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Expendables Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 01/04/2010 @ 15:04
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 101
Films seen this week: Kick-Ass (again), Clash of the Titans (3D), City of War: The Story of John Rabe, Shelter, Kakera: A Piece of Our Life

To 3D or not 3D, that is the question
Avatar has a lot to answer for, that's all I can say. This week sees the release of two high profile 3D features, both of which represent the total opposites of the scale when it comes to 3D quality. Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon was filmed in 3D and features some of the best animated 3D work seen to date – the action scenes are genuinely thrilling (the flying scenes alone will have you staring open-mouthed in wonder) and the 3D environments are used brilliantly throughout. However, Clash of the Titans was filmed in good old fashioned 2D but the suits took one look at Avatar's astronomical box-office takings and decided they'd better add an extra dimension, sharpish, resulting in one of the worst 3D botch jobs I've ever seen. It's so distracting that it actually takes you out of the film, not least because all the actors look like they're standing in front of their own body doubles, giving a weird mirroring effect. Quite apart from anything else, there's not a single sequence in the film that actually benefits from being in 3D – indeed, an extended trailer for the film was playing in the foyer of the Empire afterwards and everyone agreed how much better it looked in 2D.
This isn't to say that film-makers should steer clear of 3D for live-action features – My Bloody Valentine 3D was terrific fun, used 3D brilliantly and wouldn't have been nearly as good in 2D - but studios should definitely think twice before rushing to convert 2D features into 3D just to cash in on the Avatar dollar. Personally speaking, I'm a fan of 3D in general, but that doesn't mean I want EVERY film to be in 3D, especially when there's a slight loss of colour and brightness that seems to go with it.

Trailerwatch: The Expendables
This week saw the release of the trailer for The Expendables, which features a veritable smorgasbord of action heroes. So many action heroes, in fact, that they might just as well have called it “Look at all the action heroes!” and had done with it. Sylvester Stallone (who also directs) stars alongside Jason Statham (as Lee Christmas, which, as character names go, isn't quite up there with Chev Chelios but is still mildly amusing) and Jet Li as a group of mercenaries sent on some mission or other. Frankly, the trailer's not too clear on the plot, except to reassure you that there will be plenty of explosions and shoot-outs and that Jason Statham will be riding in the nose of a plane at some point. Still, the plot barely matters in a film like this – Stallone, Statham and Li would be exciting enough but the film also features Mickey Rourke, Danny Trejo (not in the trailer, sadly) and Eric Roberts, as well as past-it action heroes such as Dolph Lundgren and even cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (It's a shame they're not in it properly though – that would have been awesome.) Also, spare a thought for the likes of Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme, who probably cried for a week once they realised they weren't getting the call for this. Opens here August 20th.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week with comic-book adaptation Kick-Ass, animated adventure How to Train Your Dragon and WWII (well, 1937) drama City of War: The Story of John Rabe all making it into the top ten. I feel kind of sorry for City of War because it's destined to be overshadowed by three big releases this week (Kick-Ass, How to Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans) and all the remaining space will be given over to woefully misguided Robert Pattinson vehicle Remember Me. So make an extra special effort to see City of War, because it's well worth seeing. Plus, who can resist a film that features Steve Buscemi singing “Hitler has only got one ball”? Interview-wise, you can read our exclusive interview with Rhys Ifans here, our equally exclusive interview with Lourdes star Sylvie Testud here and our not so exclusive press conference with Robert Pattinson here. Don't see the film though – it's terrible.

1. Kick-Ass
2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
3. Lourdes
4. How to Train Your Dragon (3D)
5. Shutter Island
6. City of War: The Story of John Rabe
7. Ondine
8. I Love You Phillip Morris
9. The House of the Devil
10. Storm

DVD of the Week: A Serious Man (out now, RRP £15.99)
This week's DVD of the week is the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man, a jet black comedy about 1960s Jewish-American college professor Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), whose life begins to unravel when his wife Judith (Sari Lennick) informs him that she's leaving him for their pompous acquaintance Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed), who she describes as a “a serious man”. Perhaps the Coens' most personal film to date, this is a hugely enjoyable black comedy with a tightly constructed script and a terrific central performance from Michael Stuhlbarg. It's also very much the sort of film you'll want to see again, so its DVD release is extremely welcome. Extras include a 17 minute Making Of featurette (featuring interviews with the Coens), a 13 minute featurette on creating 1967 and a two minute featurette entitled Hebrew and Yiddish for goys.

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