Monday, 30 April 2012

Flavours of the Month: April 2012...

LOOKS:

Titanic (ITV) - Julian Fellowe's four-part drama was never going to be able to match the spectacle and scale of James Cameron's 1997 monster hit, so instead this televised dramatisation focuses on particular characters from the various classes of passenger aboard the doomed ship. The results are alright, but not memorable - a far more interesting story to tell would have been everything following the sinking of the ship itself. Dramatising the survivors coming to terms with what happened, their losses, and the ensuing legal battles and public fallout - that would have made for far more interesting Titanic-related TV drama.

Beavis & Butt-head Do America - a blast of nostalgia was the order of the day as it swung by on Sky Movies this month. I was flung right back to my teenage years in an instant.

Drive Angry (Blu-Ray)

Bridesmaids (Blu-Ray)

The Guard (Blu-Ray)


Craig Fergusson - as is so often the way when you're surfing around YouTube, you'll come across a clip of interest (e.g. Nerdist man Chris Hardwick appearing on the Craig Fergusson show in America) and you'll then watch a shed load more clips related to it. So I've ended up watching a ton of The Late Late Show With Craig Fergusson clips on YouTube as a result.

All Star Celebrity Bowling - as featured on the new-look Nerdist Channel on YouTube.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 2011 (Blu-Ray) - another tip-top, extras-heavy presentation for another spiffing David Fincher flick. On second viewing there is indeed not enough pairing of Mikael and Lisbeth on-screen (even though their stories are both strong separately) - they don't meet until minute 76 (of 158 minutes), and from then on it's not like they're inseparable either ... but then again to me it's a nice companion piece to the original Swedish film. Each do things their counterpart doesn't, and vice versa.

Continue reading below for what's been this month's soundtrack, and a lengthy look at some ways in which I'd like to see a possible L.A. Noire 2 go.


Friday, 27 April 2012

Double Bill Mini Musings: Trying out a formula...

Bug:
What's it about?
A waitress gets drawn into the paranoid world of a drifter, who is convinced there are insects growing in his blood, in William Friedkin's film adaptation of the stage play.
Who would I recognise in it?
Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr.
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
Set almost entirely within the confines of a run-down motel room, the creeping sense of paranoia becomes extremely convincing. You're not sure whether Shannon's drifter really is crazy, or if he really is telling the truth. It's stylishly put together, features moments of bloody violence in the second half, and boasts spectacular performances - a scene where they try to piece together the apparent conspiracy is chillingly convincing in its sheer delusion. Great.

Click below to read about The Inglorious Bastards...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Quintuple Bill Mini Musings: April 2012...

Bridesmaids:
From the Apatow stable comes this critically and commercially adored comedy, written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig (who also stars, alongside a whole gang of riotously funny femmes). I recall a few dissenting voices in the otherwise applauding crowd decrying it for 'being too much like a guy movie' with the crude gags, but perhaps if you're not a stuck-up prude you'd realise that men and women aren't so massively different after all, least of all in their humour. Paul Feig's flick - at a generous running time of just over two hours - gives you plenty story, plenty laughs, and never outstays its welcome (indeed, I was left wanting more - an appetite fulfilled by the copious extra features on the Blu-Ray presentation). Even with all the laugh-out-loud moments (my throat was hurting by the end as I'd been laughing so much), you genuinely identify/sympathise with Kristen Wiig's Annie, a thirty-something who finds herself suddenly quite lost on her life's path after her best friend announces she's getting married. A great cast and a great script make this a must-see laugh-riot.

Click below to read more about The Guard, The Messenger, Cedar Rapids, and 127 Hours.

Monday, 16 April 2012

A gentle rant about Sucker Punch (Zack Snyder, 2011)...


The idiotic Dawn of the Dead remake in 2004 was a case of style over substance, and trading on the good work of others. 300 was the most homoerotic movie that homophobes ever called their own, and Watchmen (which I actually quite like, particularly in the Director's Cut form) was decidedly a case of trading on the good work of others – they were sticking so closely to the source material most of the time that it would have been extremely hard to ever make a hash of it. What all these previous Snyder movies have in common, however, is that none of them were written by Snyder himself – what does he have to say beyond music video visuals and over-abundant slow motion? Well, Sucker Punch is the answer to that question, with a story by Snyder himself and a screenplay he has co-written with Steve Shibuya.

Continue reading after the jump to see what the answer is...

Friday, 13 April 2012

Triple Bill Mini Musings: Foreign Flicks and a Supernatural Slasher...

Dogtooth:
This Greek black comedy is a twisted and intriguing affair - depicting the lives of an isolated family, where the children have all been raised with strange boundaries and teachings - aeroplanes flying overhead are said to be toys that sometimes fall to the ground, they have a brother living on the other side of an insurmountable fence, only the patriarch can leave the compound, sex is emotionless, and the meanings of numerous words have been replaced without their knowledge. The film takes a gentle, yet distanced, view on the proceedings which move at a creeping pace as if from a passive or even seated perspective (oftentimes heads are entirely cut out of the frame once the characters stand up), escalating from the bizarre (the father pimps his factory's security woman out to his son at regular intervals) to the disturbing (sudden moments of blunt violence and perverse sexual practises), there's still room for a curious sense of comedy. Rocky IV, Jaws, and Flashdance all find their way into this cut-off and insular world that avoids explanation. I figured I'd give this a punt as it was showing during Film4's recent Extreme season (as presented by film critic Mark Kermode), and in spite of the more troubling moments, it makes for a fascinating and darkly comic viewing experience.

Continue reading after the jump for Import/Export, and Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II...

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Favourite TV show title sequences...

Television shows are often well known for their opening title sequences, indeed they clue you into the whole tone of the show in anywhere between 30 and 90 seconds. However, you don't always watch the intro sequence, oftentimes you might skip them entirely, but there are some that you find yourself watching every single time - and in this day-and-age when DVD boxsets are ever-so popular, that really shows true quality. Indeed, a really good title sequence makes you want to be a part of the world you're about to enter, whatever that world may be.

So without further ado, off the top of my head, some of the opening title sequences that I watch every single time without fail are:

The A-Team:
One of the greatest theme tunes for a television show ever, even people who have never watched a single episode know exactly how it goes and where it came from, but as someone who has poured over all five seasons on DVD (after watching the show as a child), you can't help but dig the fun-loving, boy's-own-adventure sense of fun this intro sequences inspires. Even the re-vamped season five intro grew on me.




The A-Team: Season 5 intro here.

Deadwood:
An excellent show that I came to very recently, but which sports an opening titles sequence that perfectly got me into the mood for a fresh episode. The choice of shots, almost all of which are in seductive slow motion, perfectly define the atmosphere of the setting of the show - a gold rush pioneer settlement where money, power, sex, corruption, gold, and booze run free and cross borders with each other routinely.




Continue reading after the jump...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Walking Dead - memes/lols galore!

Find more Walking Dead memes HERE.

Stumble around the internet for a minute or two and you'll be liable to come across a meme or lol relating to AMC's smash hit zombie drama The Walking Dead, a show which I absolutely adore. I've been enjoying the hell out of the memes/lols that are out there via a few threads over on Homepage of the Dead (although beware of spoilers, those who have yet to see all of season two), so I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring with one dedicated to a little aspect of the show that has always made me smile.


Don't get me wrong, Jon Bernthal's performance on the show has been fantastic (indeed the entire cast is a joy to watch), I'm just having a little bit of fun with this particular character trait.

A couple more relating to the season two finale after the jump ... also see more memes from the season one finale HERE.