with the tragic ending...

The picture quality of this particular HD transfer is exceedingly good, I barely noticed any problems. This also helps with giving the film an ageless quality, it's almost like a period film shot today.

OHMSS is now one of my favourite Bond films.

9.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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You Only Live Twice - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

I mentioned in my Thunderball review that it’s becomes very apparent that the budget/scope of the earlier Bond films are increasing with each consecutive film. You Only Live Twice takes this to another level, with a story focused around the space race, lots of beautiful large scale landscape shot, aerial gun fights and a huge hollowed-out Volcano for the villains lair which features a large scale ninja fight!

Unfortunately, this actually works to the films detriment when viewing it today. The special effects used for the space sequences especially have not aged well and it’s hard to review objectively as it contains a lot of elements that have since been spoofed in recent decades as “Bond cliché”.

But even taking the era into consideration, I found the first half of the film hard to get into from a story perspective. A lot of things happened that don’t seem to serve any purpose other than to show off the fact that this was filmed in Japan, and although this all looks great for an aspirational “holiday advert” it doesn’t make a great narrative.

This sounds a bit harsh, as overall I did enjoy the film and it’s story concept of setting up Russia and the USA against each other would have been a relatively new concept in 1967. The hollowed-out volcano is still a masterpiece of engineering, the battle inside it is great and it’s fun to watch.

The HD picture quality is pretty solid on blu-ray, with only a few noticeable shots where the resolution drops. I’ve read a few reviews which say this transfer isn’t that good but I didn’t notice anything particularly bad, and it’s a noticeable improvement on Thunderball.

You Only Live Twice is definitely the weakest of the first 5 Sean Connery film’s but it’s a fun and easy watch.

8/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Monday, 12 November 2012

Original Prometheus Script Alien: Engineers Screenplay

I was personally extremely disappointed with Prometheus. The story felt empty, unfinished and all over the place. The decisions made didn't make sense from a story (or character) perspective and felt like it wasn't sure whether it wanted to be an Alien prequel or not.

I'm told the original script, titled Alien: Engineers is much better and should have been the film they made. It's now online and I plan to find out if that is the case.

You can read it here.


Let me know what you think.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Django Unchained Official Cinema Poster

I'm pretty excited for Django Unchained and this new movie poster is keeping that excitement high. Black and white with a hint of red isn't exactly new when it comes to poster, but I think it works well here...


What do you think?

You can see for hi-res version at Yahoo Movies.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Thunderball - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-Ray

My Bond 50 Blu-Ray review continues...

In 007's fourth adventure, the Bond formula has been truly cemented following Goldfinger ironing it out. The girls, the guns, the gadgets and exotic locations are all here.

The story follows James Bond to the Caribbean where he's on the search for two missing nuclear missiles, whilst SPECTRE holds the UK and USA to ransom. This is the first world domination type story in the franchise (a plot point the series will find very familiar).

Watching the films in order it's really easy to see as the budgets are increased and they become more action packed. The underwater sequences are particularly impressive, especially the big fight under the sea at the films climax.

Thunderball was one of my favourite Bond films, having rewatched it again I'd say it's probably not quite as good as Goldfinger or From Russia With Love, but is on par with Dr No. The story just doesn't seem to gel as well as the previous two movies, and the fact that the villain Largo knows Bond is a secret agent but doesn't do anything about it is a bit odd.

However, Thunderball is still a very enjoyable film and holds up well.

From a picture format perspective I was initially disappointed with the Thunderball blu-ray as it is in the standard letterbox format. The first three Bond films were all full screen on my TV (due to their original filmed aspect ratio) and that makes a huge difference. Despite this the actual film picture quality is generally of a high standard, however there are quite a few shots which are of a noticeably lower resolution. There was a similar problem in Goldfinger (but it’s more apparent here) and is worst with all the transition swipes from scene to scene. I’m not sure why this is, it feels like most of the film has been re-mastered but they never quite finished it. I’m hoping this trend doesn’t continue as I progress through the box set…

"I think he got the point."

8.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Jurassic Park 3D Movie Poster

Next year sees the 20th Anniversary of Jurassic Park (was it really that long ago?!) and to celebrate the film is being re-released in 3D.

The movie marketing has begun with the release of this new poster, and to be honest I love it! Think it's classy and with those gates just slightly open, it hints at the great things to come...


What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Goldfinger - Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-ray

So my review of the Bond 50 blu-ray boxset continues with a true classic... Goldfinger.

Originally released in 1964, this is the third Bond film starring Sean Connery. It is also the first Bond that really encompassed all the elements that make up the (now well known) Bond cocktail – the girls, the guns, the gadgets, a villain with a unique side-kick, the elaborate traps, etc. For many this is the pinnacle of Bond films (though probably now closely followed by Skyfall).

First Sean Connery as Bond, he really is the classic and the best. Watching his performance as 007 was really quite interesting and nostalgic as he carries a balance of arrogance and charisma around him that none of the new Bond truly match (Daniel Craig comes close but brings more emotional weight to the role).

It really is quite remarkable that a film almost 50 years old stands up as well as this does, with the exception of the few ‘spoof reminding’ (thanks Austin Powers!) moments it is a joy to watch. I really had fun, the one-liners come off naturally and it really shows how much Bond has done for modern day action films.

The picture quality of the blu-ray also looks stunning. There's a few shots that don't appear to have been reworked (which is abit jarring when everything else is crystal clear) but on the whole this film looks incredible. Dr No and From Russia With Love were also of a similar standard (but without any poor shots) so are actually better overall.

One thing the blu-ray transfers do highlight though are any dodgey special effects or green screen shots. But considering the time period this can be forgiven.

Goldfinger remains one of the best Bond films and is still one of my favourites.

9.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-ray – Dr No and From Russia With Love

Yesterday I did a double-bill of Dr No and From Russia With Love to kick off my review of all the James Bond films in the Bond 50 bluray boxset.

What struck me was how similar both the films structures are (bare in mind these were pre-Goldfinger so the standard Bond template isn’t in place). These are very much films split in two parts. Both films first half have James Bond investigating for his mission and the second half on the run and escaping. For Dr No Bond finds himself led to Crab Quay Island where he spends much of the last hour. Likewise in From Russia With Love, Bond and Tatyana spend much of the second half on the train and then on the run.

Any way onto the reviews…

DR NO
Where it all started…

A strong start to the series, but as the Bond template hasn’t been set yet it plays out quite differently to the typical Bond film. Firstly the open credits start the film rather than after a prologue, and the overall tone of the film is more of a detective story than all out spy action. There’s no gadgets either.

Of course, the girls and glamorous locations are all here from the get go with the classic Honey Ryder emerging from the sea. The eccentric villain and his outlandish lair take centre stage towards the end.

My only criticism is the classic Bond theme is over played here, whereas in later films it became a pay-off tune, here the music plays quite regularly even just to set the scene. It’s not a mellow version either, it’s the full on fast guitar riff! In context I can see why this is the case (it also act’s a Dr No’s theme tune to a certain extent) as the tune wasn’t famous and it would get the audience going, but it’s a bit odd to have it playing so regularly and loud (even when Bond’s just walking into a room, etc). This is obviously minor but pulled me out of the film a bit.

8.5/10

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
A rarity for Bond films, From Russia With Love is a direct sequel, with characters referencing the previous films events and characters. The initial story and SPECTRE’s scheme is also to act as pay back for Bond’s action at the end of Dr No.

I enjoyed this immensely, the film plays out slightly better than Dr No as you have visibility of the antagonists and their plans from the start of the film (whereas Dr No doesn’t reveal the titular villain until the final act). You feel Bond has a worthy opponent from the white haired assassin Grant and the tension that builds towards their fight is great.

I really love the ending with the helicopters / boat chase and you can feel the budget has been increased from Dr No.

9.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Monday, 5 November 2012

Reviewing Bond 50 Blu-ray (James Bond 007)

I have recently purchased the Bond 50 Blu-ray box-set and plan to watch all of the James Bond 007 films in chronological order. I’m interested to see if this changes my thoughts about the series as I’ll be re-reviewing them from a “matured” perspective. I’m also curious to see if watching them in order, you will be able to see each one building and trying to top the last one.

I’ve always been a huge Bond fan, ever since I saw Licence to Kill premiere on TV when I was seven I’ve been hooked. The first Bond film I saw in the cinema was Goldeneye so the obsession went into overdrive after that.
I’ve seen all of the Bond films, as when I was younger I recorded all of them from the TV to get the full set.

Although I’ve seen them all, some I’ve only really watched once or twice when I was a boy, especially the Roger Moore one’s as I’m not a huge fan of his films (with the exceptions Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me). So I haven’t ever re-watched them all properly since I’ve gained a more critical eye. I obviously watch my favourite’s quite a bit and the Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan one’s I’ve seen the most as these are the ones that I’ve grown up with being released theatrically.

My current favourites are Goldfinger, Thunderball, Licence to Kill (purely for nostalgia reasons!), Goldeneye, Casino Royale and most recently Skyfall. My least favorites are Octupussy and Die Another Day. However I’m wondering if this will change (or any will be added to the list) when I re-watch them.

So now you know where I’m coming from, over the next month or so I will be adding mini re-reviews to MoviePush of all the James Bond films in the franchise.

Starting with Dr No and From Russia With Love soon…

Hope you enjoy.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Where's Channing Tatum In The New G.I. Joe Trailer

Considering all the fuss about G.I. Joe: Retaliation having re-shoots to feature more Channing Tatum, this new movie trailer doesn't exactly feature him very much... However it does look this could be a pretty fun movie.



What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

All James Bond's Fight Each Other

This is awesome! Ever wonder who would win if all the James Bond's battled against each? Now we're one step closer with this amazing video that's been put together.

Taking a page from the Sky Movies advert by editing key sequences together, this works to incredible effect. Take a look for yourself...



What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Monday, 29 October 2012

Amazing New Japanese Art The Wolverine Poster

The movie marketing for The Wolverine is starting and this new teaser poster is incredible. It nails the Japanese origins of the story and delivers a stark image...


Absolutely love this, what about you?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Every James Bond Together Advertise Sky Movies

This may be a month old now, but it's been heavily used since the UK release of Skyfall and I've just seen it. It's an incredible piece of advertising and has been very cleverly edited, putting all the James Bond's together in one extended car chase.



This awesome movie marketing has been put together to promote Sky Movies James Bond marathon. What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Skyfall Movie Review

James Bond is back in Skyfall, an exceptional film that balances all the traditional elements you'd expect but at the same time delivers a truly unique film that mixes up the formula.

If you thought Casino Royale was a "realistic" and modern Bond film, wait until you see Skyfall. It truly is a Bond film for the 21st century. Casino Royale is cartoonish and cliche in comparison (I really like Royale but trust me on this).

The story is well told and crafted, this isn't your typical Bond film and the premise becomes much more personal than anything we've seen before. The fact that most of it is set in London also makes it feel very different to previous entries in the series. London is usually where Bond gets briefed not where the story takes place.

Daniel Craig delivers his best performances as 007 yet, (I felt he played the role almost a bit thuggish in Quantum of Solace) delivering the charm, hard edge and even a bit of sensitivity. Judi Dench plays a great M and gets almost as much screen-time as Bond. The villain played by Javier Bardem is also terrifying and one of the best the series has ever seen.

There isn't as much action as I was expecting, the film plays more as a thriller than your typical action film. But this works to the films advantage, as when it does kick off it counts. I don't think I've ever felt tense watching a Bond film but there's a scene about two thirds into the film that literally had me on the edge of my sit. It has an incredible build up and pay off. The Home Alone style siege finale is also awesome.

Technically the film is excellent - the cinematography, editing and music are all top-notch.

My only gripe with the film is that it didn't start with the barrel shot (again)! Hopefully now all the pieces are in place for the Bond world that will change with next one. That's literally my only criticism of the film.

After his (re)introduction in Casino Royale, Skyfall brings James Bond full circle and finally completes his journey to becoming the character we knew from the instalments prior to Daniel Craig taking over the role. To say any more would spoil the film, but needless to say I can't wait for the next one!

Overall I'd say Skyfall is the best film in the franchise, but not necessarily the best Bond movie (if that makes sense).

James Bond will return.

9.5/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Thursday, 25 October 2012

New A Good Day To Die Hard Movie Marketing

Awesome new A Good Day To Die Hard poster released, "Yippee Ki-Yay Mother Russia." Love it.


I'm getting a good feeling about this new Die Hard, which is weird considering the poor previous history of the film-makers involved. Either that or the movie marketing is just nailing the right tone (which hopefully the film will mirror).

This already feels more like a Die Hard film than the last instalment. Especially with the new trailer as well, getting a With A Vengeance vibe from it. What do you think?



Lets just hope they get the rating right...

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Friday, 19 October 2012

Skyfall Coke Zero PR Stunt - Unlock The 007 In You

Coke Zero have released this awesome video to promote the new James Bond film Skyfall. It's a very cool PR stunt called "Unlock The 007 In You" which has people in a London train station running to a destination past various obstacles to get exclusive tickets to the movie. Watch below...



Pretty cool yeah? Wish I was in this train station to attempt this!

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Skyfall iPad Optimised Website - James Bond

To celebrate the release of the new James Bond film Skyfall, Eon Productions Ltd have set up an iPad optimised website. You can see the new site here.


It's a relatively simple site, highlighting the main characters and giving the user a swipe and touch interface to zoom in and out. What's extremely cool is that the site seems to link to the iPad's gyroscope technology so as you tilt the mobile device, the on screen graphics move around in perspective.

It's pretty cool to see a movie site set-up specifically to take advantage of the iPad technology don't you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Tom Cruise Head Too Big in New Jack Reacher Movie Poster

Ummm... Is it just me or does Tom Cruise's head look a little to big for his body in this new movie poster for Jack Reacher?


Some pretty weird photoshop on display here, agree?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Monday, 15 October 2012

Dark Knight Rises Bluray Trailer

The Dark Knight Rises gets a brand new trailer to market the upcoming bluray release, which you can see below.



It's rare for movies to get trailers specifically for the home release, but I think this works well and wisely focuses on the film's action. It also highlights the films bonus content (which I can't wait to watch). Still a shame Christopher Nolan doesn't do movie commentaries...

Are you excited for The Dark Knight Rises bluray release?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Saturday, 13 October 2012

Skyfall Bus Movie Marketing

Some pretty awesome movie marketing for the new James Bond film Skyfall, with full wraps on the side of these London buses.





Have you seen these yet?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Friday, 5 October 2012

Rian Johnson Looper Theatre Commentary

Rian Johnson the writer/director of Looper has released an "in-theatre" commentary for the new film.

Basically you download the commentary to your iPod, go to theatre, wait for the film to start and press play.

I think this is an absolutely genius idea, I love director's commentary and listening to them talk about the film-making process. I also think this a great idea and unique concept perfect for movie marketing because to really get the best experience you'd have to go see the film at least twice.

This is different commentary to the one that will be on the blu-ray or DVD.

If you want to listen or download you can find it here.

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lone Ranger Movie Marketing Begins

A few production stills have been released previously, but now the movie marketing for the Lone Ranger has started properly with the release of this new teaser poster...


Oddly (but not surprisingly) the poster doesn't feature the title character but a silhouette of Johnny Depp's...

It'll be interesting to see how the movie marketing for this film will go, as Depp is essentially the side-kick.

What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Cloud Atlas UK Release 5 Months After US?!

Looking forward to Cloud Atlas?
Live in the UK?

Well guess what, you’re in for a bit of a wait (and by bit, I mean almost half a year).

With all the movie marketing and hype building recently on the internet for Cloud Atlas you’d be fooled into thinking the new film from the visionaries who brought us The Matrix Trilogy was nearing release. Well technically it is. In the US.

Yes, that’s right, the US release is 26 October 2012, whereas the UK release isn’t until next year on 22 February 2013.

I cannot fathom as to why the dates are so far apart, yes I know there’s international markets, national events that need to be avoided and this usually means films get released a few weeks apart between the UK and US. But half a year?! What’s the point of that?

I imagine it’s stuff to do with different distribution partners, but I can’t see how this will benefit the profitability of the film. The film will likely be out on DVD in the US before it’s even released in UK cinemas, so surely piracy will have a negative impact on this?!

I guess what really annoys me is that US movie companies don’t seem to realise that when they promote a film on the internet for the US (or domestically being the term they use) the rest of world sees it too. It still confuses me why they bother with domestic and international trailers, guess what we see both of them!

Seriously, I think we live in an age where global day and date releases are almost a necessity for movie releases. Not to mention the potential benefit it would have on piracy and illegal downloads! Because once this film is released in the US anyone else in the world who wants to see it, will be able to (maybe not legally) within a few days anyway.

What are your thoughts?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Bond Documentary Everything or Nothing Poster

The official James Bond 007 Facebook page has just released the poster for the upcoming "Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story Of 007" feature documentary (premiering on Oct 1st and released on Oct 5th in the UK in participating Odeon cinemas).


The documentary has been released to tie in with Bond 50 and the launch of the James Bond Blu-ray collection. I'm a huge fan of James Bond so I'm hoping the Odeon cinema nearest me is showing the film!

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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My Thoughts on Looper

I was lucky enough to catch an early pre-screening of Looper last night, and I'm glad I did! It’s a clever film with a great cast, interesting concept and smart ideas.

To discuss Looper’s story would do the film an injustice, if you’ve seen the trailer you know the basic concept of the film, but the movie marketing hasn't really given away the plot. You’ll understand what I mean once you’ve seen it, and I fully recommend that you do.

What I particularly enjoyed was the way the film tells a complete story and left no story threads untied, yet at the same time there’s a lot of points that are left for the viewer to interpret and piece together themselves. This is a hard thing to do successfully, usually when a film leaves plot points up to the viewers interpretation, the film feels unfinished and not thought through (Prometheus comes to mind), yet to give a story multiple layers and feel complete is a very special thing.

Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis and the supporting cast give great performances, with Willis being on the best form I’ve seen in a long time! There’s one particularly good and chilling performance, but to even mention who it is will ruin half the film.

My only slight criticism would be that the pacing slows down about two thirds of the way through, this is necessary for the story and characters but feels slow compared to the rest of the film.

Although Looper is very much it’s own film, you can see influences from other sci-fi classics, including Blade Runner, Terminator 2 and even Akira though-out.

Overall a very entertaining and thought provoking film (a rarity in cinema these days). Definitely check it out.

9/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Monday, 24 September 2012

New The Wolverine Image Is Super Photoshop!

The first official movie marketing for The Wolverine has been released, but I’m not sure what I really think of this promotional image…

Yeah, I suppose it’s technically cool with it’s moody colour theme, Wolverine’s comic book pose, etc, but the fact it’s been photo-shopped within an inch of its life and Hugh Jackman looks so “perfectly” ripped to the point that he doesn’t quite look real is throwing me a bit. It seems a bit too over-produced and glossy if you know what I mean?

Anyway see the image and judge for yourself below...


The original Wolverine movie was pretty terrible so I’m not overly excited for a sequel, but with the photo-shop issues aside this is kinda cool. But hey, I’m not going to a judge a movie based on one piece of movie marketing.

What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Hobbit Trailer Gets Five Versions

The movie marketing for The Hobbit is doing something very interesting with the recently released movie trailer. On the films official website you can actually choose 1 of 5 alternate endings for the trailer, which puts a different scene after the title shows.

The new movie trailer is then being used for a social sharing campaign, whereby you can share "your" version of the trailer with friends via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Tumblr. It's a pretty cool idea and will be interesting to see if it spreads the word about the trailer more than it would have if just one version was released.

Definitely check it out, my favourite version is the Gollum one.

The film also recently released a new poster featuring Bilbo Baggins, see below...


In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Extremely Rare Dark Knight Promotional Images

A set of extremely rare promotional images for The Dark Knight have leaked online. They feature the late Heath Ledger as the Joker and Christian Bale as Batman.

They are very high quality and show clear shots of the bat suit and joker's outfit. I've copied a selection below but you can find the full 64 images here. You may also notice that some of these photos were the basis of the films final movie marketing campaign.

















In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Disney Edit UK Avengers Blu-Ray

Looks like Disney have screwed UK DVD and Blu-ray owners even more, with their recently released version of Marvels The Avengers.

Firstly they decided to remove half of the special features included on most international versions of the disc and now it looks like they’re messing with the film itself by editing key scenes?!

Below is a screenshot comparison of a scene from the UK version and the international version. Spot the difference anyone?


I’m not really sure what the reason for this is or the benefit of editing it? It’s not for the age rating as it has remained the same as the theatrical release which I’m pretty sure included the shot of the blade.

Disney must have a real issue with the UK Blu-ray market...

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Difference in UK / US release of The Avengers Bluray / DVD

Just read that there is no Joss Whedon Commentary on the Avengers Assemble UK Blu-ray / DVD! Man, am I getting annoyed with this! Another high-end summer blockbuster being released in the UK with little to no special features, compared to the US version which gets loads.

The US release of The Avengers Blu-ray includes the following: -

- Audio Commentary by Director Joss Whedon
- “Assembling the Ultimate Team” Making of Documentary
- “A Visual Journey” BTS Featurette       
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes    
- Marvel One-Shot: Item 47
- Second screen
- Gag reel
- Soundgarden music video - “Live to Rise”

Compared with the bare-bones Avengers Assemble UK Blu-Ray which only includes: -

- “A Visual Journey” BTS Featurette       
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes    
- Marvel One-Shot: Item 47
- Gag reel

To make things even more frustrating, there won’t be a Blu-ray / DVD combo pack (which every other Marvel release has seen) in the UK.

There is some hope however, if you order from Sainsbury’s in the UK the version they’re selling contains an exclusive 90minute “making of” and I’m assuming (or praying) that this is the same “Assembling the Ultimate Team” feature included in the US version.
The Avengers Sainsbury Exclusive
But I really don’t get this, big blockbuster movies used to always come with lots of extras as a standard. For me the primary motivation for buying the Blu-ray is for the special features and the behind the scenes featurettes. I’m assuming this would be fairly obvious from an added incentive and a sales perspective as well. So why the releases in the last few years have slowly been including less extra content is a surprise to me! In The Avengers case it’s not like it hasn’t been produced in the first place as it’s included on other versions!

I can’t imagine this helps with piracy either, if people download a film illegally they generally only get the film. At least if you purchased the film legally you used to get a load of bonus features. But now if you purchase the film you’re beginning just to get the film, which isn’t going to encourage people to start buying the product legally if they’re not already. I would have thought it would have been movie studios interest to have extra content and encourage people to purchase their films!

Of course, The Avengers is the first film to be distributed by Disney (rather than Paramount) and they are notorious at stripping back UK home releases! A similar thing happened for Pirates 4… But Disney aren’t the only people to do this Paramount themselves have stripped back recent UK releases as well, including Transformers 3 and Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol.

So looks like this is a problem within the UK market rather than Blu-ray’s in general, but I’m not happy about it!

Rant over.

What are you’re thoughts?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Top 13 Pixar Films

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while and I’ve finally got around to it, that is compiling a list of my favourite Pixar films. Basically I’ve included all of them and listed them from my least to most favourite. A few points first though…

I didn’t want to write this the day after I saw Brave, as I think you always need to give a new movie a few weeks to settle into your subconscious before comparing it to previous films that have been in the market for a few years (and I’ve seen several times).

The list was also pretty hard for me to do, as with the exception of both Cars films (which definitely are not my favourites) and A Bugs Life, all the other Pixar films I would give between 9 and 10 out of 10, so trying to decide my favourite was no easy task.


Anyway here’s the list of my favourite Pixar Films in order: -

13) Cars 2
Ashamed that this film is even on the list, I wish Pixar had never released it, as it’s a black mark on their release calendar and definitely tarnished there pristine quality score. It just feels like a money grab and an opportunity to sale merchandise, a lot of studios fall to this but this is the first time Pixar dropped the ball. The less said the better.
5/10

12) Cars
Before Cars 2 came out, this was my least favourite Pixar movie. I didn’t think it was terrible by any means, but just didn’t find it that engaging.
7/10

11) A Bugs Life
This is an ok film, it’s not a standout and I’ve probably only watched it properly a few times. The animation was great for the time, but the characters and story definitely don’t rank high compared to other Pixar films.
7.5/10

After the three previous movies, it actually leads nicely in to a top ten but I love all of these films so much I almost feel like this could be a top three with a lot of the films in equal place. Anyway my attempt at a top ten goes…

10) Brave
I really enjoyed the latest Pixar film about a Scottish Princess and although I think it’s a cut above the previous entries in the list, it doesn’t really jump past any of the other movies.
8.5/10

9) Monsters Inc.
One of the more comedic Pixar films and the inter-play between Mike and Sculley is genius. Not sure I want to see a prequel to this (in the form of Monsters University) rather than an original film, but Pixar have proved they can deliver a decent follow-up film (if it’s justified), so we’ll see.
9/10

8) Toy Story 2
A great film that proofed Pixar could deliver a sequel as good as the original.
9/10

7) Wall-E
The first act of this film is magical, the second half doesn’t quite reach the same heights as the first, but still a classic of cinema. If the film had been played completely silent it’d be perfect.
9/10

6) Finding Nemo
For a long time this was my favourite of the Pixar films, if not because of the subject matter and being set completely under the ocean. I can’t believe it’s almost 10 years old and looking forward to the 3D re-release!
9.5/10

5) Up
The first five minutes will bring a tear to your eye and the next 2 hours will take you on an adventure as good as any. The film Indy 4 should have been!
9.5/10

4) Toy Story
Arguably (and technically) this should probably be number 1 and if it was a best of list it would be, but as it’s a list of my favourites it sits here.
9.5/10

3) The Incredibles
With a mix of comic book heroes, classic James Bond and the family dynamic this probably should be my favourite Pixar, however it doesn’t quite top the next 2 for me…
9.5/10

2) Toy Story 3
Probably the best third film in any trilogy (it jumps around with Return of the King), the last 20 minutes feature as big an emotional punch as any live-action film. Story-telling at it’s absolute best.
10/10

1) Ratatouille
Although the rest of the top ten was a struggle to order, there was never any doubt in my mind that this was going to be number 1. I love this film and it’s easily my favourite Pixar movie. The story is incredibly unique and the film is so re-watchable I never get tired of it.
10/10

So that’s the order of my favourite Pixar films, what are yours?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Friday, 17 August 2012

New Movie Marketing for Schwarzenegger and Stallone

To take full advantage of The Expendables 2 the movie marketing for Stallone's and Schwarzenegger's next solo films has started, with both films getting new trailers.

Stallone's next film Bullet to the Head has its first official trailer and was exclusively released on IGN.


Schwarzenegger's next film The Last Stand has a new trailer and can be seen below.



Both bring back the 80s action film vibe, but are the guys too old to keep doing this? Personally I feel Stallone has aged better and doesn't seem out of place in the action.

What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me
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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Avengers Assemble 2 Release Date

The Avengers 2 (or Avengers Assemble 2 as it'll no doubt be called in the UK) has a release date... And it's 1st May 2015.

So get ready ready for almost 3 years of movie marketing on the lead up...

I can't wait!

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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My Thoughts on Disney Pixar's Brave

Pixar redeem themselves.


I’m really happy with Brave, because after the poor Cars 2 (and with the increase of sequels filling the Pixar release calendar) I was beginning to think Pixar were slowly ending their golden period of cinema. But they are back on top form with an original film.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not the best Pixar movie ever, but it’s very good and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Also, it’s probably technically the most stunning CGI movie I’ve ever seen, with the forest and foliage really looking incredible.

The story is well told, with lots of humour, heartfelt family drama and intense action. I won't go into specifics, but the movie marketing and trailers have really only shown the first 30 minutes of the film and I don't want to ruin any surprises.

My only slight criticism is that it felt quite short and I would have wanted it to be a bit longer (which I suppose isn’t really a bad thing). This was primarily highlighted by the structure of the film, whereas most stories have a first, second and third act, Brave felt like it only had a first and second half and left a few loose ends unanswered.

But a tight and well executed movie all in all, Pixar it’s good to have you back.

9/10

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Thursday, 9 August 2012

New Skyfall UK Cinema Posters

The movie marketing for the new James Bond movie Skyfall is taking a very classic approach, with the these new UK cinema posters.

There are 4 individual character posters and a banner including everyone.














I really like the classic feel, especially the Daniel Craig James Bond version.

What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Visually Interesting Trailers, Vague Story Details

Last week saw the release of two movie trailers for two extremely ambitious looking films: Cloud Atlas and Life of Pi. Being released so close together I couldn’t help but notice the similarities in the emotional response I felt about both the movie trailers.


For both of them my initial thoughts were “That LOOKS incredible, but I don’t really know what it’s about.” They both showcase visually interesting and beautiful scenes and neither give too much of the films story away.

You get vague impression of what the plot could be, but some of the imagery is so surreal and literally other-worldly I wouldn’t bet much money on saying I know what the movies are about.

I think for Life of Pi, this is probably intentional. The story is potentially too complex (or abstract) to explain in a trailer, so the movie will be sold on the mystique imagery (which I imagine will look incredible in 3D).

Cloud Atlas on the other hand, does try to explain the story. Given the fact the trailer is almost 6 minutes long and it was preceded by an introduction from the directors saying they were trying to explain the films premise. However the fact that it didn’t end up explaining it, I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing as I’m intrigued to see the movie and find out more.


So I was sold on both movies basically because of their pretty pictures. Is this a bad thing or the fact that I want to see two films without having the story spoiled for me before hand actually a better way to market a movie?

What do you think?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Monday, 23 July 2012

Extensive Thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises

Before I jump into my thoughts on The Dark Knight Rises, let me set the scene…


The Dark Knight is one of my favourite films of all time, but I was a bit dubious when it was announced The Dark Knight Rises was going into production in 2010 and that it would be the concluding part in a trilogy.

My first thought was what was the point? It would likely never be as good as The Dark Knight and I was satisfied with the way that film finished (even if it was open-ended with Batman on the run). The story of Harvey Dent was over and it wasn’t likely we’d see a return of the Joker (for obvious reasons). There were no major cliff-hangers or story points that needed to be tied up as with Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc and therefore no third instalment necessarily required.

Despite The Dark Knight following on from Batman Begins, the two films work as standalone films and you don’t really need to have seen either one to fully appreciate the other. A trilogy implies a through line so essentially Part 1, 2 and 3, which from the first two films didn’t really seem apparent. Batman Begins works well as a prologue or set-up and The Dark Knight works as Batman’s first true adventure. So to set up a concluding part in the trilogy seemed a bit forced, when the individual stories appeared to already be finished.

My main concern was that usually when a sequel (or a trilogy) is pushed for financial reasons it can sometimes taint the previous films and not make them feel quite as special, the Matrix comes to mind…

Anyway the movie marketing started in early 2011 and it felt a bit weak, a diluted version of the marketing that had been previously done for The Dark Knight (you can read my comparison here). If the movie followed suit I was in for a big disappointment and back to my original question of “What was the point?”

Then in the last few months the movie marketing started getting better and more exciting, little snippets of the premise were revealed and I got sucked into the hype and couldn’t wait. I booked my tickets for the first public showing I could get to, it turns out this was 5am on a Friday morning in a digital IMAX cinema.

I told myself, I don’t expect it to be better than The Dark Knight, but as long as it’s a solid film I’d be happy. So now I’ve seen it, what are my thoughts…

Firstly, is it better than The Dark Knight?

Secondly, is it better than The Avengers? The comparison is inevitable considering the huge success critically and commercially of this movie.

The answer unfortunately (although not unexpected) is no to both. That’s not to say it’s a bad film by any means, it just doesn’t surpass these movies. Admittedly The Avengers is a very different type of superhero film, but I feel in terms of delivering on the hype The Avengers over-delivered and The Dark Knights Rises doesn’t quite live up to expectations.

The comparison to The Dark Knight is more straightforward being directly linked, however the two films do feel quite different. Whereas TDK sped along at a constant pace, with every scene and character interaction thrusting the story forward and lifting the stakes higher, TDKR takes it’s time to tell a more intricate and complicated story (which honestly isn’t as complicated as it’s been made). This is partly what stops the film being great, the extra detail and supporting (but not essential) characters slow the film down and stop it being the edge of the seat rollercoaster that TDK was.

The film builds slowly to its climax making the three hour duration noticeable. It also might as well have been called "The Dark Knight Rises Twice". Due to the way the story is structured, in the first half you get a Bruce Wayne recovering psychologically to become Batman and then the second half recovering physically to rise as Batman again.

My comments previously about how the two previous films worked very well as standalone films also doesn’t apply to Rises, as the story is directly linked to Batman Begins and the circumstances we find most of the established characters in at the start of the film are as a direct result of the actions carried over from the TDK.

The above points may sound negative and suggest I didn’t like it, which isn’t the case. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, my expectations were just set extremely high. I’ve seen it twice now and although after the first time I saw it I was slightly underwhelmed, after a second viewing I appreciated it much more. It may not be the best (or tightest) film in the trilogy, but as a conclusion to the over-arching story it’s a great finish and probably makes The Dark Knight trilogy one of the greatest trilogies of all time.

Okay now on to specifics, so spoilers follow….

I felt the ending concluded Bruce Wayne’s story satisfyingly but at first glance appeared to be more open-ended then either of the previous two films. However I think this is a better way of closing the trilogy, and rather than setting up a fourth film I think the ending is more a way of reinforcing some of the character points referenced earlier in the film. i.e. Batman as a symbol will live on forever, whereas Bruce Wayne’s story is over and he can move on with his life outside of Gotham.

A few articles I’ve read have discussed how they disliked the film as it was not true to the source material. However the conclusion of Bruce Wayne’s story has never really been told before in any media, so this is the first time we’ve seen an interpretation of how he would move on from being Batman. There’s technically no source material for reference and this is how the Nolan’s envision the Wayne story being completed, which you’ll either accept or not.

What elevates TDKR is when you realise that this was never a planned trilogy (my original “but now unfounded” concern) and the amount of ways the concluding chapter ties into situations set-up (at the time unintentionally) from Batman Begins and seem like they were always meant to pay-off. It really is genius when you see the flash back of Bruce Wayne’s dad saying “Why do we fall, so we can pick ourselves back up” from BB and then Bruce is literally pulling himself up out of the Lazurus Pit to rise again. There are loads of moments like this, some of which I’m only connecting as I write this. Exceptional film making.

So how was Bane? Straight away he’s no Joker, but let’s be honest he was never going to be. Tom Hardy plays him extremely well and he has one hell of a presence when he’s on screen, he’s not quite as interesting a villain and due to his nature is more of a one dimensional character. Bane’s voice was also inconsistent, at some points it was absolutely crystal clear and seemed unrealistically louder than anyone else, yet at other times it was muffled and I struggled to understand some of his dialogue.

I felt the film tried to over tell you how much of a badass Bane was and over explain to the audience why Batman should be scared of him (mostly with Alfred’s dialogue). Whereas Joker’s motivations and background were never explained and I think this made for a much scarier villain, people fear what they don’t understand.

For Chris Nolan to choose such a physical villain was an interesting choice. His films have always been very cleverly crafted and played mind games with the audience, this is definitely his strength and is why the Joker worked so well. Unfortunately, I’ve always felt Nolan’s weakness was in fight scenes, so the main antagonist to be an ultimate fighter is again something that isn’t as strong as TDK.

I’m going to be honest I had my doubts about Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman prior to seeing the film, but she is actually one of the stronger elements of the movie from a character perspective. I felt she was a bit under-used later in the film, and her romance with Bruce seems to come out of nowhere, but apart from that she was very good. I was also hoping that once Taila Al Ghul was revealed we’d end up with Batman/Bane fighting at the same time as a Catwoman/Taila fight but it wasn’t meant to be.

Speaking of Taila Al Ghul, unfortunately this twist in the film was ruined for me as since the leaked pictures came out last year, I’d already assumed this is who she was playing so the reveal didn’t have the same impact as it should have! In fact if you read this post I wrote almost year ago, it’s surprising how much I got right!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character Blake is a great addition to the cast, and provides the film with its hope and motivation, compared to the dis-heartened Bruce and Commissioner Gordon.

All the other supporting cast deliver great performances, and deliver some hard hitting and emotional acting (especially Michael Caine) that will cause a few tears to roll.

As with the previous instalments, Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is literally incredible and blows any other movie music this summer out of the water. Myslight issue is that I’d say the music is so powerful it actually pushes you towards certain emotions, without the film necessarily taking you there itself deservedly. For example, there’s a point where Batman and Catwoman are heading to Bane’s lair taking out various henchmen and it all feels very heroic/upbeat and like this is the best thing you’ve ever seen, however without the music they’re pretty much just walking a long a corridor… Also I can’t really remember a specific theme for Bane, whereas the Joker had the (now) iconic screeching.

The cinematography is also phenomenal, with Gotham feeling even more real than it did in TDK. You’d be forgiven for thinking Gotham was actually a real place and to be honest I don’t think it’s felt quite so much like New York previously.

I could write for hours on this, but I think it’s time I stop.

It’s too early to say where The Dark Knight Rises sits amongst the other two films, well next to Batman Begins really, The Dark Knight is a lot better and think it will always be my favourite. So as it stands…

The Dark Knight – 10/10
Batman Begins – 9.5/10
The Dark Knight Rises – 9/10

What were your thoughts?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Thoughts On The Amazing Spider-Man Movie

The Amazing Spider-Man is a really hard film to review, so I’ve decided to write up my thoughts / opinions on the movie rather than properly grade it.


On the whole I thought the movie was really good, however there are aspects of the film that just don’t feel quite right. They aren’t necessarily bad but they just feel a bit out of place in this world and unfortunately stop the film being “amazing”.

I think this is mainly down to the realistic tone of the film; don’t get me wrong I loved the grittier approach, especially when it came to character and emotional pieces. However this tone contrasts quite negatively with the more comic book aspects of the film (Spider-Man’s powers and the predominantly CGI villain choice for example).

I wasn’t a huge fan of the corn-ball type humour in the original Raimi trilogy, but I think they’ve possibly gone too far the other way for realism’s sake here (and you can probably blame The Dark Knight for that). Realism works for a character like Batman as he doesn’t have any super-powers, but Spider-man is automatically a more fantastical character and therefore feels slightly out of place in a “real” world. Funnily enough I think the tone of Marvel’s recent releases would have been more suitable.

I don't really have a problem with them re-telling the origin story so soon after the Raimi trilogy, it feels different enough to justify the re-boot and ultimately wipes the slate clean for future movies.

Anyway that’s my general thought on the film, the rest I’ll bullet point as good and bad: -

- HEAVY SPOILER WARNING -

The Amazing

Spider-Man/Peter Parker – The film nails Spider-Man, in terms of his movement and style of wall crawling/web-swinging, this is exactly how you would envision a real life Spider-Man to move and jump around. On the flipside these mannerism translate perfectly to Peter Parker so you really believe Andrew Garfield as both Peter and Spider-Man (previous films haven’t achieved this half as well). Likewise Peter Parker’s personality is a lot closer to how he is in the comics, he’s still smart but has an aura of cool about him. Tobey Maguire was always a bit too dorky for me and the sarcastic wit was pretty much non-existent. Andrew Garfield is the definitive Spider-Man/Peter Parker.

Action Sequences / Web Slinging - this again relates to the physicality of how Spider-Man is portrayed. The few sequences where we actually see Spider-Man fully swinging through the city streets are incredible, both the real sequences and the CGI assisted scenes. The action scenes are also great, they're not on the same scale as The Avengers but they take full advantage of all of spidey's abilities and are fun to watch. I particularly enjoyed the school and sewer scenes.

Uncle Ben’s Death – Although not as true to the comic version, I felt it was handled much better (from an emotional perspective than the first Spidey film) and you really feel Peter’s pain during and following the sequence. Also (again) slightly changed from the comics, Peter’s initial transformation into Spider-Man is driven more by revenge (than the typical with great power comes great responsibility motivation) which in these circumstances I think is more realistic. The responsibility realisation still comes, but is developed more naturally throughout the character development of the film (so doesn’t feel as cheesy).

Peter & Gwen’s Relationship – This feels more genuine than the relationship between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in the previous trilogy, but I guess that’s what you get for hiring the director of 500 Days of Summer.

The Casting - in general every actor is incredibly well cast in the film, playing their respective roles perfectly. I don't think I could say a bad thing about any of the cast or the acting.

The Stan Lee Cameo - a genius bit of film-making which works perfectly in the movie and gives it one of its more comedic notes.

The "Not-So-Quite" Amazing

The Lizard – I think this is more the fault of the films tone than the character himself. It’s odd that for a film that aims to be as realistic as possible, that they chose to use one of the more unrealistic villains which relies heavily on CGI. I think the Lizard would have worked a lot better in one of the Raimi films (who I think was originally being prepped for Spidey 4).

Ignoring that though the characters motivations seem to change half way through the film for no real reason (other than he’s gone mad and is now bad). In the comics Dr. Curt Conners unwillingly transforms into the lizard and loses control, in this version Conners repeatedly and willingly turns himself back into the Lizard (so loses any sense of sympathy). I think something was cut that would of helped explain his motivations more clearly, which leads me onto...

Deleted scenes – I get the feeling that there is definitely an extended cut of the film, as there was a lot of stuff from the movie marketing that’s not included in the final film, including full scenes, phrases and even action shots. Remember the POV shot from the first trailer that was about a minute long of Spider-Man swinging across the city? It’s in the final film but quick cut in to a 10 second sequence?! This is more of a disappointment from myself, but I doubt the regular movie goer would notice.

Editing / Pacing - The pacing feels a bit odd, as the first hour really takes it’s time to establish characters and set-up situations, but the second half skips along. This is the section where the film seems to have the most cuts (re the above points) with characters and story threads just disappearing and being forgotten. Saying that though, the film still feels like a long film so I can see why the cuts were made! But I’d have left the full POV shot in and the football joke that worked great in the advertising.

Unmasking – Seriously for someone whose trying to keep their identity a secret, Spider-Man takes his mask off a hell of a lot (to the point where Peter’s running around his school fully suited minus the mask). I get that the studio want people to believe Andrew Garfield is Spider-man, but as I said previously the mannerisms are so well translated across both alter-egos you fully believe this is the same character. Hopefully in the next film the mask will be left on a bit more!

I know I've listed several bad points, but as I said at the start of this post I did really enjoy the film, the bad points are more slight disappointments rather than actual bad elements.

I think the real potential for this series lies in future instalments and if they stay true to the comics there are some interesting and tragic circumstances leading up for some of the characters.

We still have J.J. Jameson, Norman Osborn, potentially Harry Osborn and maybe some of Spidey's other love interests to be introduced, but I hope they take there time telling the story. If the Green Goblin is going to return, I hope they build to it organically and don't rush him and save him for the third or fourth film.

And let's be honest, if a film leaves you wanting to see the continuation of the story it's done something right!

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.
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