Twilight Saga: New Moon
I am not going to be converting anyone with my comments on this film: chances are if you love it or hate it (and there is no middle ground), me telling you that it is a steaming pile of faeces aint gonna change your mind. I have no problems with REALLY bad films like this becoming massively popular, I like Taken, the Scooby Doo movies and have probably seen Dude, Where’s my Car around 15-20 times. We all have our guilty pleasures. My problem with this series of films is that there seems to be a complete lack of love for this film by the people who made it. Both films seem rushed, with bits missing and what is possibly the biggest lack of chemistry in cinema. Two(or in this case, three) leads having little chemistry is annoying but forgivable in, say, Transformers 2 (another film I absolutely can’t stand) because it’s an action film, but in a romantic film it’s an abomination. That says, it comes just above the Transformers series for me for the simple fact that it cost a hell of a lot less. This will probably break records for DVD sales and although completely undeserving, I am willing to consider in the same way as the topic of old people sex. I realise that it exists, just don’t talk to me about it otherwise I may vomit.
If this wasn’t such a quiet weeks I would have just reviewed this with the words ” Michael Caine’s in it, therefore it’s a must see”. Caine has got to have been one of the most consistent actors of modern times and if it’s true that this will be his last film as said in press interviews during release, it will be a massive loss not only to British cinema, but to Hollywood too. This revenge tale is intelligent and relevant in ways that a lot of modern revenge tales avoid. While it is enjoyable to see Caine’s transformation from accidental killer to ruthless murderer, the film is no slouch in it’s re-enacting of modern Britain. Young gangs controlling areas, pensioners left to fend for themselves and the feeling that the police are unable to help are all issues in Britain that have been happening for years. An impeccable performance by Caine and great supporting cast made this a big hit at the film festivals last year, but it deserved more than the limited release that it got. Catch in on DVD.
It’s easy to compare Paranormal Activity to the Blair Witch Project. While it seems lazy journalism to make the connection, there’s no shaking the similarities, and not just the amateur footage style. Paranormal Activity followed tips on market from Blair Witch and it paid dividends. Also, like Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity is a very important horror film. These small films that make a huge return (and they are horrors in the majority) serve a purpose to show the studios that you don’t need to remake a successful movie or throw heaps of money to get a blockbuster on your hands. Both films try to concentrate on the FEAR itself, rather than the events, but Paranormal is definitely not as intelligent a film as the first Blair Witch and this is probably it’s failing. The Blair Witch Project didn’t need jump scares, loud noises or even something to be scared of. It was essentially a character study in the arising of fear and how when it becomes conscious, how it can envelop you. Granted, there was something to be scared of in the Blair Witch, but we didn’t see if, just the outcomes of it’s actions. It was about a small group being isolated, growing in fear and reducing in hope and then a stark realisation that their fear was rational, that they were in danger.
So while Paranormal Activity was an important horror film, I think it doesn’t need a sequel and that repeat viewings of the film are not favourable. Maybe rent the DVD, then buy The Blair Witch Project, Rec, or Lake Mungo (which probably sell for less than a fiver now).
Watch the trailer and you will pretty much immediately know what to expect from this film. Fantastic CGI, a wafer thin plot and poor characterisation. I always have time for films like 2012 because they don’t intend to be anything else. You get characters that wise crack despite it being the end of the world and limousines doing handbrake turns. This is a film I would love to be made into a theme park ride, because essentially the film is a ride – big, dumb fun. From a film critic’s point of view, it’s a bad film, but it’s one of those films where you can just switch your brain off and get a few friends around and just have a really good laugh.
Bunny and the Bull
Here is another film I saw at Leeds Film Festival (surely we must be near the end of them now?!). Right from the off, this film is inventive. Reminiscent of Gondry in style with a lot of guerrilla special effects (a theme park made from clock mechanisms), but able to be it’s own style, those expecting a Mighty Boosh movie will be SLIGHTLY disappointed. The humour is to some degree the same as Mighty Boosh, but is not as laugh out loud funny as the tv series. In fact, it’s quite short on real laughs to be honest, but in some ways that is to it’s benefit because it adds emotion into the mix. The film is bleak for the most part and is essence a story about someone who is not mentally sound. But there are out and out MAGICAL cinema moments (especially the scene with the titular bull).
This is a film which will follow suit with the Mighty Boosh in that it will gain cult status and it is definitely deserving. It may miss the mark a lot of the time, but when it delivers, it does so in such an original way that it’s hard not to be impressed.
Also out this week: Glorious 39 – Caprica (Pilot Episode) – Dread
Odeon/UCI back down in Alice in Wonderland dispute
The news that Odeon had refused to show Alice in Wonderland was discussed earlier this week, dependent on your viewpoint the good/bad newsis that the cinema chain announce today that they now WILL be showing the Tim Burton remake after an agreement was struck between the two parties. Full story here.
Cooper chooses another hangover over war
Bradley Cooper has pulled out of This Means War, a rom-com directed by McG and also featuring Reese Witherspoon. Initial reports suggest that Cooper pulled out because of scheduling conflicts between this and The Hangover 2, not because the plot of This Means War sounds pants.
New Nightmare on Elm Street Trailer
Looks pretty pointless and in parts looks like a shot for shot remake. Also features the most ridiculous villain voice since The Punisher.
A shortlist for Paranormal Activity 2 directors is announced….
…. and there is one definite surprise in Brian De Palma. While I would be interested to see what the Scarface director would come up with, my inclination is with Brad Anderson, the director of two fantastic films Session 9 and The Machinist (possibly Christian Bale’s best performance). Full shortlist here.
Marlon Wayans on playing Richard Pryor
This is something I am completely on board with. While he was in the Scary Movie series, White Chicks and Little Man, it’s easy to forget he was also fantastic in Requiem for a dream. I had him down on my list for “Actors We Could Make Great” and I think this could be the film to do it. In this article with the LA Times, Marlon defends some undefendable films, talks about getting the role ahead of Eddie Murphy and discusses why Pryor deserves a film about him. Note: White Chicks and Little Man grossed $215 million in total and a White Chicks 2 is on the way.
Zach Galifianakis is a miracle worker!
He must be, he carried everyone in The Hangover! Galifianakis is set to star in a supernatural buddy comedy (might sound like a made up subgenre, but check out the fantastic The Revenant when it finally manages to get released – makes Shaun of The Dead seem as funny as Epic Movie). Will be good to see ZaGa (it may catch on if I use it enough) shake his comedy muscles and no doubt I will be completely onboard by the time a director is announced.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR PARANORMAL ACTIVITY FOLLOW
Welcomed as a returning hero this year by the horror genre, Paranormal Activity heralded the commercial arrival, or re-arrival, of the ‘found footage’ genre (we’ve already got James Marsh entering the fray). The Blair Witch Project, a film still entirely underrated, popularised the sub-genre in the late-90s, though without it ever fully becoming a horror movement in the way that so-called ‘torture porn’ has managed.
So, much to note from this week’s episode. Remember to check us out on Twitter, Facebook, iTunes and email us with any questions. All the links and information for that are now on the left side of the page.
- Darren Aronofksy taking on the Tonbridge heist (via /Film)
- Highlander to be remade by Justin Lin (via Rope of Silicon)
- Poster for The Rock’s Tooth Fairy (via JoBlo)
Notes & Corrections…
Oh dear, this is what happens when Sam has been ill… September Issue director RJ Cutler did not direct The War Room, he produced it for DA Pennebaker. The film also follows the first Clinton campaign, not the second.
The story about Steven Spielberg and his experience watching Paranormal Activity.