8:00 PM, 25th August, 2012
Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is back! Though amidst all the fan fervour surrounding this year's other superhero offerings, you'd almost be forgiven for not knowing. After all, Spider-Man 3 didn't exactly leave everyone begging for more. Luckily, Hollywood did what it does best when faced with declining profits and a lack of creativity: it hit the reset button, and here we are now with The Amazing Spider-Man.
Oddly-qualified but aptly-named Marc Webb - whose only directorial effort to date is the superb (500) Days of Summer - delivers a striking film more akin to Christopher Nolan's reality-based Batman films than the fantastical, colourful world of Sam Raimi's original trilogy. It's admittedly an odd transition; Spider-Man is, after all, not as dark and brooding as the Dark Knight, but the film weaves an element of mystery and intrigue that somehow fits. Gone too are Tobey Maguire's dorky, bug-eyed antics and Kirsten Dunst's damsel-in-never-ending-distress. Instead you'll find The Social Network's Andrew Garfield as a pitch-perfect Peter Parker and the ever-lovable Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Parker's first true love in comic book lore, as they're menaced by a founding member of Spidey's rogues gallery: Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), a scientist whose attempt to re-grow his missing arm using reptilian DNA turns him into The Lizard.
The Amazing Spider-Man is very much an untold tale, and even takes a few controversial, non-canonical liberties with the web-head's traditional origin. But as any true comic book fan can tell you, Spider-Man has certainly been no stranger to change throughout his storied 50-year history. And as it turns out, change was exactly what his cinematic counterpart needed too.
10:31 PM, 25th August, 2012
Considered to be one of the greatest and most influential anime series of all time, cult classic "Cowboy Bebop" was so commercially successful that the film Cowboy Bebop: The Movie was commissioned and released in Japan in 2001. Fans of the series were not disappointed. Witty, cool and compounded with a funky soundtrack, this Tarantino-esque adventure grabs you from the opening scene.
A terrorist attack occurs in a Martian city, just before Halloween in 2071. A tanker explodes at the city limits, releasing a noxious gas. Hundreds are killed by what appears to be a completely unknown biological weapon and, in response, the government issues the largest reward in history for the capture of whoever is behind it.
After living off nothing but cup noodles for as long as they can remember, the bounty hunter crew of the spaceship Bebop; Spike, Faye, Jet, Ed and Ein, take the case with hopes of cashing in.
Although based on the wildly popular series, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie easily stands alone as an excellent film, for those who have not seen the series, but just as easily slots in as an extended episode of the series keeping fans sated.
Expect to see brilliant, flashy martial arts, gunplay and aerial dogfights coupled with an excellent, punchy, jazz soundtrack and gorgeous cinematic visuals. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is simply awesome. If you are at all interested in anime, this is an absolute must see.