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AUDIO REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, its review time once again and last Friday I checked out Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and I some thoughts on it that I wanted to share, so today I’ll be giving you my review for this film via my podcast, Film Focus.

Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first Fantastic Beasts film in 2016 and so I wasn’t overly hyped for the sequel, however, the trailers actually got me intrigued to see where this new chapter would go. So after seeing it on opening night how it fare? Well, listen to this episode for some casual and fun spoiler-free discussion! 😀

P.S. I butcher a few names here and there so don’t bash me too much please and thank you haha.

Check out my thoughts on both films in episode 62 below:

So have you seen Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and if you have some spare time check out my podcast, Film Focus on Soundcloud and iTunes. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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My Thoughts on the Oscars 2015

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen of the interweb, it seems like the Oscars has come and gone once again and I feel like I should give you my quick thoughts on it.

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Now I have to say, unlike last year, I didn’t have much interest in the awards season. I skipped the Golden Globes and the BAFTAS and I was almost going to skip the Oscars too, but after the nominations came out I was curious to see who would win. So before talking about the winners I have to say that I did not watch the Oscars this year because 1) I was too tired. 2) It feels more like something to watch with friends and I didn’t have my best mate with me like last year. And 3) It just didn’t feel the same kind of hype and unexpected mystery that came with last year’s event.

Anyways with all that being said here are the winners:

Best Picture

Winner: Birdman

American Sniper

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Best director

Winner: Alejandro G Inarritu, Birdman

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Actor

Winner: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Best Actress

Winner: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: JK Simmons, Whiplash

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner: The Imitation Game

American Sniper

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay

Winner: Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

Best Animated Feature

Winner: Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Animated Short

Winner: Feast

The Bigger Picture

The Dam Keeper

Me and My Moulton

A Single Life

Best Cinematography

Winner: Birdman

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ida

Mr Turner

Unbroken

Best Costume Design

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Inherent Vice

Into the Woods

Maleficent

Mr Turner

Best Documentary Feature

Winner: CitizenFour

Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth

Virunga

Best Documentary Short

Winner: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Joanna

Our Curse

The Reaper

White Earth

Best Film Editing

Winner: Whiplash

American Sniper

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Best Foreign Language Film

Winner: Ida (Poland)

Leviathan (Russia)

Tangerines (Estonia)

Timbuktu (Mauritania)

Wild Tales (Argentina)

Best Live Action Short

Winner: The Phone Call

Aya

Boogaloo and Graham

Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)

Parvaneh

Best Make-up & Hairstyling

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Foxcatcher

Guardians of the Galaxy

Best original score
Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Mr Turner

The Theory of Everything

Best Production Design

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Into the Woods

Mr Turner

Best Song

Winner: Glory, Selma

Everything is Awesome, The Lego Movie

Grateful, Beyond the Lights

I’m Not Gonna Miss You, Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me

Lost Stars, Begin Again

Best Sound Editing

Winner: American Sniper

Birdman

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Interstellar

Unbroken

Best Sound Mixing

Winner: Whiplash

American Sniper

Birdman

Interstellar

Unbroken

Best Visual Effects

Winner: Interstellar

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Well what do I think of this year’s winners? Well it is a combination of happiness and lack of interest. The main winners I was happy about was:

  • J.K. Simmons Winning Best Supporting Actor: While it could be argued that he should have been in he Best Actor category, the fact that he won just makes me happy. His performance in Whiplash was one the best of last year and was too intense to ignore.
  • Eddie Redmayne Wins Best Actor: While his performance in Jupiter Ascending left people cringing, what he did in The Theory of Everything was too incredible to dismiss, the performance that he did was insanely good.
  • Patricia Arquette Wins Best Actress: All I have to say is that this woman did such a great job in Boyhood and was the clear winner, good stuff.
  • Big Hero 6 Wins Best Animated Film: While I could argue that How To Train Your Dragon 2 was a slightly better emotional experience, Disney’s latest animated feature was far too much fun to ignore.
  • Glory Wins Best Original Song: Of all the films that came out, Selma had the song that I remembered the most and felt an emotional connection to. While The Lego Movie has a very addictive and fun song, “Glory” is just far too touching to not have won.

Other than those awards specifically I’m not that fussed about anything else because it was either predictable or not that important to me. I am very happy for The Grand Budapest Hotel as it got so many awards, but since it was one of SUPER favourite films of last year I won’t be jumping over the moon about it. I didn’t see Still Alice so I can’t talk about how good Julianne Moore was and I STILL haven;t seen Birdman so I can’t tell whether it was a better film than Whiplash (my favourite film of 2014 if it had come out in the UK beforehand).

In conclusion I think I may have cared if I had watched the event on TV or online, maybe I would have cared more if some films haven’t been snubbed back in the Oscar nominations. But as it stands I am happy for some of the winners, but most of them were on the predictable side.

So what do you think of the results of this year’s Oscars? Did the films that won deserve to win or not? If you watched it this year did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Jupiter Ascending

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my latest film review and today I’ll be talking about Jupiter Ascending. I’d heard a lot of bad things about the film, but I thought I’d give it a chance because I like the Wachowski brothers. But after leaving the cinema I’m kind of lost for words as to what I just watched.

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So the story summary can be described as the following:

“In a bright and colorful future, a young destitute caretaker gets targeted by the ruthless son of a powerful family who lives on a planet in need of a new heir, so she travels with a genetically engineered warrior to the planet in order to stop his tyrant reign.”

I’m annoyed at this film because there are moments of originality and intrigue, however it is wasted on a convoluted and cliché plot. Throughout most of the film I felt like Towelie from South Park and kept saying to myself “I have no idea what’s going on.” Really, I’m not joking. There are moments, where things happen with several characters over many different locations and most of the time I wasn’t really following what was going on because of a few things like disjointed storytelling, odd pacing and a lot of jargon. Most of the time I didn’t care about what was happening on-screen and was just waiting for the next action sequence. Sometimes it feels like the film forgets what its main plot point is and gets lost with subplots or characters who come in and out of the film without any long-term relevance.

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When it comes to the cast the performances vary. Mila Kunis is still as gorgeous as ever and she does a decent job as Jupiter Jones, her character is a little annoying at times, but is more capable than most women in her situation usually. Channing Tatum as Caine is decent, he doesn’t do anything that is overly good or bad really, but he handles the action moments well. Also Sean Bean as Stinger is pretty fun and Douglas Booth is fine as Titus. However the main person I’ll remember from this film is Eddie Redmayne as Balem. Balem, he acts like this big bad villain, but he hardly does anything truly villainous and he is hardly intimidating especially when he whispers nearly all the time (besides when he freaks out and shouts). I’ve gone from seeing Redmyane in his best performance (The Theory of Everything) to his worst (this film) and it is just astonishing. This performance is pretty bad, however, at times he also turns into something very humourous to watch. Everyone else is either fine or irrelevant as they don’t have enough screen time for them to matter.

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The one thing this film succeeds in is the presentation. Visually this film is beautiful, truly a sight to behold with such gorgeous and detailed CGI on the characters, planets, cities and space, and so much more. It was incredibly clear, striking, realistic and colourful, and with the cinematography and action sequences, it makes for an awesome experience. And then there’s the soundtrack which is actually really good, and I was surprised to see that it was Michael Giacchino of all people. If you didn’t know already, but Giacchino is one of my favourite film composers and here he crafts a bombastic sound full of life, epicness and beauty. It does get a little over the top, but overall it is a really great score for not so great film.

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In conclusion, Jupiter Ascending, it is a film with ambition, great visual presentation and awesome music, but the story was a bit of a mess and the performances were a bit of mixed bag ranging from okay to terrible. There are moments to enjoy (sometimes for the wrong reasons) but overall it is not a film I would recommend.

Rating: 5.5

So have you seen Jupiter Ascending and if so what did you think of it? Was it good, bad or okay in your eyes? Please be sure comment below and give me your thoughts. Laters! 😛

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Theory of Everything Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for the first new film review of 2015 and we start off with The Theory of Everything. Now this film technically came out last year for the US, but us UK residents had to until New Year’s Day to finally see it. Since the first time I saw the trailer in the cinema I knew I wanted to watch this film, plus my best friend over at Musings highly recommended the film so then I had to watch it. So now that I’ve seen it today I’m ready to pass judgement.

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The story for the film can be summed up as the following:

“The film follows the life of Stephen Hawking as it covers his diagnosis of motor neuron disease, his success in physics and his relationship with Jane Wilde Hawking.”

I thought the story in this film was very nice, informative and beautiful. As a person who has been aware of the existence of Stephen Hawking from childhood, but never really knew anything personal about him, this film was very intriguing. As an audience we get to see the life of Hawking before his illness, learn how smart he was, how he came up with his theories and how fell in love and got family despite his disease. But we also get to see things from the perspective of Jane Wilde Hawking, the person who was by his side from the beginning, how she helped him and had to deal with the complications of a relationship with Stephen. What I appreciated about the story was the fact that it did show a lot of the internal struggle that both Stephen and Jane had to go through and didn’t shy away from some of the hard times these two had to endure. Obviously because of Hawking’s disease, the film can be fairly melancholy and there are a few special instances that left me almost wanting to shed a tear or so, however the film could also be quite humourous at times and I was surprised how light-hearted it could be. And there is one moment in the film where Hawking gives a monologue and it was one of the most beautiful and inspiring things I have ever heard and it made me want to cry. If I have any quarrels with the film I would say that I felt like there were moments which focused on Jane who I wasn’t as interested in seeing and overall because of all the rave reviews I was expecting to fall in love with the film, but I didn’t entirely.

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When it comes to the cast the performances were all very strong and great to watch. Firstly there’s Eddie Redmayne who turns in an absolutely brilliant performance as Stephen Hawking. You can see that Stephen is a kind, smart, perceptive and ambitious man, and even in the face of adversity with his disease he continues live on, theorize and become famous. Redmayne has been one of those actors I have paid attention to especially after I saw him in Les Misérables, but in this film he pretty much gives a top-class performance as he portrays a person who is in their prime and then slowly deteriorate and watching Redmayne slowly change and watching all of the small touches whether it was the way he spoke, positioned his body, moved his hands or looked around with his eyes, it was bloody impressive. Not to be overshadowed Felicity Jones does a wonderful performance as Jane Wilde Hawking. Jane is woman who is beautiful, charming and very supportive or Stephen throughout all of his endeavours, however in their relationship you can see the strain and the toll its taking on her and the complications that take place behind the scenes.

Charlie Cox as Jonathan Jones was the piece of the puzzle I did not expect to see in this film, however I’m glad that he was there as Cox does great in this role and I have to say that when I saw Cox I was like “Oh wow, that’s Owen from Boardwalk Empire! It is totally bizarre, but I’m loving his performance.” David Thewlis was great as Dennis Sciam, Dennis is one of the people who has known Stephen since he was much younger and was only coming up with his theories about the universe back in university and has been one of his biggest supporters. Thewlis is always good in most films he’s in and I think he has a great screen presence whenever he’s around. And then there’s Simon McBurney who did a good job as Frank Hawking. Maxine Peake was just delightful as Elaine Mason, while Christian McKay’s performance as Roger Penrose was also great to see. And finally I really liked Harry Lloyd as Brian and Emily Watson as Beryl Wilde.

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In conclusion The Theory of Everything is a film I was glad to watch as it was very engaging, emotional and quite inspirational. I do feel like I expected a little more from the film considering the hype surrounding it, however, with great performances from a cast like this, there is little to complain about.

Rating: 8.5/10

So have you seen The Theory of Everything and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next film review, Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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My Big Les Misérables Review!

Okay so now we have Les Misérables, a musical. Now I’m gonna level with you guys, I’m not really into musicals. Besides animated Disney films from the late 90s onwards and the 1997 live-action version of Cinderella I don’t really care for them as a genre of film. So when I saw the trailer for this film I was like “Damn, I dunno if I could handle all that singing yo.” But for the sake of Hugh Jackman and all the good reviews I heard about it, I decided to give Les Misérables a chance. So was it good film that hit all the right notes or was it out of pitch? Read on and find out my opinion.

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So the story of Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who becomes mayor of a town in France. Soon exposed, Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of the dying Fantine, but as a fugitive must also avoid being captured again by police inspector Javert. While the film is mainly Jaen Valjean’s story, you also have Javert, Fantine, Cosette and Marius too, and I found it interesting to see how all of these individual stories converge and intersect with each other. Of the stories in the film I really liked Jean Valjean and Fantine because they were the most dramatic and interesting for me, though if I had to mention one other it’d be Javert. I also really liked the themes of love, grief, redemption and getting second chances.

As for the characters of Les Misérables they’re all pretty good. So let’s start with Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, he was awesome. I knew Jackman was gonna be great in this role but he really did do great as this man on a road of redemption and change after 19 years of imprisonment. His life is a constant battle with his years in prison, then going on the run from the law and then having to take care of Cosette too, he’s got a lot on his plate and you can appreciate how he tries to turn his life around. I loved Valjean’s story, I found it to be the most engaging and interesting of all of the characters in the film. I also find it incredible to see the visual transformation that Valjean goes through over the course of the film, with all three stages of his life looking very distinctive and believable.

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Russell Crowe stars as Javert was actually really awesome, though probably not for all the right reasons. Javert is this police inspector who’s proper got it out Valjean and wants to put him back in, Javert is very determined and I’ll give him that but he is a bit of prick though. Crowe plays the role well but when it comes to his singing, damn, let’s just say when compared to everyone else he doesn’t hold up so well. But some of the scenes he’s in just become funny and I found myself enjoying Crowe’s performance a lot just for the fact that it made me laugh (I know that’s bad, but hey that’s life lol).

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Anne Hathaway was a really big surprise as Fantine. To be honest I’ve never really been keen on Hathaway as an actress until Chris Nolan showed me she can be awesome in The Dark Knight Rises and this is probably the best performance of her career yo. Fantine is a struggling factory worker and mother of an illegitimate child, Cosette, who is then kept by the Thénardiers. I never knew her story was going to be so integral to some of the other characters in this film, Fantine’s story is just tragic, painful and sad and Hathaway handles the role very well and her singing skills were impressive which surprised me greatly.

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Amanda Seyfried as Cosette was nice. Seyfried had a nice singing voice and her character was interesting as she grew up hidden away from the world because of Valjean constantly having to be on the move to elude the authorities. Cosette was the only character who was innocent and free of all the drama going on around her besides of course when she gets the hots for Marius. But to be honest I wasn’t really keen on Cosette once her character started to develop feelings for Marius, I felt it really was just out of the blue and when those guys were lovey-dovey I couldn’t care for it. Now I’m not against love stories, I love them when they’re believable and done right, but this one seemed to materialize out of a glance and a stare. Oh and I also wanted to give a shout out to Isabelle Allen who plays the young Cosette, she was very good and for some reason I preferred this version of the character to the older one.

Eddie Redmayne was very good as Marius Pontmercy. I was watching him closely because he was one of the first actors in running for the role of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy and luckily in this film he was pretty good. He also has a good singing voice which I didn’t expect to be so deep too. I thought Marius had an interesting story as revolutionary, but his love story with Cosette just takes I didn’t really care for. I feel after that point his character became unfocused, I mean I can understand he has an infatuation with Cosette, but how can be so blind to Éponine’s feelings and not pay attention to his revolutionary buddies when they need him the most. I just didn’t like that about his character.

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One of the best performances came from Samantha Barks as Éponine. For her film debut I thought she was lovely, Éponine story starts out alright as the Thénardiers’ destitute daughter, but eventually when she grows up many things change and her story becomes so sad, dramatic and you can really relate to her character. It is some truly heart-breaking stuff and I thought Barks’ performance was grand.

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As for Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thénardiers who are these swindling innkeepers I didn’t like them very much. They were just annoying and by their final appearance the film I just wanted them to disappear. I expecting a lot better from these two especially Helena Bonham Carter who is one of my favourite actresses, in this film both Bonham Carter and Baron Cohen just act like clownish, cartoon-like characters who have some partially funny scenes but are ultimately forgettable when compared to the rest of the cast.

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The presentation of the film is very powerful both musically and visually. The visuals are pretty damn impressive with the amazing locations and sets and the use of special effects too. Musically the soundtrack is really good with a great presence from start to finish; some of these songs are big, loud productions that really amplify the atmosphere and the scenes they’re used in. Those are normally the massive group songs that are song by many people and it is those ones in particular that I enjoyed the most. While the softer more delicate songs lend themselves well to scenes involving single characters or couples. Even though I’ve never really watched the play of this film, I did recognize some of the songs and at certain points in the film I even found myself enjoying the music quite a lot.

In conclusion was pretty good film and wasn’t nearly as unbearable as I thought it would be. There is some great performance to be found from the cast, the visual flair of the film is definitely elaborate and grand, and the music is very enjoyable too. As a person who usually isn’t into musicals I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit surprisingly. While the film is a little on the long side I’d still recommend it! 🙂

Rating: 8/10

Well there’s my review people, damn that’s the longest one for a while now haha. So what did you think Les Misérables? Whatever your thoughts drop them below in the comments section and I’ll see ya on the next review! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Learn Who’s in the Running to Play Star-Lord in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Okay now this is more like it, there really hasn’t been too much information on Guardians of the Galaxy for a while now. Besides learning that James Gunn was going to write and direct the film, there hasn’t been much information in terms of the story and characters involved. However now we finally have some information about casting and superherohype provides us with information about the actors up for a crucial role:

“Quite arguably Marvel Studios’ most offbeat property to date, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is now in the casting stage and today Deadline has learned of eight actors up for the role of Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord.

According to the site, the current list of names auditioning for the part includes Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty), Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy), Jack Huston (“Boardwalk Empire”), James Marsden (X-Men), Lee Pace (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn), Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas) and Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom).

The Quill character is likely to be the central protagonist of the film. Raised on Earth, Quill learns that his father was from outer space and is drawn into an intergalactic conflict that eventually leads to him becoming the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Also said to be on the movie team’s roster are the characters Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Rocket Racoon and Gamora. Check back for casting details on those roles as they emerge.

Guardians of the Galaxy is set for release on August 1, 2014.”

(Photo Credit: Robert Wallace / Apega / Rob Rich / FayesVision / Ivan Nikolov / WENN.com)

Well there are some interesting choices, the only actors I am familiar with this Garrett Hedlund from On The Road and Tron: Legacy, Jack Huston from Boardwalk Empire and James Marsden from the previous X-Men trilogy. I also find it interesting that Eddie Redmayne is in the running for this role and Harry Osborn in the next Spider-Man film, he gets about doesn’t he? But in terms of who I’d like to see in the role I’d say Huston would be awesome because of his work in Boardwalk Empire, but recently Hedlund has proved himself as a capable actor in On The Road so I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the role either. Marsden doesn’t really seem like the leader type, I wasn’t really kind on his portrayal of Cyclops in the X-Men films so yeah not really keen on him there. As for the rest of those guys I don’t know much about them to comment so good luck to them.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Films, Media

 

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Four More Actors Up For Harry Osborn Role in The Amazing Spider-Man Sequel

Just when I thought the hyped around Harry Osborn was over, a few more actors join the fray. Here’s the report from superherohype yo:

“On the heels of last week’s report that suggested three actors reading for the role of Harry Osborn in Marc Webb’s upcoming sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man comes, also via The Hollywood Reporter, another four names said to be auditioning today. The new list includes Douglas Booth (Noah), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), Boyd Holbrook (The Host) and Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn).

The update seems to now contradict the trade’s earlier notion that the role would have a “dark & edgy” bent to it and, instead, a charismatic and athletic Osborn is being sought.

Played by James Franco in Sam Raimi’s original trilogy, Harry is the son of Spider-Man’s arch-foe, Norman Osborn (aka the Green Goblin). In the comics, Harry assumes the Goblin mantle after his father’s death.

Whoever is cast will join the returning Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone along with Shailene Woodley in the part of Mary Jane Watson.

The Amazing Spider-Man sequel hits theaters on May 2, 2014.”

(Photo Credit: PBI / Lia Toby / Brian To / WENN.com)

Unfortunately none I haven’t seen any of these guys to any great degree to judge their acting skills. I did see Snow White and the Huntsman but I do not remember Sam Claflin in the film at all. In terms of the people who I think have the right look I would say it’s between Holbrook and Redmayne, Holbrook has an interesting look to him, while Redmayne has the rough and aggressive look which would really work well if the filmmakers decided to play on Harry’s darker side and get him involved with drugs. Booth just looks too pretty in that photograph for me to imagine him as Harry Osborn and no offence to Claflin but I don’t see Harry Osborn there at all.

Well there’s my two cents on this, what’s your opinions folks?

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Films, Media

 

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