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Avengers Assemble Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 02/03/2012 @ 12:27
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 54
Films seen in the last week: One For The Money, Breaking Wind, Wanderlust, If Not Us, Who?, The Raven, Iron Sky, Project X, John Carter, Cafe de Flore, Silent House

JOINT FILMS OF THE WEEK: Hunky Dory and Michael

The Oscars: How Was It For You?
Oscar-watching is a different experience these days. Thanks to a massive fail on the part of a certain channel's watch online service, I ended up watching them on a live stream (with people on Twitter constantly sharing working streams) and it worked surprisingly well, only crashing once, during Christopher Plummer's acceptance speech.
It's also fun to watch it in the company of like-minded Twitterers – in the old days it was basically just you, your still-up friends (via
text) and maybe one or two others on a film-obsessed talkboard.



Anyway, the show was a vast improvement on last year, but it could hardly have been worse, as last year's was an utter shambles and the worst Oscar show in recent memory. Billy Crystal's gags were good (especially the “What are they thinking?” routine, with the camera cutting to various people and Crystal speaking their thoughts, then getting to Nick Nolte and just going “GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR”), though nine songs in the Best Picture line-up meant that his trademarked opening medley was a little over-long and I sort of tuned out halfway through.



Generally speaking it was a very classy affair this year (even the orchestra was classical-tinged) and I was pleased to see the return of the no-real-reason-for-it montage. Comedy-wise, the highlights for me were a super-adorable Emma Stone completely stealing the show during her presentation routine with Ben Stiller and the cast of Bridesmaids presenting the shorts awards (particularly Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne playing an on-stage drinking game, yelling out “MARTIN SCORSESE!” and downing a shot). As for the awards themselves, it was all very predictable and I got 9 out of my 10 predictions from last week correct – the only one I got wrong was Meryl Streep beating Viola Davis. Yet another reason to hate Thatcher.



My favourite award of the night (even if it was only up against one other nominee and therefore not really much of a victory) was Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie winning Best Original Song for Muppet of a Man. Shame they weren't allowed to perform it though – that would have been amazing. (The brief appearance of Kermit and Miss Piggy wasn't much of a consolation). So that's it. Awards season is officially over. Time to start predicting next year's Oscars ...

Films I Am Dying To See: Avengers Assemble
This week, along with a new trailer, it was annouced that Joss Whedon's Avengers movie would be known in the UK as Avengers Assemble. There was a brief flurry of outrage on Twitter (largely because it comes on the back of a few other baffling title changes, like changing The Invention of Hugo Cabret to Hugo and John Carter Of Mars to John Carter), but for the record, I think it's a better title, since “Avengers Assemble!” is their rallying cry in the comics. However, certain sources are insisting its proper title is “Marvel Avengers Assemble”, which is rubbish (though I think the trailer makes it pretty clear that the Marvel part is only proprietary and not part of the full title).



Anyway, the new trailer gives the first clear indication of the plot: the Earth is under attack by an alien army (briefly glimpsed at the 1m35s mark) presumably under the control of Tom Hiddleston's Loki, and Colonel Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles Earth's Mightiest Heroes (TM) to defeat them, only the problem is that they seem more interested in fighting each other. The latest trailer gives us some idea of the scale of the film as well as a look at the various ways the characters are brought together – Iron Man's armour-removing device thingy is particularly cool. On a geekier note, I'm slightly disappointed to discover that the film doesn't appear to have them banding together to fight a rampaging Hulk before the Loki threat kicks in (one of the first ever Avengers stories) and I also wish Scarlett Johansson had kept her Russian accent for Black Widow, but you can't have everything.



I am keen to see why they're all fighting each other though and I hope the script has something better in mind than just petty squabbles/macho posturing. One worry that the trailer raises is that the likes of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who has no lines at all in the trailer, are going to get side-lined by the bigger characters. Oh, and the giant THING at the end is apparently Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, according to some nerds on the internets. There's also an excellent shot-by-shot breakdown of the trailer here by Empire's Chris Hewitt that's well worth a look. The film opens here on 27th April (a week earlier than in the States) and I can't WAIT. (I am officially much more excited about Avengers Assemble than I am about Batman: The Dark Knight Rises).



Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only two new entries this week with just Austrian paedophile drama Michael (wrongest but funniest joke of the week: “Or, as the Austrians call it, a romcom”, via @robbiereviews on Twitter) and nostalgic 70s-set musical coming-of-age drama Hunky Dory entering the top ten.
I'll also put in a good word for Wanderlust, This Means War and If Not Us, Who?, all of which I enjoyed, in varying degrees. It's also worth noting that a) Martha Marcy May Marlene is now deep into its second run and only showing at a couple of cinemas, so catch it while you still can and b) Alex Orr's excellent exploitation pic Blood Car is still playing in London – it's at the Rio at 11.30pm tomorrow night.

Interview-wise this week we have exclusive interviews with Minnie Driver and director Marc Evans for Hunky Dory. You can also still read our exclusive interview with Blood Car director Alex Orr, our press conference interviews with Denzel Washington and Safe House director Daniel Espinosa, our press conference interview with Nicolas Cage for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, our exclusive interview with My Summer of Love director Pawel Pawlikowski for The Woman in the Fifth, our press conference interview with Kermit, Miss Piggy and Muppets director James Bobin; our press conference interview with David Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and writer Christopher Hampton for A Dangerous Method; our exclusive interview with Bombay Beach director Alma Har'el, and our press conference interviews with Descendants stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley and director Alexander Payne.

Come back next week for exclusive interviews with The Raven star John Cusack and various cast members from John Carter (which I am still insisting on referring to as John Carter Of Mars).

1. The Artist
2. The Muppets
3. The Descendants
4. Young Adult
5. Martha Marcy May Marlene
6. Michael
7. Hunky Dory
8. Blood Car
9. Chronicle
10. The Woman In The Fifth



DVD of the Week: Footloose (out now, online RRP £11.99)This week's DVD of the Week is Footloose, a remake of the 1984 teen classic, which I regret not giving four stars to when it came out last year (I gave it three, but it was a very competitive week).
Directed by Craig Brewer, it stars newcomer Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormack, a city boy who comes to live in the small town of Bomont after the death of his mother. However, Ren is shocked to discover that the town has banned loud music and unsupervised public dancing as a result of a tragedy three years earlier in which local preacher Reverend Shaw Moore's (Dennis Quaid) son and four other teens were killed in an accident after drinking at a dance. Things quickly get more complicated when Ren falls for Ariel (Julianne Hough), the preacher's ultra-rebellious daughter, with Shaw quick to blame her behaviour on the newcomer's influence. At the same time, Ren makes several friends in his new town and agrees to help new best buddy Willard (Miles Teller, who bizarrely, appears in Project X playing “Miles Teller”) learn how to dance.



Wormald's an appealing screen presence with some nifty dance moves to boot, while Hough is smoking hot as wild child Ariel and there's strong comic support from Teller, whose learning-to-dance and subsequent pay-off scenes are very entertaining. The film has obviously been made with a great deal of love for the original material (it's as much homage as remake), since the majority of the scenes are exactly the same; they even use some of the same outfits and cover versions of the some of the original songs. Obvious welcome changes include making the town significantly more ethnically diverse (complete with extra dance routines), though the classic Tractor Chicken Game has been replaced by a bus racing sequence that's fun but not as gleefully silly. In short, this is a hugely entertaining remake that succeeds thanks to a faithful script, terrific dance sequences and strong performances from its cast. Basically, if you're after a feelgood pick-me-up, this is the DVD for you.



Extras include: a director's commentary by Craig Brewer, a music video (“Fake ID”) by Big & Rich and three deleted scenes (with optional commentary), but no Making Of and no interviews with McCormack and Hough, which seems odd, since they hit the press trail pretty hard at the time. Recommended, anyway.

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