Monthly Archives: July 2017

Girls Trip

Producer Will Packer (Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchises, Almost Christmas) presents Girls Trip, a new comedy from director/producer Malcolm D. Lee. When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. James Lopez, head of motion pictures for Will Packer Productions, and Preston Holmes, executive producer.

Girls Trip is set to be released in Australia in July.

 

The full breadth of The Darkness’ legendary rise to the top, spectacular slide to the bottom and steady climb back up the greasy pole of rock’n’roll is soon to be laid bare in glorious detail. Currently in production is a philosophical, darkly humorous and deeply personal documentary of The Darkness’ comeback, due for release in 2018.

The documentary is being created by world-renowned photographer and filmmaker Simon Emmett (Jay Z, Matt Damon, Helen Mirren). He has recorded over 250 hours of footage to date, capturing the past, present, hopes, dreams and inner mental turmoil of The Darkness. Until July 31 2017 the film is garnering funding through Indiegogo, with a variety of exclusive pre-order items here.

As Justin explains, “As soon as ‘Permission To Land’ was wrapped up I already knew it was going to be a mega smash. But I also knew that the second album would not be, and that we’d split up, and I knew we’d come back together and I knew the comeback would be fabulous. The fabulous element of the comeback hasn’t materialised as yet, but it’s all a work in progress. To be frank – the story of The Darkness is: years of perspiration, overnight sensation, over-saturation, temporary separation, reunion elation, career renovation, ‘Pinewood Smile’ creation!”

England’s most distinctive, multiple award-winning, platinum-selling, hugely entertaining rock gods – and one-time saviours of rock’n’roll turned national pleasures – The Darkness are back with their fifth album Pinewood Smile, due for release on October 6  through Cooking Vinyl.

Marking the announcement the band have today unveiled the spectacular album opener All The Pretty Girlsacross all streaming platforms. It’s also available for download with pre-orders of the album for the instant gratification of fans.

PRE-ORDER PINEWOOD SMILE HERE
All The Pretty Girls is a glorious, hard-rockin’, autobiographical anthem intellectually examining the fact that when you’re a rock star you get a lot of attention from ladies and discussing the ethical conundrums that come with that.

As Justin Hawkins so eloquently sings with trouser-splitting vocal magnificence; “All the pretty girls, like me for who I am / All the pretty girls, when the record goes platinum / Plenty of action, massive attraction, when you’re selling out stadiums / All the pretty girls… and their mums”. Hard-hitting social commentary, right there!

Addressing the forthcoming album and The Darkness’ undoubted relevance in 2017, Justin asks, somewhat rhetorically of the world at large, “Why should anybody care? Because if you don’t, we’re fucked!! History will remember us as the apathetic generation who negligently ushered in a dreadful dystopian age that may or may not come to be known as ‘The Rise of the Arseclowns’. We cannot allow this to continue! You may not give a shit about Brexit or Trump, but PLEASE… give a shit about The Darkness otherwise the last bastion of cultural sensibility will fall and our airwaves will be polluted by meaningless pop purveyed by arseholes and morons… Oh wait!”
Returning to save our airwaves from mediocre, auto-tuned tweens and that awful, throbby EDM shite, the album Pinewood Smile finds The Darkness on electrifying form, delivering some of the most sharp-witted, infectious, humorous and downright brilliant songs of their career.

In addition to the cerebral treatise of All The Pretty Girls, the album boasts the swashbucklingBuccaneers Of Hispaniola, the expletive-strewn howl of frustration that is Southern Trains, the hugely emotional Why Don’t The Beautiful Cry?, the globally anthemic Japanese Prisoner Of Love, and the ode to pumping out smash hit after smash hit Solid Gold, which finds The Darkness addressing the turbulent nature of the music industry and how they have enjoyed its flamboyant highs and spectacular lows.

Written in Putney, recorded in Cornwall and produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse), the compositions have all the crucial elements of classic Darkness fare, but with added layers for the ears to peel away at… like a sonic onion but a lot tastier. It also features the drumming and vocal talents of gorgeous new band member Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen legend Roger Taylor, who shares vocal duties with Justin on two of the tracks.

Summary: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th July 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: 18th October 2017

Country: United States

Director: Jon Watts

Screenwriter: John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Jonathan Goldstein, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jon Watts, Steve Ditko (original comic book), Jack Kirby (original comic book), Stan Lee (original comic book), Joe Simon (original comic book)

Cast: Isabella Amara (Sally), Tunde Adebimpe (Mr. Cobbwell), Abraham Attah (Abe), Michael Barbieri (Charles), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Garcelle Beauvais (Doris Toomes), Christopher Berry (Randy), Hannibal Buress (Coach Wilson), Michael Chernus (Phineas Mason/The Tinkerer), Kenneth Choi (Principal Morita), Kerry Condon (Friday (voice)), Jennifer Connolly (Karen/Suit Lady (voice)), Tyne Daley (Anne Marie Hoag), Ethan Dizon (Tiny), Robert Downey Jnr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Tiffany Espensen (Cindy), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Donald Glover (Aaron Davis), Laura Harrier (Liz), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes/Vulture), Stan Lee (Gary), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Jason), Selenis Leyva (Ms. Warren), Hemke Madera (Mr. Delmar), Michael Mando (Mac Gargan), Logan Marshall-Green (Jackson Brice/Shocker #1),Nitin Nohria (Dean Crimson), Gwenyth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), John Penick (Mr. Hapgood), Tony Revolori (Flash), Angourie Rice (Betty), Martin Starr (Mr. Harrington), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), J.J. Totah (Seymour), Gary Weeks (Agent Foster), Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz/Shocker #2), Zendaya (Michelle)

Runtime: 133 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Kyle McGrath’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Review:

Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the title character and his alter ego Peter Parker on his early steps of becoming the hero he yearns to be.  After being enlisted by Tony Stark/Iron Man to assist in Captain America: Civil War (2016) Peter Parker is dropped off home, given a shiny new Spider-Man costume and pretty much told “don’t call us, we’ll call you”. Ambitious to prove himself worthy of being an Avenger he sets out to fight crime wherever he can while also struggling with the pitfalls of being an otherwise normal high school kid. His enthusiasm may soon gets the better of him when he discovers an underground operation in dealing weapons made from the stolen technology leftover from previous Avengers battles.

The elephant in the room with Spider-Man Homecoming is that this is the 3rd big screen incarnation of Spider-Man since 2002. This time the web crawler officially being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The previous films each had their ups and downs but the general consensus seems to be that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were better with Tobey Maguire making a better Peter Parker whereas The Amazing Spider-Man films found a better Spider-Man performance in Andrew Garfield with some other fan preferences such as Gwen Stacy as a love interest rather than skipping straight to Mary Jane Watson and mechanical web-shooters rather than organic (a distinction I never cared about).

Spider-Man Homecoming brings some new interesting things to the table while some others feel weaker. I believe Tom Holland walks the line quite well and works quite well as the younger less experienced and still in high school Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

Otherwise the films visuals and musical score felt a little generic never coming close to standing out as well as Sam Raimi and Danny Elfman did all the way back in 2002. Speaking of which the CGI of Homecoming itself looks not much better after 15 years of technological progress, often characters looking like something from a computer game or the transition between CGI to live action, such as Michael Keaton’s character leaving his “Vulture” wingsuit, appears quite jarring. Most of these large CGI sequences seem to take place at night too, it could have just been poor lighting in my cinema but it was extremely dark and felt like a possible shortcut with CGI usually looking more real with less lighting.

The film’s story itself reminded me of Kick-Ass be it without the style or comedy of Matthew Vaughn & Mark Millar with Peter trying to be a “friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man”. I found this to be an interesting new take on the character and something we’ve not yet seen in the MCU: a small time loser hero trying to do his thing in the shadow of giants like Thor, The Hulk or Captain America.

With any reboot certain changes had to be made so that the filmmakers aren’t just making the same film again. Flash Thompson Esther than being a stereotypical jock bully and symbol of everything Peter wished he could be is now a weedy little prick. The once elderly aunt May is now “hot aunt May” as the characters like to remind us and the less said about the new “MJ” the better.

Other major changes are that this is not another origin story. Rather picking up in the middle of Peter’s journey of self discovery as a super hero. An issue here is that while films like Tim Burton’s Batman or even the MCU’s The Incredible Hulk showed you don’t NEED to do an origin story to introduce your hero, you still do need to introduce them and Homecoming really does not. The feeling is that Spider-Man’s powers and back story don’t need to be given much thought because they’ve been done to death already. Well too bad. This is potentially people’s FIRST Spider-Man film and outside influences shouldn’t play any part in it. Not giving a proper set up because everyone should already know is like not introducing Harry Potter correctly in the film adaptation of Philosophers Stone because “well everyone’s read the book right?”

Peter’s character development this time comes more from his desire to prove himself than his feelings of guilt over his indirect involvement in his uncle’s death like before. This was an interesting change but to be honest the time Peter spends in this naive phase goes on way too long and most of the film seems to be him rescuing people from disasters he himself caused or his selfishly helping people in the first place only because he seeks glory and to be considered one of The Avengers. This would be like if Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins stayed in “scared angry man with a gun mode” until nearly the end of the film.

I think Peter himself is obsessed so much with the Avengers as a symptom of this film being obsessed with being considered part of the MCU. Again it’s an interesting way to approach at first but the Avengers just overshadow EVERYTHING in this film. Even the film’s title itself seems to more reference a “return home to the MCU” than anything in the film itself. The very first thing you see is a child’s drawing of them and the very last thing you’ll see is a post credits cameo from one of them and rarely 10 minutes will go by without some reference to them. Spider-Man’s motivation revolves around them, the film’s antagonist revolves around them and Tony Stark while barely making much of an appearance in the film is still focused on more than Michael Keaton as The Vulture leading to him feeling like a lackluster villain. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad he didn’t just want to turn the whole city into birds using a gas or something but when his entire scheme is spending 8 years stealing Avengers related tech, turning it into odd weapons and selling it out of the back of a van to random street thugs under bridges I have to ask “who cares?”.

The worst part of this is that the movie barely feels like it stars Spider-Man at all. Even his suit is some sort of Tony Stark designed super tech nonsense which only manages to downplay the ACTUAL superpowers Peter is supposed to have. Effectively he’s a super strong, super agile kid in a suit with a bunch of gadgets. It may as well also be what allows him to walk up walls as it does everything else for him!

If the film can’t go 10 minutes without an Avengers reference it also can’t seem to go 30 seconds without making a funny. In some kind of spray ‘n pray approach to comedy Homecoming is so afraid of being seen as taking itself too seriously that it hardly ever allows a scene to end without some gag tacked on just for the sake of it. Comedy relief only really works if you allow tension to build in the first place and when there are multiple gags happening it just drives a truck through the middle of a scene that’s designed to have you on the edge of your seat. Then when the big heavy scenes come along such as Michael Keaton trying to be intimidating they just don’t work. The film hasn’t earned that response from the audience because any other time it came close to a similar tone someone immediately then had to slip on a banana peel.

Spider-Man Homecoming unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to Sam Raimi’s 2002 film. It’s lacking as an introduction to this new Spider-Man and feels too focused on latching on to the hugely popular MCU films to be comfortable in telling its own story and too eager to make its audience laugh to build any drama for its underdeveloped characters. As an addition to the mountain of superhero films it’s entertaining enough and different enough to warrant a viewing but not interesting enough to be very memorable.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:  

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Spider-Man: Homecoming Reviews: N/A

 

Trailer: