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Empire StatesEmpire Vs. Transformers: The Ride-3D

Posted on Monday May 28, 2012, 17:31 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
Empire Vs. Transformers: The Ride-3D

Say what you like about Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise – and God knows you will – but even the most highfalutin' critic would find it hard to claim that the action sequences aren’t spectacular. So when you hear that Transformers has finally been turned into a theme park attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, your immediate question is... why didn’t they do it before? Well, because I'm always willing to leap in front of a bullet, I went over to Los Angeles to find out. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

“You’re the second person to ask me that today!” says showrunner Chick Russell. “I think one of the reasons it wasn’t done sooner was that we were waiting for the right technologies to be developed to make it happen. When you’re doing something like Transformers, the Autobots and the Decepticons are so huge, so you want to make sure you can put them on the right scale. Second of al...

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Infinite LivesThe Return Of Max Payne

Posted on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 16:47 by Ali Plumb in Infinite Lives
The Return Of Max Payne

The original Max Payne game came out in 2001, with Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne arriving two years later. Both are still regarded as minor classics, despite Mark Wahlberg’s ill-fated (and quite frankly god-awful) cinematic adaptation tarnishing the brand’s reputation.

Now, nearly a decade later and the company that took over the Max Payne franchise, Rockstar Games – also known as the guys behind GTA, Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire – are finally releasing the franchise’s follow-up, taking the bullet-dodging antihero and planting him in the seedy underbelly of São Paulo.

The reason for his jolly holiday? Well, after the tumultuous events of the first two games, Max has, would you believe it, hit the bottle hard, so when a friend offers him a private security gig in Brazil, he takes it... but that doesn't mean trouble isn't too far behind.

It's no secret that die hard Max Payne fans weren't dancing in the street when they fi...

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Empire StatesMovie Poster Masher-Uppers... Assemble!

Posted on Friday April 20, 2012, 14:39 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
Movie Poster Masher-Uppers... Assemble!

For those not already in the know, week in, week out - and occasionally fortnight in, fortnight out - we blast the Empire Online conch as hard as we can before screaming , "Movie Poster Masher-Uppers... ASSEMBLE!"

Fortunately, they're normally close by, either playing pool or saying witty things on our forums. So then we ask them to combine a movie posters with a theme we pick - Arnie, The Beatles or French Cinema to name just three examples - to create pun-filled photoshop gems.

This time around, the guys r...

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Empire StatesAvengers Twitter Jokes Round-Up

Posted on Wednesday April 18, 2012, 17:52 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
Avengers Twitter Jokes Round-Up

Earlier this week, we gave our Twitter followers a challenge: make up an Avengers joke. The prize? A pair of tickets for the Avengers Assemble European premiere in Westfield, London.

Perhaps unsurprisingly we were swamped with hundreds of responses, which varied from the truly dreadful to the, um, not so truly dreadful.

So it was our honour and our duty to dig through them all, eventually picking two winners, who can be found below - and below that, you can see the other greatest hits you guys came up with... if you dare. ...

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Empire States8 (Possible) Reasons John Carter Bombed At The Box Office

Posted on Friday March 23, 2012, 16:00 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
8 (Possible) Reasons John Carter Bombed At The Box Office

At the time of writing, John Carter has made $184 million in ticket sales worldwide. Its production budget was $250 million, its marketing another $100 million. Disney have formally announced that it’s writing it off as a $200 million loss for the company.

Whatever you thought of the film, financially, it was a failure. There’s no way on God’s green earth or Barsoom’s barren wilderness that this movie will make any money this year. Though a few – including ourselves – have seen the better side of the film critically, most outlets have given it a mauling, and audiences have stayed away.

In America, it only made $30 million in its opening weekend, beaten to first place by a two-week-old kids’ movie, The Lorax. It was then, just on the first weekend, that people started picking over the bones of Andrew Stanton’s first live-action f...

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Empire StatesWill Zach Braff's New Play Change Your Life?

Posted on Thursday March 1, 2012, 09:28 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
Will Zach Braff's New Play Change Your Life?

If you’re film fan looking for wildly entertaining theatre in London over the next couple of months, you’re thoroughly spoiled for choice. At the Gielgud Theatre, there’s Graham Linehan’s acclaimed adaptation of Ealing classic The Ladykillers, while down at the Old Vic, comic farce-sterpiece Noises Off has proved so popular that it’s transferring to the Novello Theatre on March 24.

If neither of those appeal, there’s always The 39 Steps, Criterion Theatre’s fantastically funny five-year-old four-man farce. Basically, it's effing good.

And if you’re looking for something amusing but almost entirely unrelated to film, you could see One Man, Two Guvnors, the National Theatre’s modernised version of The Servant of Two Masters at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Everyone’s given it five stars. Pretty much, anyway.

Looking to sidle ...

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Empire StatesRaiding The Lost Ark: A 'Filmumentary' By Jamie Benning

Posted on Monday February 6, 2012, 17:09 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
Raiding The Lost Ark: A 'Filmumentary' By Jamie Benning

Jamie Benning is an outstanding human being. The man behind the fan-made video commentaries for the original Star Wars trilogy - 'Star Wars Begins', 'Building Empire' and 'Returning To Jedi' - he's poured hours, days, weeks, months into collating and cutting together videos that illuminate and educate would-be Jedi knights about the ways of The Force. Well, the ways of the people who made A New Hope, Empire and Jedi, anyway.

Benning returns with another fantastic 'filumentary' in the form of 'Raiding The Lost Ark', doing the same thing for - you guessed it -
Raiders Of The Lost Ark. As he explains in his exclusive blog below, the task was nowhere near as easy as it was for Star Wars, requ...

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Empire StatesSpoiler-Hunting In The Toy Aisle

Posted on Thursday February 2, 2012, 15:51 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
Spoiler-Hunting In The Toy Aisle

As a blog about movie tie-in toys and the spoilers they reveal, the following images will contain details you may not want to hear about just yet. So consider the spoiler horn firmly sounded. *Honk*. ...

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Small ScreenMy Problems With Sherlock

Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:00 by Ali Plumb in Small Screen
My Problems With Sherlock

Back at uni, I studied the Sherlock Holmes stories as part of a module on Crime Literature. Raffles The Gentleman Thief was also on the reading list, as were Father Brown, Lord Peter Wimsey, Poirot and Miss Marple. If you consider yourself a Sherlock fan, I heartily recommend them all, especially Lord Peter Wimsey. Start with The Nine Tailors, you won’t regret it.

I'm not calling myself an expert here – far from it – but I mention all this because although I’ve studied Conan Doyle's work, I don’t think of myself as a Holmes purist, and I genuinely enjoy the new Guy Ritchie films and the Moffat / Gatiss TV shows. This includes the latest episode, A Scandal In Belgravia, which despite the problems I mention below, I genuinely did enjoy. But after looking forward to seeing Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return for so long, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed – even t...

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Empire StatesThe Art Of Movie Title Punning

Posted on Tuesday November 8, 2011, 17:40 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
The Art Of Movie Title Punning

Arthur Christmas is a pun, right? Because when you say it out loud, “Arthur Christmas” sounds like “Father Christmas”, doesn’t it? Kind of? Sorta? Maybe?

It’s got to be a pun. After all, they could have picked any other boy’s name, but instead they go for the most assonant one to “Father” they could find. It must be a pun. A very subtle, very weird pun.

With Arthur Christmas’s name hurtling about London on the side of buses recently, I only twigged that “Arthur Christmas” was a play on words a long time after I first heard about Aardman’s CGI Christmas film. About half a year, thinking about it.

It reminded me of the time when I realised that “Beatles” was also a play on words. I was too young, growing up, to realise that the “Beat” in “Beatles” was actually a gag – I just thought that was the way things were – the way “Beatles” was...

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