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Hmsbeefnuts Returns With His Top 10 Films of Last Year (Better late than never)

By @hmsbeefnuts


Hello, I’m back. I haven’t written anything for a while, apart from an attempt at a children’s story, which is still a work in progress. However, I have been very busy with that thing called life, it’s been far too busy as of late to write much of anything. Well, I thought it was high time that I did something to contribute to this blog I started with Geeky Gem, before she thinks I have abandoned her for good, I havent by the way. So last year was a great time to be a movie geek, we had a few films that many geeks didn’t think would ever happen, but were delivered to the screen in fantastic and amazing ways. I enjoyed many films this year, although I didn’t see as many as I would normally have done, I still got more than my fair share in. So standard Top 10 Time is the order of the day… here we go.


10. Prometheus


Lots of people didn’t like this Alien Prequel, but I liked it a lot, in fact, I’d rather watch this again than Alien (not Aliens though, obviously). I liked that we didn’t get all the answers, I liked that it left things hanging somewhat. Good special effects, good mature Sci-Fi. Give it another chance, and don’t view it as a direct prequel to Alien, and more of a film set in the same universe, that may answer some questions, but poses far more.

 9. John Carter
Again, not a film many people seemed to like, but I loved this fun Sci-Fi/fantasy film. Great effects, a lot of fun, monsters, aliens and fighting, all a growing geek needs. It’s like Star Wars before Star Wars was invented. Probably never going to see a sequel, and it is such a shame.
 8. The Grey
Liam Neeson has to survive a plane crash, freezing Alaskan temperatures, snow, ice and a pack of hungry wolves who are pissed off at humans being in their territory. Although this film wasn’t Wolf Puncher The Movie, as the trailers seemed to suggest, it ended up being so much better. Really worth checking out.
 7. Dredd
Wasn’t really on my radar, but I absolutely loved this new take on Judge Dredd. Uber violent, loyal to the comic and very stylish, in a low key way. I would love to see a sequel to this. Karl Urban was great as Dredd, and in any other year, this would have been the best comic book movie, but this year was stellar.
 6. Cabin in the Woods
I’m not even going to talk much about this, because you must see this unspoiled. If you like horror of any type, you should give this a watch. An awesome film.
5. Skyfall
A great end to the first Daniel Craig Bond Trilogy. Not quite as good as Casino Royale in my mind, but it was excellent none the less.
4. Jack Reacher
Didn’t really expect to like this film as much as I did, but I loved it. I have a lot of time for Cruise, and his Jack Reacher was fantastic. Made me want to check out the books, so job done there. A gripping thriller, with great action, more Reacher please.
3. The Dark Knight Rises
This could easily have been my favourite film of the year, and it could easily change place with number 2. However, I place this as number 3, simply because the spectacle of number 2 won out. This is the end of a brilliant, outstanding trilogy. Lots of people have said that this wasn’t true to the character of Batman, and I can see that point. However, I like to view the Nolan trilogy as kind of an Elseworlds tale. It seems impossible to imagine a better, realistic take on Batman, simply brilliant.
2. The Avengers
I never thought it would happen, and then I never thought it would be this good. The Hulk was the stand out star, but the beauty was everyone got to shine. This was no easy task to film, and Marvel and Joss Whedon did a miraculous job. Phase one is over, on to phase two, I can not wait.
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
My personal favourite film of the year. I love Middle Earth, have done since my Dad read me The Hobbit when I was 5. I loved the books, loved the films, and was in no doubt that I would love The Hobbit. Well, I was right wasn’t I. This film was magnificent, yes it did take a while to get going, but it needed that time. Time spent in the Shire is never wasted. It felt like meeting old friends, slipping back into a comfortable state of amazingness. I could watch this film endlessly, everything was wonderful and just as I imagined. Thank you Mr. Jackson. There will always be part of me that will wonder what Del Toro’s Hobbit would have been like, but overall, I’m glad PJ got to do this, it ties everything up with the Trilogy much better.

Top 5 Aliens

Visitors’ from another planet.

By Geeky Gem

A little while ago I told you about my top 5 zombies, not long after this I was sat around trying to think of something else I could bring you lovely people. Then it came to me, other than zombies I have a thing for Aliens and creatures from other planets. This lead to a quick brain storm with Beefnuts, yes I got help on this one OK, now can we move on good. Anyway he gave me some ideas and along with what I had, I came up with a list of top 5 Aliens, and here it is.




Tars Tarkas from John Carter



Tars Tarkas is a character in Edgar Rice Burrough’s Barsoom series of novels. A great warrior and leader among his people, the brutal and mirthless Tharks, he possesses a sense of compassion and empathy uncharacteristic of his race. He becomes firm friends with John Carter.


The Xenomorph from Alien



Did you really think I would leave this one out? I love this alien, it’s scary looking, deadly and gets better with each new version. Most of you will know that the Xenomorph is the Alien, Unlike many other recurring enemy extraterrestrial races in science fiction, the Aliens are not an intelligent civilization, but predatory creatures with no higher goals than the propagation of their species and the destruction of life that could pose a threat. This includes the human race and the next alien on the list.



Predator from Predator



Another of my favorite aliens, these hunters from deep space are just fantastic. I know I should spend the movie cheering on the human, but for some reason I like the Predator better. They are characterized by its trophy hunting of other dangerous species for sport. The Predators are depicted as large, sapient and sentient humanoid creatures that possess advanced technology, such as active camouflage and energy weapons, and are capable of interstellar travel.


The Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth



As we here at All Geek have mentioned many a time we love Ray Harryhausen, so it would be a crime not to included his fantastic alien on this list.  Now as always this alien was bought to Earth in the form of an egg, after scientists bring it back from Venus. Now as you can imagine the egg hatches and from it comes the Ymir a reptilian like creature. And he is not happy; the Ymir begins to grow at a prodigious rate due to the abundance of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. The Ymir eats sulfur so passes up anything else. The Ymir only attacks when provoked, and is perhaps the most sympathetic creature on this list. This leads to our last alien.


Chewbacca from Star Wars




Oh Chewie, were do we start with good old faithful Chewie. Chewie is the best friend of Han Solo and has been with him for a number of years when we first meet him in Star Wars. Chewbacca’s creation as a “gentle, hairy, non-English-speaking co-pilot” was inspired by George Lucas seeing his own dog sitting up on the passenger seat of Lucas’ car. Chewbacca is a Wookie and he became Han Solos’ first mate and companion after Solo, then an Imperial Captain, refused an order to kill him while Chewbacca was a slave of the Empire. Solo was dismissed from the Imperial Navy for disobedience and became a smuggler. Chewbacca owed a life debt to Han and would serve Han Solo for the rest of his life. There is no better friend than this wonderful Wookie.



Again we have come to the end of another interesting list, I hope you have enjoyed this trip to outer space and back again in this look at aliens.


March Movie Musings

By Hmsbeefnuts

With March coming to an end and April very much in full swing it is time for me to write a little something about the films I have seen theatrically this last month. All in all, a very good month I would say. A lot of good stuff going down. I had a great time at the movies this month, well, mostly.

First things first. John Carter, was the best film this month. I do believe that puts me ahead of Geeky Gem in my made up game. I won’t bang on about Mr Carter for long, I already covered how great this film is in numerous posts. It is very very good though, and you should defiantly go and see it. It is a shame that this will go down as one of the biggest flops in history, as it certainly deserves to be one of the top films this year. Such a pity. Anyway, lets not dwell on the negative shall we?

I enjoyed The Raven a hell of a lot too. Nice dark mystery thriller. A little bit like Saw mixed with From Hell mixed with a Morgan Freeman detective thriller, but with John Cusack. I liked it immensely. OK I worked out who the killer was before I was supposed too, but you can’t hold that against the film. Well acted, well shot and a really nice mystery thriller, recommended.

Continuing the Horror theme, we have The Devil Inside. Hmm. I’m having trouble with this one. I liked about 35% of the film. I liked the documentary aspect, the initial story was interesting, it’s just a shame it descended into sub Exorcism of Emily Rose rubbish. There are far better exorcism movies, Emily Rose, The Rite, The Last Exorcism, and of course, The Exorcist. The problem is, the sun genre has kind of done everything that it possibly can now, and The Devil Inside offers nothing new. During the exorcism scenes I must admit I was laughing pretty hard, much to the disappointment of my friend, sorry Leanne. I just think it’s hilarious when demons threaten to suck your cock or lick your aunties c-word. It’s stupid. The ending was terrible too. I enjoyed the film, but not in the way it was meant to be enjoyed and thus, I can not recommend it.

Speaking of laughing, Wanderlust and 21 Jump Street were both different comedies, but made me laugh my ass off. Both highly recommended. I went into Wanderlust expecting a romantic comedy with Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston, it was romantic but it was also very very funny. Rudd is at the top of his game, and Aniston gets better looking with age, she is beautiful. I almost lost control of myself during one scene clearly improvised by Rudd, the man is a comedy legend. 21 Jump Street has looked great from the get go. Jonah Hill is back to his best, and who knew Channing Tatum was such a great comedian? I have always liked Tatum, he reminds me of one of my best mates, but I never new he could keep up with someone as good as Jonah Hill in the comedy stakes. Jump Street may have the best cameo this year too, I will not spoil it, but it isn’t Ice Cube, and it is almost as good as a certain X-Men First Class cameo last year. Both films are more than worth your time.

We are now left with two major Blockbusters. One, I was very much looking forward to, but had some serious doubts about. The other a film I had very little knowledge of, and to be honest, looked like a girlie style action movie that was copying Running Man. But, I trust Geeky Gem, and she had been excited for The Hunger Games for quite a while, and so has Kirkie Chick. It was time then to man up, and take my Mum with me to see a huge blockbuster double bill, The Hunger Games, and Wrath of the Titans.

We started with The Hunger Games. I’ll be honest, I was mostly bored throughout the beginning of the film, until the contestants for said games were unveiled to the public in chariots. This was about 20 mins in, and from that moment on, with a few moments of ‘what the hell is happening’ I enjoyed the hell out of this film. At times it looked like it was being filmed during a Lady GaGa fan convention, but the story was strong and the action, although muted, was exciting. At times I thought there was a presumed audience knowledge on the part of the film makers, I won’t spoil which bits, but I felt things needed to be explained a little more clearly. Geeky Gem has since put me in the know and cleared up any confusion, a job the film-makers could have solved by putting a sequence of less than a minute in explaining how the arena works. Anyway, apart from that Jennifer Lawrence is pretty and great, the other roles are well acted and this could have been really good if the violence quota had been upped and some real carnage had been shown, but I guess kids being killed is a touchy subject. All in all well worth your time, but it is in no way as good as The Running Man, the king of future death sport films.

We now come to the last film I watched this month. Straight after Hunger Games, I high tailed it to another screen, I had bought both tickets before hand, and waited with baited breath for Wrath of the Titans to begin. I had hated the Clash of the Titans remake. The original was a vastly superior film, and Harryhausen is still the king of epic myth movies, but, you have to give these things a go. Oh dear. I hated this film with every ounce of my being. From an uninteresting start, some absolute shitty monsters and some very misplaced comedy moments, which were not funny, this film was an abomination. Oh and to make things even worse, Bill Nighy was in it, being his usual shitty self, but this time he was trying extra hard to piss me off. Bill plays Hephaestus, Metal Worker of the Gods, with a thick Yorkshire accent. FUCK YOU Bill. I’m serious, fuck you, stop accepting roles in films you can not play. It was like he was taunting me personally. Well it worked, you ruined and already shitty film, Bill Nighy makes things 20% worse.

Effects wise, at least everything looked a hell of a lot better than the bizarre and equally awful Immortals. That is, apart from the Cyclops. When will effects houses realise that if you are going to do humanoid faces and creatures, they have to look excellent, the uncanny valley is prominent in this movie, and the Cyclops looks like a giant mess of pixels.

It might be that I love Ancient History and Mythology too much, my degree is in Ancient Greek and Roman History, but this film was perhaps worse than the first. Andromeda is also a problem now. Played by a different actress to last time, Andromeda has been transformed into an Amazonian Warrior Princess. I hate that shit. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind women kicking men’s asses in films, but for the love of Zeus, make it slightly realistic. There is no way a woman would be in charge of a Greek army back then, no way. Especially a princess like Andromeda. I would have not even mentioned Andromeda, and just cast Rosamond Pike as an Amazon. You know like they had in Greek myth. Instantly my problem with her would be over. Amazons would frequently kill men and were better warriors than almost everyone else. Andromeda is better in the role of damsel in distress. Now I am also aware that there is no ‘back then’ these things didn’t exist and therefore if I can accept a Chimera, I should be able to accept a Princess leading men into battle. Well I can’t sorry. Even Liam Neeson can’t save this turkey, although, he is the best thing in it by far.

I hate this film, mostly because with a better script, better cast, well better everything it could have been so good. There is a place for old fashioned monster adventure movies, look at how well King Kong turned out, or Lord of The Rings, but you have to take the films seriously, and Titans, hasn’t been taken seriously since Harryhausen stopped making films. Sorry for the rant, but I wanted to love this movie, and I hated it, and I hate hating things that I want to love. Like an ex-friend who has betrayed you and revealed themselves to be a selfish twat, Wrath of the Titans is a film that deserves a verbal beating. Please don’t make any more of these films, unless you are willing to get a director who knows how to handle this shit seriously. I would like to put forward Peter Jackson, or Guillermo Del Toro.

Anyway, that’s it for last month. From the heights of Olympus with John Carter, to the lows of Hades with Wrath of the Titans. April is now upon us, an April filled with hope and renewed movie going vigour, if The Avengers lets me down, I will be most upset, but it shall not!!! It can not!!! I will be great, oh yes, it will be great, AVENGERS!!! ASSEMBLE!!!

Good Job Disney: How The Mouse House Nearly Killed John Carter

By Hmsbeefnuts

John Carter. John Carter? John Carter. Think about that name for a minute. Imagine a film called John Carter… what’s it about? Could be a tiny indie movie, perhaps about a down on his luck single Father. Or maybe it’s a comedy about a Medieval Cart manufacturer. Perhaps it’s a grand Sci-Fi adventure film that is better than every Star Wars prequel, with amazing special effects, and exciting story, epic battles, superpowers, monsters and a beautiful Princess, set on Mars. Yeah right, you wouldn’t call that kind of movie ‘John Carter’ right? Wrong. Disney did. A huge movie that cost reportedly $250 million to make, has been badly handled in the advertising department, so much so that you might think that they did it on purpose.


The poster campaign for John Carter was absolutely woeful. See the poster above, what does that mean? I can understand trying to create a buzz, a bit of mystery, but I don’t think that this was the right way to go with this property. The trailers too were, well, uninspiring. They showed enough for me to make it a film that was on my radar, and I was bothered to find out more about the character. To be fair, the film had been on my radar for a few years thanks to Head Geek himself Harry Knowles, so I knew the basics, and could piece the basic premise together from this and the trailer. I was excited to see it. But I was very much in the minority. The trailers were generic. They didn’t seem much different from a dozen other recent Sci-Fi films, such as Avatar or the Star Wars Prequels. Nothing was saying must see, and it felt like such a waste.


The main problem seemed to be that, whoever came up with the trailers and posters, seemed to assume that everyone knew who this John Carter guy was. Well guess what, hardly anyone does. I would like to use an example at this point, Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a worldwide phenomenon. A legit super franchise, that is known to most people. Whether it is in book form, video games, toys, or obviously the movies, surely most people who see movies regularly know at least something about Harry Potter, and if not, have certainly heard the name. As such, you could legitimately call a movie Harry Potter, and not only would it not harm the movies box office overly, 99.9% of the population would have some knowledge of who Harry Potter was, and what that meant. John Carter is no Harry Potter. He is a character created around 100 years ago, that was never really that popular to begin with. He was a pulp hero, certainly the stories he was in, and the character himself, are excellent, but they have always been for a small section of society who likes these kind of adventure stories.


John Carter simply does not have the name power to promote a movie. It would be comparable to calling the recent Captain America movie, Steve Rogers. Harley anyone would know what Steve Rogers was about, the name has no pull to it, Captain America, however, does have pull, people have heard of Captain America. John Carter would have faired much better with a longer title, for instance, John Carter of Mars. All of a sudden, the name has some context, people start to get what the movie may be about. It must be remembered that not everyone watches trailers, or sees posters, sometimes, the name of the movie is all that is known, and a decision on whether or not to go may be made on title alone, and buzz can be a big part of this. Give your movie an exciting title, and it may not be tremendously helpful, but it certainly won’t hurt. Give it a boring title, and usually, your on a one way ride to Boxofficebombville.


I have seen John Carter. I loved it. It was the type of film that isn’t really made that often, a genuinely brilliant, exciting adventure story with Sci-Fi/Fantasy overtones. John Carter shares many similar things with Star Wars and Avatar, and it’s because, George Lucas etc. based their films partly on Edgar Rice Burroughs stories. In my opinion, John Carter was a superior film to any of the Star Wars Movies, and more fun and enjoyable than the excellent Avatar. The effects were outstanding, the story strong, and the cast and acting excellent. It’s such a shame that American audiences have not felt the same way. At the time of writing, John Carter has made a little over $37.5 million, not brilliant numbers, and it looks like a much wanted and deserved sequel may not be on the cards. However, things may not be all that bad. Internationally Carter has pulled in $108 million in the same time frame. Perhaps John Carter will be able to make it’s budget back, and perhaps a little more, and a sequel may not be beyond hope.

A few people have commented that Disney finds it quite difficult to advertise films to males. That their usual out put is female centric or for smaller children. There could be something in this, however, now that Disney owns Marvel, perhaps some of the Marvel magic will rub off on their advertising department. Certainly they have had little trouble making The Avengers look exciting to both sexes and all ages. I will end this article with another plea for you to get out and see this film. I genuinely think it is one of the best films yet this year, and should be in the top 10 film lists of many people come December, or damn well should be.

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