5 Things I Want From The Force Awakens

Since the very first teaser trailer, even since the rumours themselves started circulating, I’ve been waiting in anticipation for Episode VII. Why not? Star Wars is one of my favourite movie series of all time, from when I was a young up till now where age has only made me love the films more.

With the premiere of the latest entry taking place last night, social media was greeted with a surprisingly positive reception from those who attended.

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All of this has definitely calmed my nerves down a bit though bare in mind we heard the exact same reception from critics about another film: The Phantom Menace. With the general public still having to wait till Thursday to see The Force Awakens, I’ve decided to list what I want from the most anticipated film of the decade. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section below. Anyway, let’s get started.

1. Less Choreograph Heavy Duels

First things first: yes, the prequels looked cool, slick and every positive adjective in the dictionary. The problem with them though was that despite how extravagant and visually glorious they looked, they left me quite unsatisfied: they looked great but where was the emotional aftermath?

There was the death of Ben Kenobi in A New Hope that despite not being much of a fight had an impact on the audience and the characters. Yes, you could argue that Revenge Of The Sith’s finale between Anakin and Obi Wan was great but it’s hard to find yourself being invested in a 10 minute + fight when you care very little for either character in contrast to Darth Vader and Luke.

I’m not saying I don’t want any exciting fights, not at all. Maybe it’s more of a personal thing but when I was a child, having pretend duels was the most fun ever which was mostly down to the fact that it was so much like the originals. Maybe complaining about fights in a film set in space with alien races is a bit ridiculous but instead of incredibly looking fights, let’s have some more emotion heavy confrontation. What we’ve seen between Kylo Ren and Finn in the trailer looks promising so here’s hoping it’s an improvement.

TLDR: Less choreography in battles, more focus on the emotions the combatants actions represent like Return Of The Jedi with Vader and Luke.

2. Strong, Clear Lead

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If you’ve ever watched the Red Letter Media reviews of the Star Wars prequels then you’ll know that the major criticism they have is to do with the series having an unclear protagonist. While many say it’s Anakin, if he were the protagonist he’d have the proper development and whilst Obi Wan is in for a shout, he never feels like he’s at the focus for a lot of the films as well as being a sub par written character, only saved by the great acting of Ewan McGregor.

Unsurprisingly I wasn’t at the premiere last night so I’m just as oblivious as you reading this but with this new set of characters coming along, I think what this new trilogy (or expanded universe) needs is a clear cut protagonist: Rey.

Yes, John Boyega is the one who is holding the lightsaber on the poster but the way I see it, or rather predicting it, is that Finn will be more of a Han Solo type of character: someone with a dodgy past where he’ll spend his time trying to redeem himself and become a better person by the end of his journey. Rey on the other hand is our Luke as far as I’m concerned and it’s great to see that director J.J Abrams called Daisley Ridly out on her “wooden acting” as soon as possible so that we don’t get a repeat of Hayden Christensen. Time will only tell how this will play out.

TLDR: Rey should be the clear cut protagonist like Luke from the originals.

3. Leave Interactions With Old Characters To Minimum

Now don’t get me wrong, I love all the characters from the original trilogy (aside from the ewoks). I cannot wait to lose my shit whenever I see Han and Leia on screen after decades have passed since the events of Return Of The Jedi. I cannot wait to see Han also being the bad-ass rogue with faithful furry friend Chewie by his side. And when Luke shows up (which I’m expecting the final shot of the movie to be), the whole cinema will scream with excitement.

I don’t want too much of a good thing though and it’s a new trilogy after all: I want to grow as attached to Poe, Rey, Finn as I did with all the other characters from the original trilogy. If this new batch of films is going to redeem the series then it needs to keep its focus on the present and keep the glimpses to the past at a minimum.

TLDR: More focus on new characters, not ones from original trilogy. 

4. Don’t Underutilise The First Order

If you read my friend Sean’s recent blog post about why you should be excited about Episode VII (which you can read here), you’ll see how he pointed out the importance of the Dark Side in the previous films. After all, your movie’s characters are only as good as your villain and not many films can claim to have an amazing set of both.

This time around we’ve got The First Order which can be described simply as a Darth Vader Fan Club(!) In all seriousness, this new threat to the galaxy seems just as threatening as the Palpetine lead force from A New Hope up till the inevitable collapse in Return of The Jedi. This is what brings me to my next point: solidify this threat.

We had Vader, Boba Fett, Palpetine and more last time around and from what I know, we’ve got a great array of characters who are in control and taking part in this Galactic Empire 2.0: Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). If J.J Abrams can provide some great new heroes then surely he can do the same with our villains.

TLDR: Give us villains as threatening as the Empire and as developed as our heroes. 

5. A Fresh New Look At A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Let’s be honest: as much as we all say that certain characters are our favourite thing in the Star Wars universe, we all know that it’s the universe itself that’s the greatest thing about the franchise.

From the icy, beautifully snow covered planet of Hoth where we witness a heavy defeat of the Rebel Alliance to the planet of Endor, dense with wildlife and luscious trees everywhere, the planets are pretty much characters themselves. We love them and it’s not just them that make the universe so incredible as on top of that, we’ve got the hundreds upon hundreds of different races that make the galaxy so very varied.

We already know we’ll be seeing Jakku, a planet that is yet to make an appearance in any other film so far as well as locations like Maz Kanata’s Castle which is what Mos Eisley Cantina is to A New Hope. I’m already excited as can be about The Force Awakens and for good reason too, I can only hope that all these hopes I have are fully realised when The Force Awakens hits screens this Thursday.

Big love, Liam x

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Ranked: The Star Wars Saga

Undoubtedly the most iconic film series of all time, Star Wars has made a colossal impact not only on entertainment but on the world. With a universe packed with lore, action and amazing characters, the series managed to become a sci-fi epic of massive proportions that is still yet to be beaten in terms of how iconic it is and how successful it has been, only rivalled by the likes of Harry Potter. 

I’ve grew up with the series so I’ve got a strong attachment to George Lucas’ masterpiece, meaning that I’m one of the many who booked tickets to see The Force Awakens this week. In celebration of this, I’ve decided to spend the week building up to it, covering a wide range of topics as well as a review of Episode VII this Friday. To get things started though, it’s time to separate the Jedi from the Sith and find out which entry comes out top. 

Here’s the Star Wars saga ranked.

6. Attack of The Clones (2002)

Looking back at the trailer of Attack Of The Clones, it’s not surprising that many got excited to see the film regardless of how abhorrent the previous entry to the series was (don’t worry, we’ll get to that soon enough).

Just look at it. The battles, the sense that Anakin was going to go through this thing that George Lucas was oblivious to called “character development” as well as a collection of other entertaining scenes like we had witnessed from previous Star Wars film. Also JANGO FUCKING FETT.

“There’s no way it could possible be worse than the previous entry” was the mentality that dominated fan’s minds yet what we got was something so jarring that I’ve tried my best to forget about it. 

Instead what we got was a plot dominated by a non nonsensical romance by the awfully acted Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman while the only vaguely interesting storyline regarding Palpetine was underutilised and forgotten like…well the Star Wars prequels. The romance itself totally ruins the film because we’re given no reason to care about a little whiny emo and a woman with the personality of a plank of wood.

I’m not saying that romance shouldn’t be allowed in the Star Wars universe. Just look at Han and Leia, a chemistry that didn’t ever feel like it was unnatural or going too fast. It felt like a genuine connection and you couldn’t deny that whereas with Anakin and Padame, it just feels like a plot device to simply explain how Luke came about and nothing else.

And the dialogue. Oh god the dialogue.

“I hate sand. It’s rough and it’s irritating and it gets everywhere.”

 “I wish that I could just wish away my feelings, but I can’t.”

  “I’m haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me.”

The tagline for this movie read “A Jedi shall not know anger. Nor hatred. Nor love.” In this case, a Jedi shall only know how to tarnish the reputation of an entire series.

5. The Phantom Menace (1999)

What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this infamous film?

I could tell you that it was the worst mistake Lucas could have ever made to not only start filming The Phantom Menace after ONE DRAFT. I could tell you that there was no heart put in the film, instead primarily about the money (Lucas himself only ever worried about not grossing more than Titanic). I could tell you that the characters in this film, especially Liam Neeson who signed up without even reading the script, are all unbelievably stupid and/or dumb. It was a mass amalgamation of terrible decisions and stupid ideas that ultimately made this film so terrible, forever existing as a “fuck you” to fans who waited years for this. 

And then there’s him. I don’t want to talk about him. It just makes me feel physical-

OH GOD, NO, FUCK, NO, I’M GONNA FUCKING PUK-

Let’s not dwell too much on Jar Jar though (another post for another day). In fact there are some *shock* good things about this movie like the pod racing which was the best thing about this film back when I was younger though that doesn’t make these films any better since I also thought sticking Lego up my nose was a good idea back then. Then there’s Darth Maul who to this day I think is an amazing villain who was so under utilised that it’s a sin.

At the end of the day, Phantom Menace’s sins far outweigh any minuscule positives it may have. Avoid it like the plague.

4. Revenge Of The Sith (2005)

When your film is described as the best of the bunch, you’d consider it an achievement, something to be truly proud of. The thing with Revenge Of The Sith is that it was taking part in a prequel derby where the two other horses had no jockey and a brain cell between them.

Now to call the Revenge Of The Sith bad would be harsh but it’s certainly not good. Not only does it nearly ruin Yoda’s entire character but Anakin is yet again treated awfully, especially in the final 10 minutes where he goes from a sulky, angst ridden man to a child killing monster like from 0-100. Real quick.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have any positives. Palpetine in my opinion was the only character treated appropriately and whilst I wasn’t surprised at all that he turned out to be evil, it felt like a natural development. The man who started off with a taste of power in The Phantom Menace manipulated others to get what he wanted, treating others like pawns which really shows that he is the most evil character in the series. Darth Vader is just another notch on the dark side’s bedpost which makes the originals somehow better with this knowledge.

Everyone seems to defend this film for being the best of the prequels when actuality, it is just as bad as the others. The saving grace of the film isn’t the final duel, which has nearly zero significance seeing as we care very little about both characters, but the transformation of Palpetine into one of the most diabolic enemies in cinematic history.

Watch with caution.

3. Return Of The Jedi (1983)

Concluding the Star Wars trilogy was never going to be easy. Following the critical success of the previous films, everyone was well aware that Lucas and co. could screw this up. The threequel is undoubtedly the most difficult movie to pull off yet somehow ROTJ was an amazing way to say goodbye to the series at the time.

First things first, let’s get the gripes out of the way with. Yes, the ewoks are annoying as shit and were Lucas’ first step into appealing far too much to kids with the introduction of bland characters that would ultimately lead to you-know-who. Also, a death-star? Again? 

There’s some jaw dropping amazing action set pieces, especially the Sarlacc battle sequence that still stands out as one of my all time favourites where Luke shows how much he has progressed as not only a jedi but as a person, no longer showing any glimpses of the shy, naive boy from Episode IV. Then there’s the speed bike chase on Endor as well as the final battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker which I cannot put into words. The moment where Luke snaps and just goes crazy with his lightsaber is both cool yet frightening, very subtle symbolism. 

At the end of it all, we get a ending that is a stark contrast to what we got in previous entries but one that is still enjoyable, if still a bit sad due to the fates of certain characters. All in all, a more than satisfying end to one of the greatest trilogies of all time.

2. A New Hope (1977)

I’ll try my best to not ramble on about this film too much. After all, it’s my first Star Wars film I watched and one of the first I can remember ever watching on VHS. Countless times I’d rewind the tape with a pencil so I could re-watch it all because both at a young age and even now, I’m yet to experience a film that’s drawn me in so well.

Just that opening scene of Darth Vader storming a rebel ship gives me chills with that iconic James Earl Jones voice that manages to convey the evil behind the mask so well. Not to mention how taken aback I was to see the space ships that even more than 20 years after they were made still amazed  little four year old me.

Not only do we get an excellent villain, we get introduced to a great pack of heroes to root on. We have a clear protagonist in Luke Skywalker, a naive and inexperienced boy who has no idea what’s in store for him. Then there’s Obi Wan, a legend who after the events of the prequels we assume just went into hiding (though there is cannon lore that explains what happened) and informs Luke of his abilities. Finally there’s the greatest character in the series Han Solo and his trusty, furry buddy Chewbacca who are the bad assess of the film, undeniably slick and make the film what it is essentially: a tale about redemption.

Choosing A New Hope in certain places stands up with the rest on a visual and storytelling level especially when you consider the absolute shambles that was the development, it’s a surprise that this film from little known Lucas would become arguably the most important movie of all time.

It was a film full of action, emotion and most importantly, heart. Unsurprisingly, this is the best starting point for any new fan.

1. Empire Strikes Back.

This is it. The movie every sequel aspires to be. A film so iconic that many other sequels that take note of the grand improvement of this follow up to A New Hope are often called the Empire Strikes Back of their respective series.

Empire Strikes Back is the absolute pinnacle of the series without a shadow of a doubt, a movie that actually makes you feel the despair and hopelessness of the rebel alliance as they try and do their best to defend themselves from the imperial forces. While A New Hope was a film, unsurprisingly, full of optimism while hinting of the danger of Vader and his force, Empire Strikes Back is the full realisation of this, being significantly more bleak than any other Star Wars film.

This new feeling of helplessness never lets up, from having to cut open a dead tauntaun to survive to the betrayal of Han Solo by Lando to Luke still failing to defeat Vader after excruciating training from Yoda. As a kid, it was unusual and rare to see a film have such a depressing ending and because the idea of a sequel was foreign to me at the time, I was under the impression that it was all done. That moment of realisation will always stick with me as one of the most important times of my life regarding film.

There’s nothing I can say about Empire Strikes Back other than the fact that it’s one of the best films in cinematic history. When all is said and done, this entry is what made the series the absolute marvel that it is and explains why we all eagerly anticipate The Force Awakens. We want another film that has us on the edge of our seats. We want another film that has us invested in the story and characters. We want another Empire Strikes Back.

Will we get it? Who knows.

Big love, Liam x

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Why Adam Sandler Should Just Stop

I knew I shouldn’t have done itNo, buying those Pikachu slippers is not a regret of mine. The decision I made occurred this afternoon whilst I was recovering from a sub crawl the previous day where, like anyone, I booted up Netflix to put on in the background while I curled up into a ball in bed and slowly died.

Then I saw it. The Ridiculous 6.

I should have just avoided it completely and put on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for the 50th time but no. I watched Adam Sandler’s latest film with the mentality that if Netflix have some involvement then it might be a half decent film. When everything else the streaming giant has crafted has been critically lauded (House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Daredevil), surely their magic would rub off on Sandler?

No. No it did no. I don’t know what offended me more, the blatant racism or the fact that Chris Parnell being propelled back by a donkey with its diarrhoea is considered comedy. By about an hour into the film’s stretched out running time, I switched the film off with one thought dominating my mind: why is Adam Sandler still making films?

It’s not like Sandler isn’t capable of being funny. Billy Madison, his film debut, is one of my go to films whenever I want to watch something that can get a few laughs out of me and the likes of Happy Gilmore are undeniably entertaining. We all thought his SNL career and early films showcased an actor, full of potential that was capable of dominating the genre.

How wrong we all were. What he has left is a shit stain on a hotel towel than a mark on comedy that could inspire a new generation of comedians (and god help anyone who looks up to the likes of Grown Ups as something to aspire to).

Since it’s been established that Sandler was once funny, where’s the proof that he’s a despicable comedian? Unfortunately the evidence is abundant and disheartening for anyone who enjoyed his work from the get go. The most obvious one is the critical panning his movies have received. Whilst Metacritic might not be the most reliable of review sites, its aggregate is accurate for this sort of situation and to make it more fair, we’ll use the film Superbad as a comparison.

Why? Full of young actors bursting with potential, who have since went onto have amazing careers, and gross out humour as well as plenty of laughs, it is comparable to Adam Sandler’s first couple of films on these merits alone. And if Sandler wasn’t all that bad, surely the critics would at least put it on par  or close enough to the likes of Greg Mottola’s comedy epic. SURELY?

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Yup, even when his last three films are added together, Sandler still isn’t up to scratch. He was also producer on all the films above so its not down to him doing the best of what he’s given, he actually has some impact on what happens yet thinks his stereotype reliant humour is what viewers want. Every film just follows the same trodden formula and whilst the same could be said about Billy Madison, it was at least entertaining and felt like it had some heart.

Even though fans face disappointment after disappointment, they still flock out to see if this will be the film that will turn it around, just like Sonic and Muse fans. No matter how awful they are, people will still go and with Sandler signing a four movie deal with Netflix, his pockets are going to be overflowing. He knows this and he doesn’t care.

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And that’s where the problem lies: he doesn’t care. Sandler’s films have the minimum amount of effort put into them as possible and regardless if the film fails to make back its budget, which they never do, the constant advertisements mean that Sandler and co. priorities are simple: money first, public opinion last. These films aren’t made to entertain, they’re made to promote products to you for an hour and a half, any laughs are just unintentional.

So what can we do? Nothing. We can stop seeing his films in the slight chance he’ll catch on and adapt but we know that won’t be the case. I know I can’t do anything. Sandler is hardly gonna see my pathetic site and just shut down his entire company, especially when much more prolific reviewers like Red Letter Media have called him out for what he is.

A husk. And that’s the sad truth.

Big love, Liam x

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X-Men: Apocalypse trailer reaction 

Christmas has came early for nerds everywhere. While Father Christmas is only a fortnight away, we’ve already had the Civil War trailer, a proper glimpse of the Batman vs Superman film, more hype for The Force Awakens and now? A trailer for the follow up to one of the best comic book movies ever.

The X-Men prequels/reboots/(I’m not sure any more after the events of Days Of Future Past) have definitely made up for the slip up that was The Last Stand all those years ago in the original trilogy. Even before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing, Fox struck gold with Bryan Singer’s blockbuster tales of super mutant teams (no, not the Fallout variety) facing the government, other foes and, most importantly, one another.

“You are all my children and you are lost because you follow blind leaders.”

The name in the title if you hadn’t guessed refers to Apocalypse, one of the X-Men’s greatest foes who has been mentioned in other media (like the Legends video games on the Xbox) but in the films he’s only had one brief mention in the after credits of DOFP. In an age where most trailers drip feed us info, this new one tells us a surprising amount: his motives, what he’s capable of, how the X-Men team dynamic will change, etc. With most big screen adaptions of Marvel villains being mediocre at best, it’s exciting to see what could be our first proper, memorable threatening villain since Loki.  The X-Men team dynamic I pointed out? Not only did we get to see the likes of Cyclops hit out with his full power optic beams, oh how I’ve missed them, and the other horsemen of the apocalypse but we also saw in the trailer how our titular villain is able to control and manipulate the characters. With they’re already being a blurred line dividing between the two sides, it’ll be a treat to see how it all falls down.

The past two X-Men movies have been not only some of the finest comic book movies ever but some of the best action movies of the past decade. While the third movie in a superhero trilogy tends to turn out quite underwhelming (Spiderman 3 I’m looking at you), from what we’ve seen 2016 couldn’t feel as far away as it does now: bring on the calamity.

Also can we briefly talk about that final trailer scene with James McAvoy donning a baldy? I NEED THIS MOVIE NOW.

Big love, Liam x

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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens final trailer review

I feel like a spoilt child at the moment, like it’s Christmas came early. Last week there was the release of the Star Wars Battlefront Beta, which you can read my thoughts about over here (unsubtle beg), which for a lot of people had them reliving the PS2 days of fighting on Hoth with their pals until the early hours of the morning. Then 2 days ago we got this amazing poster that was meant to tantalise our sci-fi tastebuds until last night.

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“But what happened last night” you most likely won’t ask. This happened.

Released in the early hours of the morning for us over here in Britain, the trailer didn’t exactly make a Beyonce style entrance by coming out of nowhere. In fact, it was quite the opposite as the trailer itself had two teaser trailers to promote it, sort of like how Deadpool did it *cough* which you can read my thoughts about over here *cough* though what else do you expect from one of the highest grossing film series of all time. Even if you don’t like Star Wars, it’s become a staple of pop culture and many scenes and characters have been inscribed in our heads, fact this is.

Which is why I’ve unashamedly watched the trailer a total of five times already and no doubt I’ll watch it another fifty times before the film releases on December 18th. I, like many other people my age and older, have grown up with the series, watching them on loop whether it be on VHS or the countless repeats on ITV2.

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So if you couldn’t tell already, I loved the new trailer and I’m more than aboard the hype train, something I told myself I wouldn’t do due to the sour taste the prequels left in my mouth. The fact that the movie isn’t out for another two months is probably the only problem I have with it (that and the absence of Luke), even then I doubt I’ll get to see it as soon as it is out anyway with how fast tickets sold out for its first day of release.

Letting J.J Abrams take the helm of the project was probably the best decision Disney have made since greenlighting a Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel as the Star Wars universe has never looked so damn good. Even the shortest scenes like the brief dogfight featuring the millennium falcon had me amazed as well as engrossed, something that the prequels failed to do. With his success rebooting Star Trek as well his work on Mission Impossible and Lost, I’m more confident than ever that he’ll be able to balance the story and set pieces that made the original trilogy such a classic.

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One of the main problems with the prequels was how terrible the characters were, not wanting to name names but a certain Jamaican talking, rabbit looking thing lives in infamy as being one of the worst things since bubonic plague. Right maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement but with an unclear protagonist in The Phantom Menace, forced vomit inducing romance in The Clone Wars and a moody emo Anakin for Revenge Of The Sith, it was very difficult to like any of the characters.

With the glimpse we’ve had of The Force Awakens, we’ve got a set of new faces as well as old. We have Finn (John Boyega) who plays a Stormtrooper that, from what I know, witnesses something that results in him leaving The First Order, leaving him alone and confused which is something that viewers can relate to as they return to a universe that has changed since we last saw it 30 years ago. Speaking of First Order, there’s Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who leads this new empire in order to, as he tells the decimated helmet of Darth Vader, “finish what you started”. (Bonus points to you if you spotted the symbolism!)

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Last but not least, we have Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger who a lot of fans suspect has some link to Kylo Ren. Despite this, it seems like she’ll be a welcome change to the tired damsel in distress trope that both men and women are growing sick of. With Han Solo himself showing up alongside Chewie and Leia, the trailer was not only a welcome introduction to what we can expect from this new trilogy, it was a trailer made for the fans.

Will Episode VII be any good? Who knows. We all got ourselves way too excited about The Phantom Menace and look what happened there. However, from what we know and from what we’ve seen, things are looking far more positive. If the final film can evoke the same emotions the same way the trailer made me feel when Finn and Kylo Ren drew their lightsabers to fight, then The Force Awakens will be a worthy addition to the Star Wars franchise.

So what are your thoughts about the Star Wars trailer? Excited? Dissapointed? What’s your favourite moment? Leave your thoughts in the comments below since I’d love to see what you thought of it. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro for some more fanboying.

Ant Man Review

Have you noticed the running trend of superhero movies facing massive production problems? If you catched my Deadpool trailer reaction post you’ll remember that it’s been in production for close to a decade and the journey for Ant Man has not been any smoother. Ant Man started development all the way back in 2006 with Edgar Wright, better known as the guy who created Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead (better known as those two films that are always on ITV2), taking helm of the project. He was the perfect choice as director but as script drafts were completed and test footage was taken, creative differences with Marvel resulted in Wright leaving and Peyton Reed replacing him. It’s been established since his departure that Wright’s decision to leave was due to the film having to tie in with the Marvel Cinematic Universe which no doubt limited what he was able to do.

Fans of the big (well not so big) superhero were left wondering if the film they’ve been anticipating for years was going to be any good. The fact that Wright, who had great success adapting the Scott Pilgrim vs The World books, left had some wondering if anyone would be able to do it, let alone the guy who directed Yes Man. You can’t really blame them either as to the average person, Ant Man is a guy who can turn really small and that’s about it. The trailer that was released a few months before the films release in July managed to calm some down but it was cliched (insert main villain talking sinisterly in the background and a pan shot of the city skyline) leaving some to think this would be Marvel’s first big flop (if you don’t include any of the Thor films or Iron Man 2).

They were wrong.

Marvel's Ant-Man Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) amongst his ants. Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2015

So who is Ant Man? In this film he’s Scott Lang, an ex con who was jailed for burglary and is trying to become a better person so that he can see his daughter. However he realises that the outside world doesn’t treat ex cons so nicely and he soons goes back to his old ways which leads him to Hank Pym who is *surprise* the first Ant Man. Pym is a scientist who created the shrinking technology which allows ant man to shrink down to the size of….well…an ant. However after resigning from S.H.I.E.L.D over 3 decades ago ago and being forced out by his own company by Cross, who is close to replicating Pym’s technology and renaming it the yellow suit, Pym chooses Lang to take on the role of Ant Man to stop Cross at all costs.  “My days of breaking into places and stealing stuff are over. What do you want me to do?” “I want you to break into a place and steal some stuff.”

What ensues is a heist film which is a welcome change to the “fight the big baddy” plot that most marvel films follow. The humour in Ant Man is consistently on point though what else do you expect from a screenplay that was penned by Edgar Wright. Some of the funniest moments come from Michael Pena’s character Luis whose constant ramblings about “so this guy told my cousin” stories never failed to make me or the rest of the audience laugh out loud. At the start I thought he’d be a bit of a mistreated character and used only to progress the plot but he plays the comic relief role perfectly with every word he says being comedy gold, I’d be devastated if we didn’t see him when the inevitable Ant Man 2 comes along.

Main star Paul Rudd also deserves praise for his role as Scott Lang. The actor is best known for comedic roles like in Knocked Up and Clueless and this definitely helps in delivering quips throughout the movie but he handles the sentimental moments perfectly, very similar to Chris Pratt’s Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s no surprise that Rudd’s performance reminded me of Pratt as GOTG was also a film that was hyped up by many as being Marvel’s first flop before it’s release. It was absurd, it was crazy and it was bloody hilarious and proved all doubters wrong, surprising everyone and was undoubtedly one of the best films of 2014.

Michael Douglas was also fantastic as Hank Pym as was Evangeline Lilly as his daughter hope and I couldn’t flaw their chemistry as even though the whole “daughter hates her dad” cliche has been overplayed, it works well in the context of the story and explaining why Hank is no longer Ant Man. Even some of the less important characters such as Luis’ buddies Dave and Kurt, played by rapper T.I and David Dastmalchian respectively, were great additions to the cast and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a few chuckles from them.

Although it may have had a rocky production and the first 30 minutes of the film feel kind of slow and sluggish, the rest of the film more than makes up for it. I’ve seen the film twice already and wouldn’t hesitate to watch it again and it’s easily the best Marvel film I’ve seen all year (sorry Age of Ultron). If you haven’t seen it already then you should change that because Ant Man is in for the running for my favourite film of 2015.

So what are your thoughts on Antman? Loved it? Hated it? What was your favourite moment? Leave your thoughts in the comments below since I’d love to see what you thought of it. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro for some more fanboying.

Deadpool Trailer reaction

14 years.

That’s how long it’s taken for a Deadpool movie to see the light of day though when you realise that the folk at Fox had to make a film about a chimichanga loving, violence enthusiast who loves to break the fourth wall (what kind of weirdo would do that eh?) they had a bit of a challenge on their hands. Just like the humour of the titular hero (?) , the production of a Deadpool film has been all over the place with Artisan Entertainment making a deal with Marvel back in 2000 when superhero films were all but dead after the likes of Batman and Robin had made the genre a laughing stock. 4 years later and New Line Cinema, the home of the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit franchise, attempted a Deadpool spin off with Ryan Reynolds but due to director David Goyer disinterest in the film the project got called off which is a disappointment seeing as the man eventually did screenwriting for the Dark Knight trilogy which revitalised superhero films. The following year 20th Century Fox gained interested in producing a Deadpool flick but following that the only sort of thing that happened was an appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine where they sOWED HIS MOUTH SHUT? THE MERC WITH THE MOUTH HIS MOUTH SOWED SHUT CLOSED? ARE YOU SERIOUS?
And then we got this.

Talking to enemies in Spanish before beating them all up while singing Juice Newton. Showing an assault gun wielding merc a crayon drawing of Deadpool beheading him. Meta humour by the bucketload. All of that within 2 minutes and it’s no wonder why this “leaked” test footage set the internet on fire with hype. Deadpool has always been a favourite of mine, definitely ranking in the top 3, so when I heard about this I got more excited than I should have. I’m usually hesitant to do so since I want to keep neutral though if you’ve read anything about Biffy on this blog you’ll know it’s a bit difficult for me to control myself. Not only did we get this test footage with Fox telling us that a film was in production but that it would also be coming out February 2016 AND would share a cinematic universe with the amazing X-Men films.

After a period of teaser images and an April fools video that you can check out here, we got this teaser here on Monday.

The very next day, we finally got our first meaty, or Quorn yeno I ain’t judging we’re all friends here, chunk of the long awaited film.

First things first, the faithfulness to the source material is extremely relieving. Everything about this film screams Deadpool and it’s great to know that Ryan Reynolds will be reprising his role as the titular character. From start to finish the trailer was a shoutout to the fans for pretty much making this film a reality. If it hadn’t been for the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the test footage then this might have not seen the light of day and it’s good to see that director Tim Miller has recognised this. The R rating alone means we’ll get an uncensored Deadpool, not restricted like 12A superhero pals and the trailer showed just how unafraid the crew are on making this a violent film. No doubt we’ll have folk protesting against the film’s release but it’s not as if we haven’t had this a thousand times before.

I’d like to say I haven’t watched the trailer so many times that the amount is scarily near triple digits. I’d like to say I wasn’t laughing my arse off at TJ Miller’s quips about Deadpool’s appearance. I’d like to say I didn’t let out a huge smile when I saw his flatmate Blind Al (guess why she has that name). I’d like to say that I didn’t do all these things but I’d be a massive liar. I’ve jumped on the hype train. I haven’t so much jumped on the hype train as I have bought every seat on said train, put on a worker’s cap and shouted “FULL STEAM AHEAD”. I’ve bought the train. I identify as the Deadpool movie hype train. I’m in crippling debt. Send help.

Deadpool image #2

So what are your thoughts about the Deadpool trailer? Excited? Dissapointed? What’s your favourite moment? Leave your thoughts in the comments below since I’d love to see what you thought of it. Mine has to be the ” the cancer is only in my liver, lungs, prostate and brain … all things I can live without” bit, the little smirk at the end gets me laughing every time. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @blinkclyro for some more fanboying.