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Gandalf Returns and Watchmen’s Finally Here… Almost

Posted by: Matthew Turner 24/07/2008 @ 15:53
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 260
Films seen this week: Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame, Quiet City & Dance Party USA, The Dark Knight (IMAX and non-IMAX versions), Belle de Jour, Waltz With Bashir, Lou Reed's Berlin, Space Chimps, The Foot Fist Way, Caveman

Rejoice! McKellen to return as Gandalf for The Hobbit
Speaking at the premiere of The Dark Knight, Sir Ian McKellen has apparently confirmed his involvement in The Hobbit, which will be directed by Hellboy / Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro. This, for me, is the best piece of film news I've heard all week. I've got much more of an emotional investment in The Hobbit than I had in The Lord of the Rings, simply because I actually read the book of The Hobbit when I was growing up. (I saw the 1978 Ralph Bakshi version of LOTR and listened to the 1981 BBC radio adaptation – check out that great cast – but never actually read the books.) I also think Guillermo del Toro is the perfect choice for the director of The Hobbit – he even LOOKS a bit like Peter Jackson, as these photos here and here clearly show. We still have to wait till 2010 though. Bah.

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Watchmen
At least we only have to wait until 2009 for Watchmen. The trailer was finally released last week and it looks absolutely stunning, at least as far as the costumes, set designs and special effects are concerned. It's odd to think that Terry Gilliam was once in the frame to direct Watchmen – indeed, it's had more false starts in the last 20 years or so than... well, than something that has a lot of false starts. However, if the finished film is even a quarter as good as the trailer makes it look, then it will have been worth the wait. At least 300 director Zack Snyder has form when it comes to decent comic book adaptations. I haven't read the graphic novel since 1989 or so, so I'm looking forward to dusting off my copy and re-reading it. Incidentally, bigger Watchmen geeks than me have done a great job comparing the trailer to the comic here and you've got to admire their work. My only real complaint about the trailer is that there's no sign of the lovely Carla Gugino (one of my favourite actresses), but thankfully that imbalance has been redressed here. Roll on, 2009...

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Only two new entries this week: The Dark Knight (which should really be seen in IMAX, if at all possible) and Baby Mama, which made me laugh more than any film I've seen so far this year.

1. The Visitor
2. In Search of a Midnight Kiss
3. The Dark Knight
4. The Mist
6. Mamma Mia
7. Wanted
8. Priceless
9. Baby Mama
10. Donkey Punch

DVD of the Week: All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (out now, RRP £17.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is teen horror All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, starring Amber Heard as the titular lust object, who accepts an invite to a party at a remote ranch for the weekend, only to find herself in the middle of a slasher movie-type situation as her obnoxious friends get picked off one by one. Admittedly, it sounds like every other slasher movie you've ever seen, but it's a cut above the usual rubbish, thanks to a decent script, engaging performances and impressive direction by Jonathan Levine. Pretty poor extras package though – the DVD only has the UK trailer and a 30 minute (!) interview with Amber Heard, in which she says very little of interest.


by  will  25/07/2008 @ 10:31
Yey! Gandalf returns, that's awesome. Peter Jackson's doing the other (made up) prequels isn't he.

OMG the watchmen looks sooo cool, I've never read it and I feel ashamed actually, seeing as it's right up my alley as it were.
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