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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

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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
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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
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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
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
 
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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.

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hello Wednesday fans, and welcome to some more Whimsy. I must admit, Wednesday is my least favourite day of the week, it doesn’t know what it is really does it? Smack bang in the middle of the week, too far away from Saturday, yet far enough from Monday to be truly tedious. Yet in Britain, it is Orange Wednesday, where customers of Orange Phones can get 2 cinema tickets for the price of one!! Unfortunately, this means the cinema is full, and thus, not a good day to go. Damn you Wednesday, damn you to the very pits of Hades, from whence you emerged, all boring and joyless. Hmm. Excuse me.

Now next Month here at All Geek To Me, we will mostly be getting very excited about The Dark Knight Rises and will be celebrating this fact in our Summer Knights celebration. As such, my usual round up of the films I watched during the last month, will now take the place of this weeks Wednesday Whimsy. So I hope you look forward to some of the articles etc. we have coming up, and hope you enjoy my following look at the films I deemed worthy of a trip to the cinema this month.

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

 

This feels like ages ago now, having seen Snow White on June 1st. I did like it very much, despite Kirsten Stewart being in it. Someone needs to cheer her up, perhaps buy her a happy meal, and a chocolate shake, because she seems to have one acting mode, look depressingly off into the middle distance, and bite her lip. The fact that clearly she is not the fairest in the land, especially when that land is ruled by Charlise Theron, can be passed by, as in all other aspects, SWATH was pretty damn good. The production design on this movie was fantastic, and the Troll in particular is surely in with a shout as top cinematic monster this year? I liked that the film had quite a retro feel, it seemed to be reaching into the 80’s, to movies such as The Princess Bride and Legend. The dwarfs were quite good too, even if they were used sparingly. Theron was a good big bad, and the only weak point was the Wicked Queens pathetic brother, not menacing enough to be a threat, and with a very stupid hair cut. The first movie this month to promote the axe as the weapon of choice, SWATH, is well worth your time.

PROMETHEUS

 

Oh Boy. The most controversial film for quite some time, and one that has split critics and audience members alike between those who loved it, and those that didn’t get it. Well I saw this film twice, and I loved it both times. Clearly this is a prequel to Alien, although not a direct prequel. Yes, the film is engineered to make you think, it is not a film that gives away all it’s motives. Yes there are curious things that don’t quite seem to fit. For example, the scientists in this film seem extraordinarily stupid, there is a character played by a young man, who is in some very odd old age make up, and certain things are glossed over, character’s actions don’t always seem to fit 100 %. However, I don’t think that Prometheus is any different from any number of films, especially Alien, where scientists act in stupid ways (why would anyone put their face over an opening Alien egg sack?). It is part one of a purposed new trilogy. Things aren’t going to be spoon fed to you, questions will be posed, and not necessarily answered right away. I liked this film more than the original Alien, but not as much as Aliens. I can’t wait for a sequel. The film was beautifully shot, well acted and had a great fan pleasing final shot. This film is a great conversation starter. Go see it with a few friends, and prepare to talk about it for the next few days.

RED TAILS

 

I hadn’t really expected very much from this film, apart from some impressive dog fights and aerial combat scenes, Red Tails hadn’t had a great time of it when it was released earlier this year in the US. I have to say, that I enjoyed this film quite a bit. Yes, the cgi battle scenes were very good, a bit like a more earthly Star Wars, however, I also enjoyed the story, characters and acting. It was not a story I was familiar with, but it was one of bravery and courage in the face of battle, and oppression. It was refreshing to see a Hollywood movie that starred an almost exclusively black cast, and it really made me wonder why Cuba Gooding Jnr. Doesn’t get more quality roles. If you see Red Tails, go for the awesome battle scenes and daring do, but you might be surprised that you start to really care about the characters, seeing as this is a Lucas Film production, and lets be honest, it was very hard to care about most of the characters in the Star Wars Prequels, or Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Red Tails is a good movie, perfect Sunday afternoon watching.

JAWS

 

I have written about JAWS before, and some of you will know that it is one of my two favourite films ever made. Until a few weeks ago, however, I had never seen it in a cinema. It was worth the trip. I always think that films are meant to be shown theatrically, that no matter how big your TV, how booming your surround sound, it will never compare to the cinema. I have seen JAWS hundreds of times, but I never saw it fully before. The picture popped, the sound was crisp, the viewing was tense and exciting and the best I had ever seen JAWS look. I am a massive fan of these re-releases, and hope that they continue, the classic films of the past need to be experienced the way they were supposed to be experienced, on a huge screen with pristine sound, and in the pitch black, that draws you further into the story and the drama. JAWS was the best film I saw this month, but that isn’t exactly fair, as it is the best film I have ever seen in a theatre, until Raiders of the Lost Ark gets re-released.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER

When trailers for this movie were showing in front of films I have seen, a collective groan could be heard, barely audible, but still very much there. The groan always annoyed me. Yes I had read the book this movie was based on, and enjoyed the hell out of it, but that still didn’t account for the majority of people thinking this looked stupid, and me thinking it looked amazing. Turns out they were wrong and I was right. This was a very entertaining, and exciting thrill ride, with a touch of real history, that included some of the coolest vampires seen on screen for a good while, and two very inventive action sequences that whilst slightly ridiculous, fit perfectly into the universe of the film. I thought the acting was of a good standard, the production design was outstanding, and for the love of all that is holy, Abe had a gun axe. Even the 3D, which I was forced to view it in, didn’t bother me at all. Easily the best movie Tim Burton has been involved in since Sleepy Hollow, I enjoyed this very very much.

Wednesday Whimsy

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hello, and welcome to another Wednesday Whimsy. As I type this, it is currently Tuesday 19th of June, at 12:02pm. In other words, I have left this blog post very very late in the day to start. Why am I telling you this? Well, hopefully it will reduce expectations and hopefully, after finishing reading, what will clearly be a half arsed at best blog, you will not blame me overly much. I have been busy, with real life work things, some big changes coming up in my personal life, a change of job most prominent, and I have not had a lie in for a month, so I’m pretty tired. Anyway, enough of my grumbling, I thought today, I would just let you know what I have been doing entertainment wise this last few weeks, and maybe recommend some books or something, you know, nothing too taxing.

 

OK, so I have been trying to read A Song of Ice and Fire, and I’m up to Book 3, A Storm of Swords, but I have been on this book now for well over a month. Am I not enjoying it? No, I love it whenever I read a few paragraphs, but the problem is, there is so much more to read, it kind of feels daunting, and it’s stopping me from reading more. I have managed to start 2 more books, The Monster Hunters Survival Guide, a comic booky look into the life of a Monster Hunter, and along similar if more realistic lines, Memoires of a Monster Hunter, by Nick Redfern, a glimpse into the life of a real life monster hunter. I’m enjoying both, but finding it hard to commit much time to reading, what with work, writing, a social life, of sorts, and all the rest. Life is tough when you have to fit in everything you want to do #firstworldproblem right?

 

Gaming has also taken a back seat, and it must have been a good month since I played a game, I haven’t even downloaded the new Skyrim patch, must try harder. I’m not really in a gaming mood at the moment, it feels too much like hard work when I’m trying to relax. I’ll get my gaming mojo back soon, probably over the period of the hottest weather in July or August.

 

Film wise, I saw Prometheus twice, and loved both showings. I don’t understand the people who didn’t get the film. The fact it leaves us with questions is one of the strongest parts of the film, which will hopefully get a sequel or two. I also finally got to see JAWS in a cinema, and it was spectacular, so much so, I considering going back to see it again if I have time. I was a beautiful thing, to see one of my two favourite films on the big screen, the other being Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I’m sure I will get to see theatrically one day. I’m a fan of these special re-releases, more please Hollywood.

 

Being busy is also to blame for my build up of podcasts. Podcasts are my new favourite thing, I listen to quite a few. I will take this opportunity to recommend some that are my favourite. For comic book fans, I would like to recommend Cape Crisis, from the guys who brought you Talkradar and Laser Time, always fun and interesting. Also in comic books, The Comic Conspiracy, which is a great weekly round up of news and comic events from a very knowledgeable team, a great listen.

 

For video game fans I would like to recommend Games Radar UK podcast, once every two weeks, the guys lay down some awesome talk and make me laugh constantly. In other video games podcasts, and perhaps my favourite podcast ever, is Destructoid’s podcast, Podtoid. Led by Jim Sterling and Jonathon Holmes, a perfect pairing, they hardly ever talk about games, and it couldn’t be better. I love Podtoid, although be aware, you are best served downloading starting around Podtoid 170, and easing yourself in, you will appreciate it.

 

Fans of pop culture and quizzes etc. would do well to listen to Laser Time, which every week covers a different subject each week, is always hilarious, and always worth listening to. Good Job Brain, is a quiz based podcast that it very QI in form, again always interesting. The Geek Box is a weekly round up of the biggest geeky news stories and goings on, discussed by a range of cool people. Mysterious Universe is a good source of news for the more Fortean minded, including Ghosts, Bigfoot and UFOs, always good to hear.

 

Finally, if you like comedy, my favourite podcasts are, The Comedy Button, and Richard Herring’s Podcast in which he interviews a guest each week, with hilarious results. I’ll leave links to all of them below. That’s it for this weeks rushed Wednesday Whimsy, I’ll catch you for more next week. Hmsbeefnuts out.

For Laser Time/Cape Crisis http://www.lasertimepodcast.com/

For Comic Conspiracy/The Geek Box/The Comedy Button/Good Job Brain http://www.geekbox.net/archives/category/podcasts/

For Podtoid http://www.destructoid.com/?t=podtoid

For Richard Herring http://www.comedy.co.uk/podcasts/

For Mysterious Universe http://mysteriousuniverse.org/

For Gamesradar UK Podcast http://www.gamesradar.com/uk/

Hollywood Must Stop Spoiling Movies

By @hmsbeefnuts

I’m not quite sure what to make of The Amazing Spider-man. It looks both good and bad, but mainly very, very unnecessary. The fact that it is far too early to reboot Spider-man is beside the point, at least of this blog. What is really annoying me about The Amazing Spider-man, and to be fair, a lot of recent Hollywood output, is the raft of scene’s and trailers that we are now subjected too. TASM (The Amazing Spider-man) just seems to be the worst proponent of this trend at the moment.

Sony must have released around 5 scenes from this film already, and there is still around 3 weeks until release. Then there are the trailers. We now have around 2 teaser trailers, and 4 or 5 ‘proper’ trailers for some films, these can be added to if the specific film decides to release international trailers etc. It just seems like far too much is being given away before an audience has even sat in the theatre. I don’t know about you, but I’m rather fond of finding out what happens in a film, when I’m actually sat there watching it for the first time.

I can see why studios pump out the trailers and scenes. In these days of 24/7 news and constant internet speculation, it is important to make sure your movie is out there, that it is ‘trending’, that the most people possible are talking about it, looking at it, arguing about it. I get all that, and especially in the case of TASM, people need to be reassured that this film is worth the reboot, that this film tells a story that the very recent Sam Raimi film did not. It needs to set out it’s stall and shout at the fan boys; ‘Look at me, I’m different. I’m better. You want to see me’. I get all that. I just think that sometimes less, is more.

I haven’t chosen to watch any of the released scenes from TASM. It has been tempting, I won’t lie, but I want to go in fresh, and hopefully be surprised, in a good way, by what I see. I don’t want to have seen even one scene from the film, and hopefully, it will pay off. However, the fact that I choose not to watch a released scene, does not stop people who have from talking about it. It makes certain websites a no go area, I’m looking at you Ain’t it Cool News. Now obvioulsy, the majority of the comments are going to be negative, that is the nature of comments, people feel far more motivated to complain, than to praise, I know, I’ve done it myself, but this only provides me with negative vibes for the film. I have decided then to keep away from a lot of talkbacks and comment threads, at least until I have seen the film.

I have decided to make a pact with myself. For any film I have a real interest in seeing, I will watch only 3 trailers max. I have managed to do this with the July’s other huge superhero film, The Dark Knight Rises. I won’t watch any scenes, I have not watched any scenes. I watched the teaser, and 2 trailers, it looks great, but I am done now, until the film. It’s going to be hard, I really want to watch this film, but I think that from now on, the less I see, the more excited I will be, and the more I will get out of the film, when I sit down to watch it on 20th July.

I have also begun an experiment. I have not watched anything from Brave, not one trailer, not one scene. I am sort of aware of what it is about, I like the posters I have seen a lot. But I want to go in fresh, I want to know nothing about the film, and just let it hit me, and see what I think. So that will be interesting, hopefully.

For me at least, I would prefer for movies to keep their cards closer to their chests.

Wednesday Whimsy

By @hmsbeefnuts

Thursday is named after the mighty Thunder God Thor, but today isn’t Thursday. It is Wednesday, and as we all know, Wednesday is named after the God of both Weddings and Retro Gaming, WedNES (sic). WedNES, was in the Greek Pantheon and was son of Zeus and the beautiful Princess Peach. Greeks would pray to WedNES on the occasions of weddings, or indeed, when they were experiencing a particularly hard level of Mario Bros. The usual offerings were a mysterious liquid called Gamerfuel, or some marzipan and icing. This of course is complete rubbish that I have made up, in order to start Wednesday off in a whimsical tone. With that done, onwards to some stuff!!!

June has started off quite well movie wise. Thus far this month, I have seen Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus and Red Tails. I have enjoyed all three, so that’s a positive. Next, I am very much looking forward to the re-release of JAWS. I have never seen this in a cinema, and very much want to, it is one of my 2 favourite films of all time after all. Please local ODEON Cardiff Bay. Please show JAWS. I will love you forever, well, love you more than I already do, which is a not inconsiderable amount.

Talking of Cinema, the subject of snacks enters my mind. What are your favourite Cinema nibbles? I know people who basically bring a full picnic into a movie, and others that don’t even sip a drink. Personally, I like a sandwich/hot dog, or nachos, I can’t stand popcorn, and a Pepsi Max or 7-up. When I was in the States, the cinema snack selection was vastly superior, chicken fingers and curly fries, with a refillable Mr Pibb, hell yeah. There is something so disgustingly amazing about the nacho cheese that draws me to it again and again, horribly delicious.

In TV land, I am finding it very hard to deal with the loss of Game of Thrones. It is far far to long to wait for Season 3. I will have to find a replacement show, and as it happens, Dexter starts soon, so I can replace Westeros for Miami. I know True Blood is back this week, and I really loved the first 3 seasons, but season 4 lost me, it was too much with the fairies and stuff. I haven’t yet seen the second (third?) season of Spartacus, so I will definitely be giving that a go, and Finding Bigfoot comes back soon too, so maybe it won’t be so bad after all.

I have bought a lot of Batman Graphic Novels in the past, not so many in the last year, but I have picked up the re-released No Mans Land Vol. 1 & 2. The Dark Knight Rises is supposed to be, at least slightly, inspired by these books, and so I will work my way through them before I go and see the film. I am also stuck half way through A Storm of Swords Book 1. I’m finding it such a chore to read at the moment, the more I write, the less I want to read it seems. Although I have been working my way through The Monster Hunters Survival Guide, by. A lovely book explaining how to kill, or subdue numerous monsters throughout the world, it is wonderfully illustrated, and I feel by the end of it, I will be fully prepared for every monstrous eventuality. My favourite chapter, has of course, been on Bigfoot.

Games were announced at E3, games that look amazing and I really want to play, and as with reading, I don’t have much time to play games any more. Nintendo’s E3 conference was a bit of a damp squib, although I still want a Wii U. I’m shocked that they didn’t announce a 3D Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, Star Fox, F-Zero, Metroid, Smash Brothers, or Donkey Kong. However, New Super Mario Bros. U looks good, and some of the Nintendoland mini games look fun, but surely this game needs to come free with the Wii U, just like Wii Sports came with the Wii.

Finally, I will leave you with some awesome looking trailers for Tarrantino’s Django Unchained, and Disney’s new animation Wreck It Ralf. Check them out below, and catch you soon.

Wednesday Whimsy

By @hmsbeefnuts

Another Wednesday comes by, and time for more things that have been amusing me over the past 7 days. I happened to see Prometheus, and liked it very much, but will say no more in case you haven’t yet checked it out, you definitely should though.

 

This week, my thoughts are very much attuned to video games as E3 is taking place in LA. A lot of cool games, and even new consoles have been, and are being announced by all of the games industries great and good. As an XBOX 360 and long time Nintendo fan, I was most interested in the XBOX conference and Nintendo’s. Some great looking games were shown, including Halo 4,  Forza Horizon, Splinter Cell: Black List, South Park COD Black Ops 2, and Resident Evil 6. Everything looked very beautiful, perhaps proving there is still life in the old 360 yet. Another exciting announcement was that Xbox and kinect will now have Internet Explorer, finally, and it will all easily be controlled via your phone, or tablet, or kinect, very exciting.

Also in news sure to piss Nintendo off, Microsoft introduced a new service, Xbox Smartglass. This service allows full interactivity between your phone, tablet and Xbox, including a cool feature where the guy on stage was watching Game of Thrones through his Xbox, and his tablet/phone was showing a map that featured info on the scene that was being viewed, including where in Westeros it was set. When the scene changed, the map moved to the new location. It looked very very cool.

At the time of writing, Nintendo is yet to hold it’s press conference, however, they did release some details about their up coming Wii U, including a look at there new gamepad, check it out, I think it looks very sexy.

 

In other news, it seems I was wrong about DC’s choice for it’s newest gay character, it wasn’t a member of the Justice League, but a member of the Justice Society, the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott.

 

Game of Thrones came to a triumphant season end, is it really a whole year to wait for season 3? I simply refuse to wait, I want it now. What a great season though, and what a final scene!!!

 

Only a quick one this week, as I’m off to watch more stuff from E3, or season 2 of Game of Thrones again. See you next week.

Movie of the Month – June

By Geeky Gem and Hmsbeefnuts

 Well it’s June, which can mean only one thing. Its movie of the month time again. I must say we here at All Geek love this time of month, as it means one of us was right last month and one of us was very wrong in our picks. This usually leads to some mocking and much fun. Finally the Blockbuster season is upon us, which makes picking the movie of the month just that little harder.

When I sat down to figure out my pick for this months I looked all over the internet and in my monthly movie magazine trying to figure out what I should pick. It was then I picked up a stack of my monthly magazines and there it was, my pick for June starring at me from the shiny cover.

Prometheus, sees Ridley Scott not only return to one of my favourite movie franchise’s ever but he has gone way back to where it all began. Prometheus tells the tale of a team of explorers who discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. Now as you will see from the trailer below this looks fantastic and I for one cant wait to see it.

 

Hope you get a chance to see it and enjoy what promises to be a fantastic trip back to the start of the Alien story.

Geeky Gem

Hello, Hmsbeefnuts here. Up there somewhere Geeky Gem is trying to tell you that the best movie this month is going to be Prometheus. Well, she is almost certainly wrong!! Well, probably not, but my task today is to pick another movie out in June that I believe will be better than her pick, even if I don’t actually believe it! So here goes. June is a funny old month, the movie going public is trapped between to behemoths of the super hero world, Marvel’s fantastic amazing The Avengers, and DC’s The Dark Knight Rises, which clearly I haven’t seen, but will surely be the end to one of the greatest trilogy’s ever made.

 Tricky then. I clearly can’t choose Prometheus, which, although looks great and interesting and epic, isn’t really my thing. I’m in the ‘Aliens was much better than Alien’ camp, and this return to the Alien franchise, if indeed the xenomorphs are actually in Prometheus at all, looks good, but not quite what I’m after.

Another option this month is Snow White and The Huntsman. The second Snow White film this year, and by far the better looking. This looks more like an epic fantasy film than a fairy tale, something that I am very happy about. Thor himself, Chris Hemmesworth drops his hammer and picks up an axe, Charlise Theron looks smoking hot as the evil queen and that chick from Twilight, you know the mopy looking one, plays Snow White. This looks dark, gritty and soldier shatteringly good. Scroll down for the trailer….

Looks good right? Until next month then, where my choice is not going to be very difficult at all, I bid you adieu.

Hmsbeefnuts

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