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Ted Film Trailer

Posted by: Matthew Turner 13/04/2012 @ 10:49
Subject: Film

Total films seen so far this year: 99
Films seen in the last two weeks: A Cat in Paris, Le Havre, Beloved, North Sea Texas, Mozart's Sister, The Lucky One, A Royal Affair, Transit, Marley, Elfie Hopkins, American Pie: Reunion

FILM OF THE WEEK: The Cabin in the Woods

Avengers Nerdery
Regular readers (both of you) may recall that I'm something of a Marvel nerd, at least as far as the classic comics go. Tonight I'm seeing Avengers Assemble (I refuse to call it Marvel Avengers Assemble), which I've basically been waiting for ever since Iron Man became a huge hit and the Avengers movie looked like a possibility. According to a recent interview with Marvel honcho Kevin Feige, Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and Captain America 2 are all on track, which is very exciting news, but I'm hoping they'll branch out a bit and take some risks on a few other characters. I'm also desperately hoping that Edgar Wright still gets to make Ant Man (a founder Avenger in the comics but cruelly left out of the Avengers movie), something that Feige strongly hints at in that interview.

Anyway, with all that in mind, here is a short and very nerdy check list of things I'm hoping to see in the Avengers movie tonight:

1. I have no interest in a Spider-Man cameo (though very occasionally a guest Avenger, Spider-Man was always much more of a loner), but it would be great if the Avengers at least acknowledged the existence of the Fantastic Four or the X-Men (in the comics it's always “We're busy – have you tried the FF or the X-Men?”).

2. I'm really hoping for cameos from potential future Avengers, either in alter-ego form or referred to in some way. I will be keeping a particular ear out for the names Henry Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man's alter-ego) and Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp, who was heavily rumoured to be part of the film back in the casting stage – which part DID Eva Longoria audition for, anyway?).

3. Hulk vs Thor. Old school Marvel fans are obsessed with Hulk vs Thor. The received wisdom is that “Hulk is the strongest one there is!” and the comics always copped out of giving the readers a straight fight (see also Hulk vs The Thing). The trailer has quite a bit of the Avengers all punching each other, so fingers crossed for this.

4. Is cameo by Kat Dennings (who is, after all, in Thor) too much to ask for? How Thor chose Natalie Portman over Kat Dennings, I'll never know.

5. A decent amount of backstory/plot for Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who doesn't have a single line in the trailer, to the point where people were wondering if he was mute. I'm hoping there's at least enough of Renner to spark interest in a possible future Hawkeye movie.

6. While we're at it, some background on Black Widow (in the comics, she started off as a vaguely Catwoman-like Soviet spy and was an Iron Man villainess for ages) wouldn't go amiss either.

7. A romantic sub-plot of sorts for Captain America and SHIELD agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) – I'm not up on post-1990s Cap stuff but I gather that's something from the comics.

8. A hint at possible future Avengers villains. My fingers are crossed for Kang The Conqueror.

9. Iron Man getting his ass kicked. Let's face it, he could use being taken down a peg or two.

10. Everyone realising that Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is kind of surplus to requirements in an Avengers movie, leaving SHIELD and moving into a mansion together at the end (Avengers Mansion is also a comics thing).

Right. That's quite enough nerdery. Avengers Assemble!

Trailerwatch: Ted
I had heard about Ted (the new live-action comedy from Seth MacFarlane, the writer-director of Family Guy), but I hadn't actually seen the trailer until they played it in front of the American Pie: Reunion screening last night. (They actually played the first Red Band trailer, worth watching for the “Fuck You, Thunder!” song and Wahlberg's amazing ability to rattle off white trash girl's names). Wahlberg stars as John, who makes a Christmas wish and brings his teddy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane, although it's almost more accurate to say voiced by Family Guy's Peter Griffin, because Ted is basically Griffin in bear form) to life and the pair become best friends. However, when John meets the love of his life (Mila Kunis as Lois), their relationship is threatened as Lois encourages John to ask Ted to move out. Wahlberg is a surprisingly great comic actor (which is odd, as he can often be wooden in dramatic roles) and this looks very promising.

The trailers have several great gags between them and the animation effects on Ted are very impressive too. I particularly like the fact that the magic element of the film isn't questioned at all, with everyone just accepting Ted for what he is: a walking, talking (groping, sex-obsessed, pot-smoking) teddy bear. The trailer also promises another Family Guy trademark – a lengthy fight scene with two characters punching away at each other for a ridiculously long time. That said, the way the scene is shot is quite threatening and I'd almost be tempted to wonder if they'dactually address the idea of domestic abuse in the film, if it weren't for the fact that it's by the Family Guy guy.

The trailers don't leave much room for the supporting cast but the imdb
lists reliable comic performers like Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton and Community's Joel McHale as well as Smallville's Supergirl Laura Vandervoort. Side note: is it significant that Ribisi is playing a character named after Wahlberg's real-life brother? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Anyway, the film opens here on 3rd August and I can't wait to see it.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all change this week (partly because there was no blog last week), with no less than seven new entries into the top ten. These include the 3D re-release of Titanic (which, even if you're a Titanic cynic, you should still see again on the big screen, especially in 3D), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's clever-clever comedy-horror The Cabin in the Woods, revisionist Western Blackthorn (starring Sam Shepard as Butch Cassidy), delightful French animation A Cat in Paris, Norwegian thriller Headhunters, Belgian coming-of-age drama North Sea Texas and smalltown returning soldier drama Return, starring Linda Cardellini.

Interview-wise this week, we have an exclusive interview with Battleship star Taylor Kitsch and an exclusive interview with director Pete Berg; an exclusive interview with Return (and Freaks & Geeks) star Linda Cardellini and a semi-exclusive interview with This Must Be The Place director Paolo Sorrentino.

Elsewhere you can still read our semi-exclusive interview with director Werner Herzog for Into the Abyss, an exclusive interview with Gideon Defoe, author of The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, our exclusive interview with actor-turned-writer-director Dexter Fletcher for Wild Bill and an exclusive interview with star Will Poulter, and our semi-exclusive round table interview with John Cusack for The Raven (weirdly, out in the States next week).

Come back next week for interviews with Jaime Winstone and Aneurin Barnard for Elfie Hopkins, Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and director Kevin Macdonald for Marley.

1. Titanic 3D
2. Wild Bill
3. The Kid With A Bike
4. The Hunger Games
5. The Cabin in the Woods
6. Blackthorn
7. A Cat In Paris
8. Headhunters
9. North Sea Texas
10. Return

DVD/Blu-Ray of the Week: Tower Heist (out now, online RRP £9.99-£13.99)
This week's DVD/Blu-Ray of the Week is comedy thriller Tower Heist, directed by Brett Ratner. Ben Stiller stars as Josh Kovacs, the manager of a luxury Central Park hotel, who's able to keep things running smoothly because he takes the time to get to know both his staff and the guests. However, when the FBI (led by Tea Leoni's Agent Denham) come after penthouse billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), it quickly transpires that Shaw has stolen the entire staff pension fund after Josh entrusted it to him on the promise of high investment returns. After getting fired, Kovacs realises that Shaw must have stashed a large amount of money in his penthouse, so he recruits some disgruntled ex-employees (Casey Affleck, Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Peña), a bankrupt former tenant (Matthew Broderick) and local criminal Slide (Eddie Murphy) to help him steal back what they're owed.

The ensemble cast play off each other extremely well, with each actor getting a chance to shine: Murphy is particularly good as Slide, sparking amusing chemistry with Stiller, while Broderick, Peña and Sidibe all have some very funny moments. Similarly, Leoni wrings some unexpected laughs from her character and Alda is deliciously slimy as Shaw. Ratner keeps things moving at a decent pace and maintains an engaging balance between character-based comedy and tension-packed spectacle. In addition, the witty dialogue is packed with good lines and the script does a good job of ensuring that we root for the heist to succeed, layering in engaging background stories for each of the main characters.

The main problem is that having pulled off an impressive climactic set-piece, the script has nowhere else to go and seems to flounder as a result.  Consequently, you're expecting a dazzlingly clever final flourish but it never comes  and the actual ending is ultimately vaguely underwhelming – it's interesting that the  DVD confirms there were indeed a number of alternative endings considered and at least you get two others to choose from here. Finale issues aside, however, this is an enjoyable comic caper that delivers both laughs and thrills thanks to a witty script and a superb ensemble cast.

The excellent Blu-Ray extras include: a commentary with director Brett Ratner, the editor and two co-writers, two alternative endings, six deleted scenes, three alternative scenes, a gag reel, seven Making Of featurettes and twenty minutes of video diaries.

Note: the DVD is the same, but without the Making Of featurettes or the video diaries. You can also download something called a Pocket Blu app to access an interactive service called Second Screen, whatever that is.


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