The Avengers hits $178 Million!

The Avengers (known as The Avengers Assemble in some countries) has made $178.4 Million worldwide… Not a bad feat considering the film hasn’t even opened in the States yet. To compare, The Hunger Games made only $59 Million internationally on it’s opening weekend.  It opened on the top of the Box Office charts in every one of the 39 territories it has screened in since Wednesday. Breaking it down a little, $24.7 million from the UK, $19.7 million from Australia, $15.9 million from Mexico and $12.9 million from Korea. The Avengers opened in 94 IMAX cinemas, from those alone the film made a whopping $5.6 million (the highest gross for a Marvel IMAX title internationally), averaging over $59,000 per location.

Imagine the box office once it opens in the US on May 4th!

I recommended in my review of The Avengers that you see this film… I now recommend that you see it again!

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Iron Sky – Review

In 1945 a secret Nazi space mission saw a colony of Nazi’s establish a base on the dark side of the Moon. It is now 2018 and America is heading back to the Moon one reason, to get the president re-elected.

Christopher Kirby plays James Washington an African-American Male Model, is sent into space as one of the astronauts in the Moon mission, he is hired purely because of his ethnicity, a marketing ploy by the President’s ridiculous PR and Campaign Advisor, Vivian Wagner (played brilliantly by Australian, Peta Sergeant). While on the Moon Washington is ambushed by the Nazis, captured, and forced to help the Nazis return to earth and steal handheld computing devices crucial in the Nazis plan to launch their space-warship, the Götterdämmerung (literally translated to Twilight of the Gods). The some of the Nazis, Klaus Adler (Second in command – The Next Führer) played by Götz Otto and the stunningly beautiful Renate Richter played by Julia Dietze travel to Earth where they are used in a Nazi-Style campaign by the US President (played by Stephanie Paul) that actually seems to work. But the Nazis have their own plan. The dynamics of the characters change and the film becomes something hilariously epic.

Iron Sky is hilarious, stupid, and grossly politically incorrect. But that is what makes it so fun. If you know your world politics, this film take pot-shots at so many countries, and many one liners reference points in history briefly and some of these may be missed by the general audience. The studio shots for this film were shot in Queensland, so there’s an Australian element involved too! This film is a brilliant political satire/black comedy and I recommend everyone sees it.

3.5 Stars

Iron Sky is released in Australia on May 10th in selected cinemas, check your local guides to see where it’s playing.

The Avengers – Review

What can I really say about The Avengers? Joss Whedon has directed a possible contender for movie of the year? I could say that. The Avenger’s truly is the ultimate Super-Hero film? I could say that too. Hell I’ve even heared people say it was better than Batman… The truth is Marvel’s The Avengers is absoultely, 100%, with out a single itty-bitty shadow of a doubt one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen. You might say; “Thats a bold claim Nick, how can you really say that?” Well I can confidently say that because I have only been seen a handful of movies that I have walked out of and thought, ‘I wouldn’t change a thing’. The Avengers is one of them. It had everything I was expecting and more and I would not change one single thing about it. Joss Whedon has really raised the bar in Super-Hero films. I might even say; “Watch out Nolan”.

S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) has the Tesseract, the glowing blue cube as seen in Captain America. During a routine inspection by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), a visitor from a strange world arives through a gate way created by the Tesseract, that visitor… is Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston). After an attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Loki makes off with the Tessract and some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents he has mind-controlled. He intends to hand over the Tesseract to the Chitauri and claim the Earth as his payment. Nick Fury will have none of that… AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

Captain America – Steve Rogers (Chris Evans): The World War two veteran who was frozen in the arctict circle for about 70 years is back with a new suit and a new vision of the world. He’s dissapointed at what the world has become but still believes in the same ideals that America stood for during the War. Evans contiues to play the valliant Captain America very well, he has accepted that he is in the future and can’t go back and he is trying ever so hard to enbrace it… but it is difficult.

Iron Man – Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.): Tony Stark has a few new surprises in his suit this time around but it’s his quick wit agian that steels the spotlight. Downey Jr. and Whedon are a match made in heaven!

Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth): The god of thunder is sent by his father to put a stop to Loki and his plans. Once again, on of my favourite characters of the franchise does not dissapoint. Although out of the team he gets probably the least screen time (not by much though), Thor has a fantastic presence in the team and seems to be the target of many jokes.

The Hulk – Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo): Last played by Edward Norton in the film The Incredible Hulk, Ruffalo’s Banner is a very interesting character played very well. Ruffalo captures the bumbling scientist and tortured soul that is Bruce Banner in a way that the other actors of the role in the last few films (Eric Bana and Norton) havn’t been able to pull off. I wa very worried about having the Hulk on the team but I am convinced that it was a good choice… and I will say… the Hulk definately does, SMASH!

Black Widow – Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson): Joss Whedon loves his strong female characters and Black Widow is definatley one of them! We see a little more of her bad ass skill that we got a glimpse of in Iron Man 2 as well as her sexy demenor and a little of her back story involving her run ins with S.H.I.E.L.D. and their most  loyal (?) agent, Hawkeye.

Hawkeye – Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner): No need for that purple cowl, Hawkeye in this film proves that rangas can be bad ass! I have read articles that his shooting (with a bow and arrow) style is competely wrong but who cares? It’s a movie guys… serioulsy. I have to say I loved this character and I’d really like to see a spin off film in the next Avengers phase (see Cinema Forecast Week 16 & 17) to focus on the back story between Black Widow and Hawkeye. Even just a short would be good.

Secondary Cast members include Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Colbie Smulders as Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson and Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts.

It is so good to see such a huge cast all get enough screen time, this was my main concern going in to the film am I going to see Iron Man and Captain America hog the spotlight. But I didn’t and that is part of what made the film so damn good. You really felt like there was a team forming here and although the heroes had their differences, believe me the whole first act highlights this, when the Avengers assemble… my god is it worth it.

Technical Points: The film was converted in post in to 3D but to be honest… it’s not half bad. It’s your choice weather to see it in 3D or not seeing it in standard (2D) wont take anything away from the amazing film that it is. It brings a new maening to the Hero’s Journey (i’m calling it the Heroes’ Journey now) it keeps it simple with a fantastically developed 3 act-structure, which alot of films try to muck around with. Joss Whedon is brilliant at what he writes and directs and I would definately say that it’s the simplicity of the film that gave it the freedom that it needed. Everything is explained but I would recommend seeing the films in the franchise at least once first. Just so you get a scope of whats going on and where they’re up to in the story.

The Avengers is the perfect balance of action and comedy that the Super-Hero films of today have needed. It’s not meant to be completely serious… the films are based on comic books, I mean it works for Batman, but who says saving the world from aliens can’t be fun as well as deadly serious. Joss Whedon really does leave his mark on the franchise (in more ways than one) and the producers of the film have an option open for Joss to return to do The Avengers sequel in probably 2015 or 2016 (my estimate: based on the way the films are looking – Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 in 2013 & Captain America sequel in 2014). This is a film I would see again in a heart beat. It’s action-packed, funny, exciting, and a little bit sad. A true cinema expierence!

5 Stars

The Avengers is in Cinemas in Australia now. In the US, it opens on May 4th.

Cinema Forecast Week 16 & 17

Iron Sky

In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the Dark Side of the Moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis construct a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. Soon, this unstoppable attack fleet will swarm towards Earth, heralding the triumphant return of the Fourth Reich!
The premiere of this grass-roots funded film about Nazi’s from Space is at the Gold Coast Film Festival and is already SOLD OUT! There is one more screening planned for the festival but look forward to this awesome film that I’ve been following since its first teaser trailer hit the net (when they were still crowd source funding for the budget)!

Rating: CTC

Release Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012

Duration: 93min

Starring: Udo Kier, Julia Dietze, Christopher Kirby, Götz Otto.

Director: Timo Vuorensola

Romantics Anonymous

Rating: M

Release Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012

Duration: 80 min

Starring: Benoît Poelvoorde, Isabelle Carré, Lorella Cravotta, Lise Lamétrie, Swann Arlaud, Pierre Niney, Stephan Wojtowicz, Claude Aufaure

Director: Jean-Pierre Améris

French rom-com set in a chocolate factory that chronicles the awkward and masked romance between two abnormally shy people, both suffering from “hyper-emotionalism” “‘I have no problem with women,’ chocolatier Jean-René assures his therapist. ‘They just terrify me, that’s all.’ He masks his affliction by giving abrupt orders to his chocolate factory staff and hiding in his office. When Angelique, also acutely timid, drums up the courage to apply for a job at the factory, she’s under the mistaken impression she’ll be doing what she does best: making chocolates. Her role is in fact to market the wares and boost declining sales, an excruciating task for a person who faints when praised and has developed peculiar strategies to mask her praiseworthy talents.”

Spud

Rating: M (Mature themes and sexual references)

Release Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012

Duration: 103 min

Starring: John Cleese, Troye Sivan, Tanit Phoenix, Jason Cope, Jeremy Crutchley, Aaron McIlroy, Julie Summers, Graham Weir, Sven Ruygrok, Alex McGregor

Director: Donovan Marsh

It’s 1990 in South Africa and poor young Spud Milton’s off to his first year at an elite boading school in this coming-of-age comedy, based on the novel by John van de Ruit. With his lunatic parents fearing Mandela’s release will lead to communist rule, Spud is initially glad to leave home for the safety of the private school in Kwazula-Natal. But surrounded by well-to-do boys with nicknames like Gecko, Rambo, Rain Man and Mad Dog, Spud struggles to adapt to his new home. He seeks advise – in all matters, including sex – from his eccentric, alcoholic English teacher: The Guv.

Streetdance 2

Rating: PG

Release Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012

Duration: 85 min

Starring: Sofia Boutella, Falk Hentschel and George Sampson

Director: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini

To beat the world’s best dance crew, streetdancer Ash, with new friend Eddie, set off to gather the greatest streetdancers from around Europe, falling in love with beautiful salsa dancer Eva in Paris. With landmark locations, the most spectacular dance fusion of Latin and Street ever seen, the sequel to global smash hit StreetDance is bigger, better, bolder and back…

The Lady

Rating: MA15+ (Infrequent strong violence)

Release Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012

Duration: 132 min

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis and Jonathan Raggett.

Director: Luc Besson

THE LADY is the extraordinary story of Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris. It is also the epic story of the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the core of Burma’s democracy movement. Despite distance, long separations, and a dangerously hostile regime, their love endures until the very end. A story of devotion and human understanding set against a backdrop of political turmoil that continues today. THE LADY was written over a period of three years by Rebecca Frayn. Interviews with key figures in Aung San Suu Kyi’s entourage enabled her to reconstruct for the first time the true story of Burma’s national heroine.

The Lucky One

Rating: M (Sex scenes and violence)

Release Date: Thursday, 19 April 2012

Length: 101 min

Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Jay R. Ferguson, Joe Chrest, Riley Thomas Stewart

Director: Scott Hicks

Zac Efron stars in this adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling romance novel. On his third tour of duty in Iraq, a Marine avoids a fatal incident after finding a mysterious photograph of a woman he’s never met. Crediting the photo for keeping him alive, he returns home and travels to North Carolina with the hope of meeting her.

The Woman In Black
A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals. Another film that at the moment can only be seen at the Gold Coast Film Festival. Look out for this film starring Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in the near future at a cinema near you!

Rating: M

Release Date: Friday, 20 April 2012

Duration: 95min

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds

Director: James Watkins

The Avengers

Based on the Marvel superhero team, directed by fanboy favourite Joss Whedon (Serenity, Firefly). This brings together the casts of Marvel’s superhero movie franchises: Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).  When an enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team of the world’s superheroes to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.  Based on Marvel’s comic book series The Avengers, first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.

Alright everyone… IT’S HERE! The ultimate team-up of superheroes is upon us! The Avengers will assemble for Australia on ANZAC day, and one week before the US! If you haven’t gotten tickets yet do it now! These sessions will sell out quickly! The Avengers has been in the works since 2008 when Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk exploded on to cinema screens and it marks the beginning of Disney’s involvment and the end of ‘Phase 1’of the Avenger Initiative. Phase 2 is expected to start with Iron Man 3 next year. Joss Whedon is also the desired director for an Avengers 2 that would wrap up Phase 2!

Rating: M (Action violence)

Release Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Duration: 142 min

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård

Director: Joss Whedon

The Way

Rating: PG

Release Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Length: 121 min

Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, Yorick van Wageningen, Tchéky Karyo, Spencer Garrett

Movie Director: Emilio Estevez

Drama, written and directed by actor Emilio Estevez, about a group of people walking The Camino – a Christian pilgrimage route to Galicia, Spain. Stars Estevez’s dad, Martin Sheen. Tom is an American doctor who trips to France following the death of his adult son who died during a storm while walking to the Cathedral of Santiage de Compostela in Spain – a pilgrimage known as The Camino or The Way of St. James. Travelling to retrieve the body, Tom decides to take the same route as his son to deal with his grief. On the way, he meets and travels with others from around the world.

Wish You Were Here

Rating: MA15+ (Strong themes and violence)

Release Date: Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Duration: 1hrs 29min

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price, Antony Starr

Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith

An international success at the Sundance Film Festival, Wish You Were Here is an intriguing and mature Australian drama featuring stand-out performances from leads Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price. Four friends take an impromptu sun-soaked holiday in Cambodia, yet their lives are irreparably changed after one of them goes missing. Desperate for answers, their relationships are tested when stinging truths are revealed. With a non-linear timeline used to maximum effect, and exploring notions of trust, responsibility and fear, Wish You Were Here is a searing, remarkably powerful piece of cinema.

Catch Iron Sky, The Woman in Black and many other films at the GOLD COAST FILM FESTIVAL!

April 19 – 29 2012
Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas
Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia