Friday 30 May 2008

Time flies alright...

By the way, the 150th post was actually the 151st, my mistake. So indeed, this is post #152.

Anyway, today is birthday-day ... 24 now ... a year from now I'll be smack-bang in the middle of my twenties and then it's all downhill to 30.

It's scary when you think of it like that, but as I try to end on a good note, I'm still as it stands the right side of my mid-twenties, woo!

Tuesday 27 May 2008

150th post extravaganza!!

Well, not so much an extravaganza, more a convenient excuse to not have to come up with a witty title that I was incapable of today anyway.

What's up then? Well, it's all about fiddling around in the world of editing at the moment, starting to upload, process and piece together this and that for the aforementioned educational DVD on the topic of "sexual ethics".

Also, I've got a new script on the go, well ... it's not gotten beyond the brainstorming stage, but I've got a solid idea and plot rundown ... however a name for the lead is still beyond me, it always is such a pain in the arse to come up with good names, or at least that's what I find. Anyway, it's in the horror genre, and originally I was going to be writing it with the idea of sending a pitch of it to a Canadian production company after I saw an advert on a film/tv jobs side I frequent ... but the deadline was quite close, it's still 2 or 3 weeks away, but what with the editing I'm doing, and not wishing to rush the script needlessly, I'm most likely not going to bother putting it forward for that - I will however save it for future opportunities.

The idea is to have a bundle of potential scripts that cover different genres and lengths, so that I have more potential possibilities ... indeed.

Otherwise ... my birthday is rapidly looming ever closer ... I'll be 24 ... a year away from being smack-bang in the middle of my twenties ... whilst still rather young, it still makes me feel old just thinking about it ... but then on the other hand I look at some of my friends who have mortgages or kids already, and then I feel younger ... but then I spend a day interviewing sixth formers, or see that younger friends are right in the midst of graduating university, and then I feel old again ... well, as old as I can relatively feel.

On a positive ending, I would like to think of my twenties however, as my own personal series of Spaced ... that'd be pretty cool don't you think?

Monday 26 May 2008

DOOMSDAY!!! Loudest movie of 2008!!!


Now, I thought that Rambo was the loudest movie I've ever witnessed in the cinema (prior to which was The Matrix Revolutions) - but nope - Doomsday is now, THE. LOUDEST. MOVIE. IN. EXISTENCE.

No joke, the only thing louder I've ever personally experienced was when CKY came to my university and I was stood about 15ft from the left bank of main speakers (I couldn't hear right for at least three days).

So indeed, Doomsday is loud. It's more than loud, it's brash. It's absolutely unapologetically over-the-top, it's ludicrously in your face, and just in case you didn't quite get the point, here's another insanely LOUD track from Tyler Bates (who seemingly doesn't know the meaning of subtlety, nor gentle, or even the phrase "just shut the fuck up for a minute").

As for the film itself - moving away from the sheer loudness of it all - well, it's most definitely a movie made by a fan for the fans. Even the moderately movie literate will be able to list off a series of apocalyptic action classics. Escape From New York and Mad Max (all three of them) being the key influences on the script, heck the film even owes a debt of gratitude to 28 Days Later - without which I'm sure Doomsday wouldn't have gotten off the ground, or at least to the sheer extent that it did.

Derivative is a key term most definitely, when talking about this flick, but in the best sense of the word. If John Carpenter was still making good movies today, he'd make Doomsday ... but he's not, so here's Marshall (clearly a huge fan) nodding profusely in the old master's direction for two straight hours.

It's John Carpenter, as filtered through the nuts of Neil Marshall. This is clear from the immediate outset (at least to the movie nerds watching) - the font of the titles is the exact same as that of Carpenter's best work - The Thing and Escape From New York to name but two, I was half-expecting to see Dean Cundey's name flash up under Director of Photography!

Even the explanation of the outbreak of the "Reaper" virus, particularly the Escape From New York riffing graphics leave you almost confused that Jamie Lee Curtis isn't doing the voice over.

Like I said, it's derivative, but positively so. A fan movie for the fans, but with a pinch of Neil Marshall's own brand of balls - the sheer humour splattered all over the splatter itself, to name but one example. So indeed, Scotland has been hit by the Reaper Virus, people are dropping like flies and Hadrian's Wall has been re-built to seal the country off, an act which seems to piss off the entire world in Britain's direction, a side-element that was pleasantly surprising.

Needless to say, as we all saw in the trailer, the Reaper Virus breaks out in England and it's up to Rhona Mitra and her Plissken-riffing techno-eye (as well as some other army-types) to venture into the Scotland of 2035, which now resembles the Chernobyl of today.

From here on out, it's almost entirely non-stop ear-drum-abuse, breath-thieving action sequences, and the limits of over-the-top being pushed to their very, well, limits ... just wait for the Can Can dance ... seriously.

It was at this point I fully understood the vibe of this film, which saw me through to the end, and proved to be a useful tool. However, at the half way point it all starts to go a tad wobbly as the Escape From New York and Mad Max 2 references begin to take over (even if it is superbly entertaining), the lowest point being (unfortunately) Malcom McDowell's speech and the Plissken-overload one-on-one battle.

I'm being careful not to spoil, but to be honest what I am saying has been seen before. If you've seen Escape From New York, Mad Max 2 and 28 Days Later then you've essentially seen Doomsday. However, the difference is this is a loving mash-together of the lot and turned up to 111, never mind 11. You've certainly not seen such a film to this scale, to this extent before ... and quite possibly not to these depths of depravity at times. This movie is brutal, brutal like Tyler Bates' score ... indeed.

The loudest, brashest, most chaotic, gripping, exhausting and even downright terrifying post apocalyptic movie for the fans, by a fan, that you'll ever see ... at least until someone writes a two hour love letter to Doomsday anyway.

A solid 7.5/10 ... just pack some ear plugs to be on the safe side.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Toothpaste! Toothpaste everywhere!!

A follow on from the previous post...

Indeed, today was a day of filming a bunch of talking heads (two hours of footage today in fact) and group discussion stuff for the aforementioned educational DVD.

Anyway, prior to leaving this morning I obviously brushed my teeth - and promptly slittered a big splodge of toothpaste all over my fresh, jet black shirt. I gave that a good scrubbing off with water and a towel - success.

Mind you, I've sent the rest of the day finding various small blobs and smudges and smears of toothpaste all over my shirt, and my jeans. I've no idea how it got all over me, but it did somehow ... see, this is what happens when I don't get enough sleep.

I think it's everyone's best interests if I'm afforded at least 8 hours, haha!


And I'd better go and get a new power lead for my laptop, the one I've got now is buggered somewhere along the line and the power keeps cutting out unless I place the wire just so... *sigh* ... lame.

What is it with me and sleep?

So I'm off to film today for an educational DVD. It's a bunch of talking head stuff today, and as I'm to be there between 9 and 9:30, that means I need enough time to get up and get my head going (I'm one of those people who's a bit slow in the morning), so the alarm went off at 6:50am, with a planned departure time of 8:30am (it's currently twenty-to-eight) due to the morning traffic and me taking the longer (yet less speed restricted) back route into Hereford city.

Anyway, point being - or problem being - is that every time I have to be up earlier to shoot something, while I obviously get up and get going, I often find I get a shit night's kip beforehand. For instance, last night it took me till 1:30am to get to sleep, then I was up again at 3am with nature on the dog & bone, then back to kip to get up just under four hours later ... ultimately I think I got something like five and a half hours of decent-enough sleep, but I guess the point of this morning's post is that I'm one of those people who really needs their kip - or at least really likes their sleep.

Mind you, I've done twenty hour days with less than what I got last night, so it's far from a possibility, I guess my key point is - how come whenever I need to be up for shooting, do I always end up getting a rubbish night's kip?

Still - the night after shooting I usually always get a great night's kip, so that makes up for my body's refusal to do so the previous night...

Monday 12 May 2008

VHS: Long Play...

It's done and dusted, my latest little DeadShed Productions short film is complete and now up on YouTube, and can be seen via the link here:

It's five and a half minutes long, and is a fast & loose type of short. It's a bit oddball, a bit weird, but it was something I wanted to do and try a couple of things out on, so check it out.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Iron Man...

An awesome trailer with an arse kicking soundtrack, a slightly less awesome - but ultimately very entertaining - movie with an arse kicking soundtrack. It certainly has its flaws, mainly that at times it feels a bit flabby around the edges. Occasionally you'll feel like you're treading water - as in, "he's still building this thing?" - but fortunately the wit and utter cool of RDJ keeps things moving, even when the plot is slowing down.

It's rated 12A in the UK, which means that under 12's can get in with an adult - and there were certainly plenty of kiddywinks in the audience when me and the lads went to check it out t'other night. Now either I'm getting old, or I'm right in my thinking (I'm thinking it's half-and-half) but it's sometimes very tough for a 12A.

The tough parts aren't too tough for a 12 year old, but due to 12A allowing in kids as young as - well, anything pretty much - the sections which focus on the terrorists are surprisingly grim. Now either a six year old, for example, will either be taken aback - or they won't pay it much attention as they don't understand that, right now in the middle east, there really are scumbags rounding up families and splitting the men from their kids and wives, lining them up against a wall and then shooting them dead ... sadly in real life, Iron Man doesn't crash land from the sky and start kicking arse and taking names whilst some hard rock pummels your ears.

It's a thrashing, bashing, hard rocking super hero movie with a witty tongue. Not the best out there, but far from the worst. It's hasn't got the pace and general drama of Spider-Man, but nor is it the silliness and forgettableness of Fantastic Four 2.

Definitely worth seeing, twice even, and with news that RDJ has signed on for a sequel - which was pretty much guaranteed before the movie even stormed the box office upon release - it's all good.

Mind you, The Dark Knight is coming soon ... hell yeah.

Monday 5 May 2008

More on Talk Talk Talk, Chat...

As mentioned a while back I helped out Sean (original zombie in Trapped, and brother of DeadShed regular Ben) with a practical video project he had to do for his course at uni. Myself and Ben played two chaps getting interview on Sean's Brass Eye style current events show, Ben was the government stooge and I was a film director and hired government advisor.

Sean uploaded it recently, so check it out via the link below, it runs for 7 minutes.

Sunday 4 May 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall...

Aye, yet another Apatow gang production - this time a movie written by and starring the dude from Knocked Up who was one of Ben's mates and fancied hooking up with Leslie Mann's character (Apatow's own missus).

Having seen Drillbit Taylor recently (another Apatow gang flick), which unfortunately felt neutered at the tamer rating, it's back to the sex, cock jokes, blue tongues and adult feeling that we've become accustomed to.

While the first half an hour occasionally feels flabby around the edges (it could have been tighter), the flick is quickly off to a swift start, literally whipping out the cock gags almost immediately - the first uproarious cacophony of laughter from the cinema audience I might add.

Plot wise it's generally quite simple - scruffy laid back guy gets dumped by his sexy celebrity girlfriend, dude takes it badly - really badly (hilariously so) - dude then has to get over the bitch while he watches her shag her way closer to a collection of STD's at the hands of Russell Brand - who thankfully isn't playing himself (despite certain similarities).

Now I'm not a fan of Brand, he's a frustrating person. He makes some good jokes, but the bloke is just a wanker in general ... fortunately he didn't put me off this flick, he was actually even quite good in the role, packing some lasting comic punches that resonated with the audience (there was a couple about 20 feet away from where I was who were having an absolute whale of a time).

Simply put, if you dug the likes of 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad and even Walk Hard, you'll no doubt dig this. Nuff said really...


Solid enough thriller fare, it's all fairly standard in execution (excuse the pun), except this flick takes a look online instead of the typical serial killer/nutjob/whatever wacko that you might usually see stalking around such a film.

I've always maintained that this avenue of plot remains to be mined, heck it's taken 24 till its seventh season to get around to cyber terrorism (a shame then that we'll have to wait until 2009 to see that awesomeness unfold).

Anyway, think somewhere along the lines of SAW ... then tame it back a fair bit ... then wrap it in the facade of a more mainstream thriller complete with swooping crane shots and almost constantly calm cinematography, and you've got Untraceable.

Watchable, occasionally rather grim, but generally formulaic and predictable. Diane Lane is enjoyable to watch, but limited by the by-the-numbers script, and Colin Hanks is both entertaining and love-able, it's just a shame he hasn't had much meat to chew thus far into his career - but then again it is early days for him.