Monday, 30 December 2013

Ross Bishop's Top Ten Films Of 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the MoviePush blog, but thought I’d chime in with my favourite films of 2013 as the end of the year approaches.

I thought the list would be quite hard to write as by half way through the year I’d seen less than a handful of films I’d consider worthy of being included in a top ten, with the best story and emotionally impactful narrative I’d seen being in a computer game. My top ten films would usually include a lot of the summer blockbusters yet these were also disappointing, they were solid but didn’t blow me away. Then in the second half of the year it was the smaller films this year that really got me excited, don’t get me wrong there’s still a few big franchise movies included in the list…

One disclaimer - as I don’t review films professionally (as much as I’d like too) I haven’t seen every film released this year and 47 Ronin and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty have just been released in the UK so haven’t had a chance to check them out yet either!

And on that note, lets begin…

10. Iron Man 3 (9/10)
I’ll be honest I didn’t enjoy Iron Man 3 the first time I saw it, it was such a WTF type of movie I really had mixed feelings about it. However after watching it several times recently with reset expectations I’ve come to appreciate the clever dialogue and unique take on it’s villains and as such it just scraps into the top 10.

9. Captain Phillips (9.5/10)
Although I very much enjoyed the gripping story of Captain Philips it wasn’t until the last 5 minutes when Tom Hanks delivered one of the most memorable performances of the year that the film really stepped up to another level.

8. Rush (9.5/10)
Proving Chris Hemsworth’s diversity and telling an exciting story between the rivalry of two F1 racers, Rush was a genuine surprise for quality film-making.

7. Django Unchained (9.5/10)
In May, I still thought Tarantino’s western was going to be my film of the year, yet the second half of the year was so strong it knocked it back a few places. Leonardo DiCaprio again delivers a excellent performance and proofs why he’s the best actor of his generation.

6. Gravity (9.5/10)
A stunning film with incredible special effects, which (excuse the cliché) really is a rollercoaster ride the first time you experience it. However my only concern is how this film will stand up when rewatching without the big screen or the 3D. Only time will tell…

5. Mud (9.5/10)
Told from the point of view of two boys, this drama set in the deep south tells and interesting story of courage and love, and was also at one point my film choice for favourite of the year.

4. The Worlds End (9.5/10)
It may not have the budget of most of the films on this list, but the story and dialogue of The Worlds End are masterfully crafted, which becomes even more impressive with multiple viewings.

3. Thor: The Dark World (9.5/10)
Technically this isn’t the third best film on the list, but it is definitely the movie I had the most fun watching in the cinema this year. I absolutely loved it and it lived up to the hype of following The Avengers (whereas I don’t think Iron Man 3 quite did).

2. The Impossible (10/10)
Wow. This film contains the most impressive and gripping sequence all year in the first 20 minutes and then tells a families heart felt journey of survival for the remaining run time. This film wasn’t even on my radar at the start of 2013 but will be remembered for a long time yet.

1. The Last Of Us (10/10)
Ok, I get that this is actually a Playstation 3 game, but no movie I saw in the cinema this year had me gripped or as invested in the narrative as Naughty Dog’s absolute masterpiece. The game tells its story very cinematically and deserves to be played and seen by as many people possible.

A few mentions of films that just missed the top ten which includes Trance, Saving Mr Banks, Zero Dark Thirty and the animated Batman: The Dark Knight Returns two part adaption that was released direct to video.

Worst Film of the Year
A Good Day To Die Hard
Seriously, one of the worst films of the year (and probably the century), I honestly wish it didn’t exist. Bruce Willis barely even bothers to act and looks half asleep in almost every scene, the action is cut so awkwardly you can’t see what’s going on and the story makes literally no sense. A shame on the people who put this together and slapped the Die Hard name on it.

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, 11 September 2013

Is The iPhone 5C Pointless?

Typically I write about movies and marketing on MoviePush, but I just had to get this off my chest... It's all about the reveal of the "new" iPhone 5C.

Despite the myriad of leaks regarding Apple’s iPhone Event held yesterday, one thing was kept completely secret. That being that the iPhone 5C is not a low cost or “cheap” iPhone, it is a direct replacement for the iPhone 5.

Usually with a release of a new iPhone, Apple reduces the price of last year’s model to become a second tier product and then the new iPhone becomes the flagship. The expectation was the iPhone 5S would be announced, the iPhone 5 would reduce in price (but both products would still have fairly premium price tags), then the iPhone 5C would be priced much lower to cater a mid-tier consumers and emerging market.

Instead iPhone 5S is the flagship, and rather than reducing the iPhone 5 the 5C is now the second tier (the 5 is no longer in production). There is no new mid-tier iPhone, both the 5S and 5C really cater to the higher end of the market.

In my mind this makes the existence of the iPhone 5C pretty pointless for consumers, the pricing difference between the two phones is so small (iPhone 5C starts at £469, iPhone 5S starts at £549) that anyone looking to get a new phone this year might as well get the top end phone. It also means Apple still doesn’t have mid-tier handsets to offer more price sensitive consumers, increase their market share or significantly compete in emerging markets.

The only benefit the iPhone 5C has, is to Apple’s profit margin, I’d imagine the 5C cost a lot less to produce than the 5 (due to the new plastic shell) and the fact they’re charging the same price for it means Apple’s bottom line just gets bigger. This works great for Apple in the short-term, but it doesn’t cater to mid-tier consumers or help Apple’s market share in the long-term.

Apple’s products have always had an “apple tax” added to them, but this is the first time I’ve seen a product and just thought it’s a complete rip off. If I’m paying the same money for a 5C I would have for a 5, I’d rather have a 5 with it’s premium glass and metal (but I can’t because Apple no longer sells it).

Of course, the flip side is that this could be marketing genius, because of all the above points the iPhone 5C has actually made me want to upgrade to the iPhone 5S instead.

That’s if I upgrade…

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, 14 August 2013

My Thoughts On Kick-Ass 2 - Movie Review

Kick-Ass 2 joins the legion of films this year that although solid and entertaining didn’t completely blow me away. Yes, it’s pretty good but it’s not on the same level as the first film.

The film starts fast, with lots of action and comedy getting the audience up to speed with where the characters are since we left them. But then slows down for the middle section before building to its action packed end. However, despite the increased number of characters, the film actually feels like it’s on a smaller scale than the first film (probably because of the reduced budget).

Character-wise the three key leads all deliver great performances, with Hit-Girl being the clear stand-out and to be honest she’s almost the lead of this film. There’s an interesting side story line which plays out like Mean Girls but with more swearing…

The movie is fun from start to finish but it has an interesting tone to balance, it is essentially an action comedy, however some of the story points go to some pretty dark places and I don’t feel they quite have the emotional punch required. Having read the comic this is based on, the violence and story beats have actually been toned down quite a bit as well.

- Spoilers - Talking of the book, the main villain seemed more driven and focused in his vengeance against Kick-Ass, whereas in the film they’ve added an additional scene to motivate him with his uncle killing his number one henchman. However the scene doesn’t really work, because the motivation should encourage him to attack his uncle, yet all of sudden he goes off on one against Kick-Ass and co. – End of spoilers -

So in summary, I enjoyed Kick-Ass 2, but it didn’t completely rock my world like the first one.

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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Thursday, 1 August 2013

New Thor: The Dark World Movie Poster

Absolutely love this new Thor: The Dark World movie poster...


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, 25 July 2013

Thanos Will Be The Main Villain in The Avengers 3 and A Theory On Marvel’s Avengers Trilogy Plans

I haven’t seen any one write about this since Comic Con, but I think at this stage all indications are clearly pointing towards Thanos being the main villain in Marvel's third Avengers film.


There have been rumours ever since the post-credit reveal in The Avengers that Thanos would be the main antagonist in the second Avengers film or Guardians of the Galaxy. However since this weekend, we’ve learnt that the next Avenger movie is going to be called Avengers: Age of Ultron so we can safely say Ultron will be the main villain in that and it was confirmed The Collector will be the big bad in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now that’s not saying Thanos won’t appear in those films, if anything I think he will in more cameo sized roles. Probably to be revealed to be pulling the strings behind the scenes, more and more as the films continue through Phase 2 and 3.
So let’s assume the main Avenger films are going to be a trilogy (with Robert Downey Jr only signing on for Avengers 2 and 3 I think that’s a safe assumption) and the other Phase 2 and 3 films all build up to Avengers 3. So it makes sense to have Thanos as a climatic villain in that film.

Now we’ve already learnt that Avengers: Age of Ultron will be more of global threat, so now we have a sense of increasing scale for the trilogy as well. Avengers had a city under threat, Avengers 2 will have a world under threat and therefore Avengers 3 will have a galaxy under threat. And whose better to lead that attack than Thanos.

We’ve also heard Guardians of the Galaxy won’t cross-over into Avengers 2, but it makes sense that they will fit into Avengers 3. So this increases the scale of a third film even further because not only do you have a cross-over with the original team you also have the five leads from another franchise joining.

Now you have 6/7 core members of The Avengers, 5 members from Guardians, probably some of the new Phase 3 characters (Ant-Man, Dr Strange, etc) plus a huge galactic villain. That sounds like a pretty crowded movie, but this is where Marvel are masters of planning and building up to these type of event movies. You see Avengers 3 isn’t due until 2018, by then we’ll have had movies establishing all the main heroes, which means Avengers 3 isn’t going to waste any time having to introduce or build emotional connections to these characters (a feat that helped the original Avengers movie get on and tell it’s story).

Obviously this is all purely my opinion and I have no official connections to Marvel to know if this is true, but I’m willing to bet this is how it’ll play-out (broadly). I guess we’ll find out in just over 5 years…

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, 22 July 2013

Batman / Superman Movie: Is it too soon? And how to do it right.

After watching Man of Steel, I couldn’t help but ask myself “How are they going to top that?” With full on super human fights, half a city being destroyed and an alien invasion that almost consumed the earth, it seemed pretty impossible to better in terms of scale. It turns out the answer is simple…

Add Batman.


Yes, this weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con, Warner Bros announced that the follow up to Man of Steel will be a Superman / Batman cross over. The extent to how much Batman will be in the film is yet to be revealed, it could essentially be Man of Steel 2 Featuring Batman but all indications are pointing towards a full blown Batman Vs Superman movie.

Now, as much as I want to see a Batman / Superman movie, part of me is slightly concerned this is being rushed into production so Warner Bros can get some Avenger sized box office for a superhero movie. Don’t get me wrong a Batman / Superman movie stands to make huge money, but it needs to be done right not quickly. Also bear in mind that the script isn’t finished yet, with a release scheduled for summer 2015, that’s less than 2 years away. That may sound like a lot of time, but in terms of a big summer blockbuster it’s not really, Man of Steel was in production for over 3 years.

The other potential problem is this film is going to have a new Batman, so part of film will have to re-introduce him, I don’t think they’ll go retelling the origin but an introduction to who Batman is in this world will be required. Remember, this movie is going to be released only 3 years after The Dark Knight Rises, so general audience are going to expect this to be linked to the Nolan Trilogy version of Batman. Warner Bros has said it won’t be linked, but mainstream audiences won’t necessarily know that so re-establishing Batman will be important.

Now, if this film was to feature Christian Bale’s version of Batman then I’d be less concerned, as we’d be dealing with two versions of the lead superheroes that are already established. I also think if they want to have box office returns the size of The Avenger they need Bale, otherwise we’re dealing with an unknown quantity for a new Batman which could go either way and audience won’t have any previous connections to that version of the character. I’d be paying Christian Bale whatever he wants to get him in this movie, the additional money the film stands to make would be worth it.

Part of me is also sad we won’t get a standalone Man of Steel 2, I really enjoyed the first film and was looking forward to a second film which establishes the Clark Kent we know working for the Daily Planet and (I assume) the introduction of Lex Luthor. I’m sure we will get elements of this in the new film, but you can guarantee if Batman is included he’ll be getting the limelight.

I think Man of Steel 2 should have been done as a standalone, a reboot of Batman if a new version is definitely required and then the Batman/Superman cross over to follow. Yes, we’d have to wait a few more years but I think it’d pay off in the long run, not only commercially but as a quality film in general. However, if Christian Bale somehow gets announced for this and they decide to tie it in with the Nolan films then I’m all in for it now!

Now before you scream that’s never going to happen, allow me to explain how I think it could… (I’ve already discussed why I think Bale is required in general).

Nolan, Bale and Warner Bros have consistently said the Dark Knight trilogy is a standalone series and will not be linked to any future DC universe films. But I can still see this working, firstly I think the tone of both Man of Steel and The Dark Knight trilogy is similar enough that they won’t feel out of place together. Secondly, although the The Dark Knight trilogy was set in the “real” world, Man of Steel is also set in the “real” world and plays on the fact of what would happen if someone from outer space arrived on Earth so the Batman films up to that point could have been in the same universe. Finally, and this is where the real ties can come in, the film is supposed to be based loosely on Frank Millar’s The Dark Knight Returns. In this story Batman is retired and comes back for one last time in the cowl. Based on how The Dark Knight Rises ended, this puts Bruce Wayne / Batman basically in the same place (however a lot younger than he was in the comics). Bruce Wayne see the destruction of Metropolis on a news report, doesn’t trust Superman and decides he needs to return as Batman to protect Gotham/the World one last time. I’ll leave the rest of the story up to the filmmakers but that’s how it could happen.

Alternatively you rush this, get a new Batman that nobody cares about and don't give Superman a Man of Steel sequel he deserves. Sure you'll make a load of money opening weekend, but in the end it may not be a satisfying movie and therefore could ruin both character reboots. I hope I'm wrong, but only time will tell...

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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Saturday, 20 July 2013

2015: The Biggest Year For Movie Franchises Ever?

Well I thought 2012 could never be topped in terms of one year that saw a selection of huge movie franchise releases. We had The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Skyfall and The Hobbit all in one year.

Well 2015 was already looking bigger, now with the Superman / Batman movie news 2015 is going to absolutely destroy the movie box office. Let me put this into context, the new franchise movies we're going to have are: -

The Avengers 2
Man of Steel 2 / Batman Cross-over
Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Star Wars Episode VII
Finding Dory
(Nemo sequel)
Bond 24
Independence Day 2
Jurassic Park 4
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Avatar 2
(rumoured)

These aren't just any franchises though, these are the biggest movie franchises in history. Literally the only thing missing is a Spider-Man and Harry Potter film.

2015 is also going to see the release of the Fantastic Four and Terminator reboots, and it"s rumoured Star Trek 3 is also due. This is going to be a ridiculous time for cinema!

Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket, hey Hollywood?

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, 14 July 2013

My Thoughts On Monsters University - Movie Review

Well it's good to see Pixar back on form, I was beginning to think the studio had lost their touch after the poor Cars 2 and just ok Brave. Although Monsters University doesn't quite reach the heights of Up, Wall-e or Ratatouille it can happily sit with Pixar's best.

Whether its the result of returning and beloved characters, the film just feels like Pixar again. The story has heart, the characters are charming and the creativity is awe-inspiring.

This is also probably one of the greatest prequel films I've seen (don't get me wrong the bench mark isn't high), but Monster University genuinely succeeds as a standalone film. It never feels restricted by having to set-up the original and as such we can enjoy the story for its own merits. With the exception of the improved CGI you'd be forgiven for thinking this film was released first and that Monsters Incorporated was released as the sequel. In that regard this is exactly how a prequel should be done.

As to be expected the animation is incredible and the detail in every scene is phenomenal, from the main characters in the foreground to everything going on the background. You'll definitely need to see this a few times to catch all the additional bits hidden away.

I haven't been a fan of Pixar's increased leaning towards sequels/prequels in recent years, but Monsters University proves (as they did with Toy Story 3) that when it's with characters you want to see again the results can be great.

9/10

Bonus Review - The Blue Umbrella

Wow. Just wow.


As with every theatrical Pixar release there is a short before the main feature. This a little film called The Blue Umbrella which tells the story of (you guessed it) a blue umbrella and his love at first sight affections for a red umbrella.

The heart and emotion that goes into this five minutes as will follow relatively inanimate objects reinforces why Pixar is the gold standard when it comes to story. The animation is also the most realistic we've ever seen out of Pixar and is genuinely jaw-dropping.

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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Saturday, 13 July 2013

My Thoughts On Pacific Rim - Movie Review

We've had some solid summer blockbusters this year, none have been bad but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly underwhelmed by most of them. Whether that's the fault of my own pre-built up hype or the films themselves, I was left wanting more. Pacific Rim is not one of those films.

Pacific Rim is the first truly worthwhile movie to be screened in 3D since Avatar. That statement is actually even more impressive when you consider that Pacific Rim was converted to 3D and was not natively shot in the format. Watching the film I couldn't believe Guillermo Del Toro hadn't planned this movie in 3D from the start, every frame of the film is composed masterfully.

The three core actions scenes are spectacular, and even some of the fights we only glimpse via news footage are equally impressive. This is big-budget sci-fi fantasy action on a scale like we've never seen before.

I'd read some pre-reviews of the film that said the films story and characterisation is average and a bit cliche. Although I agree to an extent with some of these comments, you've got to think they're missing the point. This movies concept is built around giant monsters fighting giant robots. The story is there purely to facilitate that happening, if I'd paid to see this movie and it spent half the time with two people sat in a field contemplating life I'd have wanted my money back. Pacific Rim delivers exactly what it promised it would and it blew me away. That's not to undersell the story, I thought it was great but I can understand the criticism.

Warner Bros have taken a huge risk with this movie, it cost easily $200 million to produce and could potentially only appeal to a small niche of people. I loved it beyond believe, but I think it'd be hard to convince my girlfriend to see a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters. I truly hope it makes lots of money and it deserves too, even if its from toys and merchandise rather than tickets sales. Time will tell...

Personally, I can't believe we're lucky enough to be in a time where a movie like this exists. This is Japanese anime come to live. This is every 8 year old boys dream. This is a true summer blockbuster. It's an event movie to be seen in 3D on the biggest screen you can find.

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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Friday, 14 June 2013

My Thoughts On Man Of Steel - Movie Review

Let me start by saying I had a hell of a lot of fun with Man Of Steel, the last hour is filled with literally the most spectacular action ever committed to film, the music is incredible and the special effects are jaw-dropping. However it's not perfect, the origin section of the film feels rushed and the "choice" chronology the story follows prevents some of the emotional depth the movie needs.

So lets get into the structure of the film which will hopefully put my criticism into context. The opening 20 minutes on Krypton are superb and we spend a lot longer here than I was initially expecting. We meet Superman's birth parents, learn the reason Kar-El is sent to earth and a lot about the planet and how the Kryptonian society works. The final hour (once General Zod gets to earth) is also probably the best hour in any superhero movie ever.

It's the bit in between where the films weakness is shown. You see this section which primarily focuses on Clark growing up on earth is not told chronologically, it jumps from flashback to present day several times and sometimes even the flashback sections are in a random order. At one point I actually thought the cinema had missed a film roll the jump is so striking. Furthering to the problem is this section feels rushed and character moments are given no time to breath, it's as if 50 minutes of story has been cut to 30 minutes of screen time to get to the General Zod confrontation sooner. It's all over the place and due to the order the flashback scenes are told we never truly get a emotional connection to any of the characters including Clark or his relationship with his adopted parents.

Chris Nolan did a similar chronology trick in Batman Begins, but it flowed well and delivered the emotional beats. Referencing the The Dark Knight trilogy again, Nolan used the first film to tell the origin story and the 2nd film to pit the hero against a truly terrifying antagonist. Man of Steel essentially squeezes two story arcs into one movie and suffers because of it.

I get the feeling there's a 3 hour cut of this film and that's the version I'd love to see. That film would be 10/10 in my opinion. Instead, the current version is solid, with some of the most epic action and special effects I've ever seen, but a muddled and rushed origin prevents the film having the emotional impact to truly make it super.

Fortunately the second half does such an amazing job that it pulls the film back to an exceedingly high quality. The flying / fight / action sequence are so well shot and constructed that I was on the edge of my seat. I couldn't believe the scale of destruction General Zod and his minions bring to earth and the duration to which the action goes on. This is definitely a film where all the money is up on screen. This is a realistic Superman, not in the way the characters act but in the way it's filmed. The stuff is mind-blowing. I don't want to ruin it, but the last fight is bigger and better than The Avengers, the fact it looks real gives it added impact.

However the action is so incredible, you have to ask how the hell are they going to top this? The thought of Lex Luthor being in a second instalment would seem a bit underwhelming.

All the actors deliver terrific performances with Russell Crowe and Henry Cavill standing out. Unfortunately it's the fault of fast-paced editing that there's no real emotional connection to the characters. I also didn't buy Amy Adams as Lois Lane, she didn't have enough attitude for me.

Hans Zimmer again delivers an emotionally fulfilling musical score which is thrilling and does Superman proud. In fact, I couldn't fault any of the technical elements of this film, I'd love to see all the original concept art as well.

Overall, Man of Steel doesn't quite live up to the movie trailers but I had a great time with it and can't wait to see it again.

9/10 (hoping there's an extended cut that will move it up to 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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Sunday, 9 June 2013

First Movie Poster For The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson has just released the first poster for The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug on the films official Facebook page.

Looks pretty awesome if you ask me...


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, 20 May 2013

My Thoughts on Fast and Furious 6 - Movie Review

Fast and Furious 6 proves Fast Five was no fluke.

The Fast and Furious series has been a bit of a roller coaster, the first was a good fun movie (if not just a remake of Point Break for cars fans), the second dropped in quality so I didn't even check out the third in cinemas and still haven't watched it properly. Then Fast and Furious (the fourth) reunited the original cast and showed signs of life and began to rise. But it wasn't until Fast Five was released and remixed the formula into an action heist film that the series really hit its high point. The franchise now stands unique being a big budget summer action movie that doesn't rely on superheroes, fantasy creatures or is set in space.

Don't get me wrong I love the superhero films, but I miss the days of the big budget Lethal Weapons, Point Breaks, Die Hards (this years appalling fifth entry doesn't count), and now the Fast and Furious franchise fills that void.

So after delivering a truly awesome fifth entry, how does the sixth stand up? Very well. Ver well indeed.

Straight off the bat I'll say the story's maguffin is a little weak, some of the films logic and "We're family" speeches are a bit forced. But these are very minor criticism's and are literally my only gripes with the movie. Everything else is stellar and Fast and Furious 6 is one hell of an action movie.

The actions sequences are made up of (as you'd expect) car chases and fight scenes. The cars chases are extremely fun with some truly crushing crashes, but what truly impressed me is how brutal and well choreographed the fight sequences are. I'm not exaggerating when I say these are some of the best fight scenes I've seen in a film since last years The Raid. Considering this is a 12A I was surprised how full on the fights were.

The cast all play their respective roles well, with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson taking the lead. However the rest of the crew all get decent screen time, with one truly awesome chase that leads into a double fight scene, which only includes the secondary characters and is still riveting.

As long as you're willing to leave logic at the door and accept that some plot points exists purely to set up the next action sequence you will have one hell of a time with Fast and Furious 6.

Bring on Fast Seven, due in cinemas next summer.

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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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Man Of Steel Banners

Get your speed on!

Two new Man of Steel movie banners! Superman and Zod flying full speed towards each other!





I cannot wait for this movie!

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 May 2013

Full Pacific Rim Movie Trailer

Giant robots fight huge monsters. What else do you want?

New full Pacific Rim movie trailer below.


Do you like?

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 May 2013

My Thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness - Movie Review

Before I get into my thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness, it's probably best I set the scene so you know where I'm coming from. I have never been a huge Star Trek fan (nor Star Wars for that matter), I've enjoyed the films but I'm not overly fussed by them, I've always been a super-hero or action adventure fan when it comes to huge franchises. That said I absolutely loved the 2009 reboot, and it was primarily down to the fact that JJ Abrams was intentionally widening the reach of the franchise and focusing on the adventure!

So when Into Darkness begins with a James Bond/Indiana Jones type sequence that finds the Starship Enterprise crew half way through a mission on an exotic planet, count me on board! However, this is the films highlight in my opinion, which in turn becomes a blessing and curse as nothing really tops it. After this amazing opening, the movies story starts proper and we're sent on a journey of awesome special effects at break-neck speed.

The films story is relatively straightforward but is driven by several twists, some of these work better than others as a few feel a little forced. One criticism I would have is that none of the characters are overly well developed and so I was never really emotionally engaged with them when the twists came, that said the film is still extremely enjoyable.

Some of the movie marketing for this film has been criticised for looking like a generic sci-fi rather than a Star Trek film, with little focus on the Enterprise or space travel itself (this for me was actually a positive). Although the first half of the film lives up to its marketing, the second half is pretty much all set in space or on the Enterprise. This I wasn't expecting, I thought the movie would have been predominately set on earth or at least other planets and people sat on the deck isn't quite as exciting.

The movie has strong acting from it cast, great special effects/set pieces and some funny one liners. However, Into Darkness suffers from the same problem as Iron Man 3; in that it's a solid and fun adventure, but doesn't quite live up to the hype it's marketing campaign had built. Still highly recommended though.

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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Saturday, 27 April 2013

My Thoughts on Iron Man 3 - Movie Review

Well I’ve got to say I’m still unsure on my final thoughts on Iron Man 3.

I’m a huge fan of the Marvel films from Phase 1 and after the early critical praise and an exciting marketing campaign for IM3 I was genuinely excited for this latest instalment. However, I came out of the cinema feeling a bit deflated, underwhelmed and slightly confused as to what was missing. There’s nothing technically wrong with the film, but it never truly grabbed me or had that extra something special to really make an amazing movie.

Kudos has to go to Marvel for some very brave decisions, not only for allowing director/writer Shane Black to have free reign with the script and include his trademarks, but also with some of their character/story usage. Seriously, one of the character twists was very bold, I'm not sure how the pure comic fans will take it. It works extremely well as a twist, but unfortunately undermines the earlier sections of the film and a lot of the marketing material. I can't help but think the film would have been stronger if this was played straight.

The tone of the film is also a bit jarring, the Iron Man films have always had a touch more humour to them compared to other superhero films primarily as result of Tony Stark's wit, which made them fun. But here the humour sometimes becomes quite goofy, this contrast quite oddly when the main character is then suffering from PTSD and anxiety attacks. Again another bold choice to have the usually cock-sure Stark being played more insecure.

I don't want to criticise the film, Shane Black's script delivers some really cool dialogue and interesting takes on what you'd expect in a superhero film. The action scenes involving Iron Man are amazing, though much shorter than I expected and I was surprised how little Stark was actually in the suit during the film. This creates some interesting sequences where only part of the suit is on, (primarily done to make the hero more vulnerable) however there's only so many windows/walls Stark can get thrown through before you realise he's pretty invincible himself.

All the acting from the main cast is solid, the special effects are incredible (especially when Starks house is destroyed) and the direction/editing is top-notch.

Marvel have definitely made amends for IM2 by telling a cohesive story, with great characters and awesome action, I just feel if some of the "bold" decisions had been played a bit more traditional the film could have been truly amazing.

Oh, and with the exception of Die Hard this is one hell of a Christmas movie...

- Update -
Having watched Iron Man 3 for a 2nd time today I think I need to re-adjust my review score (originally 8/10) as I believe my initial thoughts were probably influenced by my own over hyped expectations (a problem that's becoming more frequent with huge marketing campaigns).

I would definitely say this is the best film in the Iron Man series and I like the decision that was taken with the Mandarin as it makes sense in this society and to the story. I appreciated the twists and story much more on a second viewing, so if you were one of people who were disheartened on your first viewing I suggest checking it out again. I'm glad I did.


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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Friday, 19 April 2013

First Thor: The Dark World Movie Poster

Before Iron Man 3 is even out, we now have the first official movie poster Thor: the Dark World. Pretty electrifying...


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, 19 March 2013

Bad Photoshop in new IMAX Iron Man 3 Movie Poster

Considering how much money The Avengers made you'd think Marvel would have enough money to pay for a decent designer, but the photoshop on this poster is terrible. Judge for yourself...


Despite the fact that several of the previous posters have just been cropped in, what's wrong with Tony Stark's arm and head proportions? And is Gwyneth Paltrow double jointed in her neck?

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, 26 February 2013

Monster Overload In New Monsters University Movie Poster

I'm not a huge fan of Pixar revisiting old franchises, I much prefer it when they produce original stories. However Monsters University looks to be very interesting and although the characters are familiar the story looks unique for an animated film.

Anyway, today Disney/Pixar released a brand new movie poster which is full of characters and looks very cool...


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, 25 February 2013

New Amazing Spider-Man Suit Looks Like Old Spider-Man Suit

Well I'm guessing they'll be filming scenes that features Spider-Man in his new suit soon, as we have our first official image of the new suit, which looks very familiar...


Don't get me wrong I'm glad they've gone back to the classic look, but with the exception of the eye pieces the rest of the suit is pretty much exactly the same as the Spidey suit from the Raimi trilogy.

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, 16 February 2013

A Good Day To Die Hard Opinion

Definitely not a good day...

Did anyone involved in making this movie even watch one of the previous Die Hard films? Seriously, you’d think the fact Bruce Willis is involved and presumably held quite a lot of power in the creative decision process this film would half resemble a Die Hard film. Just a reminder of the basic Die Hard film stories: -

Die Hard – Terrorists take-over a building and hold the hostages for ransom in a scheme to steal some corporate bonds. John McClane reluctantly finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and fights to save the hostages and prevent the terrorists plan.

Die Hard 2: Die Harder - Terrorists take-control of an airport and hold it for ransom in order to rescue a drug dealing terrorists. John McClane reluctantly finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time again and fights to save the passengers and prevent the terrorists plan.

Die Hard With A Vengeance - Terrorists hold a city to ransom in order to steal gold bullion. John McClane reluctantly finds himself forced into the plans and fights to save the city and prevent the terrorists plan.

Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4.0) - Terrorists hold part of a country to ransom for financial gain using computer technology. John McClane reluctantly finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time again and fights to prevent the terrorists plan.

Now, whatever you opinion on the fourth film is, at least everyone involved tried to keep it in line with Die Hard franchise theme. Yes, they didn’t quite get the feel right but it still stood up as a half decent action film. To put this into context I’ll try and put the little story of the fifth film into similar summary.

A Good Day To Die Hard – John McClane travels to Russia to help his son (who doesn’t actually need help as he’s on an undercover CIA mission) then follows his son around and actively throws himself into danger even though he’s not sure why or what’s going on (to be fair neither does the audience). There is something to do with finding a file and some nuclear plan, but nothing comes to fruition and doesn’t really make any sense. No terrorists. No ransom. No wrong place, no wrong time.

The script is literally terrible, there is no character or story development, character motivations change purely to (try and) shock the audience rather than making any sense, the plot doesn’t seem to  even know what it’s aiming for.

I’m pretty sure some awesome action was produced for this film, however it’s been shot and edited in such a choppy fashion it’s impossible to tell what’s going on, or where people are in relation to one another.  The director John Moore seriously needs to take a film-making class on spacial awareness.

But hey, Bruce Willis is in it, that must be good right? No.

John McClane has turned into a crazy old man, who speaks to himself constantly and even when the people he’s aiming his quips at clearly can’t hear him he carries on. He also boasts “How McClane’s kill scumbags! That’s’ what we do” which is just weird; I’m pretty sure in all the previous films the people he killed were out of self-defence and he didn’t boast about it after.

I’m not going to waste too much time on AGDTDH anymore, as the film is so below par on nearly every level, it really doesn’t deserve your time or money, and definitely not to be a part of the Die Hard franchise. Why do Fox keep doing this, do they not want to protect their franchises?

I’ll be trying to forget this as soon as possible.

3/10

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, 6 February 2013

Bruce Willis Confirms Die Hard 6 Also Doesn't Like Title of Die Hard 5

Bruce Willis is currently in the midst of a press tour for the new Die Hard movie A Good Day To Die Hard, and was just interviewed on the BBC TV show The One Show. As part of the interview one of the presenters asked "Are we likely to see a sixth instalment?" to which Willis nodded and said "Yes, they'll be a Die Hard 6."

Interestingly enough it also appears he's not a fan of the fifth film in series title. He asked the presenters what they thought of the title and if they thought it made sense. He actually brought it up several times "A Good Day To... Die Hard? I don't know if that makes any sense..."

I'm sure the PR team love the fact that their lead actor is openly saying he doesn't think the title is any good. I'm guessing he had a different choice which didn't get selected for the final film.

What do you think of the title or the news of a Die Hard 6?

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, 1 February 2013

Terrible Editing in A Good Day To Die Hard Promo Clips

Seriously, who is editing the new promo clips for A Good Day To Die Hard. They are literally god awful. They jump from section to section, one minute John McClane is there the next shot he's ten metres away for his last position. They jump all over the place.

Now I'm hoping this is because the marketers are trying to condense longer clips into shortened sequences for promotional purposes. Or the fact the film is R-Rated that they're having to cut out any profanity and violence for advertising.

But if that's the case why not use different sequences, or release red-band clips that are cohesive. Seriously, based on the trailers and posters I was excited for this film. But these promotional clips have got me really concerned about the quality of the film, which I'm sure is not the intended effect.

Now I'm really into films and movie marketing so I'm assuming the reasons for the cuts are as mentioned above, but Joe Public is just going to wonder what the hell is going on. Well done marketing team.

See the clips below for yourself and 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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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Ross Bishop's 13 Most Anticipated Films of 2013

I've been struggling to write this post, not because there aren't many good films coming out in 2013, just there aren't many that excite me as much as compared to the 2012 releases.

Personally I think 2012 in the cinema will be hard pressed to be beaten (ever), at least based on the films that appeal to my interests. Last year saw the release of a Batman, a Spider-Man and a James Bond film, as well as the first true super-hero collaboration in The Avengers. All of these franchises I have loved since I was a child, so to get new versions of them all was a geeks dream! They weren't necessarily all the best films in their respective franchises, but they provided the awesome anticipation that no other films do for me.

So whilst I am excited for the 2013 releases, it's nowhere near on the scale I was for the films in 2012. With that said these are the Top Thirteen films I'm looking forward to in 2013...

Man of Steel
I can not tell you how many times I've watched the second trailer for this Superman re-boot, I get chills every time. If the film delivers the same emotional punch the trailer did than I'll be very happy!

Iron Man 3
The second instalment really let this series down, but The Avengers delivered in spades and the initial trailers for this look like this could bring Iron Man back to top form.

Star Trek Into Darkness
I was never a Star Trek fan, but the 2009 film was incredibly good and this looks terrific so far. Fingers crossed this is a solid sequel that takes it to the next level.

Thor: The Dark World
I really enjoyed the first film, so I'm extremely interested to see where this movie takes us. We've seen very little marketing so far apart from some behind the scenes footage, but hoping Marvel deliver.

Kick Ass 2
Another film with no official promotional material released yet, this is here purely based on my love of the first film. Fingers crossed this is of a similar standard.

A Good Day To Die Hard
I didn't mind the fourth film in the series, but it was definitely not on the same level as the first three. John McClane was played more as a super-hero than an every man, which caused a few problems. But the marketing for this instalment so far feels like a proper Die Hard film, so fingers crossed they've got it right!

Django Unchained
Yes, for us UK folk this is a 2013 release. It looks great and all the reviews are glowing, so I can't wait for this (only one week left until I'll see it!).

Monster University
I wish Pixar would get back to original stories with new characters, but at least if they doing a prequel at least this one is based on a solid duo who I'd like to see more of.

Fast and Furious 6
For a film series whose last instalment was the most successful critically and commercially it's a surprise the movie marketing has yet to start. Fast Five was a solid heist flick, so hoping this continues the trend.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
I really enjoyed part one, so I'm excited to see where the journey takes us...

Pacific Rim
Giant robots fighting giant aliens. Need I say anymore.

Elysium
The premise sounds cool, but this is on the list purely because it's made by the guy who did District 9 alone.

Epic
I'm a sucker for beautiful and lush CGI visuals and this film seems to have bucket loads.

One last release (which technically makes the list 14) is Cloud Atlas. I think the trailer and premise look incredible, but the film has received very mixed reviews so will have to wait and see about this.

Anyway that's the films I'm most looking forward too in 2013, 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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