Tag Archives: jesse eisenberg

DVDs This Week – 15/03/10

Zombieland
Good fun and definitely rewatchable zombie comedy. I am still unsure whether I find this or Shaun of the dead a better zom-com (although I still would take Dr S Battles The Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies over both of them).

An absolutely blinding title sequence and a fair hit count of good laughs helped me to enjoy this film a lot at the cinema and at times, it does look gorgeous, but I found it hard to escape the feeling that Jesse Eisenberg was essentially playing Michael Cera. While he did a decent job of this it felt a bit strange given that I was already getting a feeling of overkill with Michael Cera playing Michael Cera in his films.

By now everyone should know about the cameo, but I have to admit – I found it a massive disappointment. It is so forced and the only laugh it gave me (which was probably the biggest laugh to be fair) was in the character’s eventual death. The film is the perfect length so that it doesn’t feel too long and it’s great to see that a director can show restraint and knows when to finish a film before it gets too stale.

Overall, this film is definitely in my top 3 comedy films of 2009 and I highly recommend it, although at times the gags can be hit and miss possibly due to the high gag count. It looks really good for a comedy film and shows some moments of ingenuity, but may be guilty of trying to many tricks to gain it’s own style.

White Ribbon
Michael Haneke’s Palme D’Or 2009 winner also came very high in a large number of film critics films of the decade. The plot of the film involves a school teacher recalling memories of the year that he met his fiancee, where a number of strange occurrences take place in a German village during the twelve months between July 1913 and 1914..

As seems to be the case with Haneke’s films, White Ribbon can be described as both ‘violent’, but also ‘subtle’. I recently decided to rewatch Cache, another Haneke film starring my favourite foreign actor and actress, Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. On first watch I didn’t enjoy the film but I decided to rewatch because I realised I had missed a hell of a lot of the plot because a lot of things happen in the background, and unlike a Hollywood film, isn’t telegraphed. I expect White Ribbon to be similar to Cache in that respect and Haneke is definitely a director that commands attention.

Cold Souls
I managed to catch this at the fantastic Hyde Park Picture House (my favourite UK cinema ever) late last year and while the movie is watchable, it is far from a great film. Paul Giamatti plays Paul Giamatti preparing for the Chekhov play “Uncle Vanya”. To deal with his growing anxiety regarding the role, he decides to follow up an advert in a newspaper to store his soul in a storage facility until the play is over. The plot is amazingly high concept, but it just doesn’t seem to work. It tries to be subtle, but then hammers home some comedy elements (as though the writer was questioning the audiences’ intelligence). Also, rare for a Paul Giamatti film, he is guilty of some horrific overacting.

In summary, despite a great concept, the film never lives up to its premise. Cold Souls tries to be intelligent, but doesn’t have the brains that it thinks it has.

Also out this week: A Serious Man – Survival of the Dead – Paranormal Entity

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Our BAFTA Predictions

You can listen to the podcast on which we ‘discussed’ these here but, for the purposes of finality, here are the predictions we made for this year’s BAFTAs. Also, make sure to follow us Live Tweeting the show this evening.

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Sam’s Most Anticipated Films of 2010

Not ranked, but just sixteen movies I picked out for my enthusiasm to be aimed at this year. Just a note the following have been excluded for a variety of reasons: Kick Ass/Shutter Island (both coming out pretty soon), The Tree of Life (was on last year’s list and may still not come out this year), Inception/Toy Story 3 (too big to need my advocacy) and Scott Pilgrim vs The World (purely because Tommy was always going to choose it). Also, remember to check out Chris’ list here.

So, here are the sixteen I’ve chosen, in alphabetical order, after the jump:

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MOD Summer Round-Up #2 (July to September)

Sunshine Cleaning Poster

So, in the wake of Transformers revenging the fallen all over our minds, we were in need of cooling down from the sheer anger and exhaustion felt in the studio. Though Sunshine Cleaning should have been a great example of an indie to bring us back onto home turf, it ended up an underwhelming experience. The eminently crushworthy pairing of Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, along with the solid Alan Arkin and roles for Steve Zahn and Clifton Collins Jr, just couldn’t quite drive us into anything beyond a tepid lack of satisfaction. Ideas involved were strong, but the execution was half-hearted, even if all of the above tried really hard to elevate the material. Continue reading →

The Movie Overdose #34 – Adventureland and 500 Days of Summer

The return of the Cooper! Jon Cooper comes back to the podcast to have a chat about Adventureland. Tom and Sam have a think about (500) Days of Summer and the gents all think about the YouTube rental model. They go on to reminisce about Hackers, praise Fish Tank to the hills and have a good ol’ natter about Supernatural. The conclusion sees Tom depart and Producer John step in to talk about music in movies.

Download The Movie Overdose Episode 34

Show notes coming in later post.

Rival Ginsberg Projects Gets Cast

ginsbrg1

Strange how these things come in twos, isn’t it? Biopics of legendary authors in certain parts of their lives that is. As James Franco continues filming Howl, playing beat poet Allen Ginsberg, so another project has come about which will focus on Ginsberg and contemporaries, William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, during their youth together in New York. The project, titled Kill Your Darlings, will star Jesse Eisenberg as Ginsberg with Chris Evans also signed on.

The story however is less biopic than period piece, on the basis of this Variety article. Ben Whishaw will star in the play as Lucien Carr, the Columbia University students credited with introducing the aforementioned geniuses, and his part in the killing of David Kammerer, purportedly over an unwanted sexual advance from the former.

The linked-to article above from Cinema Blend notes that the story carries some interesting undertones, notably the accusations of institutional homophobia intoned by the sentence given to Carr, which could prove interesting to Hollywood in the post-Milk period and, in what I have predicted in the past, will be a time for movies to get interested in social issues once more without getting preachy and Oscar-baity, the new 70s in lazy shorthand. Anyway, both sound good and I look forward to more information on the projects.