Monthly Archives: January 2012

So Last Night I Watched…The Artist

I finally got around to watching The Artist and I thought it was…

Brilliant! I thought that absolutely everything about this film was exceptional, but the performances by the actors are what make it for me. Jean Dujardin deserved the Palme D’or and Golden Globe for this wonderful performance, Berenice Bejo is captivating as the beautiful Peppy Miller and of course Uggie the dog is hilarious!

It was just brilliant, I absolutely loved it. I was worried going in as I was sure it could not possibly live up to the hype, but I was wrong.

I’m sure it will go down in history as a must watch for any film lover and if it cleans up at the Oscars I don’t think anyone would disagree (that said I do hope Hugo wins big on the night, as it was one of my films of 2011). The Artist had that rare quality in that as soon as it was over I was thinking about seeing it again. If you haven’t seen it already I can’t recommend it enough. Stop reading this and go see it now!


Sherlock creator Steven Moffat Radio Times Interview…

Okay so Sherlock series 2 has been over a couple of weeks and I don’t think anyone is anywhere near to being close to figuring it out. Steven Moffat did an interview with the Radio Times this month, the following is what I thought were the most interesting bits.

“Get used to a bit of starvation. We’re making movies – those six films we’ve made could go in the cinema. You can’t factory produce that – it’s a different kind of show. So, when we’re good and ready – it won’t be that long – but when we’re ready, you’ll get the follow-up.”

“I fondly imagine it’d be nice to stop it for a while and come back and see what they’re like in their 40s or 50s. Because normally these two characters are portrayed in their 50s. So we’re actually at the beginning. It might be interesting in a couple of decades when they come back and [we] see what they’re like.”

“We knew we had this cliffhanger coming, we knew that we were doing ‘The Final Problem’, and we did not want people to know that he survived. We wanted to wind the audience up so that the final shot would have the impact that it evidently did. We were commissioned for series two and series three at the same time, but we decided to keep it under wraps that day that series three was in the bag.”

I’m glad they plan to take their time with it, I’d hate them to rush out a third series and for it to suffer a dip in quality, because for me it’s the best thing on telly. I also really love the idea of bringing the cast back in 20 – 30 years to see how the characters have developed and what they are up to. Let’s just hope that when series 3 does eventually hit our screens that it’s as good as (if not better than) the first two!


What’s the deal with…David Cameron’s Film Policy Review

So David Cameron’s film policy review was released today and it’s better news than most expected

Films like Submarine meant British Cinema had a great year

Okay so a government commissioned report into the film industry was released today and it’s not all doom and gloom as some (including myself) predicted. The main point appears to be that the report calls for ITV and Sky to do more for British Film. The 56 point report put together by the Film Policy Review Panel also suggests an annual “British film week”, a new programme to bring film education to every school, screening equipment put into town halls of places without a cinema and a renewed commitment to combat piracy.

Last week David Cameron has proposed that public funding of film should focus on “helping UK producers to make commercially successful pictures that rival the quality and impact of the best international productions” and it was even suggested by some that the report would effectively end Mike Leigh’s career. But from what I’ve seen online today seems to show that that is not the case at all and the panel wants to advocate “as wide a range of films as possible, from the overtly commercial to the overtly arty and much in-between”.

So that sounds good to me. Will it be harder for filmmakers like myself to get funding from the government? Probably. Will it stop us from making films? Absolutely not. I think I’m in a fortunate position in that I wasn’t counting on government funds to make my first feature anyway and that I and the people I work with have enough contacts/resourcefulness to get the funds ourselves. We actually decided this weekend that we will commence production of our first feature around June 2013, which gives us a good 18 months to get everything ready and release all the short films we’ve made/are planning on making online over the next few months. So watch this space!

So Last Night I Watched…The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

The Live Aquatic is the other Wes Anderson film that seems to generate a lot of hate, well I’m here to defend it!

“When his partner is killed by the mysterious and possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark, Steve Zissou and his Team Zissou crew set off for an expedition to hunt down the creature. Along with his estranged wife, a beautiful journalist and a co-pilot who could possibly be Zissou’s son, the crew set off for one wild expedition”

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a hilarious Adventure Comedy starring Bill Murray on top form as the the titular Steve Zissou. As you have probably guessed by now I am a huge Wes Anderson fan, I love all of his films and get extremely excited when a new film of his is announced (see my Moonrise Kingdom post for further evidence). So this week I already watched The Darjeeling Limited and as the Moonrise Kingdom trailer has been released I felt in the mood for some more Anderson action.

In my opinion the Life Aquatic is his funniest film, mainly due to the fact that it features Bill Murray’s most prominent role in a Wes film. Murray’s pitch perfect dead pan delivery is a perfect match for Anderson’s writing style and to be honest I will never understand how anyone can hate something that has Bill Murray in it, the man just has funny bones, he oozes comedy at of every part of his being. He is hilarious. Having said that I don’t want to forget Willem Dafoe, he is brilliant as Klaus the “B squad leader” who’s childish jealousy of Steve’s supposed son Ned Plimpton (played by Owen Wilson) is both touching and amusing in equal measure.

Everything about this film is top quality. The set’s, costume’s and especially the music. One of my favorite parts of the films is at the end when Steve and Ned have been arguing over Jane (Cate Blanchett) and they walk through the whole ship talking, as they do they are follwed in a single tracking shot and we see every member of the crew just going about their duties. It’s a great shot. I really love this film and I am certain that time will be very kind to it. I’m sure in years to come people will look back and spend time trying to figure out just how/why The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou didn’t receive the appreciation it deserves in it’s own time.

So Last Night I Watched…

Angels Crest

So Angels Crest tells the story of a small town in the Rocky Mountains that is ripped apart when a father (Ethan played by Kaboom’s Thomas Dekker) is charged with negligent homicide after his three-year-old son Nathan freezes to death. The two were out on a trip when the Ethan decided to go track a dear and leave Nathan sleeping in the truck. The son managed to get out of the vehicle, get lost and the next day he is discovered by Ethan dead. Once the father is charged everyone in the town reacts differently to the situation, with some being more understanding than others.

There is a very good/interesting idea at the heart of this film, there was a lot of potential to do something great with the set up. But once everything has been set up and the story should start to really get going and pull you in it just… doesn’t. I think a lot of the blame rests with the writer, the characters never really develop into fully formed people and it is damn near impossible to care for them. The performances of the actors are okay but nothing special, I actually thought Thomas Dekker was really good in Kaboom but I was a little disappointed with him in this.

All in all it was a little disappointing, but I will be keeping an eye out for the directors future work.

Trailer for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom

As you probably discovered earlier, I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson

Why I love The Darjeeling Limited

I’ve seen a surprising amount of hate for this film online, a lot of reviews called it Wes Anderson’s worst film. But I couldn’t disagree more.

Anderson’s tale of three brothers (played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman)  traveling across India to find their absent mother is one of the most under rated films of the last 5 years. The beautiful scenery and rich colours of the setting works beautifully with Anderson’s directorial style and Robert Yeoman’s cinematography.

The story and plot of this film aren’t preoccupied with the normal screen writing rules and and for me there is never a dull moment. I think to many films now are overly concerned with structure and mechanics, so it’s really refreshing to see something that doesn’t concern itself with all that and just allows the characters go on their journey, sweeping us along in the process.

Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody

The performances of the three main stars as the dysfunctional siblings are all fantastic. Owen Wilson playing the controlling older brother Francis is hilarious and almost unrecognizable with his face covered in bandages. Adrien Brody is equally impressive as Peter, the middle brother who has left his heavily pregnant wife home alone in order to join his brothers. Then there is Jason Schwartzman as Jack, the youngest who is constantly getting in the middle of his older brothers arguments and sibling rivalry. The scene that shows their relationship best for me is when Peter states that he was their father’s favorite, this causes a fight to break out between him and Francis, so what does Jack do? He shouts “I love you but I’m going to mace you in the face” and then he does.