Sunday, 29 January 2012
Friday, 27 January 2012
My experience of Mike Leigh prior to Another Year is decidedly (and, perhaps, shamefully) scarce - I've seen Abigail's Party, albeit about ten years ago, and that's about it. Leigh is, seemingly in equal measure, considered a pillar of British cinema and a heinous purveyor of anti-feminist trash depending on who you're speaking to. Either way, he has established himself as a immovable fixture of modern film-making.
Saturday, 21 January 2012
The comparisons between director Joe Cornish's Attack The Block and Wright and Pegg's modern classic Shaun Of The Dead are possibly an overly simplistic way of evaluating the more recent film. Both are the major feature directorial debut of a name primarily made in TV comedy, both blend action, sci fi, horror and comedy genres, and both transport these genres to unlikely locations from domestic Britain. Edgar Wright (SOTD co-writer and director) serves as executive producer of ATB. Oh, and both have Nick Frost in them. But, despite the two fims' similarities, it's not fair to simply rate Cornish's film on the "Shaun-ometer".
Monday, 16 January 2012
Without wishing to oversimplify the documentary genre, a good documentary essentially needs two things to make it a success: an intriguing subject, and flair of execution. If one of these two is severely lacking, then the film falters. American: The Bill Hicks Story is a recent example of a documentary that had the potential to be excellent but wasn't because one element of the two didn't cut it - Hicks and his career are potentially fascinating, but the way the documentary was put together felt awkward and inaccessible. American is also a prime example that succeeding in one of these two factors cannot make up for lacking in the other. The vast majority of viewers would surely agree that Man On Wire has one of these aspects in the bag before you've even begun to watch. The question therefore that must be answered during the film's ninety minutes is this: does director James Marsh have the flair to bring into being a potentially truly brilliant documentary?
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Every now and again a film comes along that grabs my attention as soon as I first hear about it, to the point where I know I simply have to see it no matter what opinions might be levelled at it. The Beaver is one of those films. The film's highest of high concepts is a serious gamble on the part of director (and supporting actress) Jodie Foster, and casting Mel Gibson in the starring role hardly makes the film's success any more of a safe bet following his relatively recent fall from grace in the public eye.
Having seen Duncan Jones' second feature, Source Code, at the cinema last year (of which you can read my opinion right here), and having heard great things about his debut feature Moon, I have been eager to experience it for quite some time. Like several aspects of Source Code, Moon places itself on the dark side (excuse the pun) of science fiction with a strong psychological thread running throughout. It also wears its "old school" sci-fi influences firmly on its sleeve (Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey come to mind immediately, but there are a host of others), which just created even more reasons for me to want to see it, and make it even more shameful that it's taken me this long to get round to it.
Monday, 2 January 2012
Sunday, 1 January 2012
Direct sequels created a significant amount of time after the original film's release are always a tricky beast to handle, and generally garner a wide range of critical response - John McClane and Indiana Jones' respective jaunts into the 21st Century are proof enough of that. Creating a sequel for a film with such strong cult appeal as 1982's TRON just adds to the challenge of the task. In creating TRON: Legacy, Disney not only took on the job of at least matching the technical prowess and improving on the oft-criticised plot of the original film, but also of pleasing firm fans of the original whilst making the world of TRON appeal more to a mainstream audience.