A Science Lesson for Harvey Weinstein

We all know and accept that movie marketing is based around coining phrases, pretending all ideas are original, that the film is great and, of course, sending bloggers free stuff to review (our email address is in the column on the right). Even so, the latest marketing for Spy Kids: All the Time in the World has tipped me over the edge. They are presenting the film in “4D Aromascope”. So that means that the fourth dimension is… smell!

You don’t need a physics degree to know that smell is a sense and not a dimension. But seeing as I do have a physics degree (ahem) let’s see what the fourth dimension is with the help of Wikipedia.

As you can see from the diagram above the first three dimensions are essentially the three directions within which an object can move. On a flat 2D plane you can only move in two dimensions, moving out of the plane makes a third. In cinema everything is technically 2D but those silly glasses sometimes give the effect of the image coming out of the screen, hence 3D. Lovely. We may not be a fan of 3D but the name makes sense.

The fourth dimension is time. The only direction a 3D plane can move in is time itself, or I suppose in the case of a cinema you could have the screen moving around. So a 4D film is simply a 3D image progressing through time, or a regular 3D film playing. Project a 3D film onto the side of a van and drive around town and you will get a 5D film!*

What is definitely not a fourth dimension is a scratch and sniff card! The last time I scratched and sniffed I was at the panto and was scared of girls. How little has changed.

Harvey Weinstein, we await your humble apology.

*That stuff about 5D is in no way accurate.

Out Now – 28th June 2011

We’re back to Blockbuster Wednesdays as this week’s big release comes out those vital two days early. It’s a summer tent-pole movie (whatever that means) so of course this is VERY EXCITING!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Bear with me a moment… A bunch of robots find out that a second type of robot is hiding on the moon and race to reach it before a third type of robots can. Meanwhile Shia LaBeouf and an underwear model run around getting in the way. Yes, the second film was terrible but LaBeouf and director Michael Bay have owned up to that so it’s all OK. “Sorry my last film was so terrible, I have made a similar film to make up for it.” Film4 has the last word; “a very long mess that’s embarrassingly devoid of gut level thrills.”

Brave – Trailer

After yesterday all I have energy for today is a new trailer, and a teaser trailer at that. But what a teaser it is. Pixar’s film for 2012, Brave looks gorgeous. It’s made all the better for not being Cars 2, the worst reviewed Pixar film ever.

Also, an Animated American film set in Scotland using Scottish actors? It’s the end of an era for Shrek’s faux Scottish heritage.

Harry Potter – A Premature Retrospective… With Charts

Harry Potter 1 to 7

What follows is the result of sleep deprivation, a Thermos of coffee and a pile of scrawled notes.

EDIT: Updated versions of the charts below can be found in our new retrospective posts on the seven films and the young actors.

On Saturday night Mild Concern returned to the BFI IMAX to finish the Harry Potter All-Nighter marathon. To keep ourselves stimulated and, at a more basic level, awake, we discussed each film in between, scoring various aspects, making notes and even counting one specific phrase. In this post we’ll have a look at some of what we noted down, what this says about the franchise’s progression and what it can tell us about the final film. Once that final film is out we will review it alone and then all eight as a whole, as our final word on the franchise we grew up with.

But first, let’s talk about the IMAX. Our two recent trips have been great, the image is crisp and clear and so wide my peripheral vision was fully taken up with the world of Potter. Films were made to be seen on the big screen and this is the biggest screen in the UK, what more can we say?

Still, there were two drawbacks. The minor one was some distracting disco lights at the bottom of the screen during Order of the Phoenix. The second, more important, factor was a sequence in 3D in two of the films. The 3D worked in a few shots but for the majority of the time it gave us both double vision, caused one of us headaches and made the action scenes extremely hard to follow. Thankfully most of the films are made entirely in 2D, but the upcoming Deathly Hallows Part 2 is another matter.

Presentation quibbles out of the way, onto the charts! Continue reading

Mildred Pierce – Tonight

Mildred Pierce is a new miniseries fresh from HBO in America and shown on Sky Atlantic to prove that America is capable at making a good period drama too, though with less Hugh Bonneville.

Mother of two, Mildred Pierce, played by lovely Kate Winslet, is swiftly left by her husband. Having to fund herself she goes looking for work… and then she finds it. Yes, this is most certainly the first episode; not a huge amount of excitement but plenty of establishing of plot, era and character.

Everything looks great, almost cinematic if not playing in the wrong aspect ratio on my decrepit TV set, and the acting is top-notch… just not a lot happens. Luckily with the quality of production in Mildred Pierce you will most likely look past a lacklustre start with the hope of a more riveting continuing series.

Mildred Pierce airs on Sky Atlantic tonight, 25th June at 9pm.

Out Now – 24th June 2011

So many films out today it’s all a bit too much. If you make it to the end I will be impressed. Don’t forgot to enter our competition, there are DVDs at stake!

Kristen Wiig leads a brilliant female heavy cast in a comedy that puts The Hangover in its place. I presume.

Countdown To Zero
Documentary about the escalating nuclear arms race. Try not to freak out.

Oscar-nominated French Canadian films about a pair of twins searching for their family history in the Middle East.

Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon
It’s a documentary about the Kings of Leon you idiot. Something to see while pretending you didn’t want to go to Glastonbury anyway.

World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries (limited release)
Sequel to a British zombie film and nothing to do with either Land of the Dead or Diary of the Dead by George A. Romero.

Cutter’s Way (limited release)
Classic independent dramatic film starring a 1981 version of Jeff Bridges. Not showing anywhere near you.

Akira (limited release)
Classic anime as old as me. Not one for the kids unless they can handle sex and violence.

The First Grader (limited release)
In Kenya, an 84-year-old former freedom fighter fights for his right to party education.

Viva Riva! (limited release)
The synopsis on IMDb is too long and confusing for me. Figure it out for yourself. One thing I can deduce is that this is a drama.

Ghosted (limited release)
It’s a UK prison drama! Erm… Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Love’s Kitchen (limited release)
Chef loses a wife, opens a restaurant and falls in love with a food critic. I just saved you your Saturday afternoon.

Win Miracle at St Anna on DVD

You read that right, we’re having our debut competition! We have two copies of Miracle at St Anna on DVD to give away. Miracle at St Anna the latest film from Spike Lee (Inside Man, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing), a big budget war epic about American soldiers serving in Italy during the Second World War. Three more words for you; Joseph Gordon Levitt.

There’s no question to insult your intelligence with. Just give us your name and email (we promise to do nothing sinister with it) and we’ll pick two winners using the power of Excel’s random number generator on Monday morning. UK entrants only please.

Competition closes at Midnight on Sunday 26th June 2011 and the DVD is released on 27th June.

Footloose Trailer Arrives, Heart Sinks

Footloose is one of my all time favourite films. The synopsis is so ridiculous as to be sublime and Bacon was never better. When the stage musical began I went along and quite enjoyed myself so news of a film musical wasn’t completely unwelcome. Then they lost Zac Efron as lead… and then Thomas Dekker too and it all started to feel a bit desperate.

Now we have this poster:

And this trailer:


But it all just leaves me cold. The film needs a bit more:

And a little more:

At least they kept the original logo and we don’t have any more:

But seriously, a musical afraid to show any singing in its trailer and a film that thinks it can best Kevin Bacon angry dancing in a barn has a lot to prove on opening night.