In Defence of Bill Nighy

Last night I found myself in a very odd position, I was being forced to defend Bill Nighy as an actor and all round amazing human being. And this is after his star turn in Page Eight. At short notice it is hard to articulate why you find a particular actor’s performances so appealing, but with time and a trawl of YouTube I have compiled my defence.

Meerkat Manor

Bill Nighy lends his vocal talents to the narration of the best TV series following a group of meerkats ever. Without Nighy the story of these furry creatures would lack much of the drama and emotion that won it critical acclaim. (Let’s ignore the fact that it was re-dubbed by Sean Astin for the US broadcast).

Rango

Roughly 2 minutes into this video you can watch Bill Nighy play an evil snake opposite Johnny Depp’s cowardly chameleon. With basic sets and no costume the acting shines on through. In the finished film you can barely tell Nighy is playing the snake, how’s that for versatility?

Love Actually

By all accounts Love Actually is not a good film, but it does have its moments. Amongst the schmaltz is the heartbreaking story between Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, the sweet romance of Martin Freeman and Joanna Page and of course Bill Nighy as the washed up rock star.

Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz

Bill Nighy was arguably the first big name to get behind the Wright/Pegg partnership and his small roles in the two films are amongst the many, many highlights to be enjoyed.

Gideon’s Daughter

Finally we have one of Nighy’s best roles, as the Gideon in question who is at risk of losing contact with his daughter. The whole TV movie is on YouTube so there’s no excuse not to give it a watch.

If you aren’t convinced of Bill Nighy’s talents by now then I give up.

Edgar Wright in Conversation with Joe Cornish

Last night at the wonderful BFI Edgar Wright ran through his career with the help of Joe Cornish and proved himself to be an incredibly driven person and a poor Rolf Harris impersonator. What follows is a vague and rambling account of what happened.
Continue reading

Number 4 is Done

Last night saw Mild Concern at the Ritzy in Brixton with a good friend for the Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz double bill. Both films were amazing to see again on the big screen and were preceded by the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World trailer and a message from Edgar Wright as read out by a confused audience member.

If it’s possible the two films were funnier than I remembered. You are advised to watch them at your earliest convenience.

It was off the funking chain!

7 Ways to Pass the Final Weeks Until Pilgrim

It has reached the point where the release of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is itchingly close yet still forever way; the 25th can’t come soon enough. I’ve got seven activities for you to do to pass the time as appropriately as possible.

1. Read the Books

This is a pretty obvious step but a pretty important one. The books are great, reasonably priced and it’s always good to support an independent comic. And if you don’t live near a comic book shop then Amazon will be more than happy to deliver them to your door.

2. Watch the Video Blogs

During the filming of Scott Pilgrim 12 video blogs were released following production from initial training through to filming, and the down time too. Watch and try to glean some extra Pilgrim info.

3. Scour Edgar Wright’s Photo Blog

Last year writer/director Edgar Wright took a photo every day in a year which spanned pre-production and the editing process, giving many more tidbits than the official stills and videos have so far. Thanks to the wonder of Flickr you can get full on obsessive on a rainy afternoon.

4. Watch Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz

The only way to prepare yourself for Wright’s signature frenetic editing and sudden whip-pans is to watch the only other films he’s made. As luck would have it the Ritzy in Brixton is showing both in a double bill this coming Sunday. Two films for just £10 and they promise some giveaways too! If Brixton isn’t an easy get on a Sunday afternoon then DVDs will suffice.

5. Try To Get into a Preview Screening

The best way to make the film come sooner is to not wait for the 25th. This thread is the best place to find a code but you’ll have to be quick, I have failed this far to get there quick enough to get myself a ticket. Boo!

6. Meet Bryan Lee O’Malley

Because without him there would be no books and nothing to adapt O’Malley is getting fully involved in the promotion activities. Sure Edgar Wright will be around sometime but we don’t have definite dates for him. To meet the original artist and writer you have three opportunities:

Monday August 16th, 5-7 pm, Nottingham, England: Signing at Page 45

Tuesday August 17th, 6 pm, London, England: Signing at the Forbidden Planet

Wednesday August 18th, 4:30-6:30 pm, London, England: Signing at GOSH

7. Take Your Sharpie to the Premiere

On the 18th August at the Empire cinema in Leicester Square Scott Pilgrim will be having it’s UK premiere complete with cast, Wright and O’Malley. It will probably be chaotic but if they put half the effort in that they did at SDCC it may be worth a look.

Scott Pilgrim Reshoots Are a Good Thing. No, Really.

Another bit of unnecessary fuss from yesterday was the news that Scott Pilgrim would be returning for three days of reshoots cuing rumours of a film in trouble. The film’s director and co-writer Edgar Wright has rushed to defend the reshoots explaining that they were just the “icing on the cake”.

It seems that a few tidbits from the currently being drawn final volume of the Scott Pilgrim comic series are being inserted into the film and Wright also points out that he did reshoots for both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. In fact in Hot Fuzz one of the scenes shot in the reshoot “was the granny being kicked in the face. I think we can all agree that was a good pickup.”

Scott Pilgrim is just being polished, and with the help of the comic’s author no less. Fingers crossed I’m not just in denial.