Monday, 22 July 2013

NEW FEATURE: Movie Weekender 1

This is a new feature that will appear regularly (or as regularly as possible) on this blog. This will sort of replace the Lazy Sunday movie feature that I used to do. A month ago my fiancee and I were talking about how difficult it was to pick a film to watch as we have such a big library. We had the idea to make themed movie weekends around a specific theme, film maker, studio and other such ideas.
So far we have had "Decades Of Horror" in which we picked a horror film for each decade from 1970's onwards. The second was 1980's where we picked our favourite films from the 1980's. The third was Disney classics in which we chose films from the animated classic and early pixar era.
If you don't know who Alan Moore is he is the writer that created such wonderful comics as Watchmen, V For Vendetta, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Batman Killing Joke. Whilst Moore has been fiercely opposed to the film adaptations of his works I must say I am a fan.
 The first film my fiancee and I watched was "V for Vendetta" adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. The story is set in a dystopian London in which a masked vigilante, V (Hugo Weaving) , is systematically taking down the British dictatorship with the help of Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman); the daughter of political activists. The British Dictatorship is led by Adam Sutler (John Hurt) where history is constantly fabricated and rewritten. When figureheads of this dictatorship begin to be killed by V a guy fawkes masked clad anti hero a tragic and horrifying story begins This film was released in 2005 was written by The Wachowskis and directed by James Mcteigue. Whilst seen as a success, the film was criticised by many for straying from the source material as well as the what Jonathan Ross described as "dismal script and particularly poor dialogue" I feel, being a Moore fan, that the film is a stand alone feature. It has links to the book such as the obvious characters and some of the plot however it feels confusing in times with reference to certain plot holes such as Eric Finch (Stephen Rea) going from being hard headed crime buster to accepting such a high level of civil disobedience and the rushed downfall of Adam Sutler. Apart from that the film is beautifully shot and the action and fight scenes are brilliantly choreographed. Here is my favourite scene:


The second film we watched was The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Released in 2003 and written by James Dale Robinson, directed by Stephen Norrington. This film follows a group of literary characters including Allan Quatermain, Mina Harker, Dr Jekyll, Captain Nemo, The Invisible Man (named Rodney Skinner due to copyright issues) and Dorian Gray. This group, assembled by M, are on the trail of a mysterious villain named "The Phantom" as he plots to start a world war. The group is joined by Tom Sawyer (Yes that Tom Sawyer) who is working for the American Government now. Without ruining the rest of the plot there are explosions and confusing, plot hole filled action. I am not the biggest film of this fan as it is clear the a producer (cough... Sean Connery) had a lot of disputes due to screen time and importance of his character. This film is loosely based on the graphic novel series of the same name. I would advise anyone watching this on the strength of the books to leave those thoughts at home and just view as it is, a film that just so happens to feature some characters with familiar names. Check out the trailer below:





The third and final movie of this weekender is Watchmen. Released in 2009 and directed by Zack Snyder. This film was often referred to as the unmake able film. The story is set in an alternate 1980's follows the personal struggles of a former group of superheroes called the "Watchmen" as the live in their forced retirement after President Nixon establishes the Keen Act which bans masked avengers. The events unfold into a whodunit ? storyline as fixtures from the groups past being to die. I want to encourage people to watch this film so I won't reveal any other part of the story.This film has an outstanding cast and I feel is one of the best adaptations of a graphic novel that has ever been produced. Jackie Earl Hailey is outstanding as the sociopath Rorschach and Patrick Wilson is almost identical to the Nite Owl character from the graphic novel. The cut that we watched was the Ultimate Cut. This is edited with the directors cut and also the animated feature "Tales From The Black Freighter" worked into the feature itself. Whilst this causes problems with the pacing of the film I feel that this is almost as if the viewer is watching the graphic novel itself. Here is the trailer:





Overall I feel this weekend had some high points which were most definatley the ultimate cut of Watchmen and the final act of V For Vendetta and some low points which were Connery in League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of Movie Weekender.

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