Avengers Assemble Smashes Up UK Box Office

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under News

In perhaps the least surprising news of the day, we bring the tidings that Avengers Assemble is smashing up the box office in the UK – Hulk style.

The four day opening weekend saw revenues of £15.8m, making it the biggest opening for a superhero movie in the UK of all time. The Marvel ensemble action smash up came second only to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which took £16.5m in its opening stint.

But success for Hulk and co. was not isolated to the dismal shores of a rather grey UK (a fact which no doubt boosted the box office takings), with an outrageous $178m being amassed across the globe. Avengers Assemble took the number one spot in all 39 of the countries it was released in thus far. We’re talking Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Central America, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, New Zealand and The Philippines.

So it wasn’t just Jez Sands who thought the film which achieved the biggest day taking for a Disney film (£5.4m) was “a relentless, balls-to-the-wall action spectacular”.

Directed by Joss Whedon, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, in a story by Zak Penn.

Achieving what few films have, AA has managed to unit critics and audiences in an unholy matrimony: “The best comic book movie ever made”, gushes the The Daily Star, “the smartest, wittiest, and most unapologetically entertaining comic-book adaptation of the modern era”, oozes The Times – the film has praise and stars coming out of its cartoon-based ears.

Time to make a booking gang – it’s worth it.

Alan Partridge Movie Will Shoot This Year

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, News

Kiss my face. It’s been rattling around for bloody ages now but the Alan Partridge movie is now definitely a goer and what’s more it’ll be out this year with Father Ted veteran Declan Lowney behind the camera.

Empire managed to track down co-writer Armando Iannucci who’s at present tied up with working for HBO.

“It’s just about all come together now, so that’ll be shot later in the year,” he said, “At the moment it’s ‘The Alan Partridge Movie‘ but that’s just a working title. [The script] is written[but] we’re always rewriting, rewriting and rewriting.”

Lowney’s got some serious comedy pedigree, as he made the first two seasons of Father Ted as well as the Christmas special.  Funnily enough, he didn’t actually have any involvement with the I’m Alan Partridge TV show.

Patridge will hit our screen some time in 2013 – “We’ve written it,” he confirmed, “but it’s a slapstick movie, it’s not political, it’s not satire.”

A Brief Guide To Films On Telly This Weekend

April 28, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

If you don’t fancy venturing out in the pouring rain this weekend and are planning to curl up on the sofa instead, well you might want to give these films airing on your telebox a brief once over.

Terminator: Salvation (2009) – Saturday, Channel 4, 9.30pm

It’s the terrestrial premiere of the fourth instalment of the Terminator franchise.   Rather than averting the nuclear war prophesised in the first three films, Salvation sees John Connor (Christian Bale) leading the ramshackle post-apocalyptic human resistance against the machines.  He must team up with a teenage Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) whom he knows he must send back through time so that he can become his own father (get your brain around that) and newly awakened mystery man Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington)

Directed by McG whose previous credits include uh…Charlie’s Angels (and now lacklustre spy comedy This Means War), it’s a pretty tame affair.  Things certainly go boom, but there’s an innate confusion of the core appeal of the Terminator franchise – that of slowly encroaching doom, coupled with a reasonable fear of human obsolescence.  Instead, we have scenes which look like they could have been cribbed from Transformers knock-off – huge buildings that turn out to be machines and even mechanical eels for chrissakes. Read more

Marvel’s Greatest Hits & Misses

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

Avengers Assemble is out this week and it’s a triumph – the best Marvel film so far. In fact Marvel have done a pretty good job in brining their comic book properties to the big screen. Not always, it’s easier to remember hte triumphs than the failures.

But with that in mind, let’s take at look at some of Marvel’s other successes… and failures…



Iron Man (2008)

We need an actor who can portray self-righteous arrogance while still being likable and not unbearable….hmmm…tough call.  Oh wait, no it’s not.  Step forward Robert Downey Jr. perfectly cast as everyone’s favourite billionaire playboy philanthropist.   Boasting an excellent AC/DC soundtrack, and some seriously sexy gadgetry, Iron Man was sleek, funny and most importantly fun.

Thor (2011)

April 2011 saw the arrival of the hammer-wielding, blond-barnetted son of Asgard, Thor.  With its campy aesthetic and huge sets (not to mention Thor’s preposterous haircut and bulging biceps), this could easily have been the gateway to the cheese dimension.  Fortunately, Kenneth Branagh infused Thor with a godly amount of fun and some hilarious fish out of water comedy and a convincingly delicious villain in Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Read more

Expendables 2 New Character Posters!

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

Who needs a plot?  Blah, blah, blah, payback, blah, blah, blah, vengeance.  What we’re really interested in is seeing old-school action heroes fire massive guns at things and quip drily to camera, something that Arnold Schwarzenegger elevated to an artform in the late 80s.

Here’s a first look at the character posters.  See what you think.  It’s out in August.


Outside Bet Review: Coming In Last

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, Film Reviews

On General Release Friday 27th April

When you’re dealin’ with one-dimensional cockney characters in a film, there’s only one way to introduce them: with laughably cheesy narration and text that spells out their ridiculous cockney nicknames—typically something like “Bodger” or “The Don”. It’s an unwritten rule, but one that Outside Bet, a light-hearted British comedy film directed by Sacha Bennett, has chosen to abide by.

So, as the film opens, we pan around a typical South London boozer in the mid-1980s. Here’s where we meet the lads. First, there’s Bob Hoskins, the original pearly king himself. He plays Smudge, the biggest geezer Bob’s portrayed since Super Mario. He’s the head of a group of Fleet Street hacks, and a cracking friend to his best mate Threads (Philip Davis). Threads has a son, a proper wide-boy named Bax, and ever since Bax was just a lad, he’s loved to bet on horses with his old man.

It’s a touching story, the tale of a father and son and their unacknowledged addiction to gambling. It’s an addiction that the missus, Bax’s mother (Jenny Agutter), must never find out about. She did once before, and she gave Threads a right proper bollocking for it. “She’s never understood,” Bax explains. This, presumably, is why the film paints her as thoroughly unlikable, like almost all of its female characters. Read more

OTB Movie Podcast 19: Podcast Assemble

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

OTBpoddy210 The OTB Podcast is back after over a year’s absence. Did you miss us? Yeah…thought not. Anyway, this week resident Film Editor Jez Sands is joined by Move Vortex‘s Cassam Looch and Mike Edwards to talk about this week’s news, trailer and reviews.

We’re pretty pumped up by Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble but that’s hardly surprising given its near universal critical praise; Whit Stillman brings us a delightful slice of offbeat campus comedy in Damsels In Distress; lions and cheetahs are given awful human characteristics in Disney’s documentary African Cats and Albert Nobbsturns out to be a bit of a drag…

Download this podcast
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Grant Morrison: “Batman Is Very, Very Gay”

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, News

Grant Morrison, the scribe responsible for revamping DC Comics’ Batman franchise said that Batman was “very, very gay” in a recent interview with Playboy.

“He’s very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant,” he said “Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay.”

In fact, he’s goes so far to state that that’s why he thinks the characater has such appeal, “I think that’s why people like it. All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care — he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid.”

Ahhh, so that’s why Joel Schumacher put nipples on a Batsuit…

That reminds me of something:

Colin Farrell For Akiva Goldsman’s Winter’s Tale

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, News

Akiva Goldsman has been beavering away on Winter’s Tale for a projected October release date and now he’s got a male lead in mind to star opposite Jessica Brown Findlay – Colin Farrell.

Variety reports that Goldsman has his sights firmly on Farrell and Warner Bros. are more than happy to have him back on board. They already tried to snag him for Arthur and Lancelot but that came to nothing.

Winter’s Tale has nothing to do with Shakespeare, so don’t let the title put you off. Instead it’s an adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel set in both modern-day and 19th century New York. It follows the story of Peter Lake, a thief who breaks into an uptown West Side mansion only to meet and fall in love with the young woman who live there.

The Wikipedia entry on it isn’t actually that helpful but there’s a whole host of supernatural elements to deal with including miracles, guardian angels and a flying white horse.

If Farrell passes on the lead, the Goldsman can always turn to his back up list which contains the likes of Garrett Hedlund, Aaron Johnson and Liam Hemsworth – interesting choice considering the age differences between them all.

Meanwhile Farrell’s got the reboot of Total Recall coming out on August 22 and is currently shooting Dead Man Down with Noomi Rapace and Dominic Cooper.

Josh Gad To Play Steve Wozniak

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under - Home, News

Josh Gad is all set to play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak opposite Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in Joshua Michael Stern’s Jobs.

Woz became friends with Jobs when they both worked at Hewlett Packard in 1970. Jobs had an idea to sell a computer as a fully integrated unit – something which Wozniak wasn’t convinced would work. Thankfully Jobs convinced him and they both began to deleop prototypes for what would become the Apple I. Apple was founded in 1976 and were together in business for 12 years, though Wozniak did take time out following a plane crash in 1981.

He’s maintained that he and Jobs were not close friends, though he’s an important figure in Apple’s history. Stern’s film will follow Jobs from his days as a hippie student to the founding of Apple.

For those not familiar with Gad, he was last seen in Love And Other Drugs but has actually been spending more time treading the boards – earning a Tony Nomination for Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s The Book Of Mormon. He’s part of the voice cast for Ice Age: Continental Drift and will be in comedy drama Thanks For Sharing.

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