Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Best Christmas Films aren't about Christmas

Let's face it, most films about Christmas time aren't actually THAT great, but our blinding desperation for feelgood nostaligia makes us believe that all Christmas Films = instant classics. Elf, The Santa Clause, Love Actually, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation are just some of the films misconceived as decent.

Before booing me for being a Grinch (also another bad Christmas film), I will say there are some great Christmas films out there, they just aren't centred around the idea of 'Peace on Earth', or even 'Goodwill to all Men'. They are usually something altogether darker and more alternative takes on the Holiday season. Here are some great Christmas films that aren't actually about Christmas:

Film: Gremlins (1984)
Plot: Small furry thing multiplies into loads of small furry things, which then transform into small slimey things that run amok in small town America.
Christmas moral: Don't buy pets/Mogwais for Christmas.
Why it's so good: Despite being a film I've watched since the age of 10, the classroom scene is still frickin' terrifying!
Why it's still feelgood: Amazingly cute scenes of Gizmo being all cute.

Film: Die Hard (1988)
Plot: Sharp looking Germans take over an LA office building, which really pisses off New York cop John McClane.
Chistmas moral: Give your ex-wife a ring and give it another shot.
Why it's so good: "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho." Nuff said.
Why it's still feelgood: The cop shoots the bad German dude, even though he accidentally shot that kid from that one time. Melts the heart.

Film: Bad Santa (2003)
Plot: A delinquent conman poses as Santa in order to rob a department store.
Christmas moral: Fat kids are people too.
Why it's so good: No one has quite destroyed the illusion of Santa Clause quite as much as this film.
Why it's still feelgood: Because it makes you laugh. A lot.

Friday, 24 December 2010


I'm nearly 100% sure that all these films are gonna be great.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Love and Other Bullshit Plotlines

Watched Love and Other Drugs the other day. For 2/3 of the film it's a bog standard romantic comedy, complete with clichés such as: the charismatic womanizer lead who falls hopelessly in love with the kooky yet amazingly attractive female lead, the crazy sex obsessed comic relief character, the eccentric dysfunctional family, and the handsome dickhead rival. Ticks all the boxes then.

But in the final 1/3 it shifts gears into a sentimental disease drama and expects us to sob uncontrollably into our popcorn. WELL NO, HOLLYWOOD, I'M NOT GONNA CRY. You can't just play the disease card and presume we're all gonna bend over our cinema seats and take that emotional enema. NO. You have to earn it. Like Terminator 2 or The Lion King.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

This Week's Film Injustice

In such tough economic times films are often shelved or cancelled altogether. A few recent financial casualities included X-Men Orgins: Magneto, and the new Bond movie, which would have concluded the epic story set out from Casino Royale. But more disappointing perhaps, is the cancellation of Pixar's Newt; the story of the last 2 blue-footed newts who are forced together (despite hating each other's guts) in order to save their species. See some of the concept art below:

It is then quite amazing when you see a film like this is made:


Monday, 6 December 2010

10 things that are wrong with London Boulevard

London Boulevard is almost comically bad. I say 'almost', because if you were to actually laugh at this film, it would might give it the false pretence of being a 'guilty pleasure', but it's far too offensive for that. Here's why it deserves it's 22% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes:

  1. Colin Farrell's accent: Whilst it's never verified, Mitchell (Farrell) is presumably from London, and therefore his accent should probably be cockney like the rest of the cast. Right? One thing's for certain, it's definitely NOT Irish.
  2. The Romance doesn't work: I know saying 'the romance doesn't work' in a gangster film is like saying 'the plot doesn't work' in a porno. But when it's given this amount of screentime, it's hard to ignore the lack of chemistry between Knightley and Farrell. It's like watching 2 planks of wood slap violently against each other.
  3. Every punchline ends with the c word: I'm not about to get all Daily Mail on yo ass, but there's only a certain amount of times I can hear the word 'c*nt' used as a means to derive humour. Refreshing, perhaps. Lazy, almost definitely.
  4. It's completely unoriginal: If you've ever seen a gangster film made in the last 50 years, you've seen London Boulevard before. If I were Quentin Tarantino, I would quit directing and just make a living off suing this film.
  5. The plot is a moody teenager: What exactly is this film's problem? It's like it's pissed off at every aspect of society, but can't decide which aspect makes it more damn mad. The Press? Drugs? Racism? Fame? Knife crime? Just don't expect depth on any of these issues.
  6. Unnecessary Violence: In this movie there is: a man is killed for being black, a woman is punched in the face for no reason, a homelessman is beaten half to death by youths, a man is glassed because he made a joke, and a man is stabbed to death because he made a moral decision. And believe it or not, some of these scenes are played for laughs.
  7. The plot holes are mind blowing: A lot of the time I felt like I was watching a rough cut of the movie, because there are some blindingly obvious gaps in logic. There's one scene in particular which eerily references Mark Chapman, but goes absolutely nowhere.
  8. The Cameos: Arguably the best parts of the film are when someone like Stephen Graham or Super Hans from Peep Show appear, but 2 minutes later they are swept off the screen to make way for The Colin Farrell Show. Reminds you of what the film COULD have been.
  9. Ray Winstone plays... well, Ray Winstone: Just pull the string in his back, and out comes a highly offensive cockney insult.
  10. Mitchell just isn't convincing: Watch the clip below and tell me that in reality Winstone wouldn't lean across the table and slap Farrell for being 'a silly twat'.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Mo More Mos

Vital Statistics

Name: Zed
From: Zardoz
Actor: Sean Connery
MeMOrable Quote: "Stay close to me - inside my aura!"
Style of Mo: Trucker/Pornstar
Mo Maintenance: I can't quite believe this film exists either, but there it is. This photo is probably the closest thing we'll get to seeing a full body Mo.
Mo-rating: 10/10
Best MOment: The Penis is Evil
(read comments for added amusement)

Monday, 29 November 2010

Dustin Mo-man

Vital Statistics

Name: Captain Hook
From: Hook
Actor: Dustin Hoffman
MeMOrable Quote: "What would the world be like without Captain Hook?"
Style of Mo: Connoisseur
Mo Maintenance: Possibly the most well-kept pirate facial hair in all of fiction.
Mo-rating: 9/10
Best MOment: A Grand Introduction

John Travolting

Vital Statistics

Name: Ryder
From: The Taking of Pelham 123
Actor: John Travolta
MeMOrable Quote: "He sounds sexy. He would've been my bitch in prison."
Style of Mo: Homosexual Trucker
Mo Maintenance: Better than his facial hair from From Paris With Love, but not much better.
Mo-rating: 6/10
Best MOment: Haven't seen the movie so here's Grease

Mo Money for Lucas

Vital Statistics

Name: Mutt Williams

From: Indianna Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls
Actor: Shia LeBeouf
MeMOrable Quote:
"Get on, Gramps!"
Style of Mo: Bum fluff
Mo Maintenance: Not really a Mo, more of an optical illusion; is it there, is it not there? Just one of the many mysteries surrounding this awful film.
Mo-rating: 5/10 (few points for effort)
Best MOment: CGI ridden fight scene

Don't Look Mo

Vital Statistics

Name: John Baxter
From: Don't Look Now
Actor: Donald Sutherland
MeMOrable Quote: "Nothing is what it seems."
Style of Mo: Undercover Brother
Mo Maintenance: What makes this movie so sinister? Ghostly apparitions, or Donald's Mo? Tough call.
Mo-rating: 7/10
Best MOment: THAT ending
(massive spoiler alert!)

Tom's Hard-as-nails Mo

Vital Statistics

Name: Charles Bronson
From: Bronson
Actor: Tom Hardy
MeMOrable Quote: “My name’s Charles Bronson. And all my life, I wanted to be famous. I knew I was made for better things. I had a calling. I just didn’t know what as. I wasn’t singing. Can’t fuckin act. Running out of choices really, don’t we?”
Style of Mo: Connoisseur
Mo Maintenance: The Monopoly Man ain't got nothin on this bad boy.
Mo-rating: 9/10
Best MOment: You just pissed on a gypsy

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The American

Why so serious?

I'm normally adverse to most kind of thrillers these days. Ever since Bourne's shown up on the scene, everyone thinks spies and assassins should look like average joes but secretly be emotionless killing machines. Even Bond's latest reincarnation is sticking to the formula (but I'll let them have Casino Royale).

The American looked no different, with a humourless assassin (Clooney) hiding out in a generic looking European village. And with this I was ready to hate the film, but half way through I involuntarily became emotionally invested in The American. I can only put this down to the film's reluctance to play along with the stereotypical thiller rules: the kills are messy, the romance is shallow but believable, and the protagonist is morally questionable.

It almost certainly has it flaws; we never quite see underneath Clooney's mask - who is this man? Why is he incapable of trust? Why the butterfly fetish? It just leaves too many questions, making the film feel unsatisfying for the most part. I also think marketing this film as a Bourne-a-like might do the film more harm than good, as the action is fairly limited and unglorified.

But yes, I liked it.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Up in sMOke

Vital Statistics

Name: Pedro de Pacas
From: Up in Smoke
Actor: Cheech Marin
MeMOrable Quote: Man: You wanna get high, man? Pedro: Does Howdy Doody got wooden Balls, man?
Style of Mo: Gringo
Mo Maintenance: The Mo of a generation of stoners.
Mo-rating: 8/10
Best MOment: ..I think we're parked..

Monday, 22 November 2010

Classic Mo

Vital Statistics

Name: The Lone Prospector
From: The Gold Rush
Actor: Charlie Chaplin
MeMOrable Quote: ...
Style of Mo: The Chaplin
Mo Maintenance: This is more than just a Mo, it's an icon.
Mo-rating: 10/10
Best MOment: Boot dinner

Friday, 19 November 2010

Super Mo Troopers

Vital Statistics

Name: Thorny
From: Super Troopers
Actor: Jay Chandrasekhar
MeMOrable Quote: "Littering and... littering and... littering and smokin' the reefer."
Style of Mo: Undercover Brother
Mo Maintenance: (pun alert) There's 3 other glorious Mo's in this film, but this wins by a nose.
Mo-rating: 8/10
Best MOment: You boys like Mexico!?

Mo than a feeling

Vital Statistics

Name: Bobby
From: Adventureland
Actor: Bill Hader
MeMOrable Quote: "Brennan, you been toking up? You been drinking drugs?"
Style of Mo: Major
Mo Maintenance: "Bill Hader's mustache had its own trailer, actually. It was the most difficult person on the set." Greg Mottola, director of Adventureland
Mo-rating: 8/10

Thursday, 18 November 2010


Vital Statistics

Name: Machete Cortez
From: Machete
Actor: Danny Trejo
MeMOrable Quote: (Not technically from this character, or even this movie, but it's too brilliant to ignore)"Are you a Mexican, or a Mexican't?"
Style of Mo: Undercover Brother
Mo Maintenance: You just f*cked with the wrong Mo
Mo-rating: 9/10
Best MOment: The Fake Trailer

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

But sometimes there's a man, sometimes, there's a mo.

Vital Statistics

Name: The Stranger
From: The Big Lebowski
Actor: Sam Elliot
MeMOrable Quote: "Mr. Lebowski, he called himself 'The Dude'. Now, 'Dude' - that's a name no one would self-apply where I come from. But then there was a lot about the Dude that didn't make a whole lot of sense."
Style of Mo: Gringo
Mo Maintenance: The Mo deserves a mother flippin' Oscar
Mo-rating: 10/10
Best MOment: The Dude Abides

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Gimme Mo, Gimme Gimme Mo

Vital Statistics

Name: White Goodman
From: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Actor: Ben Stiller
MeMOrable Quote: "Here at Globo Gym we're better than you, and we know it."
Style of Mo: Jihad Jack
Mo Maintenance: The Mo alone somehow makes Stiller twice as funny.
Mo-rating: 9/10
Best MOment: White tries to impress Kate

Monday, 15 November 2010

Mo Wars

Vital Statistics

Name: Lando Calrissian
From: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Actor: Billy Dee Williams
MeMOrable Quote: [to Leia] "You look absolutely beautiful. You truly belong here with us among the clouds."
Style of Mo: Undercover Brother
Mo Maintenance: Despite his betrayal, this Mo is one smooth operator.
Mo-rating: 7/10
Best MOment: It's Lando, Bitch

Bad taste Mo

Vital Statistics

Name: Adolf Hitler
From: Downfall
Actor: Bruno Ganz
MeMOrable Quote: "Scheisse!"
Style of Mo: Chaplin
Mo Maintenance: Beautifully maintained. Few minus points for the whole World War 2 thing.
Mo-rating: 6/10
Best MOment: Yes, one of those parodies

Sunday, 14 November 2010

sMOkey and the Bandit

Vital Statistics

Name: Bandit
From: Smokey and the Bandit
Actor: Burt Reynolds
MeMOrable Quote: "For the good old American lifestyle: For the money, for the glory, and for the fun... mostly for the money."
Style of Mo: Undercover Brother
Mo Maintenance: Burt Reynolds = walking mustache. Not technically a good thing.
Mo-rating: 7/10
Best MOment:
Old trailers are funny

Friday, 12 November 2010


Vital Statistics

Name: Chopper Read
From: Chopper
Actor: Eric Bana
MeMOrable Quote: "I'm just a bloody normal bloke. A normal bloke who likes a bit of torture."
Style of Mo: Trucker
Mo Maintenance: One badass Mo. And what a beautiful smile.
Mo-rating: 8/10
Best MOment: 20 Seconds

Thursday, 11 November 2010

MO Bother, Where Art Thou?

Vital Statistics

Name: Ulysses Everett McGill
From: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Actor: George Clooney
MeMOrable Quote: "A woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man."
Style of Mo: After Eight
Mo Maintenance: Trim, but lacking volume. Extra points for being the Cloon though.
Mo-rating: 7/10
Best MOment: The Soggy Bottom Boys

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ain't Mo stoppin' us now...

Vital Statistics

Name: Bill the Butcher
From: Gangs of New York
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis
MeMOrable Quote: "Mulberry Street... and Worth... Cross and Orange... and Little Water. Each of the Five Points is a finger. When I close my hand it becomes a fist. And, if I wish, I can turn it against you."
Style of Mo: Connoisseur
Mo Maintenance: I can't decide what makes Bill the Butcher so damn watchable; Day-Lewis' acting, or his peach of Mo. Either way, a fine tash indeed.
Mo-rating: 10/10
Best MOment: Battle Banter

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Let's keep MOving

Vital Statistics

Name: Wyatt Earp
From: Tombstone
Actor: Kurt Russell
MeMOrable Quote: "You gonna do somethin'? Or are you just gonna stand there and bleed? "
Style of Mo: Gringo
Mo Maintenance: Tidy yet manly. Unlike Val Kilmer's.
Mo-rating: 9/10
Best MOment: Bitch Slap

Monday, 8 November 2010

A Mo a Day...

In celebration of the glorious fund-raising/excuse to grow amusing facial hair month of Movember, I will be posting a legendary Mo in the history of cinema every day until December. (And I know we're already 8 days into November, I'm just not very quick on the get-up.)

I will be welcoming suggestions, because I dare say I can keep this running for 22 days.

To start us off...

Vital Statistics

Name: Ron Burgundy
From: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Actor: Will Ferrell
MeMOrable Quote: "You're a real hooker. I'm gonna slap you in public."
Style of Mo: Business Man
Mo Maintenance: Very good. Must use some kind of moustache comb.
Mo-rating: 8/10
Best MOment: The Newscaster Fight

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Why you should be excited about 127 Hours

After Trainspotting exploded onto the scene way back in '96, Danny Boyle's subsequent career was destined to be a disappointment. However, despite a slight blip in 2000 with The Beach, Boyle has continued to pleasantly surprise audiences and critics by consistently churning out unique genre-bending films. Particularly in recent years, Boyle's career has surpassed even that of his previous fame, with big box office hits such as (the criminally underrated) Sunshine and (the criminally overrated) Slumdog Millionaire.

Not a bad C.V.

2 years after Slumdog's success, Boyle is back with another feelgood movie, although I think this one might actually deserve it's inevitable praise. Why? Let's break it down, MC Hammer style.
  1. James Franco is the next James Dean: His pretty-boy looks might mean certain people (morons) won't take him seriously as an actor. But this boy has talent. Just watch Milk.

  2. It's based on a true story... and sticks to it: Unlike most 'based on a true story' films around these days *ahemthesocialnetworkahem*, this film at least attempts to portray the actual events.

  3. Viewers fainted during it's premier: Not technically something it should be boasting about, but it must mean the film is engrossing enough to have the audience believe in it's gruesome finale.

  4. Looks fairly similar to Into the Wild: One of my favourite movies OF ALL TIME.

  5. The trailer looks aces:

Go see it basically.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Due Date

It wouldn't be fair to call Due Date a rip-off, but it would be fair to say it could easily be mistaken for a remake of John Hughes' classic comedy Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The comedy is a little darker, and the soundtrack is a little cooler, but all the main components are there: Odd couple are forced to take a road trip across America together. There's ups and downs, fist fights, emotional breakdowns, and hilaaaaarious misunderstandings.

If you're expecting another The Hangover, you'll be disappointed. Despite Zach Galifinakhfsfhskgbjgdfbddis playing EXACTLY the same character, the tone of the film is completely different. The Hangover was a fairly guilt-free laugh-a-minute kinda film, whereas Due Date is a little more patient and, at times, a little misdirected with it's comedy. There's a moment where Robert Downing Jr. intentionally punches a kid in the stomach, which is bound to cause some rather nervous laughter from cinema audiences.

Whilst it's not a bad film - it has it's genuinely sweet and funny moments - there's too much anger and violence. Where Todd Philips thought he might be doing 'black comedy', just comes across as a bit sadistic and hateful. Steve Martin will be rolling over in his grave [of a career].

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Rumours are Pointless

I know it's a fairly obvious statement, but the amount of time journalists (and consequently readers) waste on arbitrary guess work on how a film might pan out is ridiculous.

Case in point, Christopher Nolan today announced the new Batman film title is to be The Dark Knight Rises. He also (more interestingly) pointed out that it won't feature The Riddler. I'm not sure quite how many articles I've read on possible casting rumours for The Riddler, but it's probably in the double digits. Will it be Depp? Will it be Levitt? Heck, even Eddie Murphy was a serious contender for a brief period. And now he's not even in the frickin' movie!?

But at the end of the day, it is purely up to the director on what he chooses to put in his movie. I don't think anyone could have guessed how awesome Heath Ledger was going to be in The Dark Knight. So should we just trust them enough to let them get on with it? And perhaps speculate when we have some actual solid facts? A small part of me hopes Nolan has actually gone out of his way NOT to include The Riddler in protest of such trivial speculation. See how the Fanboys like dem apples.

Sunday, 24 October 2010


  • Old cast are back
  • Rory Culkin
  • Hasn't strayed too far from the other films
  • The new 'rules'
  • iPhones
  • Hasn't strayed too far from the other films

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Paranormal Activity 2 - aka the Modern Day Ghost Train

Remember a year ago when that film came out that scared the crap out of everyone? Paranormal Activity was this decade's Blair Witch Project: a film that cost nothing, made millions, and had a really disappointing ending.

Paranormal Activity, the film that made everyone 'ZOMG!'

Much like Blair Witch, the inevitable sequel is with us just 12 months later. But unlike Book of Shadows, Paranormal Activity 2 is watchable and... actually quite scary. Despite watching the film in what seemed like particularly noisy classroom (Vue sucks ass btw), PA2 provided scares in the plenty - but little else.

Watching the first half you'd be forgiven for thinking you were watching exactly the same movie - same ol' cheeky demon antics: pans falling off hooks, pool hoovers climbing walls. Those pesky demons! Then the film goes into OVERDRIVE. The 20,000% increase in budget (I'm not kidding) means the movie is a lot more action-packed, with people being flung around like rag dolls in a tornado. It's impatience for scares makes the film feel a lot more relentless, as those dreaded night scenes come around a lot quicker this time.

Expect a lot of creaky door action.

It's far from a perfect horror movie, however, as the plot seems more like an afterthought. It somehow ties in as a prequel to the first movie, which works pretty well if you ignore most reasonable logic. And the 'inexplicable filming everything' motif makes everything feel a little contrived. But then again, Paranormal Activity 2 isn't a movie in the conventional sense of the word. It's an experience, much like a fairground ride. Questioning the plot feels like questioning the reasons for having corkscrews on a rollercoaster.

So for all intensive purposes, it's a 5 star ride but a 3 star movie.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Rosemary's Baby: The Remake

So I was watching Rosemary's Baby last night, and it reminded what an original, amazing fucking movie it is. For a horror film it's abnormally short on 'scares' - mainly a pregnant woman hysterically running around New York. But it's 2 hours of almost solid suspense, which leads up to a climax so chilling you'll be thinking about it several days after viewing.

The eyes... The eyes!?

In recent times, Hollywood has decided that contemporary horror films "just aren't working", and have begun remaking/rebooting every single horror film that was ever great: The Thing, Let The Right One In, Scream, I Spit on your Grave, Alien revamps are all out in coming months. So it's only a matter of time before Polanski's masterpiece gets it's inevitable Hollywood makeover. To save those busy studio execs' time, I have kindly formatted the film into a contemporary and marketable feature.

Rosemary's Baby Demon Child

Rosemary (played by Megan Fox) is moving to a new apartment in New York with her seemingly perfect husband, Guy (played by Ryan Reynolds). Rosemary befriends a young beautiful blond woman in the building, who is quickly found hanging outside the window (can get a big scare there).

After a couple of graphic sex scenes, the couple are introduced to their peculiar (but outrageously sexy) neighbours, the Castevet's (played by Eric and Pam from TV's True Blood). Eric appears to be drinking something that looks like blood, but we don't find out (ooo, intrigue).

After Guy hits it off with Eric, Rosemary becomes suspicious of their new found bond. The next night Rosemary meets a mysterious man (aka Satan, played by Justin Timberlake) at a bar, who then rapes courts Rosemary and they have mad passionate consentual sex (possibly covered in blood). But then he gives her a roofie so she forgets all about it (topical).

Then some scenes of Rosemary seeing phantom children singing nursery rhymes in her apartment (always scary). [NOTE: must ask Fox's agent to see if she'd be willing to get a haircut]. After the 9 months Rosemary gives birth in a horribly bloody birth scene - and reveals the baby is half demon (has claws and teeth)! [Fucking hell, this is good]

After the baby tries to strangle her and flee down the fire escape, Rosemary shoots a nearby pylon which falls on the baby, killing it (or does it?). Guy turns back to a normal because he was under a spell or sumfink, and they live happily ever after in some generic Suburbs.

END.... ?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Zack Snyder Syndrome

Despite currently attending a book fair, I have managed to squeeze in some precious movie devoted time. One such instance involved accidentally stumbling into a talk on 'Self-Marketing in Filmmaking and Publishing'. One of the panelists was a man named Shaun Rana, a filmmaker who has recently signed a contract to make a feature film after his concept trailer was seen by a major studio:

The trailer was shown to us with very little context, and therefore there were a few giggles from the audience (especially at the "dominate this" part). So we were quite relieved to hear this was purely a 'concept trailer' made for 1000EUR, and not an actual feature-length film. Shaun then explained how he had 'self-promoted' his highly stylised trailer by mentioning it on message boards and fan forums - before being plugged on the prestigious IMDB NewsDesk. After "4 or 5 days" he was contacted by a studio (didn't mention which one) and is now in the works to make a feature length version. Impressive indeed. But I can't help but feel this new wave of Zack Snyder wannabees is going to start a very tiresome trend: the movie/video game look.

After box office hits such as 300 and Sin City, studios have gone a little mad with trying to replicate these successes, and failed spectacularly (The Spirit and Watchmen to name but a few). This goes to show CGI and clever lighting is not a worthy substitute for a good ol' fashioned storytelling. However, the public have spoken and demanded more green-stage based films. Which means computer whizzes/geeks like Shaun are seen as the next generation of filmmakers, despite having little concept of cohesive narrative or non-cringeworthy dialogue.

The end of life as we know it? Probably not. Just expect to find films such as Warren Lich littering a bargain bin near you very soon.

True Grit Trailer

This makes me want to listen to Johnny Cash all day.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

World's Greatest Dad

That guy from Police Academy, and that guy from Flubber

Bobcat Goldthwait first appeared on the feature film scene with his debut movie Sleeping Dogs Lie, a film about a woman who performs oral sex on her dog. After a 5 year absence from the big screen, Bobcat is back and packing more morally ambiguous filmmaking than ever before.

World's Greatest Dad is a story about Lance Clayton (Robin Williams): failed novelist, poetry teacher, and not-so-proud father to his son, Kyle - the teenager from hell. Kyle spends all his time being rude to his father and talking about bizarre pornography with his one and only friend Andrew, until one day he accidentally hangs himself in a wanking accident. In an attempt to cover it up as a suicide, Lance pens a fake suicide note, which unintentionally gains him all the fame and praise he could ever hope for.

WARNING: This film does feature full-frontal nudity from this man.

It's certainly an attention-grabbing premise, and one that is both the film's greatest strength and weakness. The first half of the movie plays out like an average high school comedy; full of swearing, sex, and internet pornography chat. Then the film suddenly shifts gears when the main plot device kicks in, as the film starts to focus on Clayton's fantasy of achieving credibility as a writer - even if it's indirect and morally questionable. Whilst insightful and quite often hilarious, I can't help but feel the concept is stretched a little too thin, with some scenes feeling like it's repeating itself.

But on a whole World's Greatest Dad succeeds as a funny little indie comedy. And it's even nice to see Williams back on our screens, no matter how much we all hated
Bicentennial Man. I just wish they'd cut the film down by 10 minutes or so!

RE: Change of Blog Name

I've just found out Jaffa has certain racial connotations and also means 'impotent man'. Thanks a lot, UrbanDictionary.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Brand Reinvention

Lets face it, Grad Reviews was a shit name. It was meant to be like 'Rad Reviews', but I'm a graduate, so it was like an ironically bad pun. Unfortunately, much like my ironically bad PS3 username (RichSnake3000), it was just a bad name. Therefore I've decided to give the blog some sense of identity (and unintentional colour scheme), so I thought I'd name it after the snack I eat most when watching movies - Jaffas! Not much better, but at least I might get some free McVities goods if I plug them enough.

Here's a Jaffa Cake related video featuring one of my favourite British comedy duos:

Monday, 27 September 2010

Festival Diary - Day 11

Here it is, the last day. Much like the last day of term; there was no real structure to the day, so most people wandered around waiting for the clock to hit 6 o'clock so we could drink. After a delicious meal at Wagamama's, I caught the final hour of The People Vs. George Lucas, which was a mismatch of angry fans telling me how rubbish The Phantom Menace was. Sometimes amusing (mainly through clips from shows such as Spaced and South Park), but also severely schizophrenic - skipping from one opinion to the next without any real hesitation.

New York, I Love You was thankfully more consistent with it's message: love is nice. From the same producer as Paris, Je t'aime, comes another collection of short stories made by a variety of filmmakers, starring a whole bunch of fairly well-known actors, all set in New York. Overall the film works pretty well, with only a few shorts falling flat (the Shia Labeouf one is particularly wanky), and reaffirmed my love for Ethan Hawke and his ability to inapporpriately approach women.

After the film we went downstairs where we drank, did some mandatory dance moves ('the weatherman' was a new one for me), followed by some unnecessary whooping and yelling. All in all, a great evening to round off a great experience.

But I'm very glad I have the day off today :)

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Festival Diary - Day 8 + 9 + 10

Ok, I'm getting lazy.

Days seem to blur now as the festival starts to draw to a close. Most activities involve mad dashes around town and nagging bloggers to post stuff about the festival. However, in between such riveting activities I have managed to catch a couple of films.

After lots of women ran around screaming how good Babies (or Bébés if you insist on calling everything by its original title), I had to see what all the fuss was about. A documentary about 4 babies growing up in 4 very different parts of the world (Namibia, Tokyo, Mongolia, and San Fransisco) had the potential of being an extended episode of Americas Funniest Videos. However, turns out it's a funny, emotional, and extremely well made documentary about the nature of growing up. Despite the vast differences in cultures, all the babies exhibit similar desires and needs: their mother's attention, exploration, mischief, tormenting animals. It obviously avoided all the worst parts of childhood - late night tantrums, nappy changing etc - but that wouldn't make for a very entertaining 90 minutes.

The next film was not so great. The Masks of Mer is a documentary about some guy going to some island and talking about aboriginal masks, blah blah blah. I was dragged in, and call me ignorant but it was fucking boring. Probably still better than Round Ireland with a Fridge though.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Festival Diary - Day 6 + 7

I was too busy/lazy yesterday to blog so I've lumped 6 + 7 together. Hope you don't mind.

So day 6 was same old - selling films that no one wants to see. I was asked to take some fliers out to all the oriental/asian markets around Cambridge. I didn't feel racist until I saw the flier was advertising a Kung-Fu movie.

Day 7 and things are sloooowing down. As there are less and less films to advertise there's less to do (for me anyway). Which meant I had time to sneak off and see a film! Unfortunately I chose very poorly - Round Ireland with a Fridge starring Tony Hawks (not the skateboarder). Not that I'm saying it's bad... just not my type of comedy. Should have known really, as it was the same director who made My Family. Anyway, they fed whiskey to the crowd so there was a good atmosphere.

The 2nd most famous Tony Hawks in the world introduces the film