Out Now – 30th August 2013

Pain and Colour

You’re Next
Some classic home invasion horror here as a family come under attack by what appear to be axe and machete wielding maniacs. Expects twists and lots and lots of blood.

The Way, Way Back
The writing duo who brought us the Oscar-winning The Descendants are back with a new film starring lots of actors who are genuinely good at comedy but never seem to have become properly famous. These people include Toni Collette, Allison Janney, and Sam Rockwell and the plot is… unimportant.

One Direction: This Is Us
Alternate title: One Direction – This Is Us

Pain & Gain
Michael bay has made a film and we have given it four stars. I don’t know how I feel about this. Stephen claims it is “a truly engrossing piece of entertainment”. He also referred to me as Captain Mathematics so I guess we’ll just have to trust his judgement.

Upstream Colour (limited release)
I’ve seen the film. I’ve written my review. I’ve interviewed the man whose brain it came from. Just please don’t expect me to explain it to you.

Hammer of the Gods (limited release)
“A young man transforms into a brutal warrior as he travels the unforgiving landscape in search of his long lost brother, Hakan the Ferrocious, whose people are relying on him to restore order to their kingdom.” Now imagine that film as British. Eeep.

Satyagraha (limited release)
A Bollywood political thriller. Everyone on the poster looks sad. (It has been a long week.)

Plein Soleil (limited re-release)
“Tom Ripley is a talented mimic, moocher, forger and all-around criminal improviser; but there’s more to Tom Ripley than even he can guess.”

Bonjour Tristesse (limited re-release)
“Cecile, decadent young girl who lives with her rich playboy father Raymond. When Anne, Raymond’s old love interest, comes to Raymond’s villa, Cecile is afraid for her way of life.”

Shane Carruth – Interview

Shane Carruth - Upstream Colour

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to speak to Shane Carruth about his new film Upstream Colour. As a big fan of his first feature Primer I was excited to speak to the auteur and a little nervous in case he asked me what I thought of his new film; I’ve written the review and I’m still not entirely sure what I think. Naturally this combination of excitement and nerves meant that I failed to record the interview properly and am forced to rely on my notes instead. Ever the professionals here at Mild Concern

I began our conversation by making myself sound slightly foolish. It being nine years since Primer I asked Carruth if he had intended to leave it so long before making his second feature and was met with some friendly sarcasm, “I was trying to hold out for a full decade but accidentally turned a camera on and started shooting.” Suitably, and frankly charmingly, chastised I moved on to ask about A Topiary which was the failed production that took up much of the last nine years for Carruth. He described how he had wasted a lot of years working on the film and waiting for funding to be finalised but that “financing was always just a few weeks away but never came together”.

An entry on Carruth’s IMDb page, vital research territory for any interviewer, credits him as receiving special thanks on Rian Johnson’s time travel masterpiece Looper. I asked about his involvement in the film and he confessed than he had “very little material involvement.” Aside from working on some cloud like special effects for when Bruce Willis’ character’s past is changing (these weren’t used which is why you can’t remember them) Carruth was mostly on hand to help Johnson as a friend and check the script’s time travel logic. Anyone who has seen Primer will know that time travel logic is something of an area of expertise for Carruth.

Upstream Colour - Shane Carruth

After the failure of A Topiary Carruth considers himself lucky to have had another project to fall back on in the form of Upstream Colour. When I asked if the success of Primer had made the financial negotiations any easier I was met with a wry laugh. After Primer Carruth had failed to finance A Topiary and so when it came to Upstream Colour there was no funding to get; instead the whole production was financed by Carruth and some friends.

Having struggled to describe the plot of Upstream Colour to anyone since seeing the film I asked if Carruth was able to give me a quick synopsis. His answer was simple, “I wouldn’t try to summarise it”. He went on to explain that a synopsis can describe exactly what happens in a plot but it still won’t accurately describe the film. After reading a synopsis you will either watch the film and think it is far better than the description or that it is far worse than you expected. I have to agree with Carruth here as I will never be able to convey the experience of Upstream Colour to you unless you go and watch it for yourself. Please do. I need to talk to you about it.

Wanting to reassure myself I asked Carruth if we should expect to fully understand the film in one sitting. “No.” Shane very interesting described the film he had tried to make as being like “literature” rather than a film; “you should trust that the film has not been put together without any thought and trust the director to take you on a journey”. I felt like he was speaking directly to me (well… he was) as someone who was perhaps trying to over think the film and so struggled to enjoy it. The comparison to literature is an interesting one as Carruth is not a film maker who limits himself to the conventions of cinema and require plenty of re-examination and ready between the lines. If Upstream Colour were a text it would have a hell of a lot of subtext to go with it*.

Upstream Colour - Shane Carruth 2

With Carruth so far having taken on so many roles in his films including but not limited to writing, acting, and directing I wanted to know if there was any role in particular he preferred. Carruth replied that writing and directing were his main passions and that after this latest film that composing music for a film had become part of the process. They are all parts of the whole creative film making process and from our conversation I can safely say that Carruth has no plans to ever be less involved in any of his future films. I mooted the idea of him writing a film and letting someone else direct or him directing someone else script and the response was a simple “no”.

Before the interview I had asked on Twitter if anyone had any questions for Carruth. Only one sensible response came in, more on the less sensible replies shortly:

Mark Tweet

When I raised the idea of Kickstarter, something we have looked at on this blog, Carruth seemed intrigued but cautious. “I’m not really comfortable with the idea of having a fan base,” he explained and said that he didn’t like the idea of people donating money in exchange for getting a sticker with the film’s logo on it. Carruth is keeping his eye on the situation and hopes that there will be a model where “fans” or their equivalent can properly invest in a film rather than simply donate to it.

And then we have Stephen’s question…

Stephen Tweet

Thankfully Carruth took the question in the spirit it was intended and replied with deadpan wit, “I wasn’t always like this. It took years and years of practise.”

Shane Carruth was a very friendly man to chat to and was remarkably funny and unpretentious. I may have struggled with Upstream Colour but it is clear to me that this is a case of someone genuinely trying to make art in the form of a film for the sheer love of it. Carruth puts his money where his mouth is and makes only the films he wants to make. Upstream Colour is on limited release from 30th August 2013 and you should see it so that you can explain it to me.

To close we have our soon to be traditional quick fire round that inevitably requires more thought than the rest of the interview:

The Lee Questionnaire:

What is your favourite carb?
Pizza. (In truth Carruth mentioned a specific Pizzeria that my phone failed to record. Apologies.)
What did you eat this morning?
Coffee, I don’t eat until 1pm
What is the first thing you said this morning?
“Hello” on the phone
If you could be any stationery product what would you be and why?
I just bought a fountain pen which has a really nice weight to it so I would be that
If you were to die tomorrow who would you like to punch in the face before you go?
Whoever invented the plastic packaging that you can’t open with your hands and end up cutting yourself if you try. Not the inventor, it’s not their fault, but whoever insists on continuing to manufacture it

*That sentence makes sense in my head at least

Upstream Colour – Film Review

Upstream Colour

In 2004 Shane Carruth made the indie time travel classic Primer for around $7,000. Carruth took the role of actor, writer, director and probably even burned the DVDs himself to get the film made that he wanted to make. The result was astonishing, and astonishingly complex. Primer pulled no punches and required to viewer to complete give themselves over to the film in order to enjoy it and, with multiple viewings and a few diagrams found online, comprehend the plot. When I watched Primer I was swept up in its authenticity and while it took me a while to understand what was happening I loved it from the start and the more I discovered the deeper that love became. It is clear to me know that I have been dating a film for a good few years now. Awkward.

Carruth’s second film has arrived nine years later in the form of Upstream Colour and comes with a similar proposition. With Carruth taking on every production role he feasibly could he is once again bringing to the screen his singular vision and once more it is a vision that beautifully crafted but almost impenetrable. Normally in a review I would do my best to summarise the plot of the film so the reader at least knows what I am referring to but her I really can’t. The film defies definition to a degree that I have been running away from reviewing it for seven weeks now. IMDb offers up the following short synopsis:

“A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.”

Upstream Color 1

Now that synopsis is technically accurate but doesn’t really represent the film. What we witness is a young woman called Kris (Amy Seimetz) who is kidnapped, hypnotised, and infected with a parasite. During her captivity she is tricked into emptying her bank accounts and loses her job due to her prolonged absence. The parasite within her grows and after some failed self-surgery Kris sleepwalks to a strange location where a pig farmer and sound collector (I am not making this up) removes the parasite from her body. Kris wakes up in an abandoned van with no recollection of where she has been but with no job and no money. Kris is a shell of her former self. Before long she bumps into Jeff (Shane Carruth) who has seemingly suffered a similar fate and the two find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other and the two try to piece together both their lives and what has happened to them.

There are also lots of pigs which are cute but I think if I tried to explain them now I might lose you completely.

Upstream Color 2

While Primer drew me in without me necessarily understanding what I was watching I felt like Upstream Colour kept me at arm’s length and never let me get close enough to really enjoy the experience. The acting is superb, the directing sublime, and the sound design something worth actually mentioning in a review, but the end result was far too abstract to love. The film as a whole is gorgeous and atmospheric and shows that film and cinema can truly be an art form as much as oil on canvas. The trouble with art is that it requires a subjective personal connection with the viewer for it to be fully appreciated and with Upstream Colour I just couldn’t connect. There are plenty of glowing reviews to be found for the film and I can understand why. Carruth has created something unique and original and should be applauded for that. As with Primer I think that Upstream Colour will take a few more viewings to be truly understood and while it may grow on me in the future for now I see it as a masterful piece of art that simply failed to win me over.

Upstream Colour is an abstract film about connectivity that requires you to fully indulge yourself to reap the benefits. The narrative is slow, wandering, and hard to grasp but the film is never anything short of beautiful and made it with such an admirable singular artistic vision. Upstream Colour takes great pains to create a unique atmosphere but at the end that’s all I experienced; a gaseous substance that drifted away and gave me nothing to grasp onto.

I need to see Upstream Colour again and I need you to see it too so that we can discuss it endlessly and decide if it is the greatest film ever made or a piece of pretentious nonsense. For now I am sitting on the fence:

Upstream Colour is released in the UK tomorrow and you’ll most likely love it and make me feel stupid for not loving it too.

Pain & Gain – Film Review


Getting rich or where you want to be in life is something that has to be earned; worked towards with hard graft, not lazily handed to you. Daniel Lugo (a beefcaked Mark Wahlberg) has faith in this belief. Tired of being a spotter at the gym, he yearns for more on his quest to conquer the American dream and he’s willing to work hard for it, even if it means kidnapping and torturing Detective Monk, with accomplices The Rock and one of the angels from The Adjustment Bureau.

Pain and Gain might just be the best film in Michael Bay’s body of work. And get this, there’s only one explosion in the whole film (though, I’ll not confirm that there’s a direct correlation between this fact and the quality of a Bay film). Based on the true events of a group of bodybuilders who kidnapped and extorted a shady businessman/drug dealer (played with with unexpected levels of viciousness by Tony Shalhoub), Pain and Gain follows the American Dream deftly gone corrupt. When Michael Bay isn’t getting so caught up in female titillation and explosion porn he really knows how to put together a truly engrossing piece of entertainment.

Perhaps the film’s biggest flaw (of which there are surprisingly few) is that it gets too distracted in following the humorously dim shenanigans of our lovable protagonists antagonists. In Michael Bay fashion, Pain and Gain is far too long even though we do thoroughly enjoy the extensive tomfoolery of our unlikely criminals, with Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie bringing some serious laughs. Lugo and co are very damaged people (who I am sure probably weren’t nearly as likable in real life) but their haplessness and naivety is played so excellently that we can’t help but love them and their charismatic dynamic.


As far as what the messages are that the film tries to tell, that’s where the film gets a little garbled. We’re definitely on the side of the anti-heroes. Even as the plot thickens and the more grim plot twists evolve we sympathise with these terrible people, a fact that I’m sure the real-life victims of this story will not appreciate. These unforgivable monsters are just so darn likable – whether it’s their laughable attempt at setting up a neighbourhood watch or just that they just muck up every attempt at being badass – but we know that we should not root for them at all, which is something I hope Michael Bay and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are very proud of.

One explosion, minimal stereotyping and only four hundred scantily clad female extras (estimated number; I’ll leave the actual counting to Captain Mathematics, MidConcern editor, Tim), Pain and Gain  feels like a film far from what we’re used to from Michael Bay. That said, Bayisms are still pretty present. There is a ridiculous amount of slow-motion everything and cameras spinning around the actors whilst they do nothing but there are also some nifty tricks, like the extensive use of various voiceover narrations and some camera-actor interplay that is not seen often in films by Hollywood directors like Mr Bay. Ultimately – and unapologetically, for those with their fingers in their ears – what I’m trying to say is that I rooted for these characters and the hectic plot they get themselves wrapped up in more than I did with films like of The Lone Ranger, Kick-Ass 2 or Elysium. If you’ve only got £10 in your wallet and want to go to the cinema this week, make it Pain and Gain.

Out Now – 23rd August 2013

We're the Lovelace Park

This week your local cinema is receiving a fresh dose of porn stars, strippers, drug smugglers, and dinosaurs. This list is not exhaustive because some distributors are bad at making information readily available online and I am lazy. Good luck out there.

Social commentary in the form of a sci-fi action flick as Matt Damon sets out to bridge the gap between the wealthy citizens who live on a space station and everyone else forced to live on Earth in a dystopian future (yes, another one) when Earth looks a lot like it did in Wall-E. Go to the cinema, pay £10 for a ticket and spend another £10 on snacks and sit back and cheer on the poverty-stricken. You make me sick.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Erm… a series of young adult books I was previously unaware of have been adapted into a film. Let’s have a peek at the synopsis: “Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld.” So Buffy then?

We’re the Millers
Funny story; I hate this film. An excerpt from my review: “Good grief”. That pretty much sums it up.

What Maisie Knew
What looks to be an incredible family drama about a girl caught between her parents’ as they struggle through a custody battle and start to date young attractive blondes. I know this all sounds a little dry but the trailer may change your mind:

Amanda Seyfried plays a porn star! Woooooooo! A porn star who was emotionally abused by her husband! Yeah, feel a bit guilty now don’t you? Interestingly none of the poster quotes call her performance brave. Is nudity worth nothing any more!?

Jurassic Park 3D (IMAX only)
It has been 20 years since Jurassic Park was first released and now it is back in 3D and only at the IMAX. I love the film with a real passion but am wary about this endeavour if only because I worry that decades old CGI may not look so great when stretched across the largest screens we have.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident (limited release)
“Five young filmmakers retrace the steps of a doomed group of hikers in pursuit of an unsolvable mystery.” Why would anyone pursue an unsolvable mystery? That will only lead to frustration and infighting. Much better to pursue a solvable mystery such as “how much is that doggy in the window” or “is this fence electrified”.

The Kings of Summer (limited release)
I’ll let our intern Mark Kermode handle this one:


Consider this a blanket “yes” to anyone who wants to invite me to see this with them. I will allow you to put your arm across my shoulders and maybe a kiss on the cheek.

We’re the Millers – Film Review

We're the Millers

David (Jason Sudeikis) is a drug dealer with a problem. After all his drugs and money are stolen in a tame mugging that escalates bizarrely he is tasked with collecting a large amount of weed from Mexico and bringing it back to the US in order to settle his debts with a tonally jarring crime lord played by Ed Helms. In order to raise minimal suspicion as he crosses the border David hires himself a family in the form of unemployed stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston), sweet but neglected Kenny (Will Poulter), and homeless teen Casey (Emma Roberts). The four travel to Mexico in a giant RV and surprisingly few hijinks ensue.

We’re the Millers opens with quite a dark, almost angry, tone with each of the four main characters leading miserable lives and the only laughs coming from the bleakness of their existence, snide asides at one another, and a general sneering attitude towards happy families or anyone with a decent job. You might think that this is a brave choice, that making an essentially joyless comedy might allow it to stand out amongst the general mediocrity of mainstream comedy, but instead it produces a comedy that makes you feel sad and a little bored rather than wanting to laugh out loud.

We're the Millers 1

The first third of the film is relatively uneventful as the Millers (as our faux-family like to be known) make it to Mexico and back with only minor set backs and with any conflict restricting to selfish bickering within the RV. Only once they have the characters back in America do the four (FOUR!!!) screenwriters realise that they need to conjure up some events to stop the film ending after 45 minutes and without anything going wrong. As such the film changes gears so forcibly it’s amazing it doesn’t break down like the Miller’s RV inevitably does (nice simile there).

Suddenly the Millers have driven from their slightly dull but pleasantly dark comedy into a road runner cartoon where a wrench to the face is only a minor inconvenience and any seemingly uptight couples are secretly looking to swing. Plot devices and characters are introduced one at a time to briefly amuse us before being discarded to make room for the next set piece to be awkwardly set up without any real flow in between. With a road trip comedy there is clearly too easy a temptation to essentially make a series of sketches tied together by a quartet of unlikable self-seekers. The result is a film that is far too long (110 minutes!!!), slightly incoherent, and nowhere near funny enough.

We're the Millers 2

I will excuse Will Poulter who played Kenny from my unlikable and unfunny branding as he somehow manages to make his slightly wet character the only sympathetic person on-screen and is the source of the film’s few real laughs. Yes the film had some laughs, and some of them were genuine too. Occasionally though I would find my companion laughing and then looking deeply ashamed at himself. Sometimes in a comedy you laugh because you feel you should, not because anything particularly funny is happening. A portion of the audience at our screening did enjoy the film and a rather well spoken older lady sat behind us did the classic laugh-and-clap at least once. (Pre-screening eavesdropping revealed that she is worried that her lodger has a drinking problem but that’s not for us to worry about now.)

The occasional laugh spread out over 110 minutes is not enough compensation from the sheer boredom the rest of the film brings. The cast do what they can but ultimately there isn’t enough film for them to hold together. Despite being genuinely unpleasant to one another throughout we are encouraged to buy into a sudden shift towards the end that has them seeing themselves as a real family. This conclusion is not justified by anything that precedes it and shows the writers’ complete lack of commitment to any characterisation they could previous have claimed to have achieved.

In summary: Good grief.

We’re the Millers is released in the UK on 23rd August 2013 and frankly you’ve got better things to be doing.

Pot Luck – Audrey Tautou Retrospective #4


L’Auberge espagnole, The Spanish Apartment, Pot Luck. Ms Tautou has a small part to play in this film but she is just one of many zesty flavours brought to the table in this buffet of youthful self-discovery and hopeful escapism.

Multi-lingual and multi-national, Pot Luck follows Xavier (Romain Duris) as he moves to Barcelona to study in the ERASMUS programme. Upon arrival he crosses paths with students and citizens from across the globe as they explore and share friendship, love and the cleaning rota.

Styled very bizarrely to begin with, Pot Luck buzzes around, flipping forwards and backwards in time, distracting us with add-ons to the screen, speeding up first person long-takes and narrating very morosely. It takes a while to get into before you realize that director Cédric Klapisch’s cinéma vérité-ish opening is simply getting us to realize how irritating Xavier’s restricted, pre-determined life is before he ups and leaves.

Anybody who has left for college, travelled the globe or simply shares a house with strangers will find something to love in Pot Luck. As a Northerner who lives in a house with a Ukrainian, a Londoner, a Swiss-Algerian, a Polish woman and an Irishman, I can honestly say that the film’s perpetual comedic bickering and cultural exploration feels very true to life, and its endless self-written-to-win debates would give Aaron Sorkin wet dreams.

Populated with not-sexy-not-ugly actors there are enough relationships and life lessons here to fuel a television series. Whilst the film’s over-arching heart and narrative lie in Xavier’s journey, the rich host of characters that pop up and dilemmas that occur are non-stop fun. Whether it’s Xavier’s realization that he’s fallen for a lesbian and a housewife whilst he still has the clingy Audrey Tautou back in France, or the housemates’ deliberation of how to best select a new housemate, the film’s simultaneously micro and grand scale dramas are  easy to watch and envy; it’s not hard to see why a second film was made and a third is on the way.

A film that lives up to its title, Pot Luck is a great mish-mash of different characters and outlooks on life and it encapsulates all that there is to being a hopeful young adult. Fueled by vivid colours, lively music and plenty of comedy and romance, it forces you to reassess your own life. Look at these guys, living the dream. It really makes you wish that you’d change something; that you’d make some spur of the moment decisions; that you’d give yourself a slap, get out of the house and off the compute…

The Bone Season – Book Review

The Bone Season

It would be easy to resent Samantha Shannon; at the age of just 21 she has her first novel published today. The novel in question is called The Bone Season, is the first of a series of seven, and has already been sold to Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios for a big screen adaptation. Samantha Shannon is set to be the next J. K. Rowling and her novel has only been for sale for eight hours thus far. Yes, for any aspiring writer it would be very easy to resent Samantha Shannon. If only it weren’t for the fact that she can actually write well.

Clocking in at well over 400 pages The Bone Season is a hefty tome and with its glossary, map, and organisational chart was a little intimidating to begin. Thanks to the book’s probable future film adaptation I was sent a copy to review and after an evening of reading at my usual gentile pace I am eight chapters and 113 pages in and ready to give my verdict so far.

The Bone Season is set in an alternative dystopian Britain in the near future and features a strong female lead character. As such comparisons to the likes of the Hunger Games and Divergent series are inevitable if not exactly helpful. The Bone Season takes place in a world where a small proportion of the population are clairvoyant, where spirits roam, and those who are seen as “unnatural” find themselves subject to scrutiny and suspicion. With its fantasy element, UK setting, and simply because the writing style is all the more complex and considered than that of The Hunger Games better comparisons would be found in the Harry Potter and His Dark Materials series.

The heroine of the series is Paige Mahoney, a teenage dreamwalker who works for the criminal underworld in central London and is paid for the gathering of information she can glean from other people’s minds. Shortly after the world is established, and the introductory exposition is settling into the reader’s mind, Paige is kidnapped and taken to the destroyed city of Oxford where she discovers that her world is being controlled by an otherworldly race who have enslaved the humans in exchange for protecting them from a much darker threat. Every ten years they harvest a new group of clairvoyants to serve and feed them, and you won’t be surprised to hear that Paige has exactly the powers they have long been waiting for.

As with any novel set in an alternate world and a dystopian future a lot of the initial pages are dedicated to world building as much as they are character setting. As first I found myself slightly overwhelmed with new ideas and phrases as the book thrusts the reader straight into Paige’s world. Before I had quite found my feet Paige had been kidnapped and told that everything she thought she knew was wrong and we were presented with a second round of exposition. All this within the first 100 pages and the characters start to feel a bit neglected. The focus so far has very much been on plot and despite the book being written in the first person the main character of Paige is hard to relate to having yet to be fully fleshed out. As for any secondary characters, none have stuck around long enough yet to be anything more than sketches.

That said The Bone Season is all about ideas and is set in a world very different from our own that somehow seems very real and concrete. Shannon has fully realised a whole other reality and sees it in such detail that I am hooked on the story itself without having a character I care about to cling to. I am only a quarter of the way through the book and am hoping that I will soon learn more about Paige and grow to be as intrigued by her as I am by the rest of the world. Samantha Shannon has an incredibly developed writing style and can introduce complex concepts and new words without it ever seeming too complicated or jarring. Sometimes with series like these the idea is strong but the execution and writing lets it down (*cough* The Hunger Games *cough*) but Shannon has the ability to bring both ideas and flair to the page.

The Bone Season has not fully won me over yet but has certainly drawn me in. With the potential to be the next big book and movie franchise it won’t be long before you need to read this book to have the required opinions needed to carry off a dinner party conversation without embarrassment. The Bone Season is out in all good bookshops from today (and presumably some bad ones too) and is also available to buy from Amazon if you don’t mind the slight guilt that brings.

Out Now – 16th August 2013

Kick Planes 2

Kick-Ass 2
I remember when I first saw Kick-Ass (with my less than impressed sister) and thought it was amazing. It even gave me “shivers down my spine” apparently. What a nerd. I remember the second time I saw Kick Ass and suddenly remembered all the bits I didn’t like so much; the masturbation heavy intro, Aaron Johnson’s voice, and other things I fail to remember now. Anyway… it’s sequel time! Which would be more exciting if the reviews weren’t so mediocre and I hadn’t seen Kick-Ass that second disappointing time. Still, I bet Chloe Moretz is her usual amazing self.

If you asked me what Pixar’s weakest original film was I would reply, “Cars… please get out of my house”. If you asked me what Pixar’s worst film of all time was I would reply, “Cars 2. The police are on their way.” Planes is a spin-off from Cars that was originally going to go straight to DVD and was made by Disney Studios rather than Disney Pixar. SOUNDS LIKE A WINNER!!!*

2 Guns
Good grief. It is one of those weeks. The constantly perplexed Mark Wahlberg stars alongside the constantly sassy(!?) Denzel Washington as two undercover agents on the run after they both infiltrate a drug ring without knowing the other was a secret agent. The title is a bit baffling. In the poster both Denzel and Wahlberg are holding guns so by this logic the drug cartel have no guns? Piece of cake!

When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun (limited release)
A documentary about the Chinese invasion of Tibet is no place for jokes from someone with no real idea of what is happening over there.

The Big City (limited release)
The BFI are re-releasing this 1963 Indian drama about a housewife getting her first job as a saleswoman. Let’s face it if the BFI are involved it must be worth a watch. I love the BFI. The BFI are great. I am in no way currently waiting for them to give me press accreditation for the London Film Festival.

Call Girl (limited release)
That caught your attention didn’t it? And will possibly bring us some colourful Google hits too. This Swedish drama explores the real life 70s scandal in which teenage girls were recruited as prostitutes for the upper echelons of society. Contains strong sex but in an artistically justified way.

Kuma (limited release)
Come on Peccadillo Pictures, pull your fingers out. Is it really that hard to submit a synopsis to IMDb? I’ve had to go all the way to your official website and have become tired and cranky and don’t feel like explaining to our readers that your film is a Turkish drama about a 19-year-old who is married off to be the second wife of the father of the man she thought she was marrying.

Bachelorette (limited release)
A comedy about a group of women who are bridesmaids. Like in the film Bridesmaids. Starring Rebel Wilson (from the film Bridesmaids), Kirsten Dunst (last seen literally wandering through The Bling Ring), Lizzy Caplan (not quite Zooey Deschanel), and Isla Fisher (from Home and Away).

Aftershock (limited release)
An earthquake in Chile leaves a group of people, including Eli Roth, trapped underground. As they fight to get to the surface all manner of things go wrong in an 18 certificate fashion.

*I haven’t had much sleep and have just had some Red Bull. Go figure.

A Short Note on Jesse Pavelka’s Buff Bod

Jesse Pavelka

As readers of EntertainmentWise will already know I recently trundled down to the entertainment site’s offices to discuss casting rumours surrounding the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The interview was originally filmed but has since surfaced without the footage included – the fact that I arrived sweaty, windswept, and with no idea what to do with my face when it wasn’t talking may have contributed to this decision.

Regardless the interview was good fun and gave me an insight into what it is like for the people I interview. The write up of my thoughts on Fifty Shades of Grey casting rumours can be read over at the EntertainmentWise site.

Well, almost. This particular paragraph raised an eyebrow or two:

Ouch! Instead Tim is favouring a much less known star, model Jesse Pavelka. The US fitness expert is well known for his buff bod, which Tim reckons is a definite plus for the role: “As a model he would be attractive and willing to do probably anything to get this role. He’s a blank slate, you can apply any character you like to him.”

I am not denying Pavelka his buff bod, though it’s not a phrase I’ve used before (I once called someone a “dish” and that didn’t feel right for anyone involved), but he is not my favourite to play Christian Grey. My personal favourite, if (and when) forced to pick one, is Matt Bomer. Why? Because he can actually act and last year had all my female friends rushing to lust over him in Magic Mike.

As for Matt Bomer’s buff bod… he’s the one on the right:

As for the Felicity Jones plug… OBVIOUSLY that was me. I am nothing if not determined and persistent.