30th June 2008
week I attended a screening of Dreamworks' animated smash hit Kung Fu
Panda at the IMAX theatre at Waterloo. Here's the official synopsis:
Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po (voice: Jack
Black) is the biggest fan of kung fu around… When he’s unexpectedly chosen
to fulfil an ancient prophecy, Po’s dreams become reality and he joins the
world of kung fu to study alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five:
Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogan), Viper
(Lucy Lui) and Monkey (Jackie Chan) – under the leadership of their guru,
Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). But before they know it, the vengeful and
treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung (Ian McShane) is headed their way, and
it’s up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat.
It's a great family film, with enough sly
humour to keep the adults entertained. It's not Pixar great, but it's
certainly the best non-Pixar CGI film since the original Shrek. It
has appealing characters, good performances, beautiful art design, and a
It works very nicely on the huge IMAX
screen, although it didn't seem as pin-sharp as it might have been.
May I make two suggestions? If you go to
see it at the IMAX, sit far back enough that you can take in the whole
screen. It's a very kinetic film, with lots of fast-moving action. My
other suggestion is that you go into the theatre knowing who provided the
voices. I made the mistake of going in without this knowledge, and spent
the entire film wracking my brains trying to think who was played by who!
Other forthcoming IMAX presentations:
The X-Men Trilogy and Mystery Men
Saturday 12th July - this event will be
introduced by Sir Ian McKellen (Magneto!) himself. The films are 35mm
presentations (filling about a third of the IMAX screen).
The new Batman movie, The Dark Knight,
will be showing from July the 25th. The film was partly filmed with IMAX
cameras, and so certain scenes will be in native IMAX format (if you see
it at an IMAX cinema!)
The BFI Southbank / BFI IMAX Graphic
Images: Comic Book Movies season also includes IMAX screenings of
300 (on July 1st and 2nd) and V For Vendetta (on July 22nd).
Full details are available from the cinema:
The BFI IMAX is located at South Bank, London SE1. Nearest
tube is Waterloo. Tickets can be bought in advance from the ticket desk or
by Tel: 0870 787 2525 or online from
www.bfi.org.uk/imax. Ticket prices: IMAX DMR films - Adults £12.50,
Concs £9.75, Children £8.00. After Dark All-Nighters: Adults £25.00, Concs
£18.00. Standard tickets: Adults £8.50, Concs £6.25, Children £5.00
Telos Publishing have announced a number of
interesting titles for the second half of 2008. Here's the press
release... click on the titles for links to Telos' website:
Something in the Darkness: The Unofficial and Unauthorised
Guide to Torchwood
By Stephen James Walker
A companion guide to Telos' best-selling guide to the first
series of Torchwood. Stephen James Walker unpicks the series,
looking at the development and build up to transmission, and then
extensively reviewing and analysing the transmitted episodes.
A Family At War: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to
Till Death Us Do Part
By Mark Ward
Mark Ward looks at the background and development of
Till Death Us Do Part, one of the most popular and controversial
comedies ever to appear on British television. Also contains a complete
episode guide to the series.
Taboo Breakers: 18 Independent Films that Courted
Controversy and Created a Legend
By Calum Waddell
Eighteen key films are analysed and discussed by Calum
Waddell, with extensive interview contributions from the producers,
writers, directors and cast.
Silver Scream: Volume 1: 40 Classic Horror Movies 1920 -
Silver Scream: Volume 2: 40 Classic Horror Movies 1941 -
By Steven Warren Hill
Steven Warren Hill looks at the early days of horror film
and discusses and analyses 80 key titles from the period (40 in each
volume). Eighty classic films from The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari
to The Thing From Another World.
It lives Again! Horror Movies in the New Millennium
By Axelle Carolyn
Presented in a handsome large format, full colour
illustrated hardback edition, Axelle Carolyn's assessment and analysis of
the state of horror in the 21st Century will be of great interest to film
buffs, critics and viewers alike. With an Introduction by Neil Marshall (Dog
Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday) and a Foreword by Mick
Garris (Masters of Horror, The Stand, The Shining,
Riding The Bullet, Desperation, Bag of Bones).
Monsters Within: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to
Doctor Who 2008
By Stephen James Walker
Continuing Telos Publishing's unrivalled coverage of
Doctor Who, the 2008 series is subjected to analysis and discussion as
Stephen James Walker continues Telos' series of titles looking at the new
series of Doctor Who.
Last week's Zeta Minor News
can be viewed here.
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed