Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A Serious Man (Trailer)

Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
Writers: Joel and Ethan Coen
Staring: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed
Release: 2nd October 2009

The Coen Brothers are an unfortunate pair of directors. With so many cult classic under their united belt (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona ) any movie they release that doesn’t quite measure up to their unbelievably high standard of film making is destined to disappoint. Burn After Reading, Intolerable Cruelty and The Lady Killers, respectable films if judged by any normal standard, are deemed forgettable and sub-par when they come from the duo that brought “The Dude” to the big screen.

The Coen Brothers will once again have to measure up to that standard with their latest release “A Serious Man”. The buzz this film got earlier in the year shows that expectations have already been set unreasonably high with fans hoping for this to be the brothers’ “masterpiece”. ‘A serious Man’ clearly has a lot to live up to, especially when coming from two directors who already have spawned several films that any director would be proud to call their magnum opus.

The trailer itself could be deemed a masterpiece of cinema; suspenseful, funny and well-paced. I feel that I have an emotional connection to the character already despite having seen him only in a brief two minute teaser.

Although the trailer reveals little in terms of plot, one thing’s clear; The Coen Brothers are back to their trademark dark comedy style that earned them their cult following. As for whether or not the film itself proves to be the “masterpiece” fans are hoping for, we’ll have to wait and see. UK fans however will unsurprisingly have to wait slightly longer, with the UK release date pegged for the 20th November.

TOP 5 - Films I'm Not Looking Forward To

5. A Christmas Carol

I love you Jim Carrey, but no one should encourage Robert Zemeckis in his retarded quest to create something in between live-action and animation as the product is usually a big beefy turd like Beowulf or Polar Express. However if you get fairly smashed before hand and see it in 3D at the IMAX you'll most probably be giddy throughout. Oh and no adaptation is as good as A Muppet's Christmas Carol .

4. I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

Well if the title has you chuckling and if watching a twig fall into a puddle cracks you up then you'll probably be in fits of uncontrollable laughter after that trailer. Although the creative genius behind this film, Tucker Max (a name that sounds like a pre-packaged lunch or a nickname for a child molester) is apparently a well-respected blogger and writer with a good few followers, this Hangover knock-off is so far down my list of things-to-watch that it's nudged My Own Shit Composing off of the bottom.

3. Capitalism: A Love Story

As ever Michael Moore goes about making himself even more hate-able than his subject matter. He successfully made George Bush seem as charming and loveable as Will Smith in relation to himself and now he is going to do the same with capitalism. I don't even have much of a beef with capitalism so Chubby Chubby McFat Fat might have outdone himself with this one.


Despite there being a prospect of intrigue and something slightly barable about the story and writing in the trailer I can't stand 30 year-olds playing 18 year-olds (other than Jonah Hill in Superbad) and there is literally nothing in this film that appeals to me. The lead girl is not only a forgettable face, but seems to have all the charisma of a wet potatoe. The soundtrack sounds shit too.



What's that I hear you all cry? It's Aaron Eckheart, that lovely Harvey Dent fellow. He was brilliant in Thank You For Smoking what could possibly bring him down? Quite simply... Jennifer Aniston. My colleagues on this site may disagree with my sentiments, but the one trick pony (most often known as "Rachel from friends") is like a sort of black hole or an anchor, one that Brad Pitt had the good sense to shake off years ago. She drags any actor or film with vague potential down into the abyss with her irritating "quirky" mannerisms and limited acting skills. She'll fuck him up worse than The Joker and I defy anyone to pay to see this film.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (trailer)

Directors: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach (novel by Roald Dahl)
Staring: George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Brian Cox, Michael Gambon
Release: 23rd October 2009

The more I see of Wes Anderson's upcoming stop-motion debut the more excited I get. The animation is indeed unlike anything, but so is the voice-acting. If you have a moment you should watch the featurette ( that shows how they recorded the actors. You will see George Clooney rolling around in some grass and shouting his lines and then when you watch a clip of the film you can really hear what they've done.

A visually stunning trailer and with so much charm it is almost hard to digest. There are some good gags too and all the Anderson favourites are lending their talent to what I hope to be one of the big contenders at the Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film (although I might not want it to beat UP). Watch this space.


It’s been a while since Terry Gilliam has come close to the magic of Brazil or The Fisher King, two of his best. With The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parmesan (Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium?) coming out this month we’ll either be shown a fantastic return to form or just be reminded of how good it used to be. It’s because of this that I sat down to watch Brazil the other night and as I watched Jonathan Pryce flying around dystopia like a metallic demi-god I was reminded of the time when the Monty Python guru could simultaneously amuse and disgust and even intrigue so fantastically. Brazil just makes the insipid The Brothers Grimm even more unbearable (try not to watch it if you can).

Anyway the basic plot (if you’ve been mad enough to avoid Brazil for all these years) is this: Jonathan Pryce is Sam Lowry, lonely office worker in a bureaucratic retro-future. He has wild dreams in which he soars through the sky and often encounters a beautiful Goddess. In attempting to correct an administrative error and to get close to the woman from his dreams Sam becomes a wanted man. I won’t spoil the rest of the film for you, despite to say the lines of reality start to blur and Robert De Niro makes an appearance as a member of the resistance to the 1984-style oppressive government.

The bureaucratic future is so over-the-top that brilliantly ludicrous lines such as “This is your receipt for your husband... and this is my receipt for your receipt” are common-place and a Python-esque mood sits below the slightly creepy and disturbing surface at all times. In one particular restaurant scene one still gets the feeling that Mr Creosote could appear at any moment, so the charm of Gilliam’s earlier work is still very much in tact. Parts of Brazil will remain in your subconscious for years and this brings me to wonder why the brilliance and slightly disturbing nature of this 1985 masterpiece cannot be reproduced. It could of course partly be that Brazil is one of a kind, but The Fisher King (that I might review at some point) is just as exceptional. One can only assume that Gilliam is fading out like a white Stevie Wonder and that he may never fly as high as he once did. Again if you haven’t seen Gilliam’s finest I can’t recommend it enough. From Sam Lowry’s pitch perfect performance to one of the best final acts in any film ever made Brazil will be put into our top 100 greatest films of all time and will hopefully be joined by Doctor Parnassus, but I am not holding my breath

Sam Lowry: Give my best to Alison and the twins.
Jack Lint: Triplets.
Sam Lowry: Triplets? My how time flies

Classic. 10/10