Some movies are so good at what they do well, that you can easily forgive their obvious flaws. Kill List is one of those movies. Kill List hits hard. Be it the wonderful performances from each and every member of the cast, the genre-defying twists or the flawless direction, Kill List will leave an impression on you. Director Ben Wheatley sticks to his guns throughout the entire production – and those guns are rather shiny indeed. You see, the film is so dedicated to the story it is trying to tell that it shoots along like a rollercoaster all the way up to the startlingly abrupt climax.
Think of an Ealing comedy and you’re likely to get images of lashings of ginger beer, cucumber sandwiches on the lawn and dressing for dinner. Gentle knockabout fun for rainy bank holiday afternoons; an England of glorious summers and pretty girls, heroic men with pencil moustaches, slightly naughty criminals (probably with hearts of gold) and large-bosomed maiden aunts. Whisky Galore!, Passport to Pimlico, and The Titfield Thunderbolt. And then there’s Kind Hearts & Coronets – now remastered and available on DVD and BluRay and out on a limited theatrical run - described as “one of the most subversive films in British cinema history”. A film which is notionally a comedy, but one so dark, so bleak, so morally ambiguous and so unrestrained that it's still shocking. Indeed so shocking that the final scene had to be re-cut for the US cinema.
It is with great distress that I read Deadlines report that Tony Scott is in talks to direct Peckinpah's seminal Western, The Wild Bunch. The 1969 picture changed the boundaries of screen violence and may be the definitive final word on the genre (although a strong argument can be made for Unforgiven).
Deadline are vaguely reporting the news that Ridley Scott will move on from Prometheus (the much denied prequel to Alien) to direct and produce a film set within his other classic sci-fi universe, Blade Runner.
With Universal having baulked at the financial commitment for two TV series and a film trilogy for Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series of books it looked like the project was dead in the water. However, producer Brian Grazer has spoken to Page Six and it seems there's still hope to see Javier Bardem starring as Roland Deschain.
The Smurfs did well, $250 million worldwide well. A sequel was inevitable and Sony Animation Studios have ensured that it will lose none of that quintessential Smurfitude, as THR are reporting The Smurfs 2 will be going forward with the original writing team.
Tom Hodge, aka. The Dude Designs, is a highly talented artist who designs horror movie posters; taking inspiration from the old greats like Evil Dead and Friday the 13th, he's bringing back the art of the painted poster, and trying to put an end to the bland Photoshopped and airbrushed posters we have become accustomed to in recent years. Having recently worked on the artwork for Hobo with a Shotgun, Tom was kind enough to have a chat with us about his work, his processes and his interest in film.
The countdown is on with less than three days to the start of Bristol's Cyclescreen festival and the premier of Böikzmöind - a 30 minute documentary on the fixed gear culture of Bristol that's boomed in the last few years. The brainchild of graphic designer, Gavin Strange, aka. Jamfactory, Böikzmöind started out in 2008 as just a 10 minute short that would be shown as part of the BFF (Bicycle Film Festival).
The running time has now tripled, and the amount of work and hard-graft that's gone into it from Gavin and his compadre, Jonny Clooney - aka. Makinov, a very talented film and TV editor - is apparent even from the trailer.
As we learned earlier this week, Disney put the kibosh on the new big screen adaptation of The Lone Ranger by the original Pirates of The Caribbean creative team, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. The reason being the grotesquely bloated budget of $250 million, which was initially attributed to shoe-horning werewolves and ghosts into what should be a simple western adventure.
Walt Disney Animation Studios chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson speaking at the SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver, this past Sunday, and rather candidly rationalized the studios approach to feature film-making.
"Profit equals the ability to capture more than the average share of viewers,'' Hendrickson told the SIGGRAPH audience (short for Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques), addressing the problems in turning a profit with major releases due to a decline in the average number of viewers per release.
The studios response to this is to focus on tentpole pictures.