Jan. 1st, 2014

philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Hummingbird (2013)

Jason Statham has made a name for himself by taking on mostly action movies. His first big central movie role was in "Snatch" where he played the character of Turkish. In the movie "Snatch" Statham acted alongside Stephen Graham who went on to become rather more sought-after because of his performance as the racist ex-con Combo in "This Is England" (and Graham has since taken on the role of Al Capone in the series "Boardwalk Empire"). Both Statham and Graham have been playing mostly tough guys since that earlier outing in "Snatch", but for Statham this was becoming a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, playing ultra-tough guys has made him a household name. On the other hand, we're now snowed-under with so many Statham action flicks that he's at risk of being associated more with disposable entertainment than genuinely entertaining films. More of a Van Damme rather than Schwarzenegger? (Not sure everyone will find that characterisation of the problem works for them, but you get the idea.)

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Jack The Giant Slayer (2013)

This here is my main reason for scepticism when "X Men: Days Of Future Past" comes out next year. I'd heard that this wasn't great, but I hadn't expected "Jack The Giant Slayer" to be this bad. After being disappointed with Nicolas Hoult's other film this year, "Warm Bodies", I was hoping this would at least feature another great performance from him. Sadly, while Hoult is still clearly a great actor, he comes off as a pretty bland protagonist here. And he's not the only one coming off worse than expected.

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The Bling Ring (2013)

Sophia Coppola is an odd sort of director. Her first film "Lost In Translation" benefitted from some very funny improvised lines. However, the film as a whole wasn't a comedy at all and unfolded very slowly. Perspectives on the film as a whole vary from either "beautiful and moving" to "boring as hell". I'm inclined towards the latter camp. However, I was much more impressed by "Marie Antoinette" which used modern music in the beautifully shot costume drama to show us the bizarre paradise in which Marie Antoinette lived. However, it is now becoming clear that Coppola is a filmmaker who has more interest in the visuals and tone of her movies than in a compelling narrative.

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Bernie (2011)

Okay, look, I know Jack Black is acting his heart out here. This is, admittedly, the closest I've ever seen him to playing a different character from normal. However, I still think his acting is rather limited in scope. Still, the real problem here is that this is a film trying to pose itself as a comedy and yet almost entirely lacking in jokes. As it turns out at the end, this was based on a true story, but for most of the runtime this appears to be treated as a secret, but the story would have been a great deal more interesting if I'd known it wasn't simply made up by a scriptwriter.

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Trance (2013)

Earlier this year I was seized with the desire to watch everything from writer/director Joe Ahearne. He worked on a tv series back in the 90s about vampires with Jack Davenport and Idris Elba called "Ultraviolet" and a rather interesting tv series about exorcisms starring Martin Shaw in the early 2000s called "Apparitions". Both are well worth your time.

In between those two Ahearne released a tv movie called "Trance". Danny Boyle had apparently been quite interested in possibly making this at the time, but in the end it didn't happen and Ahearne ended up making it himself. Boyle decision to return to this project and give it a go seemed to be accompanied with an acknowledgement that his early films still represent his best work. He accepts that there is something grittier about "Shallow Grave" and "Trainspotting" to which he'd like to return, so "Trance" was apparently his opportunity to get back to that. Having now seen Boyle's remake of "Trance", I feel it was a bit of a vain hope.

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philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

Happy New Year everyone!

Here is my movie guide for the first three months in 2014. It looks like the beginning of the year is going to be crammed full of exciting films. What films are you looking forward to this year?

JANUARY

MY PICK:

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund
UK Release Date: 24/01/14

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Another film from the Coen Brothers and their first film since "A Serious Man" (which remains my personal favourite of theirs).


(video link)

SOME OTHER INTERESTING RELEASES:
Click here for some alternative picks for January... )

FEBRUARY

MY PICKS:

RoboCop (2014)
Director: José Padilha
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Douglas Urbanski, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman
UK Release Date: 07/02/14

In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) - a loving husband, father and good cop - is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.

While there's been a lot of scepticism in regards to this Robocop reboot recently, I am actually very interested to see what Jose Padilha, director of the Elite Squad movies, decides to do with the property. The Elite Squad movies were all about the militarising of the police force and issues of corruption and the influences of right-wing charismatic television personalities. Whatever happens, Padilha is definitely


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Click here for three other picks for February... )

MARCH

MY PICK:

Noah (2014)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe
UK Release Date: 28/03/14 (Delayed til 4th April)

The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.

I've been following Darren Aronofsky's directorial career ever since his art film "Pi: Faith in Chaos". He hasn't been as prolific as some other directors in that time, but his five movies so far have all been excellent. His latest movie "Black Swan" was arguably the best yet. The Biblical story of Noah is a strange choice of subject matter, but with Aronofsky in the director's chair that just makes me all the more intrigued.


(video link)


SOME OTHER INTERESTING RELEASES:
Click here for some alternative picks for March... )

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