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Posts Tagged ‘ Kevin Smith ’

The First Annual Academy Of Super Hero Film Awards

No matter how you feel about it, Thor : The Dark World was the final super hero/comic film in one of the biggest years for super films ever, still not a patch on last year but it was never going to be. Knowing that and seeing as we’re heading into award season I felt that now was the time to take 2013’s best comic films and dole out awards in the same categories as the Academy Awards but limit the field to comic book movies. Please comment below with your criticisms of my picks and feel free to pick your own. Oh and if you can pretend Kevin Smith is hosting it too that would be great.

Best Actor – Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine)

ImageThis was probably the closest call I had to make when compiling my list. On one hand we had Henry Cavill turning in a star making performance in Man of Steel, one which is going to walk him into a lot of high profile movie roles. On the other we had Hugh Jackman, Robert Downey JR and Chris Hemsworth returning to the roles they made famous but in grittier sequels. Even though I feel Cavill is the best acted Superman (not the most iconic yet though), I feel overall Hugh Jackman gave the best performance as a super hero this year. He took all the great features we have loved from his Wolverine over the past 13 years and added new layers of pain, regret and realism. It was his best outing as the razor clawed mutant and was the perfect precursor to the amazing looking X-men : Days Of Future Past. Continue reading

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Man on a Ledge

The problem with Man on a Ledge is inconsistency. What we’ve got here is a film that wants to be Phone Booth, The Negotiator, Mission: Impossible and The Italian Job all at once.

So we’ve got the misunderstood-man-in-a-precarious-situation dynamic of Phone Booth, but none of the innovation. Instead of studying our hero’s psyche by simply watching him as the day unfolds – still Colin Farrell’s shining (Hollywood) moment – Man on a Ledge shoehorns in some of everybody’s favourite plot device: flashback narrative.

Then we’ve got the I-want-that-one-specific-cop-I-can-trust aspect of The Negotiator, but who the hell thought it’d be a good idea for Elizabeth Banks to play Kevin Spacey in this scenario? Don’t get me wrong, she’s cute and can act – loved her as the psychotic nympho in 40 Year Old Virgin – but I don’t want her talking me down off a ledge unless either Judd Apatow or Kevin Smith are writing her lines.

Finally we’ve got the Mission: Impossible/Italian Job scenes with Jamie Bell. What happened to that kid? Last time I saw him he was making Hayden Christensen look good in Jumper(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maMBKOZDDm0). These parts are pretty good, if absolutely fucking ridiculous.

It’s not giving anything away to tell you that Bell plays Ledgeman(not in the good way)’s brother. Or that Ledgeman isn’t actually suicidal. He’s causing a major ruckus right across the street from the building his brother is concurrently breaking into (with improbably skilful girlfriend in tow) in order to keep attention away from said building long enough for brother Bell to find proof that Ledgeman is innocent of the crime he’s “about to jump off a building over”.

It’s preposterous. As far as I could tell from the backstory, the brother is a regular guy with a girlfriend who used to “break into houses and shit”, and here he is bypassing sophisticated security systems and Tom Cruising his way through ventilation shafts in order to burglarise an impenetrable vault and crack the top-of-the-line safe within. But fuck it – Jamie Bell is awesome, and fun to watch – so I’m gonna let him have this one. Better if the girlfriend wasn’t there though – Zero chemistry and a useless character.

It’s an alright movie. Sometimes the dialogue is spot on, character-authentic and fresh, other times it’s lame, cliché and insultingly expositional. The exchanges between Bell and Ledgeman are the highlight, but again this is mostly down to Bell’s personal magnetism. Where’s Jamie’s flashback?

You might have noticed I havn’t mentioned the actor who played Ledgeman. That’s either because he was so in character that I couldn’t see him as anything but a Man on a Ledge, or because Sam Worthington literally cannot act and has the dead eyes of a gay shark.

Ed Harris and Titus Welliver do a bang-up job as the primary antagonists, though that’s pretty much a go-to role for both of them now. William Sadler has great fun playing the inexplicably helpful bellhop.

The world and the press watching below are suitably unsympathetic, alternating between chanting for him to jump and jostling for some face-time with one of the camera crews – which makes their turn upon discovering the true nature of Ledgeman’s plight all the more convincing.

For all its faults, the man-on-a-ledge diversion is actually a pretty clever idea. It’s fun to watch Ledgeman manipulate the macabre crowd – miming jumping in order to produce a swell of noise from the mob, masking Bell’s explosive entry into the action; or throwing fistfuls of cash into the throng, causing a mad scramble that impedes the security detail below – buying Bell some much needed time to make his escape. Plus, silly as it is, Ledgeman’s ultimate moment of redemption – his Shawshank moment, if you will – is tremendously satisfying.

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