Out Now – 30th April 2010

Films are out today. Some are good, some are bad and some you will see regardless.

Iron Man 2
They say it’s not as good as the first and that it can be slow and has too many characters. But does it matter? Everyone will see it and probably enjoy themselves. The less I hear about these after the credit scenes the better though; if it were that good or indeed important to the plot they’d put it in the movie.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Gemma Arterton gets kidnapped in a British film with only three actors in it. This looks like it might be OK though I think they’ve ruined it by constantly making a point that it is “twisty” and there is a “plot twist”. You have to assume Arterton’s character is in on it or something. If you’ve missed the word “twist” on the promotional stuff then I have just ruined it for you. Twist.

The Last Song
Miley Cyrus tries to get all serious about acting and will undoubtedly fail. The film is supposed to be terrible and looks set to tug on your heart strings so hard they’ll probably snap rather than get you weeping. Cyrus fans will find it hard to resist though they’d be better off playing the trailer on loop with the soundtrack playing in the background.

There are also a lot of smaller films on limited release that no one has ever heard of including 24 City, A Boy Called Dad, Gentlemen Broncos, Housefull, The Milk of Sorrow, Revanche and Valhalla Rising. If you have heard of these and/or go and see one you get 10 Mild Concern arty cinema points.

Bill Condon Sells Out

It’s official, Bill Condon has agreed to direct the two part finale to the Twilight saga Breaking Dawn.  Let’s see what everyone is saying about that…

Erik Feig from Summit Entertainment says: “Bringing Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity”

Translation: “Making Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn watchable requires someone who has seen a film before and possibly read the book, we believe Bill Condon is right for the job having totally won an Oscar and said he had heard of the films.”

Author Stephenie Meyer says: “I’m so thrilled that Bill wants to work with us. I think he’s going to be a great fit, and I’m excited to see what he does with the material.”

Translation: “I’m frankly amazed we managed to get him to work with us. I’m excited to see if he can make this book into a film less ridiculous that the rest.”

Bill Condon says: “I’m very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book – and we’re hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience”

Translation: “I’m very excited to get a job as I haven’t really worked much since the Oscar. I really hope to distance this film from the other terrible predecessors and create a unique cinematic experience.”

What has Condon been doing since Dreamgirls?

Samara’s Coming for You

I’ve said before that I don’t like 3D in a lot of circumstances, horror films being a major exception. When I heard yesterday that The Ring 3 would be in 3D I got a little bit excited.

3D is all about breaking down the barrier between the viewer and the film that the silver screen puts up, it should make you feel like what is happening onscreen could actually physically affect you. With a big 3D action sequence the camera angle changes so much and the 3D is so minimal it’s clear you’re not in the same reality as the film.

When a scene is framed perfectly, as in Disney World’s Honey I Shrunk the Audience, the 3D is all that more convincing. I think I’ve gone off topic…. The Ring is most famous for having a demon child, Samara, crawl out of the TV to kill her victims, what better use for 3D is there? If Samara were to appear to be crawling out of the cinema screen towards me I think I’d have a minor heart attack.


Antman A Go Go

Back with all the Avengers, Iron Man and  Captain America madness I mentioned Edgar Wright’s long delayed Antman project which is now set to begin pre-production in early 2011. The film would then be set to be released after The Avengers meaning that Antman will not debut in his own feature film.

It seems I was right about why Edgar Wright met with Joss Whedon as they were probably discussing how they wanted the character written.

All this would be much more exciting if I had the faintest idea who half of these superheroes were. At least I love the writer/directors involved.

Cemetery Junction – Review

Cemetery Junction is a bit of an odd bird and I’m not quite sure how to review it. Genre-wise it is definitely a mix between comedy and drama, the comedy elements providing a welcome release from the occasionally bleak themes in the film.

Cemetery Junction looks down on everyday small town life and the small cruelties within families while inspiring escapism and the desire for getting something more out of life. It does so with some truly affecting moments and is interspersed with moments of real laugh out loud delight. The film is Gervais light, though perhaps not light enough as some of the dialogue is jarringly Ricky-esque and his character’s few brief appearances didn’t sit well with the rest of the film.

Though its story is a simple one I enjoyed watching it unfold; the film felt warm and real. The lead, Christian Cooke, easily draws you in with the silent horror he feels at the world he lives in and the soundtrack made me instantly nostalgic for a time I never lived in. In fact Cooke really impressed, especially for someone whose CV so far includes Echo Beach, Demons and Trinity, all bad ITV shows.

Cemetery Junction is certainly not a high concept film and doesn’t take you anywhere you wouldn’t expect but is an enjoyable experience and different to most modern British films. Instead it had the scent of older UK cinema and I can’t help but imagine that it would have starred a young Michael Cane if made at the time it was set.

Ultimately I think I could happily watch Cemetery Junction again, and not just to see the lovely Felicity Jones once more.

Out Now – 23rd April 2010

Holy crap there’s loads out today and some of it looks like it might be quite good. I still need to see Cemetery Junction though.

A Spanish historical drama in English set in ancient Egypt. It’s about Rachel Weisz or at least stars her and is either very good if you believe IMDb or mediocre if you believe Rotten Tomatoes. I’m not a fan of historical dramas so I don’t think I’ll be seeing it.

Speaking of historical dramas here we have one filmed in glorious Surrey. If you ever wondered what happened to the missing Roman Ninth Legion go see this! If not then I wouldn’t waste your money.

The Joneses
It’s a family in suburbia who appear perfect but have a secret! If you haven;t seen enough Desperate Housewives lately then someone made a film for you. Sarcasm aside David Duchovney and Amber Heard make me more than a little curious.

I am almost certain this comes out today. I am even more certain this was written by Mike Judge,who gained god status with Office Space, and stars Jason Bateman and Mila Kunis. If it’s not at least mildly entertaining I’ll eat my hat made of bread.

Cherrybomb (on limited release)
Ooer Ron from Harry Potter is kissing a girl and giving her a naked hug! A film so good it failed to find a distributor until fans campaigned wildly for fear of missing out on the chance to see if Grint’s carpet matches his drapes.

Dogtooth (on limited release)
Supposedly sick and horrifying while being clever and satirical. Expect graphic sex and/or violence presented as a comment on some sort of social ailment. If you see it you’ll have to pretend to understand it or look like a right pervert.

Life During Wartime (on limited release)
Allison Janney! It’s only Allison Janney of the telly box! This may be a terrible film but it has one of my favourite underused actresses in it. Bring back The West Wing.

We’re Off to See the Wizard Again and Again

When Sherlock Holmes entered the public domain a few years back two different projects were announced and over time the version starring Sacha Baron Cohen has been completely buried by Guy Ritchie’s crack at the famous detective. When it comes to The Wizard of Oz, which came into the public domain in 1956 it is right now that a large number of adaptations are in the works and they don’t seem to bothered by the competition.

Rumours were running wild yesterday about Robert Downey Jr. teaming up with Sam Mendes in a prequel called Oz The Great and Powerful with Downey Jr. as the great wizard himself. Warner Bros. are getting into the Oz game with two different films, the first of which will be a straight forward remake of the classic film called simply Oz. The second film, Wizard of Oz, will be a more modern take as Dorothy’s granddaughter returns to Oz to fight evil. Universal also has a film they want to make; a film version of the hit musical Wicked as loved by theatregoers everywhere.

With all these new films in the works, Tim Burton’s version, Sci-Fi’s woeful Tin Man from 2007 and Over the Rainbow on the BBC Dorothy and her ruby slippers seem to be everywhere. I have no idea why now is the time for Oz to take over the cinema but with so many versions soon to trickling into cinemas at least one of them has to be good.

Out Now – 21st April 2010

Hey hey it’s Wednesday! Why not steal an Orange phone, get youself a code and take that girl/guy you’ve had your eye on down to the cinema for a cheap date to see one of these new releases. You could use the money you save on popcorn and look all classy like.

Date Night
With two comedy heavyweights off the telly pairing up for a big screen outing this can’t be anything but a sore disappointment. Both come from NBC’s strong comedy line-up but I doubt the writing is as good here. If I have suitably lowered your expectations you may well enjoy it.

It’s a Wonderful Afterlife
It’s a British film! It’s a dark comedy! It has Sanjeev Bhaskar in it! It will be a massive embarrassment for out nation. I’ve heard nothing but bad things and the poorly photoshopped poster makes me cringe.

Friday has a lot of films coming out but they might not get much better, maybe you should cut your losses and see Date Night.

Kick Ass Tops US Box Office, In A Bad Way

After a bit of doubt it turns out Kick Ass topped the US charts this weekend as it narrowly pinched the top spot from How to Train Your Dragon by a mere $200,000. Kick Ass made just $19.8 million at the weekend and that is apparently a pretty poor taking. This makes sense if you consider Dragon was on it’s third week out which Kick Ass was debuting.

While we in the UK embraced the film in all it’s violent, sweary glory America got all outraged in the way only the Daily Mail knows how. A big blow was dealt when respected critic Roger Ebert denounced the film and worried about how six year olds might be affected, as if they would somehow see the film. Obviously the film has some fans as even on Ebert’s site they have given it three and a half out of four while he rates it at just one.

What happened to Kick Ass over there? Where were all the fanboys? Who would have guessed that Kick Ass would follow Mamma Mia as an American film infinitely more popular in the UK than the US.

Let’s Talk Whedon’s The Avengers

I know I’ve taken my time covering the developing story of Joss Whedon directing The Avengers but it has been constantly evolving. First of all it was announced that Whedon was in final negotiations to take on the directing job and the internet got all frenzied and Whedonites everywhere quick got over the death of Dollhouse.

Despite being a Whedon fan I wasn’t overwhelmed by the news as I am relatively unfamiliar with The Avengers and was always more of a fan of his writing than his directing. The next news to filter through was that Whedon was going to do some rewrites on The Avengers’ script and then I was interested. Iron Man’s fun dialogue as written by Joss Whedon? Yes please.

A bit later it seemed that he would also be rewriting the script for Captain America which is surely set to shoot soon. This is more good news at it allows him to maintain a continuous character as Captain America moves from his solo movie to be part of The Avengers and it seems Antman will be getting similar treatment.

The next day Edgar Wright tweeted that he had met with Joss Whedon generating a bit more excitement in two different fanbases. While Wright is still finishing off Scott Pilgrim he has already written the script for an Antman film which he is probably going to direct when he has the time. Antman is another memeber of The Avengers and will probably first appear in The Avengers. Whedon and Wright will hopefully have been discussing the character, and may even have to work together in casting him. This is purely speculation of course but if I’m right I want credit!

This whole story is pretty exciting, my only worry being if one of Whedon’s old actors somehow made their way into the film. Whedon said of both Dollhouse and Wonder Woman that they weren’t parties for his friends, but the second season of Dollhouse seemed to forget about this.

No Eliza Dushku please!