Article – Films, an Exercise in Selling you Stuff.

TL;DR – While films are here to entertain, they also have an increased chance of selling you all sorts of things

CAT in Skyfall. Image Credit: MGM.

Article

Today one of the biggest films in recent memory Avengers: Endgame has launched and with it comes reviews, calls for no spoilers, marketing and PR, but also a similar trend we see with every major movie release recently and that is comments about product placement. This is something that is not new for the movie universe, indeed it was being lampooned all the way back in 1992 in Wayne’s World. However, it does feel like it is becoming more of an issue these days, or at the very least it is more in your face.

So why is this important? Well, for many reasons, the first being that companies are using films to pepper you with ads when your subconscious has lowered its usual defences that it uses to ignore advertisements. Sometimes these are very obvious like when on Chuck they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Cougar Town when they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Community when they … okay look Subway does this a lot. Fun fact, when writing this article I double checked I was right about the Subway integration and lo and behold before the YouTube videos of the shows was a new ad for Subway. While this is all a bit silly, it is also important because advertisers pay a lot of money to do it. PQ Media found a 14% increase in spending on product placement in 2017 alone.

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Map-It – Bond, James Bond: Charting the 24 Films of the Spy Franchise

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited on screen in the James Bond film franchise

James Bond. Image Credit: MGM and others.

Article

Over the last little while, I have been rewatching all the old Bonds now that they are all streaming here in Australia. Watching the old Bonds I have been struck by a lot of things, like how did they ever get away with calling a film Octopussy? But the one really interesting thing is just how much of the world James Bond visits in his travels. Indeed back before air travel was as available as it is now, this was one of the core drivers of the Bond franchise. Because you got to see exotic parts of the world that you would never get to see in your lifetime and this is still the same today.

So with this map, I have tried to get every location that I could find but this did lead to some issues. There are a lot of places where there are no clear locations, indeed there are a few fictional countries as well. With that in mind I have made some educated guesses, and when there are not reasons otherwise I have used the actual filming locations as a guide. It was also fun to see the locations that films like coming back to like Hong Kong, Istanbul, Venice, and Austria. Well, without further ado, here is the James Bond World Map.   

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Countdown – My Personal Top 10 Films of All Time List

TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.

Countdown

Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.

  • Films that are beautifully constructed
  • Films that mean something to me
  • Films that are always re-watchable
  • Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema

With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.

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Movie Review – The Spy Who Dumped Me

TL;DR – At times deeply funny, and also quite shocking, while it doesn’t quite reach fantastic it is clear that a lot of talent and care has gone into the film, even though the full frontal nudity and language will be a barrier for many.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There are mid-credit scenes

Image Credit: Lionsgate

Review

This was actually quite a bit of a surprise, there had been a lot of bad buzz about the film floating around, and I honestly had no idea what to expect of the film other than the most blatant rip off of a Bond title since Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. However, the one thing that was clear from the first few minutes is that a lot of care has gone into the construction of this film, because there is a lot they could have phoned it in, but no they put the effort in.

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Movie Review – Mission: Impossible – Fallout

TL;DR – Heart pounding, electric, bombastic, edge of seat, high octane, adrenaline rush, these are all things I would use to describe Fallout.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Hunt jumps out of a plane, he jumps out of a lot of things. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot

Review

When I think back to 1996 when the first Mission: Impossible film came out all those years ago I can remember it being enthralling and as it was one of the first big action films I ever saw in the cinemas that opening mission still holds a special place in my personal cinematic history. However, I didn’t think I would still be talking about these films over twenty years later, I mean there were a lot of great action films in the 1990s but few if any have had the same persistence as Mission: Impossible. Now to be fair, not every film in the series has been a gem, and I even stopped watching after a while, but people told me I should catch the last entry into the franchise with Rogue Nation (see review) and I really enjoyed it. Well, jump forward to 2018 and the director/writer of that last film Christopher McQuarrie is back for a second jump into this world of spies. With this in mind, I had high hopes that they could continue the good work here, and I am so happy to say that they did.

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Movie Review – Incredibles 2

TL;DR – This is a fun ride back into the world of 60s spy film and superheroes, the story does not always work but the animation and setting more than make up for it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post credit scene

Content Warning – There are a couple of sequences that could be dangerous for people that suffer from epilepsy.

Incredibles 2. Image Credit Disney/Pixar

Review

Back all the way in 2004 Pixar was in its golden era where each film released by the studio was better than the last and in that moment we got The Incredibles. It was a fun romp through the world of superheroes four years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched the flood of superhero film into the world. The original was this fun mix of a 60s spy film with the trappings of a modern superhero film and to this day stands as the closest we will get to a decent Fantastic Four film on the big screen. Now I quite liked the first film, but it wasn’t the huge cultural touchstone for me like it was for a lot of people. So when I heard they were finally doing a sequel to it I was less in an ‘it’s about time’ frame of mind but more ‘hmm that might be a bit of fun’ and overall I do think it was all a bit of fun.

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Movie Review – Deadpool 2

TL;DR – Takes everything that worked in the first film turns it up to 11 and then gives it real emotional stakes.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – there are two mid-credit scenes

Deadpool 2

Review

Back in 2016, there was this little film that could that exploded out into the zeitgeist of the film world. The first Deadpool (see review) was a passion project for all involved because it took years to get it greenlit, indeed, it took test footage being leaked to finally convince the studio to start it, and even then they cut the budget drastically before shooting because they had fears about what an American R-rated film would make at the box office. Well as we know it make bank at the box office and now we get to see the fruits of that decision with Deadpool 2, well also it probably helped convince 20th Century Fox to finally let them do Logan (see review) as they really wanted, so thanks for that too. So today we are going to look at the follow up to the merc with the mouth, can they capture that same feeling that exploded out on screen both literally and metaphorically, well let’s dive in and see.

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