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Posts Tagged ‘ The Dark Knight Rises ’

Is Piracy Responsible For The Failings Of Expendables 3?

expendables

Prior to its cinematic release, The Expendables 3 was discovered to have been leaked online. The high quality screener copy of the film was quickly snapped up by hungry pirates all over the world, ready for their fix of blood, violence and quippy one-liners. Lionsgate, the distribution company, immediately reacted by demanding sites be taken down and the torrent removed. But, as with all things on the internet, once it is online it is staying there and the screener is still available to many internationally.

Huge torrent sites, such as Kick Ass, have removed the film entirely from their sites fearing more vigorous attacks from Lionsgate through the courts. The company has seen the film underachieve at the box office, and the current consensus is that this is due to piracy. The matter of financial gain versus quality art is more apparent than ever in the modern industry, and regardless of personal feelings towards the act of piracy it is becoming a more and more heavily debated social topic. Are the pirates ruining the film industry? Or is the greed of the Hollywood system destroying film? All films require profit to be a success in the eyes of the production company, and many of the lower budget films released do not have the financial backing to stand up to the economic consequences of piracy. The Expendables 3 may be a big budget, Hollywood picture filled to the rafters with A-Listers, but that does not mean piracy will not negatively effect the future of the much loved action franchise. Further, if Lionsgate, who have the financial means to attack the sites, and are able to do so, then legally they are within their right. More so, being more powerful in terms of financial backing they have a responsibility to do so to protect themselves and smaller budget films and companies. But is piracy to blame for a fall in the film’s box office success? Or is piracy merely a scapegoat for the failings of a bad movie? Our critics review is available to read here. Continue reading

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Top Ten Superhero Movies

When I was asked to compile this list of the top ten Superhero movies, it left me perplexed.  Should I write down the box office hits?  Anyone can look that up on boxofficemojo.com or should I write down the fan favourites?  Truth be told EVERY Comic Book and Superhero fan would have a different 10 movies and in a different order.

So, since this is my article and since I have my own top ten that is what you are going to get. Continue reading

Death Penalty Looms For Batman Killer But Is It Justifiable?

America got its first glimpse of James Holmes on Monday as the man believed to have murdered 12 people and injured at least 58 in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theatre made his first appearance in court.

Holmes (24) stands accused of bursting into a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie in the Denver suburb of Aurora and shooting his victims, the youngest of which was six.

He also left behind a booby-trapped apartment filled with homemade bombs. When arrested he reportedly told police he was the Batman villain the Joker, who also has coloured hair.

In a small courtroom packed with media, relatives of the dead and injured, and even some of the walking wounded themselves, Holmes sported a shock of dyed orange hair and a prison jump suit.

His hands were cuffed and he did not say a word. He did not seem to look at his victims, either staring straight ahead or looking at his feet. He had been brought into the building via an underground tunnel from a next-door jail, where he is being held in solitary confinement and is on suicide watch.

One possible sentence for college dropout Holmes if found guilty is the death penalty, something which has been handed down in Colorado for lesser crimes.

Here Irish News Review contrasts the arguments for and against executing the now notorious Batman killer.

For-Glenn Dowd (Editor, Irish News Review)

I have never advocated the death penalty but over the past year my mindset has been forced to change a little due to the atrocities carried out by people such as Holmes and Anders Behring Breivik, both of whom I believe should be executed. A life for a life or rather in their cases twelve lives for a life or seventy seven lives for a life.

The manner in which Holmes acted was cunning, devious and downright evil. How anybody can bring such carnage to the world is despicable. Furthermore, what sort of a man can live knowing that he has murdered twelve people, including a six year old. Holmes heinous acts clearly showed what is wrong with American society. Anybody can be granted access to weaponry with relevant ease. The American government have themselves to blame for this latest catastrophe.

America is synonymous with gun crazed morons who have etched themselves into history for all the wrong reasons. The death penalty has befelled some of them but not all of them. Holmes has shocked the world with his actions and on a personal level I have been sickened by his endless depths of evil. Some media outlets have suggested that the perpetrator may in fact be insane but how often have we seen insanity used as a get out clause in murder cases? Should this plea of insanity decrease the severity of the punishment handed down to Holmes? In the real world the answer would be no but then again we don’t live in the real world.

The victims’ families will no doubt be split over what they feel is adequate punishment for Holmes. Some believe his actions will warrant execution while others will hold that life imprisonment will do them justice as he will be left to rot and ponder his actions in a prison cell for the rest of his life. But in this instance I don’t agree that Holmes should be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The families will discuss what they feel is adequate punishment with the state authorities and will seek to find closure fast. There is no definitive way of doing this and views will conflict but in my opinion if there is any justice in this world the state of Colorado will ultimately serve Holmes with notice of his execution.

Against-Tara Cunningham (Reporter, Irish News Review) 

Personally, I don’t think he should, not because I believe he will feel remorse for the outcome of his actions, nor because I believe that he can be treated for his insanity, but because death is a simpler option in my view, a ‘get out of jail free card’ some would say.

The simplest example which I can liken it too is the action of ripping off a band aid. If you rip it off at the fastest possible speed, the impact and pain is minimal. If you slowly peel that band aid off, little by little the pain intensifies, until it is somewhat unbearable. In my view, for the criminal involved, the death penalty is an easier solution, a less painful solution, as opposed to day by day facing up to the crime you have committed, and facing a long slow life dealing with it. As simplistic as that analogy is, I believe it to have some veracity.

The death penalty debate has been at the forefront of international media for countless years.  They say to take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, but it is not justice and I would indeed agree. Yes, it gives the victims who survived and the families of those who didn’t the revenge they want for the unbearable hurt they must now carry with them for the rest of their days, but does it aid the healing process? No, it merely removes the culprit from the earth, but leaves emotional scares which last for eternity. The victims and their families need justice, not revenge. Justice is making the guilty face up to their crimes, and James Holmes should face life imprisonment for the heinous massacre in Colorado. Life imprisonment in which every day he is reminded of the damage, destruction and the pain he caused. He needs to realise that his actions were immoral, and he will not realise that if he faces the death penalty, an option that will end his suffering and mental struggle.

It is my opinion that the driving force behind the notion that retribution is immoral is that it is just a sanitised form of vengeance. Howling mobs attacking prison, chanting outside the prison in which the accused is due to be executed, suggests anger, unresolved anger, inability to forgive and does suggest that vengeance remains the foremost reason behind the public’s support of capital punishment. But those angry mobs must realise that for all they chant and hurl abuse at the offender, their anger or inability to forgive will not subside the minute Holmes faces the death penalty. It will not subside until they address the horrific actions which they were faced with in that cinema, or the devastating news they received about their loved ones soon after. Vengeance must be separated from your desire for justice. Vengeance doesn’t make the hurting stop, knowing however that justice has been sought, and a life imprisonment order imposed on the accused, will aid the recovery process as you know that not only do you have to face this every day, that the accused will too.

The death penalty provides insufficient retribution, whereas life imprisonment without the possibility of parole can be a greater source of suffering to the offender after a short period of time in imprison. It may be also interesting to note that the death penalty leads to a brutalisation of society, and an increase in the murder rate. For example, statistics have shown that in the USA more murders have taken place in states where capital punishment is allowed. According to the FBI the murder rate difference between death penalty and non death penalty states rose from 4% in 1990 to 44% in 2003. Therefore the threat of the death penalty does not deter these atrocious crimes, and disturbed individuals from carrying out acts of terror in the future.

When we think of James Holmes, and his actions, we are drawn to the conclusion, that for a person to conduct such an inhumane act that they must be insane. Has he a guilty mind? Surely if a person hasn’t a guilty mind, why punish them for actions they were not aware that they were doing. They clearly need help – by this I do not mean in any terms that he ever be let free, but people suffering from insanity need to be confined to mental institutions, for the safety of the public.

There is one question that remains, and is burning in the minds of everyone, why did James Holmes do this? It appears that there was premeditation, a number of calculated moves and a degree of intellectual intelligence for this massacre to transpire. As he stepped into the courtroom on Monday we saw a man slipping in and out of consciousness, lost in his head. The bleak reality is you can’t look into the face of a killer and know his heart or his mind. We see a murder, an obsessed character, obsessed with the Joker, wanting to play out the villain from an earlier Batman movie but as we watch him, we also see the images of the 12 dead splashed across the media, and for this Holmes must pay the price. But is that price the death penalty?

The decision will be made in consultation with victims’ families – but bear in mind, ripping the band aid quickly is often painful for the offender, the death penalty will shorten his suffering and mental anguish following the realisation of what he has done, but it won’t shorten the suffering of the victims’ families. Short term vengeance is not always the answer, James Holmes deserves to be reminded every day for the rest of his life what he did, the hurt and pain he caused, and not be faced with the easy option – after all for him, the easiest option now is the death penalty.

 

A Real Life Villain

We all know the villain from the movies… the vacant eyes, yet a face of terror, responsible for the most heinous of crimes. We are shielded from their acts by a cinema screen, a half eaten box of popcorn perhaps or the human shield you’re sitting next to in the comfort lined cinema seats. We’ve all been there; if you dare to admit it or not, I’m sure there was that one movie, that one scene, which ignited an element of fear within you.

Unfortunately, for the packed cinema in Colorado last Friday, at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, the villain that came to life that night was not one from the movies, but a real life villain. An incident, that within minutes resulted in the shooting dead of 12 people and causing injury to 58 others.  A man dressed in body armour and toting three guns opened fire at the midnight screening of the Batman movie. Moments after the massacre this man was apprehended.

President Obama was due to visit the town to meet victims and their families last night. This atrocity will now serve as a reminder for the President that the issue of gun control in America is one of grave salience and one which needs to be addressed immediately.

Today, that suspected gunman made his first court appearance, refusing to talk about the reasoning behind the shootings, a massacre which is undoubtedly one of the worst in US history. Police are still searching for the motive which led him to this terrible onslaught.

As the suspect sat in court, courtesy of the TV screen, the rest of the world were today sheltered from this villain; dressed in a red jailhouse jump suit, with bright red dyed hair, his glare fixated straight ahead – James Holmes, a real life villain, and one that will now haunt Colorado for life. He will face at least 71 charges, one for each victim, and may face the death penalty.

In the movies, the villains are also tried at the end, but it is then the happily ever after ensues, but not this time, the bleak realism for the people of Colorado is no happy ending, it’s a heartbreaking tale of a packed cinema screening that ended in tragedy, a tragedy that will remain with Colorado for years to come.

To the twelve victims of the Colorado Massacre– Rest In Peace.

Which Film Will Reign as the Biggest of 2012?

2012 has the potential to be a big year for film. Perhaps film studios believe in the Mayan prophecy and this is their last year to make a big pay day, perhaps The Sopranos were right when they said the only business’ unaffected by the recession are The Mafia and the Film Industry or maybe after a lacklustre 2011 they owe us. Big time.

Of all the films to be released this year which could potentially be the biggest, both critically and commercially? The Hunger Games has done big business already earning $531,070,000 worldwide. Of course when labelled with the tag “The New Twilight” it’s always going to attract attention, much more surprising is the critical success it has gotten, something its predecessor has never received.

On May 8th The Avengers (or Marvel Avengers Assemble to give its official title, used so as to avoid confusion with the 1960’s TV show of the same name) is released and given the fact that five films Iron Man 1 and 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: First Avenger have all been building to this and have grossed a whopping $2,290,443,467 at the box office big things are expected financially.

But what about critically? Given its cast (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson) as well as it writer/director Joss Whedon and his knack for working well with ensemble casts, The Avengers could be a huge hit.

Speaking of ensemble casts The Expendables 2 is released worldwide on August 17th. The first film was a hit earning $274, 470, 394 worldwide, which is impressive given its R rating in the States. The Expendables was released to Mixed reviews which could hinder its box office receipts, but given its cast (Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis) and the fact that there has been 80’s movie revival as of late, expect The Expendables 2 to at the very least equal its predecessors box office.

Two major films will be released towards the end of the year. Skyfall the new instalment in the James Bond Franchise which is now entering its 50th year will be released on October 26th and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the first part in a two part film will be released on December 14th.

Two however will battle it out for the biggest film of the year. Prometheus starring our own Michael Fassbender and The Dark Knight Rises. In development for a number of years Prometheus originally started out as a direct prequel to Alien. Over the course of its development its link to Alien seems to have diminished, now only being described as “sharing the same DNA” as its predecessor. One direct link however is its director Ridley Scott, directing his first Sci-Fi movie since 1982’s Blade Runner which is reason enough to get the fanboy’s into the cinema.

Since the first image of Prometheus was shown last year its marketing campaign has been steadily building towards its June 8th release date. A number of trailers have been released heightening the anticipation. The first 13 minutes were shown last week in London to rave reviews. The Hype for Prometheus has been steadily climbing, but can it live up to it?

The main deciding factor for this could come down to its rating. When discussing its rating last week Ridley Scott said “I want certification for this film that allows me to make as large a box office as possible”. That statement would suggest that Prometheus will hope to attain a PG-13/12A rating which would then put the film in a position to attain a higher box office then the first 4 Alien films which were rated R.

Prometheus’ main rival is The Dark Knight Rises the third film in the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise. Its predecessor The Dark Knight was released in 2008 to critical and commercial claim grossing $1,001,921,825 worldwide and it is expected that the Dark Knight Rises will at least match that figure and considering Christopher Nolan’s track record as well as the fact that it has already received a PG13 rating it would not be surprising to see The Dark Knight Rises improve on that figure.

Its marketing campaign has been quiet the last two months and there having a number of criticisms regarding the muffled voice the principle villain Bane, but despite this and taking into consideration the success of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight expectations are still sky high.

General Consensus dictates that in recent years that the majority of the “Big Movies” haven’t been good enough, so with a line-up of movies, led by Prometheus and the Dark Knight Rises could 2012 be one of those years where the paying audience gets something worth paying for?

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