Her: Who did it first?

Written, directed and produced by Spike Jonez, Her proved to be an unsettling, yet enthralling film about a man who develops a loving relationship with a computer operating system.

Receiving widespread critical acclaim for its direction, power and absolute relevancy to our own society, Her is nominated for five Academy Awards at this year’s 89th annual celebration, including Best Film and Best Writing – Original Screenplay.

Compared by critics to the Truman Show, in impact rather than context, Jonez portrays a future not far from our present, stunningly, through Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Comparisons are also made between Her and Lost in Translation, with both films providing an uncomfortable yet equally infatuating love affair which compels the watcher throughout.

Described by Empire magazine as “Jonez’s most significant film yet”, Her will leave a lasting impact on all those who watch it. But did Jonez really think of it first?

Introducing, the internet…

As Her continues to receive acclaim for its originality and innovation, loyal fans of the NBC sitcom Community, have been cooking up a storm on Reddit. An adaptation of the Her movie poster has surfaced on the websites CommunitySub-Reddit”, replacing Phoenix with an image of co-star Danny Pudi (Abed), with the caption reading “Community did it first, Abed deserves an Oscar”.image via imgur.com

The mock poster refers to an episode in which the “socially disadvantaged” Abed falls in love with Hilda, a character he meets inside a virtual reality video game. The poster was soon pushed to the Reddit front page and fans discussed how writer Dan Harmon, also acclaimed for his creative story-telling, covered the topic of artificial love a full eighteen months before Jonez, albeit a little more light hearted and fun.

However, the real investigators of our good old internet had more. Robot Chicken, already often disregarded for their Star Wars parody, which Family Guy took their inspiration from (openly mocked by Seth Macfarlane during an episode, for how blatantly he stole their idea), also had a similar storyline back in 2006.

Lisa is a short that focuses on a man developing, and then destroying, a relationship with his satellite navigation system. Not only is the story line very similar to that of Her, the voice of the computer is played by Scarlett Johansson. I know, it makes you feel dirty doesn’t it?

Lisa – Robot Chicken (2006) – (WATCH HERE!)

With the Oscars soon approaching, it is not likely that these revelations are going to have much impact on Her’s award winning credentials. In fact, Jonez and his film are both still very popular within the online world. Lisa is fun and does bear striking resemblance to Her, but it does very little to capture the love and romance between man and machine.

It is hard to answer who thought of the idea first, but we can say this. It wasn’t Spike Jonez.

image via replygif.net

image via replygif.net

This week in history: 8th February – 15th February

The 9th of February 1960 marked the beginning of a film tradition that still abides today. Academy Award winning actress Joanne Woodward, star of 1957 film The Three Faces of Eve, became the first person to receive a star on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame. Since the original ground-breaking ceremony, a further 2,500 terazzo or brass stars have been embedded on the walk, lines both sides of Hollywood Boulevard from Gower to La Brea, and both sides of Vine Street, from Yucca to Sunset.

image via hollywoodphotographs.com

image via hollywoodphotographs.com

Heirs of J.R.R Tolkien, writer of the beloved Lord of the Rings series, joined a group of publishers in filing a $150 million lawsuit against New Line Cinema on the 11th February 2008.
With a total of 30 Academy Awards, including 11 for Return of The King, which equalled Ben-Hur and Titanic for most Academy Awards at a single event, the three films grossed $6 billion internationally. However, legal rights dating as far back as 1969 suggested that the Tolkien Trust was entitled to 7.5% of the gross revenue which they had not received.

February 15th marks the anniversary of premier of animated feature Cinderella. Produced by Walt Disney, the film opened in theatres on the 15th February 1950, Cinderella became of the highest grossest films of 1950 and is accredited as being Disney’s favourite work. Cinderella was re-released 5 more times, sustaining its popularity amongst younger generations.

The Ultimate Avengers: Will it happen?

Phase one, phase two, phase three. All these “phases” Marvel keep telling us they are going through is getting pretty confusing. It all began with Iron Man, back in 2008. Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and a second Iron Man all followed before culminating in Joss Whedons’ £220 million dollar blockbuster The Avengers hitting the screens in 2012.

Whedons outstandingly successful film marked the end of phase one, and the beginning of phase

image via www.thegeektwins.com

image via www.thegeektwins.com

two for Marvel, which has now already seen a third Iron man and sequels for both Thor and Captain America. With Avengers two expected to round off Marvels latest efforts under one big umbrella, how long will it be until we expect more of a favourite superhero’s joining the Avengers roster?

Well, they may not have the answers, but online bloggers Maurice and Nigel, better known as “The Geek Twins”, have provided a visual representation of the current Marvel landscape. Their charming guide illustrates Marvels movie rights for each individual and/or group of superheroes.

During the 1990’s, Marvel began selling their character rights to different movie studios, including Universal and Sony.  This allowed 20th Century Fox to begin producing their X-men films; whilst Sony began work on a new Spiderman franchise.  The success of these franchises, alongside other superhero films such the Fantastic Four and Daredevil, led Marvel to begin making their own films independently and thus, Marvel Studios was born.

Marvel managed to re-obtain rights for Iron Man, Thor and Captain America from Artisan, who had not used the rights in anyway. They also re-claimed the rights for the Incredible Hulk and Namor the Submariner, who has yet to be used, from Universal.

However, Sony refused to give up their rights for Spiderman, as they were planning yet another reboot, albeit this time for the Amazing Spiderman. Fox also decided against selling their rights for X-men, with their films, and stand-alone Wolverine films, continuing to provide moderate success.

It became the comic book world’s worst kept secret in late 2013 that Sony and Marvel failed to reach a deal on some form of crossover movie, but Andrew Garfield has said that he would like to appear in the Avengers universe, stating “I would love that, the fans would love that. Obviously, big business and lawyers and rights issues are an obstacle. In my naiveté I’m all ‘let’s put all that aside and just do it!’.”

As it stands, we are still far away from a truly complete Avengers movie. Although not an original member, Spiderman would be expected to join up with the Avengers somewhere during the second or third instalment, yet with Marc Webb already confirming the completion of the Amazing Spiderman trilogy in 2016, Marvel may yet struggle to fulfil their fans desires despite recent rumours. Marvel themselves appear more focused on adding more strings to their bow, with Guardians of the Galaxy on the way and plans to also reintroduce Ant Man to a younger audience.

However, X-men producer Lauren Shuler Donner has given cause for hope, telling Crave Online that “I would love it. I would love it…to take our characters and mingle them in the way that they were written, yeah, absolutely.” Joss Whedon was also the author of twenty five issues of the critically acclaimed Astonishing X-men and also lent a hand in the writing of The Ultimate’s, the ultimate avenger’s team. So for comic book fans, there may still yet be reason for hope, but for us and the Geek twins, we’ll just have to wait and see.

IMDb voters move Disaster Movie off the bottom of the pile.

Directors Friedberg and Seltzer image via www.listal.com

Directors Friedberg and Seltzer
image via www.listal.com

On the 31st of August 2008, Disaster Movie was named by IMDb as being the worst movie of all time. With an average rating of just 1.9 out of 10 after over 63,000 votes, Disaster Movie out flops titles such as Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Zombie Nightmare and even Birdemic: Shock and Terror, a film in which a two survivors fight off a platoon of eagles and vultures who had partnered up in murdering most of the residents of a small town. Yes, really.

The parody, starring Matt Lanter, Vanessa Minnillo, Carmen Electra and even an acting début from the multi-talented Kim Kardashian, received six nominations at the 29th annual Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture, nominations for both Electra and Kardashian in the Worst Supporting Actress category, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.

The only positive review of the film came from Australian newspaper critic Jim Schembri, who described the film as being “dumb but also undeniably funny in more spots than a right-thinking mature person feels comfortable admitting” giving it a rating of 3 ½ stars out of 5.
Schembri’s was himself subjected to criticism from peers and Rotten Tomato website visitors for the review.

Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are used to negative reviews. Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans were voted the two worst films of 2008 by the Times. Empire released their own list of “the Worst Movies of All Time”, in which all but one of Friedberg and Seltzer’s films made it into the countdown.

Although it did manage to recoup nearly $40million in box-office and DVD sales, Disaster Movie was considered by many as being the worst movie ever made, but not anymore.

With a rating of only 1.3 after over 40,000 votes, Indian action crime thriller movie Gunday has “overtaken” Disaster Movie on IMDb’s list of worst rated films.

Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Gunday received mixed reviews with many critics admitting the movie had a credible storyline, but was structurally poor. Whilst reviewing the film, Bollywood critic Saibal Chaterjee said that “It really is difficult to keep a two-and-a-half-hour film from losing its wheels when its engine room is bereft of the propellant of genuine inspiration. Gunday is like the dusty minefields it is set in. Its loud explosions deliver loads of coal, but no trace of any diamonds.”

Although far from being a classic, Gunday is seen by many as a commendable effort, and it’s position on IMDb’s list seems quite frankly, a little harsh.

However, for the directors who have been described as being the “”evildoers, charlatans, symbols of western civilization’s decline” and “a plague on our cinematic landscape, a national shame, a danger to our culture, a typhoon-sized natural disaster disguised as a filmmaking team, a Hollywood monster wreaking havoc on the minds of America’s youth and setting civilization back thousands of years”, Friedberg and Seltzer, for now, are no longer the directors of the worst movie of all time.

Events, offers and releases 06/01/14

image via hdwallpaper.com
Pictured is the poster for the upcoming release of walking with dinosaurs 3D.

Image via www.kingroomentertainment.com.

The Golden Globes 2014 will return this Sunday, with Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Bryan Cranston all expected to sweep up the main awards before next months Baftas, closely followed by the Oscars in early March.

Mark Wahlberg’s new film Lone Survivor, which tells the story of four US Navy Seals on an ill-fated mission in Afghanistan, is due for release on Friday and has already been highly recommended by critics.

And finally, Vue cinema are offering a free kids ticket to families attending showings of Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie, which will be redeemable from Sunday 12th January until Thursday the 27th February. For more info visit the “MyVue” website here.