And so, as we skip merrily towards a very festive Christmas break for one and all, there remains but a few words on what will hopefully prevent us all from tucking up on the sofa and watching endlessly overplayed seasonal movies. The Great Escape I’m looking at you. Alas, the choice is sparse; a chipmunks squeakquel, a Sherlock Holmes sequel and a quite brilliant but utterly distressing documentary.
A confession up front – I haven’t seen the original Swedish version of TGWTDT, but I have read the book. If you want a comparison of the two, I’m not the man for you. But a friend who was at the premiere with me on Monday night has seen it, and tells me that this stands comparison. Take that for what you will.
David Fincher has enjoyed a stellar career with just a couple of missteps so far (I’m looking at you, Benjamin Button) so I was looking forward to this with bated breath. I wasn’t to be let down. This is a solid, dense, weighty, substantial thriller, darker than dark and as cold as the Swedish snow. It reminded me of Zodiac, Fincher’s previous foray in serial killer territory, but it is a lot bleaker, and that is saying something. It must be the harshness of the arctic climate, the dourness of the locale. Whatever – this is not a date movie.
When Shrek Forever After finished its immensely successful theatrical run, there must have been a mild panic amongst Dreamworks executives. The incredibly successful franchise was a golden goose (of which more later) for the studio and with it drawing to a close they were in need or a fresh franchise to fill the gap. Enter Puss in Boots, the feline vigilante who stole the show in Shrek 2 and became arguably the most popular character for the rest of the Shrek series. It was a no-brainer therefore to give Puss his own spin-off movie in the hope it would prove equally as lucrative.
A family friendly fantasy film shot in 3D certainly doesn’t sound like your typical Scorsese movie and sure enough there isn’t a curse word or even a ‘mook’ to be heard. Instead the legendary director has delivered a captivating and visually stunning tale which is at its heart an ode to the wonder of cinema itself.
Based on the novel The Adventures of Hugo Cabaret by Brian Selznick, the movie is set in 1920’s Paris and focuses on a young orphan called Hugo (Asa Butterfield) who lives in the walls of a Parisian train terminal maintaining the station’s grand old clocks. Hugo is forced spend most of his time hiding from the station’s guard (Sacha Baron Cohen), the villain of the piece who is determined to send the boy to an orphanage. When he was alive, Hugo’s late father was an expert watchmaker who handed his passion for fixing things on to his son. He also left a half-fixed mechanical automaton which Hugo is desperately trying to make work, using all the technical know-how his father passed down to him.
While most of the news relating to The Expendables 2 has focussed on the ever growing cast list, plot details have been thin on the ground. However the new trailer, which has surfaced online, suggests the sequel to the 2010 action hit will be more of an intelligent, character driven, taut psychological thriller.
Only joking. Hitting the cinemas in August 2012, it appears as though this time round everyone will get the opportunity to fire off a few rounds with extremely large guns.
When Shaun of the Dead was released back in 2004, directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, not many people would have predicted just how huge the rom-zom-com would become.
Since then, the trio reunited to bring us the lovingly created action-comedy spoof Hot Fuzz in 2007 and the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" had begun. Starting with the small exchange in Shaun of the Dead in which Ed asks Shaun to get him a Cornetto from the shop, fans have been wondering whether the third film will ever get made. Since Hot Fuzz, Wright directed Scott Pilgrim vs. The World whilst Pegg and Frost co-wrote and starred in alien comedy Paul, but what does that mean for the third instalment of the trilogy?
It would seem Darren Aronofsky’s first directorial role since Black Swan is in need of a new leading man after Christian Bale was forced to bow out. The film is Noah, an epic feature film based on the Biblical character who built the Ark. How Mr Aronofsky is going to play this theme out is unclear at the moment, as it’s still early days, but it will most certainly be an interesting film to watch out for.
Before forging a career as an esteemed documentarian and writer, Colin Clark cut his teeth as a third assistant director on the 1956 Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe collaboration The Prince and the Showgirl. Evidently inspired by the experience, Clark wrote two diaries documenting his experiences on set, with particular focus on his relationship with Marilyn and it is these diaries that form the basis of Simon Curtis’ latest pic.
Excitement is certainly building for the release of next year’s Batman instalment, The Dark Knight Rises. One subject that sent the rumour mill into overdrive as soon as the end credit started rolling on The Dark Knight was who would provide a worthy foe to Christian Bale’s Batman.
Sometimes you wonder whether a film will live up to the excitement of the trailer and marketing campaigns. Sometimes you wonder whether a film will even live up to the roller coaster excitement of the production process. One such example is the long gestating Man From U.N.C.L.E.