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Penny Glen’s Rants
2012: True Doom and Gloom?
Or an Excellent Incoming Year for Film and Technology?
Part 3 (Mostly ‘Impressive Actors’)
.... If you’re still with us - excellent!  So here is the next part of Penny’s current rant but be warned- there’s more and she keep tantalising us by dropping  yet more in before she gets to her main subject... so stick with it...
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IMAX (some more news)

Right then! There is something else I’d love to talk about that’s happening this year, before we get to the big kahuna later in this piece.
I’d like to talk about IMAX.

I’ve been very excited for the past couple of months, the reason being that Mr Christopher Nolan is releasing the third epic instalment of his Batman series; The Dark Knight Rises. He has also shot most of it (and we’re talking approximately 60 to 70%) using the awesome IMAX cameras, that are huge, clunky and difficult to manoeuvre. However, the results shown after using an IMAX camera to shoot most of the scenes are astounding. The screen is widened quite a bit, above and below and the cameras are specially formulated to capture and display images at a far higher resolution and size than standard formats. To put it bluntly – it is made for the cinema and it is specifically made for an IMAX screen.

Luckily for us Essex dwellers, London is home to the largest IMAX screen (or the largest of any screen for that matter) in Europe. You’ve probably seen it, near to the waterfront – its the BFI IMAX in that huge circular glass building. You think it looks spectacular on the outside? Just wait until you get inside.

In 2008, I went to see the Dark Knight with my friends. The tickets are a little more expensive for an IMAX viewing, but trust me – it’s worth it. When entering the room, I knew that the screen was the largest I had ever seen, and when I sat down I realised that even though I was in the middle of the seats – the screen still went several metres above my head and below my feet. Quite a surreal experience, but it got even better when the opening scene started playing. If you’ve seen the Dark Knight (and I’m hoping most of you have, it is a fantastic film!), the opening scene is up high and going through buildings until you come to one that is being robbed – forty stories up. This scene was entirely shot in IMAX and let me tell you – it is amazing. The screen being above and below gives you the sense of looking over a building and getting vertigo, the visuals are perfect and the larger set pieces can be fully appreciated e.g. a large transport lorry completely flipping upside down later on in the film. So much fun! As IMAX was created to increase the visual impact of film, I think they have succeeded and made a fan out of me.

The Dark Knight was only around 30% shot in IMAX, so if you are paying attention you will be able to see the scenes change from the larger IMAX ones to the smaller standard ones. The Dark Knight Rises is shot in around 60-70% IMAX. This means three things: My tickets will be purchased as soon as they go on sale. It will be amazing. It will be epic....
...and here is the trailer! -

Join me everyone! It will be a cinematic experience not to miss this year.

What’s on your shelves today...
...which film discs are worth watching and the ones you can use as drink coasters.

Again for your indoor viewing pleasure, I’ll give you the lowdown on what has hit the stores recently and what to avoid for your dear life. But first....

 Actors and actresses who have impressed me so far this year:

Ryan Gosling  
First noticed in the Notebook, he impressed audiences with his non-cheesy sincerity and intensity when it came to love. I pretty much forgot about him after that apart from his 2007 performance in Fracture with Anthony Hopkins. 2011 and 2012 is the year of two Ryans: one being Mr. Gosling and one being Ryan Reynolds. Why the former is impressing me more than the latter is a matter of preference. Reynolds is funny, consistent, and not afraid to take risks -  but for me Gosling is the epitome of young talent today. He is very much destined to be a respected actor for years to come. In recent roles, Gosling has been an outgoing ladykiller, a deranged loner and a smart political advisor. The way to impress me is to get me to believe it – which he does and then some. I greatly admire actors who don’t keep themselves buried in the ‘hot actor’ stereotype, and like the late Heath Ledger (the Joker) before him, Gosling has broken a mould and come out fighting. He’s got three films on the shelves at the moment, and I’ll tell all later.

Colin Farrell
This guy has been a bit hit and miss for me. He went through a period in film where he seemed to lack the magic I loved about him to begin with. He also looked like he hardly washed in paparazzi photos taken of him – which is never good. If any of you haven’t seen Phonebooth with Farrell and the ever brilliant Kiefer Sutherland, you’ll know that Farrell is a chameleon (and you know how I love that aspect of acting), especially with hiding his Irish accent and immersing himself into a role completely. Very impressive, yet he has been dropped off the radar during the last couple of years and became a background someone.
Then, after researching new films I found that he was taking over for Arnie in a remake of Total Recall. Many of you remember that rant a few months back and to be honest, I’m still pretty angry. Some films are perfect the way they are! However, after watching his performance as a horrible boss alongside Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston – I realise that he could still hold his own. I also loved his recent role in the remake of Fright Night. Although the original was great, the effects are badly dated and needed fresh blood (no pun intended) – so he was chosen to be Jerry, the good old vampire next door. The film is by no means the best thing I’ve ever seen, yet I am completely drawn to Farrell’s performance. He is literally having so much fun as the bad guy, it makes the film worth watching – and is quite mesmerising to be honest. Most actors enjoy letting go to be bad, but Farrell brings it to a new level of brilliant, being playful and yet scary at the same time.
It is down to this that I’ll stop moaning about the Total Recall remake. He’ll do a good job.

*Tom Hardy
Hardy is an up and coming actor of brilliance for me – as everything I’ve seen him in amazes me no end. I first saw him in Bronson – the true story of the media addicted madman. Although I didn’t really like the film, I was attracted to and impressed by Hardy’s performance but thought he was going to be a one hit wonder. This was not the case.
Recently he has been in a few films that I have enjoyed, and is starring in one coming this summer that is going to blow everyone away. Christopher Nolan (the one director that doesn’t make a bad film) realised his brilliance for a role in Inception – and as Eames he truely brings a sense of fun to a film that to be honest – was quite difficult to connect with to start. Without Hardy, there wouldn’t be an outlet of humanity and a sense of humour in Inception, and those of you that have seen it know that it is very intense and hard to grasp. His roles in recent films Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Warrior have proved to me that he can do anything – i.e. be naive, in love and frightened in the former and a hardened, loner with nothing to lose in the latter.
However, what makes me really excited to see – is his role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan continued to be impressed by Hardy and cast him as one of the most notorious comic book villains ever. I have no doubt that he will do it properly, as opposed to that silly wrestler in Batman and Robin – which was just funny. From what I’ve seen, Hardy is going to be just what we need after the departure of Heath Ledger and his joker. People were wondering how the series could maintain the highs of the last film without its star – and Hardy is our answer. So committed and dedicated to the role, Hardy wore the breathing apparatus as Bane’s mask for the entire time he was on set, despite being very uncomfortable. If you saw the trailer earlier, you’ll see what I mean when I say that this film is going to be amazing. IMAX people!
In the meantime however, I do want to see ‘This Means War’ with Chris ‘Captain Kirk’ Pine. Like Ryan Gosling before him, it’s always good to have a romcom under your belt to show diversity. If he continues to impress me, it is going to get to the point where I will watch any film he stars in – no matter what it is.

*Michael Sheen
You all know I adore Michael Sheen. He can do anything and be anything – damn the consequences or how silly he looks in some of his roles. Anyone who has seen Tron Legacy will agree with me. I haven’t seen any really recent releases with him in, so I’m just adding him here to profess my undying love for his acting talent.

*Emma Stone
One of the other up and coming actresses that I have a lot of love for. Although very young, she has already proven to be extremely likable, smart and able to carry a film. One of my favourite recent romcoms was Easy A, where Stone just made me laugh all the way through. She is genuinely endearing, with a truthful performance and no pretences about her – which she carried through to her recent performance with Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Her next role will be in The Help alongside an award nominated cast – yet from what I’ve seen, she still holds her own. She will also replace Kirsten Dunst and Bryce Dallas Howard and the Spidey love interest in the reboot of the Amazing Spiderman with Andrew Garfield. I look forward to seeing a lot more of this lady!

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