Meet Ken

Check out this teaser scene from Disney Pixar's upcoming Toy Story 3. As Andy leaves his childhood behind to head off for college, Woody and the rest of his toys are sent to a daycare centre where they meet a whole host of new play things. Pretty soon they hatch a plan to return to Andy who's also beginning to regret parting with his childhood toys.

The new sequence gives us a good idea of what we can expect from the threequel, which so far looks great. Ken, voiced by Michael Keaton looks to be the stand out character from the film, just check out the Wayne's World influenced 'Dream Weaver' sequence. Watch it below!

Also, why not check out the trailer, this was released a few months ago and sheds a bit more light onto the much anticipated follow up, just click here. Timothy Dalton, Whoopie Goldberg and Flight Of The Conchords' Kristen Schaal join the voice cast this time around, all of whom can be seen when Toy Story 3 is released in the UK on July 23rd 2010.

Review: Kick Ass

The opening frames of Matthew Vaughn’s Kick Ass – a homemade hero’s ill-fated leap of faith from a huge building, only to crash hard onto a parked car tells us straight up that this isn’t your average comic book movie. And thank god. The credo of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s big screen adaptation “with no power comes no responsibility” is apt, Kick Ass will literally kick your ass, and make no mistake, you’ll love every second of it.

Dave Lizewski is average, super average in fact. He’s no Peter Parker or Clark Kent, he’s not destined for greatness and he’s sick of it. Inspired by his love of comics and perplexed at why no one has tried it before, he suits up and hits the streets, one brawl in front of a camera phone wielding crowd later and he’s an overnight sensation.

Pretty soon he attracts the attention of the lethal father/daughter vigilantes Big Daddy and Hit Girl. Bordering on the psychotic and bent on taking down mob boss Frank D’Amico, these guys are the real deal. As reality begins to hit home so do the consequences of his actions and before long he finds he’s in over his head.

A return to form for Nicholas Cage playing two sides of the same coin, the dweeby Damon Macready and the take-no-crap Big Daddy. From the Adam West inflection in Big Daddy’s voice to his sweet yet anarchic relationship with his daughter Mindy, the film picks up pace whenever the two hit the screen. Meanwhile Mark Strong provides a real villain, a Tony Soprano type who’s determined to send a message to any other potential caped crusaders, aided by his son Chris who’s desperate to prove his worth.

Unlike stars of the Marvel or DC universe, it’s not always happy endings for Mark Millar’s costumed heroes, the fact that Kick Ass could bite the big one at any moment creates a unique tension within the film. But where Kick Ass really lives up to the hype is during its high voltage fight sequences. Limbs are lost, bullets fly, blood squirts ­– all set against kicking tracks like Prodigy’s Omen and The Hit Girl’s Bad Reputation just to name a few – creating an awesomeness the likes of which you’ve never seen before.

It’s multiple references to comics; from Wolverine to Scott Pilgrim reinforce its real world twist, a nice change from the done-to-death textbook superhero movies we’ve come to expect. Kick Ass sports memorable turns from supporting cast Clarke Duke and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and seals Chloe Moretz status as one to watch - as the deadly, foul mouthed Hit Girl, she owns the film. Kick-Ass could be the Watchmen for a new age but definitely is 2010’s best film so far.

Kick Ass is in cinemas now.

Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour

After months of patiently waiting, yesterday the first trailer for Scott Pilgrim Vs The World hit the internet.  So stop what your doing and check it out below.

Verdict? I think we can all stop worrying about whether Edgar Wright would do Bryan Lee O'Malley's explosive graphic novels justice, he totally nails it.  It looks like no other comic book film, but more importantly, it just looks right.  As mentioned in a previous blog test screenings have been very positive, even from people unfamiliar with the books, confirming suspicions that Scott Pilgrim Vs The World will be something special. But what do you think?

Also, check out the recently released cover art for the story's final chapter, Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour which will be hitting shelves on July 20th 2010.  If you still haven't started reading O'Malley's mini-epic by now, then you really have no excuse. 

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is released on 6th August 2010.

Scott Pilgrim and the Epic Epicness.

Check out the first official movie poster for Scott Pilgrim Vs The World which is released on August 6th.    

The recently release poster is the first to feature Michael Cera as Scott, the films plucky hero, in a nice homage to the graphic novels. You may remember a few months back, Scott Pilgrim mastermind Bryan Lee O'Malley created an awesome teaser poster, check it out below!

The comic book adaptation which is directed by Edgar Wright, has had outstanding reviews following a couple of rough-cut advance screenings and is definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Corey Haim: 1971-2010

It was announced today that once teen heartthrob and 80's movie megastar Corey Haim passed away from a drug overdose. Best known as being one half of The Two Coreys, along with his long time best friend Corey Feldman the couple took cinema by storm with a string of hits from the mid-eighties to early nineties.

The double act starred in movies such as Dream a Little Dream, Licence to Drive and most notably The Lost Boys before the pressures of teen stardom took their toll. While both Corey's were plagued with drug addictions, Feldman eventually managed to get back on his feet, Haim on the other hand seemed to be struggling.

After publicly going off the rails, he attempted to start anew. Placing an advert in Hollywood magazine Variety which stated "I'm clean, I'm ready to work" Haim focused his efforts on the reality TV show The Two Coreys and starred in the direct to DVD sequel to The Lost Boys. However, ghosts of old vices soon caught up with him and his clean streak was shortlived.

Whatever your opinion of Haim, today is surely a sad day for any fan of 80's escapism movies. With their big hair and beat up Nike's - the Corey's defined an era of cinema which evokes feelings of nostalgia for anyone now in their mid twenties.

It's a shame that Haim died so young without experiencing redemption in the eyes of his fans and the public. Both on screen and off, he'll forever be remembered as the original lost boy.

Documentary: The Cove

Not one for the faint hearted, The Cove is a documentary that must be seen to be believed as director Louie Psihoyos uncovers the truth surrounding a subject that has somehow been kept under wraps.

Ex-dolphin trainer turned activist Ric O'Barry is our guide into the world of dolphin mutilation. In the sixties, O'Barry worked on the iconic television show Flipper training the dolphins to perform the various stunts needed for the program.

Developing a strong bond with the animals and coming to appreciate their intelligence, it was here where he discovered that a dolphins smiling face is natures biggest con. After the death of one of his beloved animals, O'Barry vowed never again to allow them to be kept in captivity.

In the small coastal town of Taiji, trainers from around the world come to hand pick wild dolphins to take back to their various amusement parks. Using fear to herd the animals into a secluded cove, those not chosen are brutally killed for their meat rather than being released back into the ocean. As dolphin meat contains dangerously high levels of mercury which can result in birth defects, there seems to be no advantage to human consumption.

Security around this gruesome trade is tight and it soon becomes clear that O'Barry and Psihoyos won't out this secret in any conventional way. By going back to the drawing board they devise an Oceans 11 style heist to plant camouflage high-definition cameras in the infamous cove to capture damning footage and put an end to this unnecessary and brutal business.

It's clear that O'Barry's years in show business have paid off - in a scene that could almost be taken from a Hollywood heist movie, Taiji's top detectives question him about why a group of American's with suspicious looking luggage have accompanied him to their town. O'Barry utilizes his best acting abilities to humorous effect, dodging questions to continue the operation.

The documentary paints a clear picture of who the villain of this story is. In a vicious cycle that supports a bloodthirsty regime, in a round about way, it all comes down to money.

There's a bittersweet satisfaction in seeing the defenders of the cove come face to face with justice. In particular, one confrontational Japanese guard nicknamed after the only two English words he knows, Private Space.

While it may not be the most uplifting subject matter, The Cove is a tense, brave and provocative documentary that deserves to be seen if only to enlighten yourselves to this hidden horror. Like the documentary itself says; if you know the truth you'd want to put a stop to it and witnessing the footage these filmmakers uncovered is more than enough to convince anyone.

(500) Days Of Summer - Reviewed

With (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb perfectly captures the intricacies of relationships and love, but make no mistake this is no love story. By going down this anti-rom-com route, there's a good chance some viewers may be put off, perhaps due to being spoon fed a few too many mainstream 'happily ever afters' . That being said, fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Annie Hall will find a lot of enjoyment in this bittersweet indie film.

Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a strong believer in true love and believes that Summer (Zooey Deschanel) is 'the one'. Sadly, the new found girl of his dreams is sceptical about the concept of love. Nevertheless, after meeting at Tom's workplace, a greeting card company, they soon become romantically involved.

Scenes of their 500-day relationship are shown in a non linear format. Juxtaposing moments of utter bliss with soul-destroying anguish, it's during these highs and lows that we see each of their perceptions of the L word change and evolve.

Zooey Deschanel perfectly embodies the complex girl who got away - unsure of what she wants and afraid of commitment. She's the spanner in Tom's plans for a perfect relationship but also the cog that makes it all work.

Gordon-Levitt meanwhile proves that he can play a rom-com lead just as easily as playing an art-house hero, even if it isn't quite your average rom-com frontman role. Funny and likable throughout, it's through Tom that the films uplifting message is transferred.

With a kick-ass soundtrack to boot, (500) Days of Summer is an impressive first feature from Webb. Romance, comedy and drama, mixed with some crazy sequences thrown in to catch you off guard just when you think you've got it clocked. It's the feel good film which reflects modern relationships, reminding us all that love, fate and chance may come and go like Summer, but they do still exist.

(500) Days of Summer is available on DVD now.

I Love you Phillip Morris

Emotions fly high in the latest comedic offering from Jim Carrey. Based on real life events, I Love You Phillip Morris follows the unusual story of Steven Russell, a family man who after surviving a car crash has an epiphany and realises he's gay.

After undergoing his sexual revelation, Steven decides to live life on the edge. Scamming money at every opportunity, he becomes a con-man but soon finds himself behind bars.

Whilst in prison he meets the vulnerable Phillip Morris and falls in love, from then on he vows never to be away from his new found soul mate. When Phillip is released from jail early, Steven stops at nothing to be reunited with him, making several daring escape attempts.

Combining comedy with a heartfelt punch of emotion, I Love You Phillip Morris looks to be this year's tear jerker in disguise. Don't be fooled by Carrey's usual slapstick routine, his relationship with Ewan McGregor's Phillip Morris is the heart of this black comedy.

Written and directed by the duo behind 2003's Bad Santa; Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the film promises to have more substance to it than most comedies.

Premiering at this years Sundance Film Festival, early reviews have all been positive for this comedy/drama/romance, or dram-rom-com? (that will never catch on).

I Love You Phillip Morris is released on March 17th 2010

Nice working with you, Dr Venkman

Right, I don’t usually do this, but I feel I should take some time out from my busy schedule . . . well my schedule, and write an open letter to Bill Murray.

First of all I want to make it clear that I write this as a film lover and a fan who’s been pushed too far. I love movies, and where most people cringe at the sight of a second instalment, I find it hard to hide my enthusiasm. Why would we not want to see the return of some beloved characters? Isn’t that what all fans want?

That’s why when I heard the latest confirmed rumour surrounding Ghostbusters 3, I was left feeling sort of jaded.

We knew Murray would be involved with the three-quel, but it wasn’t exactly clear to what extent. After Sigourney Weaver let slip that Venkman may appear as a ghost, most fans, myself included, sort of laughed it off - a simple joke to humour the hundreds of journalists who always ask her about her involvement in the franchise. Nothing more, nothing less, right?

However, on Monday 8th February 2010, the penny dropped and it was announced that Pete Venkman had died, or is going to die at least. Speaking to The Daily Mail no less, Murray put an end to the rumours surrounding his involvement, “I said to them, 'I'll do it if you kill me off in the first reel” stated the star, adding “So now they are going to have me as a ghost in the film."

Wait, what?

It seems like such a shame for fans and for the franchise itself to kill off such a classic character. So Venkman dies - the plucky, wise cracking, lovable face of the group dosen't walk off into the sunset or get the girl, he bites the dust and becomes an ectoplasmic afterthought? Really?
It’s taken a lot of time and effort to get this sequel fast-tracked and for it to go in this direction seems like such a waste.

All the original cast had signed on, Rick Moranis even said he’d come out of retirement for it, and fans had just about come to terms with the inevitable fact that younger-busters will be introduced. Murray was always the hold out, but fans endured holding on to the thought that one day they’ll see the foursome busting some ghosts one last time.

All that has been dashed away. So with nothing left to lose, I’ll stop biting my tongue and just say how a Ghostbusters 3 should go down. I’ll even provide a working title, ready for it?.

'Old Ghostbusters’ – simple as that. It’s a no brainer.

Imagine the humor that would come with the guys out of shape and out of touch, strapping on the equipment, grappling ghouls, saving the world one last time and covering New York in slime in the process.
The focus should be on the characters; after all they’re the reason fans will come back. Where have they been for the last 21 years? What’s new? The possibilities and potential story lines are endless – but alas, that’s not happening.

The silver lining? Our best bet? Venkeman gets killed off within the first 10 minutes (sigh. . .) but remains in the film in ghost form helping the guys out and hopefully not becoming an extended cameo ala Zombieland.

I realize that this ‘open letter’ quickly became a rant, but I feel it’s a point that needed to be raised, if only to vent my own frustration.

We’ve got a Ghostbusters 3, but at what cost?

That's just my opinion, thoughts?

I recommend too: Welcome to Smodcast. . .

Kevin Smith, like him or loath him there's no denying the guy has had an impact on filmmaking as sizable as the gut he's always quick to draw attention to. From Clerks to the up-coming Cop Out, the indie director has had a career of varied success. Over the years, he may have lost favor with some critics, but despite all his up's and down's he has managed to hold on to a diehard troupe of fans who are all eager for anything Smith-related.

Flocking to his numerous Evening With performances and snapping up as many signed View Askew products as they can get their hands on, the fans have become his rock. Never one to shy away from publicity or the opportunities presented by the internet, when Kevin Smith announced that he was to start producing a podcast with producer and long time friend Scott Mosier, he took one more step forward in interacting with his fans.

Released weekly, (with a few exceptions) Smodcast, a mish-mash of Smith, Mosier and . . . well you're not that stupid, began in February 2007 and is still going strong today. Discussing everything from his personal life to his experiences with some of Hollywood's biggest stars, Smodcast does something interesting and unique.

It breaks down the barrier between fan and director, giving you a glimpse behind the scenes of not only his day-to-day life but the movie industry of which he is a part of. The processes, the decisions from big business suits - Smith's frank explanations of the various situations he's found himself in over the years are delivered in the foul mouthed conversational style which fans of his movies have come to love.

Smith has never been the type to shy away from talking about himself, and at times Smodcast feels like Smith's weekly therapy session, however Scott Mosier forms the perfect co-host grounding the director with his low key witticisms. Mosier is the brains of Smodcast - the cultured traveler to Smith's self-confessed New Jersey-ite. Just don't ask them anything about Helen Keller.

As with any Smith production there's a fair amount of crude jokes and detailed descriptions of all manner of hypothetical scenarios that always tend to lean towards the sexually explicit and are always hilarious. Nothing is sacred and Smith rarely holds back.

It has inspired Smod-art - hilarious paintings based on various episodes and is one of the top rated free podcasts currently available. Whether you're a fan of Kevin Smith's work or not, Smodcast is an interesting look at the man and the business he's in. With equally hilarious co-hosts making the occasional visit and with it being free, you really have no excuse. So go shoot the shit with Scott and Mosier.

Subscribe to Smodcast here:

Or listen to Scott and Kevin read live exerts from the Smodcast book, reciting each others lines talking about an unusual form of heroism.