Monday, 30 November 2009



Saturday, 28 November 2009


Been released in America already, but we have to wait a few weeks. Word on the street is that this is (like Fantastic Mr Fox) an adult-friendly, child UNfriendly, beautifully shot masterpiece. EXCITEMENT


"Remember me" is quite a funny thing to put on such a forgettable poster. This is minimalism done wrong, to see it done right just look at the poster for Noah Baumbach's new film, Greenberg, which I'm looking forward to.

See the trailer here

Friday, 27 November 2009


Amazing tagline. Sick trailer.

Anyone that isn't looking forward to this must have missed the GIANT SCORPIONS

Monday, 23 November 2009

We're heading straight for Mount Everest

To call Roland Emmerich's 2012 a good film would be wrong. The Shawshank Redemption is a good film, good gilms make you feel emotions and make you care for the characters. In 2012 John Cusack and his family get stuck behind two old dears in an old cadillac driving quite slowly. One of the old dears says to the other "here you hold these eggs Martha" or whatever the fuck her name was, but this all happens as they are being chased by the biggest earthquake never recorded. What's that you say? Earthquakes can't chase people? Of course they can. What's more is that earthquakes have an uncanny knowledge of comical timing in the sequence that follows. Cusack beeps at the old women and then decides to mount the pavement and charge through some front gradens. The camera then shifts to show the elderly motorists chugging along parallel only to have a big piece of ground shoot up and smack them in the face. INSTANT DEATH.

What follows is even more ridiculous, but equally enjoyable as Cusack and co manage to cheat death and fly away thanks to that surgeon that took a few flying lessons. The film then proceeds to present you with implausible CGI catastrophes mixed with long boring talking scenes that don't really connect you to the characters, but help make the billion foot tidal waves and surprise volcanoes all the more fun by comparison.

Now I get to the crux of this review and it is this. You have to see this film for one moment alone very near the beginning. When Chiwetel Ejiofor is talking to his Indian friend in a hot room underground there is a totally gratuitous shot of a man pouring ice into a bucket where another man is cooling his feet and after the initial hiss of the ice melting in the water subsides the man says, ".... Oh that is velly gud".

It's not a good film, but it's an enjoyable film. They save the puppy and kill the russian, but at least our dear Queen is saved.

Go see it if you are patient and have a good sense of the absurd. 7/10

P.S. Woody Harrelson is in it

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


I am sorry I am completely finished.

After you've cleaned up you'll probably put this on your Oscar list.
I might go see it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009



However I do get the feeling this is a straight to DVD kind of deal and may not be getting cinematic release at all. Anyway here's a chart I made for all the other animated films coming out:

Sunday, 15 November 2009


If you don't understand watch this: BAM

(big props to Fall On Your Sword)



And yes that IS that squeeky twat from Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008). His name is Aaron Johnson and he's going to be a star!

(he's also in Nowhere Boy playing a young John Lennon, it's apparently not very good)


Here's another picture for fun:

(there are no angry pictures of Ang Lee anywhere)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Seriously Lazy Reviewing

So who's excited about A Serious Man? I am, it looks wicked. But the movie press are seriously excited:

"Seriously funny"

"'A Serious Man': Seriously Brilliant"

"Seriously Funny Troubles Ahead"

"'A Serious Man' Is Seriously Good"

"Seriously hard to wrap your head around"

"Seriously sensational"

The word 'seriously' has now lost all meaning for me.

In other news:


A sequel is on its way, directed by Blade series helmer David Goyer. He says it's going to be to Ghost Rider "what Casino Royale was to the Bond movies", eg a grittier, darker, more realistic reboot. This can definitely work with characters that a) inhabit something pretty close to the real world and b) have an already huge fanbase, eg Bond and Batman. But maybe not with a man who has magic demon powers and can turn his head into a flaming skull? I can see why they're doing this - the first film was completely slammed - but I'm not convinced it'll work.


One of the hugest and most original talents in comics is going to direct a superhero film, following on from his experiences on adaptions of his comics Wanted and Kick-Ass. We're not going to find out what it is til February, the upcoming Avengers film is going to be based on his Ultimates series, with maybe a bit of Civil War, so what else could it be? He's making it outside the studio system, so it's not going to be a Marvel or DC property. Some awesome original Millar hero, no doubt. Can't wait.

Roland Emmerich, aka Galactus, Destroyer of Worlds, is to make not one, but two sequels to Independence Day. He's already mentioned that Will Smith is the only member of the original team who's not interested in returning, but this suggests that now he is, and now I am very excited. Anyone who doesn't like Independence Day doesn't understand what cinema is for, and two sequels, which will probably be in IMAX, hell yes. Emmerich says two films will have room for "a bigger arc," but who cares, he's just going to blow up more stuff.

List of landmarks Emmerich has not blown up yet and should blow up in Independence Day 2 & 3:

Stonhenge, England

The Space Needle, Seattle USA

Moulin Rogue, Paris

The Big Banana, Australia

Friday, 13 November 2009


Green Zone is the boring realistic name for Paul Greengrass's boring "realistic" action film that is disguising itself as an original, but is in fact... another Bourne film. If you want an official Jason Bourne title, look forward to 2011 where apparently we will be seeing more Bourne, because you can't have too much shakey-cam car chases and blurred close combat sequences right? I call it boring because anything that repeats itself eventually becomes boring no matter how exciting the original is.

Greengrass's style is so recognisable that he really needn't put "from the maker of the Bourne Ultimatum and Bourne Supremacy" in his trailers, Matt Damon's scrunched up little face does that all on its own. The words "gritty" and "realistic" send shivers down my spine not only because I prefer escapism in films, but because it's Hollywood's latest buzz-word and inescapable in modern action films.

I like realism when John McClane steps on glass shards and winces, but I also like that his wounds are completely superficial and make him look cool. It would be interesting to have an action film where the lead man's arm gets blown off or he slowly bleeds to death from a single gunshot, but it would only be interesting ONCE.

Anyway before I get too ranty, here are some suggested titles for Jason Bourne sequels:

- Jason Bourne On The 4th Of July (vietnam bourne film, may involve time-travel)
- Natural Bourne Killers
- The Unbourne (Jason Bourne's opposite, a very safe driver, likes petting cats OR a horror film where Jason Bourne discovers his unborn brother is Ben Affleck)
- Bourne To Be Wild
- The Talented Mr Bourne
- Bad Will Hunting
- Stuck On You 2: Stupremacy

Monday, 9 November 2009


Director: Grant Heslov
Writers: Peter Straughan, Jon Ronson (book)
Starring: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey
Released: 6th November

This could just be the most entertaining war film ever made. While The Men Who Stare At Goats, a tripped-out buddy movie, is set mainly during the War on Terror, it is consistently hilarious, getting genuine laughs amidst the shoot-outs and kidnappings. It's an unapolagetically light-hearted film, from the Supergrass-scored opening credits onwards, and you're left in no doubt - the first scene features an army general running face-first into a wall, and Clooney's 'sparkly eyes technique' is hilarious.

Ewan McGregor has easily the least interesting part to play, the journalist thrust into an investigation of psychic warfare, and teaming up with Clooney's Lyn Cassady, the 'Jedi Warrior' on a secret mission. McGregor has a weird nearly-American accent, playing Bob Wilton, the fictionalised version of English journalist Jon Ronson. Clooney is the real star, obviously, playing the disillusioned, arrogant, hard-drinking Warrior Monk and his younger, more optimistic self with his usual charm and great use of eyebrows.

Spacey plays the well-written sort-of villain with his usual smoothness - tripping on acid, he points a gun at Clooney, then puts it in his mouth, then abruptly wanders off, mumbling "wow, I'm really hungry." Jeff Bridges as Bill Django, New Age mentalist and writer of the 'New Earth Army Handbook', is brilliant, advising the mulleted Clooney that "you can't free your mind until you free your feet." What's more amazing is that it's nearly all true - there really was a black ops psychic division, they did try to kill goats by staring at them, and so on. Pick up the book, it's a fascinating read.

The Men Who Stare At Goats looks like a war film, with the bleached browns and greys and sweat and dirt, but is really an unashamedly feelgood movie. The dark side of the War on Terror is barely touched on, and as soon as things get bad, you know they're going to get better, because it's so Hollywood. It doesn't preach - war is bad, great, but what we really need is escapism. Heslov, Clooney and co deliver it brilliantly, with heavy use of 'More Than A Feeling' by Boston. Quality.


Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Roald Dahl (book)
Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzmann
Released: 23rd October 2009

The Fantastic Mr Schwartz- oh, I'm sorry. George Clooney is the star of this film. I almost forgot. Clooney is excellent as always, making us really root for a character that, on paper, is a bit of a wanker. Anderson adds another conflicted, if by now over-familiar father figure to his body of work. But Schwartzmann's fox cub Ash, without a doubt, has all the best lines. I'm extremely glad that Anderson and Baumbach added the subplot with cousin Kristofferson, because it gives Schwartzmann a chance to shine, and wow, does he shine.

Don't take your kids to see this film. Yes, it's animated talking animals, but children will literally not understand a word of the inter-family relationships or anything else, really. Mr Fox gets his tail shot off and tells his son it will never grow back (an extremely dark moment in the book for me). All the swears are removed, which I like, especially the use of "clustercuss" and the graffiti in town that just said "CUSS".

There are some good cameos (my highlight was Bill Murray's badger, in his out-of-the-blue and weirldy hypnotic fight with Mr Fox), and the voicework is good all round. But the animation looks extremely weird to me. It's jerky and deliberately left-field: sometimes this works and really helps the comedy, such as when Mr Fox gobbles a huge plate of toast making 'nom nom nom' sounds or during the final dance number; at others, it's just disconcerting and out of place.

The puppets look great, though, as do the sets, Anderson keeping everything pastels and primary colours. It's so Wes that if you close your eyes you could almost be watching anything since Bottle Rocket. This isn't necessarily a criticism, but it definitely will be if his next film treads the same path. The final showdown has an interesting departure for Anderson: action. Apart from the fact that it's all puppets, and the smoke is obviously cotton wool, it's a well-choreographed and exciting scene. The shootout on the Belafonte was easily one of the best moments of The Life Aquatic, and I'd genuinely like to see more explosions in amongst all the father issues next time round.

This film looks good, it sounds good, it's funny, the animation really didn't do it for me, but Anderson pulls off another quirky family-com. Overall, this film is fantast oh I'm sorry please kill me.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Director: Terry Gilliam
Writers: Terry Gilliam, Hunter S. Thompson (book)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro
Release: 13 November 1998

Never has a director so masterfully translated the mind of a drug user as Terry Gilliam did in his masterpiece adaptation of “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas”. The film stars Johnny Depp as oddball journalist “Raoul Duke” who travels to Vegas with his psychopathic attorney “Dr. Gonzo”, played by Benicio Del Toro. Although officially sent to cover the “Mint 400 Motorcycle Race” the duo takes it upon them to delve into the heart of the American Dream, armed with an array of illegal hallucinogenic drugs.

Rather than one central plot the film is more of an adventure, with the characters getting into various situations under the influence acid, mescaline, cocaine, ether and whatever else they packed away for the trip. The film is character driven, with Depp’s hilarious yet often insightful narration nicely tying together the different drug-addled adventures. Terry Gilliam’s film owes much to the novel it was adapted from, with much of the great dialogue and humour coming directly from the source material.

The true reason for this masterpiece is not just the hilarious dialogue or engaging characters but also how they represent the naive dreams of the lost hippie culture, like in “Easy Rider”. Las Vegas is depicted as being the epitome of the American dream gone wrong. A land of decadence, greed, prostitution and exploitation. A place, as Duke describes it, where “even the most serious crimes go unnoticed”.

Behind the fun of this two hour acid trip is a serious message about the collapsed American Dream of the 1960’s. The film, like the book, is set in 1971 with the main characters Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo being a represented as refugees from the acid wave generation. I’m reminded of Fight Club in the sense that this film delivers a serious sociological interpretation of American culture and the notion of the “American dream” through hilarious dialogue, innovative direction and outstanding acting.


Thursday, 5 November 2009


Is this even a kids' film? I'm so confused.

You want the news? You can't handle the news!


Don Quixote, by Miguel Cervantes, is a book about an old man who is convinced he's a famous and chivalrous knight. After Doctor Parnassus, Terry Gilliam is going back to his adaption of the book, which may or may not still be called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He tried and failed to film it in 2000 (above), but was interrupted by jet fighters, flash floods, serious spinal injury etc, the shoot being sort of like Apocalypse Now except it was in Spain and the film didn't get made. The book is both surreal and hilarious, perfect for Gilliam, and possible star Johnny Depp.

After the disgustingly huge amounts of money Transformers brought in, Hollywood has gone absolutely mental for toys. First we had GI Joe, and now we have these to look forward to:


Directed by Sir Ridley Scott, who says it's going to be a comedy family movie, that also examines the nature of greed in society. I don't know what the fuck he's thinking. Scott is also attached to direct northern crime drama Red Riding and Untitled Alien Prequel, so who knows when we'll see this. Hopefully after Alien.


Directed by Michael Bay, who else? This is just so stupid but also so amazing I don't know what to say. Remember that bit in Pearl Harbor when the camera followed the bomb from a Japanese fighter to the deck of a US battleship and then everything blew up? Imagine that, for two hours. Wow.

Easily the most complicated game out of the three. No director is attached yet, but the object of the game is to conquer the entire world, which could be interesting, or really stupid. We're promised "tactical gambles" coupled with "an action-packed, thrilling story." The jury is very much out.

Other boardgames that should be made into films:
Trivial Pursuit: six contestants take part in a gameshow where they have to answer boring, obscure questions correctly or the penalty . . . is DEATH.
Twister: four sexy teens are lured into an abandoned house, where the only way out is to solve puzzles by placing their hands on coloured circles, or the penalty . . . is DEATH.


Danny Boylewas going to direct 28 Months Later, even before he started work on the massively overrated Slumdog Millen-air. It would be the third in the series, and I was hugely excited about Boyle directing again and making the series great again after the merely decent 28 Weeks. But, he has recently started work on 127 Hours, the true story of Aron Ralston, who was trapped under a boulder for five days before cutting his own arm off and escaping. Despite my disappointment, I am looking forward to this, the extreme version of the excellent Touching the Void.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Like Cinema Paradiso, but the right length and not about film. I love brevity in films and Shane Meadows has made something pretty perfect in my eyes (the film comes in at around 66 minutes). And it has been said before, but Thomas Turgoose is brilliant and destined for greatness, he has all the best lines in the movie and he delivers them convincingly and filled with charm.

My favourite Shane Meadows film. 10/10

Monday, 2 November 2009


Duncan Jones, the man behind the brilliant and under-stated Moon (one of my films of the year), is looking to make another heavily sci-fi influenced film. If Moon was his Silent Running then Mute is his Blade Runner. The film is to feature a mute man (hence the title) searching for his abducted girlfriend in a Berlin of the future. Too early to make judgements, but I will commit to seeing this just from the concept art alone.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

James Cameron's IRAQATAR?


So here I am watching the new trailer for James Cameron Diaz's 3D sci-fi extravaganza Avatar, when I start thinking 'why did no one tell me this was an Iraq war film?' Think about it - the native population invaded because they live in the way of a hugely valuable natural resource? Cutting edge technology versus less well equipped insurgents? Explosions? Blue people = Iraqis.

Anyway, I like the ambiguity suggested by the new trailer, but I got a bit worried towards the end. Has Cameron gone boring and political on us? Why has nothing got blown the fuck up? And then they showed us some battle montages, and I felt much better. Avatar looks great, not only as an intriguing sci-fi story, but as an incredible-looking film. Imagine the above, exploding out of the screen in Real-O-Vision. Serious Sam Worthington strikes me as an empty, vaguely attractive shell of a leading man, but there's support from Phoebe's idiot brother from Friends ("woah . . . big octopus") and Ripley herself. I am going to watch this film.

INVICTUS (Trailer)