Empire States: The Stath Who Would Be King
Posted on Wednesday October 8, 2008, 15:08 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
There was a time, not so long ago, when heroes walked the Earth. Fighting for truth, justice and the right to bear pumped-up arms, they were a race of godlike beings whose preferred brand of quip-quip-bang-bang lawgiving marked them out as heroes of cinema. But the likes of Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis (hell, even Van Damme and Seagal) are all gone, consigned to straight-to-DVD hell or branching out into elder statesmen roles or governmental positions. Still, we weren't worried. There were many possible replacements to fill their bulging wifebeaters, so we'd be fine. Except that somewhere along the way all those up-and-coming action stars fell by the wayside, until only one muscleman remains – and he's British?
That’s right; the ultimate action star of our times is Jason Statham, a bald Cockney who made his name playing diamond geezers and cheeky rogues. That’s not to say The Stath has had a smooth ride but, for one reason or another, his contemporaries have fal...
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Empire States: The End Of A Pop Icon?
Posted on Monday September 1, 2008, 12:28 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
Messy, noisy and a bit down market… No, that’s not an appraisal of Michael Bay’s directorial style but the opinion of certain popcorn-hating cinemagoers whose complaints have driven Picturehouse Cinemas, a popular chain of UK-based arthouse cinemas, to trial-run a ban on the salty/sweet treat.
Ever since the Lumiere brothers captured The Arrival Of A Train At La Ciotat Station, film fans have been stuffing their faces with the noisy snack and now it seems that since the advent of wasabi peas and olives, the humble kernel’s days may be numbered.
The Everyman Cinema Club, which has 17 venues littered across the UK, has long since blanket banned the Butterkist and with Picturehouse’s 19 cinemas jumping on the bandwagon from next month with trial snack-free screenings, we have to ask ourselves the question: Is popcorn worth fighting for?
Purists of the cinema-going experience will tell you that popcorn and movies go hand-in-hand like Laurel ...
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: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Posted on Monday August 11, 2008, 10:47 by Glen Ferris in
Despite the name suggesting to the contrary, Movie-Con isn't all about movies. No siree, we're covering all the entertainment bases over the weekend of August 16-17 and our latest development should get Star Wars fans rather excited.
Those very fine folks at LucasArts have granted us a world exclusive first public play demo of their hotly-anticipated new game, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and you lucky people will get the chance to give a whirl for yourselves.
Well ahead of the UK release date of September 19 and long before anybody else in this country gets the chance to feel the force for themselves, Movie-Con ticket holders will be able to test run this magnificent new title - ain't we good to you?...
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Empire States: Casting A Shadow
Posted on Monday June 16, 2008, 16:09 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
Mark Wahlberg as a science teacher? What’s up with that? Are we really supposed to believe that a man who used to go by the name of Marky Mark has the book smarts to tutor a room full of kids about life, the universe and everything?
No, we can’t, but as befits the themes of M. Night Shyamalan’s hugely disappointing (and very, very silly) eco-horror The Happening, the world has indeed gone all topsy-turvy. Indeed, such a strange casting choice seems almost plausible when you’re talking about a movie that puts the mentalism into environmentalism.
Asking us to believe that Wahlberg has the wherewithal to unravel the mystery behind a world-wide pandemic using only a furrowed brow and some decidedly dodgy dialogue really may be beyond the realms of possibility in most peoples’ books, but it pales into insignificance compared to some of cinema’s worst casting faux pas. Not that we’re excusing what is an abominable waste of time and money, but Wahlb...
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Empire States: Hulk On The Couch
Posted on Monday June 9, 2008, 17:03 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
What would happen if The Incredible Hulk stopped stomping and smashing and sat down with a professional to talk about his anger management problems? In the interests of exploring just such a avenue of possibility, we indulged in a bit of role-play with therapy expert Jill Wootton.
Banner: Hello doctor, I wonder if you can help me: I keep turning into a big, green, angry monster!
Wootton: The first thing I’d like to do today, Bruce, is break down the factors that really make you angry. You might feel that the need to be loved and the need to be left alone is not being met, and that might fuel your anger.
Hulk: You’re charging how much an hour? GAAAAARGH! HULK SMASH!
Wootton: Er… Obviously you’ve got the gamma ray problem, so I’d like to send you to a naturopath who would look at the cellular structure of your body and see if we could get you to not react to the neurotransmitters that cause anger. When people...
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Empire States: Murphy’s Law Of Diminishing Returns …Or How Family Films Are Destroying Our Comedy Icons.
Posted on Wednesday April 2, 2008, 16:59 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
Take a look at the new trailer for Meet Dave, go on, it’s right here. Seen it? Good, now how many of you laughed? Be honest. Nobody? Thought so!
Remember when Eddie Murphy used to be funny? I know it was long ago, but what great days they were. Trading Places, Coming To America, 48 Hrs, Beverly Hills Cop - time was that his fast-talking, foul-mouthed schtick would have us open mouthed in awe. But now… well nothing.
Once a cutting-edge comedian who gleefully stomped on the face of good taste and punctuated every sentence with a vitriol-fuelled “Fuck you” (see his brilliant stand-up gigs Delirious and Raw), Murphy’s ignoble fall from gigglesome grace is all down to his predilection for making box office friendly family movies – the money-spinning elephant graveyard where formerly funny folk go to die on their asses.
Admittedly Murphy had plenty of hits and mis...
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Empire States: Holding Out For A
Posted on Tuesday November 6, 2007, 12:52 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
Hollywood and bandwagon jumping: they go together like a Batman/Superman Super Friends team-up…
Since Spider-Man proved there’s plenty of money to be spun from the comic book movie, studios have joined in the mother of all bundles to get their hands on the latest superhero franchise. That’s all good for geeks as they get to see their favourite heroes suited and booted and presented with (mostly) the gravitas they deserve but, as with things, the well is surely set to runneth dry.
Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Hellboy, dammit even The Punisher, there’s nary a character left untouched in the race to get more spandex on the big screen and with the likes of Thor, Iron Man, The Spirit and Watchmen all heading our way, it seems there’s a shortfall of instantly recognisable heroes ready to step into the breach come the inevitable fall from ...
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Empire States: Hitchcock Or Hitchrocks?
Posted on Wednesday September 19, 2007, 11:42 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
With Disturbia reimagining Rear Window for the Asbo-savvy teen generation, I got to thinking whether taking inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock is ever a good idea. Sure the Shia LeBeouf vehicle makes a good fist of it but with a possibly ill-advised remake of The Birds in the works and the fat man's back catalogue providing inspiration for the most unlikely projects, how many Hitch homages should have been put out of their misery?
What’s the plot? Crook on the run Marion Crane (Anne Heche), checks into the lonely Bates Motel, where stuffed animals and strategically hung pictures make up the chintzy demo and the sum total of the friendly staff comprises timid Norman (Vince Vaughn) and his little-seen mother. A touch of onanism later, it’s time for a slash in the shower and some self-loathing as No...
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Empire States: Toy Stories
Posted on Wednesday September 12, 2007, 16:22 by Glen Ferris in Empire States
With Bratz and Transformers proving there's an audience for movies inspired by playthings, Hollywood is sure to start plundering toy chests in search of the next big blockbuster. Hell, Ridley Scott's already attached to a Monopoly movie and GI Joe is similarly screenbound, so there's definitely an appetite to see the Toys R Us bounty brought to the silver screen. In exchange for a small commission and exemption from defamation of character libel cases, I suggest picking up one of the following pitches...
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