5 October 2012
This week we get a film written, directed and starring Ted from How I Met Your Mother, one from the producers of Paranormal Activity, a film from Transformer sound-a-like Olivier Megaton, and a novelist who was given the job of adapting his own book for screen and then directing it too.
As the only film on this list that I have already seen, I can honestly say that Taken 2 is less a sequel to Taken and more all of the potential storylines for the Taken franchise squished into one narrative that is unbelievable in a way sadly unfun way. Neeson and Janssen also get in on the kidnapping act this time round and the film flips and flops as they all get their chances to be taken and then escape with some of them getting more opportunities to play the victims than others. It is not that this film is awful, it’s merely that no one involved seemed to care about making it at all interesting or exploring anything that could be interesting. Drink before and during to enjoy.
Josh Radnor seems to be the new Zach Braff just less likeable and unwilling to just give us one movie and fuck off. His 2010 debut Happythankyoumoreplease won the stupidest name for a film of the year but also a lot of critics’s hearts. Not mine though. It seemed like the worst kind of wish-fulfillment and this doesn’t seem much better. However, this one has Richard Jenkins and Elizabeth Olsen in it so it has my money.
This looks genuinely creepy. Just watch the trailer. I am looking for a willing person to come watch this with me. Apply in the comments. Must live in London. FYI, I’m a jumpy bastard.
This trailer makes me want to kill everyone. So fucking cliched and, as I have previously mentioned, I am pretty sure that these are the kids that I would have hated in school for shouting so loudly against their own self-made adversity. However, the reviews have been strong and the book is supposed to be great. I will inevitably give it a poke.
My pick: Liberal Arts
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21 September 2012
This week we get films directed by the acclaimed Oliver Stone (Platoon, Natural Born Killers) and Andrew Dominik (Chopper, Assassination of Jesse James…) as well as one by the writer of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Can’t win them all but there will be worst weeks, that I can reluctantly promise you. Click the images to link to the trailers.
Dakota Fanning has terminal cancer as a plot device for her to live life to the fullest whilst also adding additional pathos to every moment for stereotypical women to well up to everywhere. I am happy that she found the time to do a course in ‘Quirky Indie Movie Writing’ though.
Jennifer Lawrence stars in a horror flick that completed filming in 2010 and has sat in post-production ever since waiting silently to pounce on her first sign of success and make people question why she followed up Hunger Games with this generic toss. I’ll probably still give it a poke.
A good old British period romp, this movie uses the common practice of the time in doctors providing women with orgasms as a way of dealing with a range of symptoms lumped together and called ‘female hysteria’. This has that same, naughty-but-not-really-at-all feel of the Full Monty but with additional costumes to make it even more ‘British’.
Now this is where I get excited. The director that brought us The Assasination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford brings us a film that cuts seven words from it’s title and sixty-three minutes from it’s run time and yet maintains just as many star actors and award buzz as his US debut. The trailer reminds me a little of Killer Joe and I’m expecting far less weirdness but just as much awesome.
It’s been some year for Taylor Kitsch and people have already written off the guy, especially in the UK where fewer people ever saw his drunken, arse-turned-white-knight performance as Riggins in Friday Night Lights. However, when you consider that he had three films this year and they allowed him to work with Pixar golden boy Andrew Stanton, Friday Night Lights creator Peter Berg and, with this week’s Savages, the legendary Oliver Stone, you can understand why he might have trusted these projects (even if one was Battleship!). This movie, unlike the others, may allow him to put in a performance and, at worst, slip under the radar without heaping more shit on him, but reviews have been the epitome of mixed (50% exactly on RT currently). I will never not love the guy though and Blake Lively is nice to look at.
Untouchable is the biggest grossing French film ever. While The Artist silently swept the world’s film awards into a sack and made off with them last year, Untouchable has already made $230m more than that film did in it’s entire run without even being released in every market yet. I was lucky enough to see the movie a couple of weeks back and it’s a touching but obvious story of a wealthy quadriplegic who hires an unemployed ex-convict as his full-time carer and the way that their differences help change one another’s lives for the better. A story for the whole family (as long as the kids are unlikely to question recreational drug use, exotic masseuses and can read the subtitles of course).
My Pick: Killing Them Softly
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27 July 2012
Another Dr Seuss adaptation that, while maybe no worse than Despicable Me and other shit like that, is way below what should be expected from a Dr Seuss book. Here we have Zac Efron voicing a kid who has been brought up in a Truman Show town where nature no longer exists who, in an attempt to impress a girl, finds a way out and discovers the natural world and the reason for it’s extinction. It looks shit and even the middling reviews and Danny DeVito voicing the Lorax cannot encourage me to give it a go.
Searching For Sugarman
A documentary following two South African guys who try to find the truth behind Rodriguez, a highly talented musician who achieved nothing in America, became a superstar in South Africa and then disappeared entirely. Obviously the trailer will only give you an idea of the subject, but reviews have been very impressive for it and there’s an Almost Famous vibe to it from the trailer.
The Man Inside
This looks like a typical housing estate gang film mixed with The Hurricane, and for that reason I am willing to give it a go. Almost every single London film is this same hard knock life crap and I got sick of it years ago, but every now and then one is worthy of my attention. With Peter Mullan starring, this might be it.
My Pick: Searching for Sugarman
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20 July 2012
The Dark Knight Rises
Final chapter in the Dark Knight trilogy and the best comic book adaptation series of all time. New actors involved include Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple and Matthew Modine, which, in itself, is a good enough cast without the others. I couldn’t care less for reviews with this movie, I will be seeing it as early as I can today.
Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap
An exploration of rap in it’s entirety seemingly, early reviews seem to suggest that the content is great even if the structure is weak. Any rap fan will want to see almost all of the greatest living rappers from all generations discussing their techniques, experiences and thoughts on the art-form. I know I do.
I Am Bruce Lee
A study of Bruce Lee, his life and his place in history. Gotten some fine reviews and interestingly features basketball legend Kobe Bryant amongst it’s contributors, this seems to be a movie that Bruce Lee fans will definitely want to see.
Lola is dumped by her fiance three weeks before their marriage and attempts to find her place in the world once again. Poor reviews and a trailer that suggests that these reviews might be deserved, the only reason to see this is the always delightful Greta Gerwig. I will be attempting to see it but will not be disappointed if I can’t.
*My Pick: Unsurprisingly, The Dark Knight Rises.
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13 July 2012
Ever wanted to see Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello strip to their thongs? No? Then how about a Steven Soderbergh film with a 79% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes right now? If you can answer all three of the those questions with ‘no’ then you are a heterosexual man with no taste in film and I pity you greatly.
Adrian Brody is a substitute teacher in what appears to be a tricky school who seemingly manages to make pretty intense connections with his colleagues and students. Not got the best reviews but any movie that can boast two Oscar winners (Brody and Marcia Gay Harden), the director of American History X, and a supporting cast of Christina Hendricks, James Caan, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, Tim Blake Nelson and Bryan Cranston at least deserves a watch. Limited release though so not sure it’s worth searching for.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
The world is going to end in a matter of weeks and Steve Carell and Keira Knightley are neighbours who join forces to live out their last wishes on earth. An everyday human look at a concept normally only covered in massive sci-fi blockbusters, this looks equally charming and funny. Like Detachment, it has gotten middling reviews but the supporting cast deserves a watch (Rob Huebel, Rob Corddry, Adam Brody, Connie Britton, TJ Miller, Patton Oswalt, Gillian Jacobs and more). Unlike Detachment, this will be showing everywhere.
A Mormon girl happens to get pregnant by music and, facing being married off, flees town and has her own coming of age story. This trailer screams indie. Neon lights, dancing like a hippy for no reason, washed out shots of people in beautiful sparse landscapes etc. Limited release but one that I will be searching out in cinemas.
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
If you liked the previous installments then you will probably like this. I happened to catch one of them on ITV2 one day when limited by freeview channels and it was fine. Using this logic, I would assume that this will also be fine.
Nostalgia for the Light
A documentary looking at Chile’s Atacama Desert where astrologers searching space for insights into the origin of life work in close proximity to local women sifting through the sands for remains of their loved ones abandoned there under Pinochet’s reign. This has gotten very strong reviews from those who have seen it, detailing the beautiful cinematography and the examination of humanity is effected by time, the only downside of this movie is the difficulty you may face trying to find it screening even in major cities.
Chariots of Fire
Re-release of this classic to coincide with the Olympics. It seems to be getting a wide release and so, if like me, you have never seen it then it is definitely worth checking out whilst on the big screen.
My Pick: Magic Mike