Whatever happened to Indians?

I was up nice and early for work on Thursday. Or should I woke up early, dragged my laptop into bed and loaded up the Cowboys & Aliens trailer to wake myself up with.

Jon Favreau  has exceeded expectations with his Iron Man films, going as far as to change the direction that Marvel Studios is taking with all live action interpretations of their characters. Let's ignore the fact that this has resulted in 3 different actors playing the Hulk with a 7 year span, or that at least 3 existing multi-film franchises are/have been rebooted. None of this can be placed at Favreau's feet. The man has excelled in directing arguably the best superhero flicks which have so dominated our screens for the past 10 years.

Ever since I heard rumours of the development of an Cowboys & Aliens film I have been dying for a scrap of anything substantial. For now I have had to survive on the odd tweet with a quick low-res image of a set or costume - nothing that will show me what kind of film the final product would actually be. Once Comicon hit the US the internet provided me with some videos of a hall roaring their approval of Favreau and Harrison Ford's first appearance at the fabled nerdalicious event. Through the event we were provided with the first image of Daniel Craig as the 'cowboy abducted by aliens'.

It gave a pretty good impression. The newly-released trailer finally gave me a decent look at how these two very different genres will mesh together. For the most part it's a Western, but with aliens in place of the typical 'Indian Menace'. Not much may be seen of the ships in the trailer, which is what I love most about it! The initial shot feels very 'Close Encounters of a Third Kind' and 'ET'. Can't wait.


Full trailer for the Green Lantern hit the web today, following up on some truly shocking footage courtesy of Entertainment Tonight. Seriously, if they want to advertise perhaps they should release their promos in a decent res that doesn't crush the hope of every DC fanboy out there?

I ignored the video largely due to the resolution, it's incredibly hard to judge a book by it's misprinted pixelly cover. I am by no means a hardcore Green Lantern fan, in fact I still know only a little of his story - a background and some of his more recent adventures are basically the extent of my knowledge on the matter. If you want a good overview of his origin tale (and thus part of the subject matter for the upcoming film) be sure to check out DC's animated feature 'Green Lantern: First Flight'.

For the most part my impressions from the trailer were quite promising. I can now full realise  the reasons for the suit being cg - just look at Killowog and Tomar-Re.

Some other observations that I would like to note is firstly,all the character look fantastic! Mark Strong looks downright majestically theatrical as Sinestro! Temura Morrison looks wicked as Abin-Sur..... BUT did anyone at DC/Warner Bros watch X-Men 3? Have they noticed that they have made him look like Kelsey Grammar as Beast at all? Or is it just me?

When first announced, I was quite skeptical as to how they would approach the Lantern's powers - I mean giant hands smashing people around? Jordan's fondness for recreating human tools such as hammers? I knew this is something that could kill the film, after all it is difficult to take something serious when it looks like it belongs in a Looney Tunes short. So far I am impressed with the single clip a swift punch using the ring, but I reserve my ultimate judgement until I see something other than a hand creating in the effect.

Finally (inevitably) the two things that stick out from the trailer that could kill the film for me;

The Mask.

In the majority of the trailer the mask looks awful. I don't know if it the fact you can still see Reynolds iris' or is it the lighting? I don't know. In the above images I think it looks fine in the first image, it's an action shot but it's clear enough for us to the mask blending with his face and it looks fine. The eyes don't both me here, but in the second image it looks awful! I think it's the grading and the colour of the suit in that particular light. It's too bright and doesn't look like it belongs. This is something that I hope is sorted out for the final product.

Blake Lively.

I just plain don't like her. From what I have seen of her acting 'talent' (Gossip Girl) I think if she can't carry her weight she will her scenes into a deep dark hole in space with no hope of return. I'm not saying that she can't act.... I just haven't seen anything that supports this.

Perhaps it's a credit to her that her character shits me so much?


I am currently in the very early stages of working on what is to become an annual project. Around Christmas time every year I am asked by an number of friends what movies I would recommend from both the current year, as well as what upcoming films to keep an eye on. The same goes for games. I'll host the review/preview list online somewhere (perhaps it's own site) as well as a pdf for mass distribution.

Should be fun.

The list will include up to ten in each category;
- Recommended 2010;
     - Live Action Films
     - Animated Films
     - TV Series
     - Games
     - Tech

- Upcoming 2011

     - Live Action Films
     - Animated Films
     - TV Series
     - Games
     - Tech

This should give me something a to do in some of my off-time. I'm slowly sourcing images etc for the piece.



I loved TinTin as a kid. I've never actually seen the animated series but I all the books my primary school had. When I heard that there was a film trillogy in development I have followed every tiny scrap of news since. Early news reported that Steven Spielberg would direct the first, Peter Jackson the second and they would co-direct the third. More recent news has it that there will only be two films but this remain relatively uncertain in this day and age of sequels. Since pre-production was announced and Spielberg's filming wrapped after 6 weeks or production I have been anxious for a glimpse at how Herge's legendary style would be transformed into film. Empire quoted Peter Jackson on the film's visual style;

"With live action you're going to have actors pretending to be Captain Haddock and Tintin, with CGI we can bring Hergé's world to life, keep the stylised caricatured faces, keep everything looking like Hergé's artwork, but make it photo-real."

Little has been stated about the film's scripts (written by Steven Moffat, rewrites by Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright) other than the first film will focus on the beginning of TinTin's friendship with Captain Haddock, Thompson & Tompson whilst exploring the stories of The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure.

Apparently Edgar Wright has written dialogue for Thompson & Tompson, which would be amazing considering that they were always hilarious in the comics and of course the fact that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are playing the twins!

I think they have captured the look of Herge's work as well as is possibly in a CGI realm. There will always be complaints about it looking reminiscent to the ill-fated Polar Express as well as it not truly reflecting Herge's style. To put it plainly; those out there who expect a perfect adaptation should give up on watching anything based off a book, film, musical, graphic novel, comic, real life etc because it will never happen. You need to look at this as an opportunity for one of your childhood favourites to get a treatment from film greats that you could have dreamed of; Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and the list goes on. Does this mean that it is going to be a success? Not necessarily. But it does stand a pretty good chance with such a talented team.

Those doubts regarding the animation falling deep deep into the uncanny valley should be cast aside when they think of the fact that WETA is undertaking the mo-cap and effects. I feel as though their experience speaks for itself; Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Avatar, District 9, I, Robot etc.

After all, it's all in the eyes.