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25thframe.co.uk > Comedy | Crime | Drama | Family | Fantasy > Millions

Millions

(2005)

Director(s)
Stars
Alex Etel
Lewis McGibbon
James Nesbitt
Daisy Donovan
Christopher Fulford
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News
Jurassic World 2 gets a title, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, make of that what you want.

Does this suggest that the theme park in the original Jurassic World is now abandoned with dinosaurs running riot?

Time will tell and its probably more about the fall of the dinosaur kingdom and the way they were wiped out millions of years ago.

Also reveleaed is the teaser poster, see below.

Despite the surprise yesterday that Disney is buying LucasFilms from George Lucas for 2 1/2 billion, which will include the license to all the franchises that the production company owns, it wasn't really that much of a surprise, and it could have been predicted.

Not long ago it was reported that Lucas wanted to retire, to leave the Hollywood blockbuster behind and maybe concentrate on smaller budget films like his recently produced film Red Tails, this is a large chunk of change to do that.

Lucas has always had a good relationship with Disney, just go to a theme park and see the level of Star Wars merchandise for sale, and the infamous Star Tours ride which was opened in 1987 and got a major revamp in 2010.

So in the end it was Disney who have purchased LucasFilms rather than maybe the more obvious studio, 20th Century Fox but the real question has to be the continuing production of it's most loved franchises, well both of them anyway.

First off is the Indiana Jones franchise, directed by Steven Spielberg and funded and released by Paramount, will future episodes 1) still have the involvement of Paramount, not really a big issue, or 2) be directed by Spielberg? Or star Harrison Ford? Disney are know for cashing in on big film names, see Aladdin, Cars, Beauty and the Beast to name a few, and maybe fans have something to worry about.

Now lets address the one on all our minds. At the press conference it was almost instantly announced that there will be a Star Wars Episode VII (7) released in 2015, oooh, that's big, and scary, and with Lucas taking an back seat, although he has an advisory role, what will happen.

Lucas may have tarnished the Star Wars franchise with the prequel trilogy, but above anything else he was very true to the franchise, and the universe he has created, he clearly has a lot of affection for all things Star Wars and despite not doing the best job possible a lot of love and attention went into the films, that in difficult narrative circumstances tied the films into the original series, and the characters were also true to it.

Star Wars Episode VII possibly isn't the concern, Disney also announced there will be an Episode VIII in 2017 and Episode IX in 2019 this is more worrying and anything beyond that are clearly frightening.

Star Wars has been with us since 1977, there has been 6 films of varying degrees of quality, but it has millions and millions of fans worldwide who still love the series, Lucas shattered some of our dreams in 1999 with Episode I, but those dreams have been repaired over time, we either forget them or learn to love them, is Disney about to totally destroy our dreams? When all has been said and done what I really want to know is, did Disney get the 1977 Star Wars Holiday Special in the deal and will they now release it onto Blu-ray?

Daniel Radcliffe, for the immediate future anyway, is always going to be Harry Potter, for 10 years he lived and breathed the character and to millions of adoring fans he is the image of the boy wizard, which is why it is an achievement that while watching The Woman in Black Harry Potter hardly crossed my mind.

The story, set in an Edwardian era, centers around Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) who is a solicitor sent to clear up the paperwork of a recently deceased woman. Kipps himself has a 4 year old child and is a widow, his wife having died during child birth.

Kipps arrives in the village of Crythin Gifford where he is to spend the next couple of days working before his son arrives to join him for a holiday. During his train journey Kipps meets the local wealthy man who he befriends and then is given a lift in his car (noted as being the first car in the village) to the inn where he is booked in to stay.

The welcome Kipps gets from everyone else is far from friendly, and as he goes about his business the next day he is more or less told to leave town. What ensues from there is a traditional ghost story with scares and jumps at every opportunity.

As I first mentioned Radcliffe, fresh from the Potter franchise where he IS the boy wizard, manages to detach himself from that completely, not sure if it's the side burns or the fact that his character spends a lot of time alone and doesn't say a lot, or maybe it's the low budget film not being laden with special effect but it's a good move.

I'm showing my age now but I remember the Hammer Horror films of the 70's and 80's which at the time were scary as hell, and the TV show had me hiding behind the sofa more than Doctor Who did, and this film, which is produced by Hammer and filmed in the UK captures the spirit of the old Hammer perfectly.

The film is jumpy if a little corny in places, not too long and has a story which is acceptable for a horror film of this type. I started the question things when a seemingly normal guy decides to spend the night in the creepiest looking house in England that is cut from mainland during for large part of the day and he'd already experienced minor paranormal activity (I'd never have gone anywhere near the house in the first place) and some of the jumpy scenes were far too predictable and came off as amusing but on the whole it's an enjoyable scary horror harking back to the glory days of Hammer.

Good: Decent screenplay from Jane Goldman and some genuinely scary moments. Well directed by James Watkins and a good supporting cast.

Bad: Does get predictable and some of the scares are funny. Too many unanswered things happen and the ending although good could have been better.

25thframe.co.uk rating:

A report is due to be released next week suggesting that the UK should make more commercially successful films, this is after a year where the British film industry contributed £4 Billion to the UK economy.

Prime Minister David Cameron is to visit Pinewood Studios on Wednesday (11th Jan) and has said himself that he British film industry should support "commercially successful pictures", but in doing this does it mean film makers loosing their artistic integrity?

In my mind this begs the question, do film makers make films for person reasons, it may be to make art, to make a statement or because the maker has a story they just have to tell, and despite it's commercial success if its going to be seen and enjoyed or acknowledged by the public, despite how small that group might be, it's worth making the film. Or is the making of a film an industry and if the product won't make a profit then why bother to produce it? In reality the films, which make the money, are (generally) big blockbuster.

Last year Britain produced The Kings Speech, The Inbetweeners, Johnny English Reborn and finish off the Harry Potter series (which can arguably be credited to Britain), all successful films which made money at the box office and have continued to make money in the home market (DVD, Blu-ray, downloads). But outside of this there were plenty of films that were lower grossing movies that probably didn't make money.

The "independent" films that Britain produces are often what separates it, and forms the identity of the film industry, India and France also have massive films industries and can be identified by these films which are loved by people in their native countries as well as other nationalities. In the UK we love American (Hollywood) blockbuster for what they are, and it just so happens they make money, maybe it's the marketing push of millions of dollars but they make money, much of which is pumped back into the American economy.

Of course this is the attraction, American mainstream films make money the world over, British films tend to make money only in the UK, the marketing pounds aren't there to promote the film to the same extent abroad. Despite The Kings Speech which won Oscars doing well in the US, The Inbetweeners and Johnny English didn't.

It must be argues that if Britain makes more 'mainstream' films there is a fear of the British film industry just becoming a Little Hollywood, and although it's no bad thing to produce movies that make money (and hence having a larger audience) we shouldn't and can't stop making films which can be truly identifies as British and which probably wont make millions.

As soon as CES started and Warner Bros. confirmed that they are going Blu-ray only we all knew it was only a matter of time before there would be only one format and this "war" would be over, and now it looks like Toshiba will announce their withdrawal from HD-DVD.

This speculation along with the Warner announcement and the many US retailers announcing either Blu-ray exclusivity or Blu-ray dominance in stores are enough to kill the format, who wants to buy a player that has little retail support.

Blu-ray is the winner and it's only a matter of days (if not hours) before it will become official. This is one in the eye for Microsoft who has reportedly pumped millions of dollars into support for the format and a big triumph for Sony who developed it.

The conspiracy around the Microsoft involvement is multilayer, but whatever the truth is I think that downloadable content for films and TV has taken a hit in the back of this move as well, people can buy a player with confidence now.

The good news for Sony now is their insistence of putting a Blu-ray player in the Playstation 3 might pay off, the gaming device is still by far one of the better players on the market and is still the cheapest certainly in the European market where the stand alone players are still not that common.

The players are sure to come down in price now and the HD-DVD format will slowly start to disappear off the shelves, for those that did buy an HD-DVD player you will soon be able to pick up the movies very cheap.

Chart info

UK release date:

Highest chart position: 6

Weeks on box office: 5

Chart history
Date
Place
Gross
6 / N
£293,032
7 / 
£282,294
8 / 
£119,592
10 / 
£47,041
13 / 
£35,842
Non-chart history
Finer details

Total UK gross £1,394,655 and the 2421th top grossing film in the UK

UK BBFC Certificate: 12

Genres: