Gonna fly now

So I’ve just binge watched all six Rocky films in a row, not all in one day, I’m not a maniac, but without watching other films in between. Somehow despite having the least interest in, and probably actively disliking boxing, these films grabbed my attention and became something of an obsession.

The drama is brilliant. The dialogue nutty. The training montages legendary. What I loved most of all, though, was how inspirational Rocky is as a character. A simple guy who just wants to do right and do what he loves. He likes people, he respects people, he sticks up for people and he thinks the best of everyone.

After finishing the sixth Rocky film, I said to Mr C: “If these weren’t about boxing, they’d be one of the greatest film series.” I get that the sport is inextricably linked with the drama and you couldn’t just switch it up for something like tennis instead. There’s something about the primal nature of this sport, the potential for getting hurt, that ups the ante and increases the drama. I love a good sports movie, I just prefer my sports to be less bloody.

Anyway, regardless of my tortured feelings over whether I actually liked these films or not, you can’t argue with the wisdom of Rocky and his friends, so I thought I’d gather some of the best inspo quotes from the Balboa series.

Going one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes all the difference in your life.

Nobody owe nobody nothing. You owe yourself.

It’s your right to listen to your gut, it ain’t nobody’s right to say no after you earned the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do!

I stopped thinking the way other people think a long time ago. You gotta think like you think.

Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.

No pain. NO PAIN.


Credit where it’s due

An interesting piece about film credits aired on Marketplace last week, discussing why the in- and out- credits on films have gotten so much longer than previously. It explained why this has occurred and started with a look at the closing scroll on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

The credits last a whopping nine minutes and thirty seconds, that’s an addition of more than three minutes over the original 1993 Jurassic Park…

“There’s no question that there are more company credits and more individual credits on movies these days.” Tom Noonan is a producer and lecturer at UCLA’s film school. He says it’s always been common to see a lot of companies attached to independent films because indie filmmakers typically cobble together funding from a number of sources but that’s increasingly how major movie studios get made too.

“The risk of movies has never been higher, so studios, production companies, distribution companies, are sharing risk in ways that they never agreed to before.”

These days it’s visual effects making those extra-long credits so long. Not just for giant dinosaurs but even tiny details like water droplets or realistic fur, may be highly specialised work that’s compensated with both money and a screen credit.

“People have gotten addicted to doing whatever they want to do storytelling-wise,” Mark Maccora is a visual effects producer for movies like Twilight and Night of Cups. He says with the increasing number and complexity of visual effects in many films, it’s not uncommon for ten or more visual effect companies to work on a project. That last Jurassic World lists fifteen, and the latest Star Wars, more than twenty.

“You’ll have a specialist company that’s doing just a couple of the elements for certain shots.”

That adds up to more than a thousand individual effects credits on many blockbusters.

The piece is mostly explanatory but does seem to fall on the side that isn’t a fan of the change towards longer credits. I’m not sure I agree, I may be in a minority but I really quite enjoy them. The idents at the beginning of a piece always give just a hint of what you might be in for (lots of idents indicates more independent films, Chinese idents suggest where some of the money has come from, etc). Also, the rolling credits at the end of a movie are a fascinating insight into what went down.

Of course, there’s the list of actors, but go beyond that and there’s all sorts of fun. It entertains me greatly looking at some of the odder job titles (that dinosaur supervisor meme springs to mind), the filming locations are always interesting, and the list of additional thanks can offer up some great surprises. It’s testament to how much I love the credits is that perhaps the only thing I dislike about the Netflix user experience is how they disappear off into a small corner whilst the service tries to sell you on the next stream.

Also, you need nice long credits to reward those Marvel die-hards for getting to the extra tantalising scenes. Maybe they do go on a long time but as the business of film making starts to employ more and more people, everyone deserves a thanks for the joy we get from watching.

Films to look forward to in 2019

There are lots of articles written at this time of year looking back on the months gone and looking forward to the next twelve, and I’ve been intrigued by the variety of “best upcoming films” that have been touted. How many of them am I looking forward to? I had a browse through a few articles (Wired and The Guardian, in particular) and picked out the films that stood out to me.

Captain Marvel – It looks good, more female superhero-ness is great, and I am desperate to see Agent Coulson back on the big screen again. But Marvel, oh Marvel, our relationship is complicated and only getting more so.

Destroyer – Yes, if only to wonder the entire time through: “Are you sure that’s Nicole Kidman?”

Dumbo – Nope, I couldn’t even make it through the trailer. The CG is a bit weird and my heart breaks for that little elephant, I don’t need it to look more real.

The Favourite – Definitely on the list. Three top actresses in some kind of complex royal love triangle? I’m in.

Fighting With My Family – I don’t really care for wrestling, but it’s directed by Stephen Merchant who we have established I love and The Rock has been tweeting endlessly about it too, so, on balance, I’m in.

The Goldfinch – I didn’t know they were making a film of this and am very intrigued. I remember quite enjoying the book although it ramped up to some action that didn’t quite fit with the rest of the story to me, curious if the film does the same or can smooth over the tonal changes.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part – if the trailer is anything to go by, this will be more meta goodness wrapped up in a fast-paced Lego adventure. The problem I have with this is that the spin-off Batman film was so good, I don’t know if I still care about Emmett and his friends.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu – I am more than clueless about the world of Pokemon but is it just me or is this the weirdest trailer ever? I’m also not sure I can take seriously anything voiced by Ryan Reynolds now. That ship has well and truly sailed and it was called Deadpool.

Stan & Ollie – This looks great. I don’t know enough about the pair, unfortunately, but the trailer looks very interesting.

Star Wars – Episode IX – Obviously, although we won’t get to see this until 2020.

Toy Story 4 – Hmm, I don’t know. Toy Story 3 did a real number on me, those toys in that furnace. I don’t know if I can cope. I suspect it’s definitely on our list though, and that’s all they need from me.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix – I mean, yes? Maybe? Where even are we in the X-world these days?

There are a lot of films I’ve missed, naturally, and hopefully there will be plenty of excellent surprises throughout the year as well – stay tuned to Film Watch to see which ones make the cut!

The Greatest Showman – ‘I’m putting together a show’

At first glance, this film looks like it pushes all the right buttons. A lonely man with a big idea fighting against all odds, some misfits who just want to be accepted, and… well, and Zac Efron.

But all you need to remember from this trailer, and hopefully from the movie is this:

No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – ‘I, like, can’t even with this place’

Oh my stars. Unlike Baywatch, where I had all the expectations in the world and was a bit disappointed by the trailer, for Jumanji, I had nothing. When I rewatched the original for Film Watch, it wasn’t as good as I remembered, so why would this be any better? Well, the first trailer was released today and already, I am loving the look of this remake.

I’m really hoping Karen Gillan’s character can keep up this level kick-ass (I mean, literally high-flying kicking someone off a motorcycle!) because I am clinging to the hope that the Rock gave me that we shouldn’t judge her skimpy jungle outfit on face value. It seems like the film does come out that way, but let’s see.

Aside from that, it looks like so much fun.

  • Ye olde console game
  • Ruby Roundhouse: Fighter – Killer of Men
  • The Rock’s famous arched eyebrow
  • The character realisations, “where’s the rest of me?”
  • The Rock trying not to cry
  • Beautiful Hawaii
  • Bonus Jonas flying a helicopter
  • The stampeding rhino!!
  • “You don’t get in the water with a backpack, everybody knows that?” (Uh…)

Kingsman 2 – ‘I hope you’re ready for what comes next’

New trailer released for The Golden Circle, the sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (which I can’t believe I watched two whole years ago!).

I actually ended viewing this trailer with my mouth agape. The first film garnered a 5 out of 5 stars rave review from me, and this second one looks just as good. It’s also a great excuse to have to re-watch the first one again… just to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.