30 04 2008

Still experimenting with my Unlimited card, I’ve been off to see Happy-Go-Lucky tonight. Having never seen a Mike Leigh film before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this movie. I’ve heard that his previous films have been darker and more rebellious than his latest offering which may have left some out in the dark, however from my position this film stands out as a piece of great realist cinema.

Relying on the actors to flesh out the characters, as Leigh has done here, really allows some well developed personalities to show through. Particular kudos needs to go to Sally Hawkins as the main character, someone who undergoes one of the most believable character development’s I’ve seen, and also to Eddie Marsan who has managed to create a believable yet terrifyingly off-base driving instructor.

At times I felt conscious that scenes went on a bit too long, sometimes verging on voyeurism and I was hoping for a climactic scene for one of the main characters, but on reflection that seems to add to the odd style of uncensored cinema that Leigh creates.

Enjoyable yet slightly hard work, Happy-Go-Lucky should be watched by everyone, save possibly your summer blockbuster acquaintances.


Son of Rambow

28 04 2008

Just got back from watching Son of Rambow, courtesy of my new fancy-dan Cineworld Unlimited card, and I’m thoroughly impressed.

Coming from the same stable as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a film which aimed high but just fell short, Son of Rambow pulls the quirkiness of the Guide into a context where it strangely finds a home; childhood in the 80s. I can’t help but identify with the kids in this film, I grew up mucking around in our local river and recording radio shows with my friends, but this certainly doesn’t make this a kid’s film. True, you could take the family to see it, but I don’t think that Junior would appreciate the story that much, in fact marketing this film to kids seems to miss the point. Son of Rambow is a pure nostalgia trip, plugging the highs and lows of growing up, but never labouring a point and steering well clear of any emotional hand-holding. Spielberg could learn a lot by watching this film.

Essentially a film about film, Son of Rambow won’t please people looking for a new Napoleon Dynamite, but anyone who loves movies should at least enjoy it if not love it. All said and done I enjoyed it, leaving the cinema with a grin on my face and a happy feeling that there are still more excellent movies to come this year. Four out of five.

Saturday Night Movies

30 03 2008

I’ve just finished watching 30 Days of Night and Planet Terror. 30 DoN is OK, decent scrip let down by emotionless performance by Josh Hartnett, but I really feel the need to rant for a while about Planet Terror.

I really can’t remember a watching a film where I’ve laughed quite so much. Robert Rodriguez’s contribution to the Grindhouse projet stands our as the best piece of parody cinema in a long, long time. With his tongue firmly lodged in his cheek, Rodriguez has built a film that both pays excellent homage to Troma era movies, whilst at the same time pointing an accusing finger at their trademark trash.

It’s not only the comedy elments that had me giggling. There’s plenty of cameos, out and out craziness and snappy dialogue to keep any fan of trashy moves happy.

I really can’t reccomend the film enough, even of it’s only to see Tom Savini go out the way he would have always wanted. Next is finding a copy of Death Proof and seeing how Tarantino’s effort measures up.

My one problem with the Grindhouse series is that I’ve not seen any sign of a boxed set of both films along with the trailers that were originally included when both films were shown together as intended. Allegedly there’s one directed by Rob Zombie, which I really need to see.

UPDATES! Also: Fried Slice

27 03 2008

Huzzah! It’s only 4 days until Script Frenzy 2008 kicks off. After failing spectatcularly at NaNoWriMo last year I figure I should have a crack at writing a screenplay, so enter Fried Slice.

This is an idea me and Ralph came up with in the pub a yonk (standard British measurement of a period of time relating to things said/done in pubs longer than one month hence) ago. In precis, it’s about a Gulf War veteran who returns to the UK and sets up a greasy spoon cafe in Skegness. He is cruelly betrayed by his daughter in cahoots with a Korean DDR champion who wants to build a gym on his land. Unfortunately his murder does not go as planned as exposure to depleted uranium has made him near unkillable, so horribly disfigured and missing a hand Fried Egg Man takes his revenge on the society that wronged him using various kitchen implements and wearing a face mask made of two fried eggs.

It practically writes iself! Anyway, I’m not allowed to put digital pen to paper until April 1st, so I’ve got until then to get my ideas down. If you play your cards right, I might post some stuff about my progress. Thankfully the whole idea of Script Frenzy is to write a draft of 100 pages within April, so maybe this whole slipshod idea might get further than the musings of drunken fools. Then again…

Lordi at the Movies

22 05 2007

This could be the best news ever! According to the BBC Lordi is making a film, imaginatively called Dark Floors.
Having (regrettably) never seen Cradle of Fear, and I hope watching this will help atone for my misdeeds. After seeing Lordi live, being forced to put up with small obnoxious children stood next to me, and being the only guy there not wearing a black t-shirt; I can safely say that whatever those guys are in, it’s going to be cinema gold. Hoyes!

Zombie Quiz

1 05 2007

The BBC has posted a great quiz about Zombie movies.

I got 8 out of 10, which is a massive improvement over my Seven Days, Seven Questions score. Ignore the question about Zombie High, nobody cares!


26 04 2007

Went to see the new Danny Boyle film last night; Sunshine.

I have to say, I’m a little disappointed, but not that shocked. Mr. Boyle has consistently directed some sterling films, unfortunately I haven’t really enjoyed any of them. They’re all artistically stunning, and a film student’s dream, I’m sure; but something about them just doesn’t appeal to my anime/b-movie/world cinema/slasher film lust.

For example, 28 Days Later had it’s share of zombies, but it broke the zombie formula. As far as I’m concerned zombies are a representation of death; slow and manageable, but inevitably unstoppable in their task to destroy. 28 Days Later broke that mould, to the extent where I wouldn’t really call it’s inhuman protagonists ‘zombies’ at all.

Sunshine will work for some people: those with no scientific knowledge. Not to play the geek here, but the science in this film really detracted from being able to watch without having an urge to throw popcorn. In a fantastical setting, I really wouldn’t have minded, but to have the gravity ‘turn on’ when the air comes on is a cliché that we really should have got past by now. The whole near-future setting, although initially believable descends into complete randomness near the end. Some may argue that this reflects the shattered mental state of the protagonists nearer then climax, but for me it just seemed like the film needed an ending.

In all, if you like to see a triumph of the human spirit over adversity, but don’t mind ignoring simple physical laws; go see this film. If you get annoyed when science is misappropriated in movies, skip it.

To think, I missed the second half of Scream 2 to write this!