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Posts Tagged ‘Elysium’

If you take a look at the top ten grossing movies of the year so far there are seven sequels (Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Monsters University, Fast & Furious 6, Oz The Great and Powerful, Star Trek Into Darkness) and a reboot (Man of Steel). World War Z (based on a book) will probably be knocked out of the top ten by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smug leaving Gravity as the only original property to bother the top ten. Do audiences only go in large numbers to see sequels of franchise movies or do studios only commit large amounts of money to existing properties that a ready made audience? The $825million taken by Christopher Nolan’s Inception proved that a totally original movie could make money, however it would probably never been given the green light if not for the $1billion The Dark Knight took. As cinema prices creep up and audiences become ever more selective, studios become more cautious making it a self fulfilling prophesy relegating most original ideas to smaller films. With this in mind, here are my top five original movies of the year. Original movies, not a sequel, prequel, remake, re-imagining or reboot. Also, not based on a book, comic book or true story.

Stoker: In the year that the remake of Chan-wook Park’s masterpiece Oldboy limped onto cinema screens Stoker proved to be Park’s best film since Oldboy. The original screenplay was written by actor Wentworth Miller. A weird, beautiful and sublime blend of melodrama, psychological thriller and coming of age drama. Budget: $12,000,000 (estimated)stoker

Gravity: Alfonso Cuarón’s space adventure about a pair of astronauts trying to find a way home after a collision in space is a truly stunning film and the first film that should be seen in 3D preferably IMAX 3D. Budget: $100,000,000 (estimated)GRAVITY

Prisoners: Great acting from ensemble cast and stunning photography from Roger Deakins combine with taught direction French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve making his English-language debut elevate this from a genre movie with an overt subtext to a really good film. Budget: $46,000,000 (estimated)Prisoners

The East: An original story of the murky world of private intelligence firms and an environmental anarchist collective. Written by director Zal Batmanglij and star Brit Marling. It is notable for great acting and its dark melancholic tone. Budget: $6,500,000 (estimated)The East

Pacific Rim: To call Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs. robot movie original would be a stretch as it appears to be based on every other monster movie/comic book to have gone before it, however it isn’t directly based on any other previously produced work. It makes the list ads it is just great fun, pure and simple. Budget: $190,000,000 (estimated)PACIFIC RIM

Mud – the continuing renascence of Matthew McConaughey.
The Counsellor – Cormac McCarthy’s first screenplay is far better than has been reported
About Time – Charming and funny time travel comedy from Richard Curtis.
Blue Jasmine – Cate Blanchett, deserves an Oscar.
Elysium – Neill Blomkamp’s Sci-Fi action drama lacks subtlety but is still good

Check back at the end of the month to see how many of these movies make my top ten of the year.

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You’re NextThe ConjuringFrances HaThe Worlds EndOnly God ForgivesThe Lone RangerElysiumAbout TimeThe WolverineRush

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From gratuitous violence to clever satire via a couple of young adult novel adaptations it has been another varied month, this is what I watched:

Only God Forgives: Revenge thriller set against the backdrop of Bangkok’s underworld. An oppressive and overpowering film that tonally shares more with director Nicolas Winding Refn’s earlier film Valhalla Rising (2009) than with the film it is constantly compared to Drive (2011). Ryan Gosling is good but overshadowed by Vithaya Pansringarm and Kristin Scott Thomas.Only God Forgives

The Conjuring: A surprisingly old fashioned horror movie from James Wan the director of the first Saw movie. A great cast including Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Lili Taylor combined with a good balance and suspense and jumps make a surprisingly enjoyable horror movie.The Conjuring

RED 2: The team from RED are back and are joined by Anthony Hopkins, Byung-hun Lee and Catherine Zeta-Jones. More of the same disposable fun. If you liked the first one, you will like this.RED 2

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa: After more than twenty years on TV and radio, Steve Coogan’s alter ego Alan Partridge makes his movie début. Very silly and very funny.Alan Partridge Alpha Papa

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters: The second instalment of the reinvention of Greek mythology series. If you like the first movie you will probably enjoy this as it is basically more of the same. There are less cameos than in the first movie but this is made up for by a very funny Nathan Fillion.Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters

The Lone Ranger: Directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto, panned by the press and ignored by audiences, it actually isn’t bad. It would have been a lot better if the 150minutes had been trimmed down to 95.THE LONE RANGER

2 Guns: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg bounce off each other well in this action buddy movie that is reminiscent of movies of the 80’s and 90’s like Lethal Weapon. Surprisingly good fun.2 Guns 10

About Time: Time travelling romantic comedy drama staring Domhnall (Brendan) Gleeson, Rachel McAdams (who interestingly also starred in The Time Traveller’s Wife). As fun, funny and charming as you would expect from a Richard Curtis. Bill Nighy is great plying his favourite character, Bill Nighy.About Time

Kick Ass 2: Containing all the elements that made Kick Ass great (except Nicolas Cage) but it all falls flat. There a few good moments but overall the film is a disappointing mess.Film Title: Kick-Ass 2

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: Based on a popular series of books about a girl who discovers she may be a daemon hunter. It doesn’t have anything new or original to say but it is enjoyable enough fluff. A sequel, City of Ashes is set to start filing in a couple of weeks.The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

Elysium: Following District 9, his satire on race and xenophobia discussed as a sci-fi, Neill Blomkamp does the same for social equality and the poverty/wealth gap in the world today. Matt Damon is a dependable star, Jodie Foster makes a good villain (despite a distracting accent); Alice Braga and Diego Luna are sadly underused but Sharlto Copley and William Fichtner do exactly what you expect from them. The film looks stunning and the near two hour runtime flies by.Elysium

As is often the case, the movie of the month isn’t necessarily the best film of the month, but the most pleasantly surprising:conjuring-bannerThe Conjuring

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