Saturday, 30 April 2011

I saw the devil review: Tom & Jerry meets Saw

I had been waiting for Jee-woon Kim (Tale of two sisters) new film, I saw the devil, for quite some time, as per my previous post. And having seen it, I can't help feeling a little bit disappointed. This new offering follows a young inspector driven mad by the murder of his pregnant fiancee by a mass murderer (played by Min-Sik Choi from Old Boy). Having found his trail, he goes on a dangerous game of cat and mouse, inflicting as much pain as possible on the murderer, before letting him go, only to catch up with him again and committing increasingly brutal acts of violence on him.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Isabelle Huppert about to received a Fellowship by the BFI

The British Film Institute has bestowed a fellowship upon French actress Isabelle Huppert, and to mark the event, there will be a screening of one of her most recent film, Copacabana, followed by an in depth, two hours long interview and discussion about her career, on the 7th of May at the NFT in London. For all fans of her in particular or just French cinema in general, there are still a few tickets left on the BFI website.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Good Bad Movie Club at Prince Charles cinema in London

Excellent initiative from the ever so innovative Prince Charles cinema in London. After a serie of double bills featuring some classics "bad" movies such as Trolls 2, they have finally unleashed their love for "bad" cinema in full blow to an adoring audience. Rather than showing all their repertoire of bad movies in one long week end (which might have tested the brain cells of their most ardent fans), they have launched the Good Bad Movie club, making this a season of bad films, where cult films are going to be shown as a monthly event.

Is Warner panicking over Green lantern?

The green superhero flick is only two months away from release yet Warner has just forked out an extra $9 million to work on the special effects, and mainly to fix the all CGI green suit. Now it is not unusual even for a big blockbuster to have some last minute work done, or even some scenes reshots a few months, weeks even from its release date.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Thor review: A thunderous success

On a summer where superheroes are set to invade our screens (Captain America, X-men prequel, Green lantern etc...), Thor is launching the first salva of superpowers mayhem. I have to admit I had low expectations for this. The trailer was rather uninspiring, and Kenneth Branagh at the helm did not inspire confidence, responsible as he is for a string of dour Shakespeare adaptations and little else. (Remember Dead again in 1991? Thought not).

Sofia Coppola/Kirsten Dunst: victims of a Twitter hoax?

A piece of film news that has been circulating on the web for a few days is proving to be an hoax! It has been widely reported over the last few days that Sofia Coppola was about to team up with Kirsten Dunst once again, after The virgin suicides and Marie Antoinette, for a new film called Secret door. It was not just film blogs, it was relayed by such reputable sites as Total Film. Some sites even reported a synopsis, the story of a stage actress in German-occupied Paris in 1940.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

R.I.P. Marie-France Pisier: A tribute

The French actress Marie-France Pisier has sadly passed away last night, she was 67. Her name might not mean much to a worldwide audience, and certainly not as much as the better known French sirens of her generation, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani and Isabelle Huppert. Yet she had carved herself a very interesting career that matched her rather unique and endearing personality.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Fast Five: The flying, light-saber fighting subtitles

Lost in translation?

How do you revitalise a big action franchise for its fifth outing? Oh, I know, you relocate, somewhere exotic! Only one problem, even the less demanding of your fans know that people in foreign countries speak, well, foreign. And it is bad enough having them go through the boring bits where all the people do is talk, imagine if you need subtitles as the foreigners are speaking foreign! So what can you do with the plain good old subtitles to make them interesting?

Friday, 22 April 2011

Cannes Film Festival 2011: The surprises

And rounding up our comments about the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, a few unexpected choices:

Polisse by Maiwenn

For the international audience, French actress/director Maiwenn is only known for her small part as the blue alien diva in Luc Besson's The six element. A few gorehounds also know her for her part in Switchblade Romance (aka High Tension) by Alexandre Aja. Yet she has built herself an interesting career in France, before turning her attention to directing. Indeed, Polisse is her third film already, her two first films having been fairly well received in her own country.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Thor on collision course with Fast 5?

Some news have emerged from Australia which are going to make every Disney/Marvel executives very nervous. Thor has just opened head to head with Fast 5 down under, and the winning film is not the anybody was expecting. Day 2 of Fast 5 brought in 38% more business than Thor (which opened a day later). It is even more damning if you take into account that Thor had the 3D premium prices to help.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cannes Film Festival 2011: full jury revealed

We have known for quite some time that Robert de Niro was going to be president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival this year. And today the full jury has been revealed as below. As usual, it will be an eclectic mix of glamour, Hollywood, and lesser known figures of the industry.

Marion Cotillard in The Dark Knight rises: It's official

After months and months of speculations and various rumours, Warner Bros has issued a press release confirming that Marion Cotillard will indeed be in The Dark Knight rises. Also confirmed in the cast, Joseph Gordon Hewitt, playing John Blake, a Gotham City cop.

The French siren was at first rumoured to be playing Catwoman (a part finally taken by Anne Hathaway), then Talia Al Ghul but it will be none of this. She is playing a character that did not exist in the comics, Miranda Tate. She is described on the press release as a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father's philanthropic endeavors for Gotham.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Cannes Film Festival 2011: The regulars

The Cannes Film Festival is sometimes criticized for inviting the same directors over and over, and failing to unleash any new talent (in the official selection anyway). While this is not entirely wrong, the fact is there are not that many real "auteurs" working in cinema nowadays. And with 20 to 22 slots to fill, which will find themselves under intense media scrutiny, it is no wonder that the festival often relies on its old favourites. And unsurprisingly, there are a few of them this year:

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Scream 4 review: Best one since the first

I had to admit I had some very low expectations for this one, which helped enjoy it ultimately. Especially when Wes Craven pretty much publicly disowned it (see previous post on the subject), when Ehren Krueger (from Scream 3) took over scriptwriting duties from original creator Kevin Williamson halfway through the production. And I was worried about the whole updating to the 2010's thing, which promised some tiresome twitter/facebook/youtube name check.

Yet after the very amusing prologue with a couple of great cameos (I won't spoilt them!), what I thought was just going to be at first a competent but unremarkable and probably unnecessary sequel, turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, which I am not afraid to say it, is on par with the original as far as I am concerned, especially thanks to a great third act that reserved a few surprises.

Cannes 2011: Who's missing?

There is a lot to say about the Cannes selection so I am going to split it into several posts. And first of all I am going to start with those who were expected in the Croisette but did not make it.

The dates of the Cannes Film Festival put it in a rather unique position in the festival and award calendar. It has no real competition as other major film fests are earlier in the year (Sundance in January, Berlin in February), or much later (Toronto and Venise in September). And many films are produced almost specifically with a Cannes selection in mind, still being the most important film festival in the world, that can make (or break!) a film.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Cannes 2011 Official Selection!

The Cannes Film Festival selection has been announced slightly earlier than usual, and in full as opposed to the previous year where the festival struggled to fill its slots until the very last minute.

I shall be discussing it in more details and several posts over the week end, but glancing over it, the usual suspects are in, Pedro Almodovar, Lars Von Trier, the Dardenne brothers, Aki Kaurismaki, there is the welcome addition of Takeshi Miike (Audition, 13 assassins) and Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Valhalla rising), a few regrettable omission (Wong Kar Wai, Andrea Arnold whose Wuthering Heights seemed a safe bet), and the best news of all, the inclusion of The tree of life by Terrence Malick, which is only about two years late!

Robot: Iron Man, Bollywood style!

I have stumbled across the trailer for the unimaginatively named Robot, a Bollywood rip off (I mean, tribute) to Iron Man and this is just hilarious! The whole thing has got a very 90's dance video vibe to it, and being a Bollywood movie, obviously the cast breaks into songs and dance. Which is not a bad thing, I mean, surely, the snooze fest that was Iron Man 2 would have benefitted from a few musical numbers (Robert Downey Junior breaking into a breakdance? Gwyneth Paltrow as the frigid Pepper Potts showing off her hidden Country singing talents?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Fright Night remake: First pictures!

Colin Farrell in Fright Night (2011)

The first pictures of the Fright Night remake have finally emerged, as well as definite release dates for the US (19th of August) and the UK (2nd of September). Fright Night is an 80's horror classic, about a teenager who discovers that his charming next door neighbour is in fact, a vampire! Helped by his campy best friend and a washed up actor who hosts a local TV horror show, Fright Night, he goes on a mission to destroy the undead.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Superman, the Man of Steel: General Zod has a new face!

Michael Shannon

After months of intense speculation, the villain of the new Superman reboot, Man of Steel, has been revealed. It will be General Zod, last seen in Superman 2, as portrayed by Terrence Stamp, wearing the same kind of floating, frilly, bouffant black outfit as Kate Bush in the video Babooschka. He will be played by Michael Shannon, who got an Oscar nomination for Revolutionary Road, and who currently been seen in Boardwalk Empire (and who as speak is rehearsing the immortal line: Kneel before Zod!)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Plot details for Tron 3, aka TR3N?

Isn't it interesting to see how the Tron sequel, Tron Legacy, gathered more revenue at the worldwide box office than the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot, yet the former was seen as a relative box office failure, while the latter was hailed as a great revival of the serie and a sequel immediately greenlit. 

While I might be in the minority, I enjoyed the Tron reboot a lot more, and actually consider it as one of my highlight from last year. It was a lot more coherent compared to said Start trek reboot which left me completely cold, and came across as a mash up of ideas that ended up to be less than the sum of its parts. For any techno geek growing up in the 80's like myself, Tron Legacy on the other hand was like a dream come true, the amazing visuals, the even better than expected soundtrack by Daft Punk, (who managed to mix together some exciting electro sounds to a more conventional film score, and make it work!)...

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Dvd catch up: Legion. Angels kicking ass!

Not to be confused with Priest coming out soon, Legion was the first Paul Bettany CGI fest unleashed on an unsuspecting audience, not quite recovered from his turn as an albino killer in The Da Vinci Code.

The premise was intriguing: God, having lost faith in humanity, orders a legion of angels to unleash the Armageddon on earth. The film takes place nearly entirely in an out of town dinner, which becomes the last bastion of humanity, and where the survivors are helped by Angel Michael, who disagrees with God's plan.

The woman in black: First teaser

Only yesterday I was commenting on the box office woes of the Hammer studios at the box office, and the hopes pinned on their new offering, The woman in black, with Daniel Radcliffe (click here to read it)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Hammer studios under the hammer?

Daniel Radcliffe in The woman in black

Reborn like a phoenix from within his ashes, the venerable British horror studios, Hammer, came back to life a couple of years ago, ready to unleash a new wave of horror movies on an unsuspecting audience. Or that was the plan anyway, as most of the audience has left largely untroubled by their recent efforts. And in fact, their next film, The woman in black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, could well prove the final nail on their coffin if it is not a hit.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Expensive divorce warning: It could happen to you! John Cleese

Don't do it, John! Will you ever learn?

You would have thought that after a career spanning decades, as one of the most beloved British actors, John Cleese would be fairly settled financially, assuming he never had a gambling/class A/escorts habit. And yet, as Britain woke up to Dark Wednesday this week, heralding a new era of budget cuts and penny pinching, spare a thought for the Monty Python alumni.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Source Code: 12 Monkeys meet Deja Vu

I have to admit, I was not among those who were all that impressed by Moon, Duncan Jones first movie. Not that it was a bad film, far from it, it was very competently made on a shoestring budget, with a neat twist and a great part for Sam Rockwell. But it was not quite the sci-fi masterpiece some had hailed it as, just a really promising first film (which is pretty good as it is!).

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Source code and getting drunk, good or bad combo?

I have just seen Source Code by Moon director Duncan Jones, with Jake Gyllenhaal. Then proceeded to have a few drinks with my friend. Whether or not the drunken ramblings that followed helped make sense of the film (especially the third act) is anyone's guess but I shall review it tomorrow with a clearer head!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Harry Potter's new poster ripping off 80's sci fi cult classic Enemy Mine?

Over the last few days I have been wondering why many films websites I came across were featuring the poster for Enemy mine. Until I realised that it was actually the poster for Harry Potter: The deathly hollows part 2. Enemy mine was a sci fi 80's film with Dennis Quaid and Louis Gosset Jr, about a man and an alien from an enemy race having to team up to survive on a hostile planet. The film was a big flop at the box office due its emphasis on characterisation over special effects, yet became a cult classic of sort.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

LLGFF 2011: Kaboom review

Hot roommate Thor in Kaboom

Having been screened at several festivals since its premiere in Cannes last May (and including a screening in London already at the London Film Festival last october), Gregg Araki latest film, Kaboom, opened the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival on Thursday, with the director attending. The film follows bisexual film student Smith and his best friend Hayley, as they encounter a whole gallery of increasingly bizarre characters and situations, take a lot of drugs, have a lot of sex... and bump into a doomsday cult!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

LLGFF 2011: Gigola. Ooh la la!

Gigola was presented at the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival today, in the presence of director Laure Charpentier and I was lucky enough to attend. While the bulk of the programme of any lesbian & gay film festival is usually made of the same old and tired coming out stories (I have always believed that the best gay films have been made by straight director, but this is a debate for another day), and excruciatingly bad films who only made it to the line up because they featured two men kissing, it was refreshing to see a bit of originality.

On my way to the LLGFF!

LLGFF stands for London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. I shall be reviewing Kaboom and Gigola on my way back later today, watch this space!