Given that the Internet has allowed people to be extremely good at leaking top secret information about the latest upcoming releases, I have been pleasantly surprised by the mystery surrounding Ridley Scott's latest sci-fi effort, Prometheus.
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu is a modern groundbreaker. He is the first and only Mexican to scoop the Best Director award at Cannes (2006), the first and only Mexican to be nominated for a Best Director Academy Award (2006) and has been the man at the helm of a critically acclaimed quartet of feature films - Amores Perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) and Biutiful (2010). The first three films are regarded as his 'Death Trilogy', co-written with Guillermo Arriaga; with the fourth as a more distinctly individual piece of cinema.
Drumming up interest in your latest creation must be a chore for directors; they’ve spent months/years/decades on the film everyone asks about, but what they really want is to be looking for the next big project.
Lynne Ramsay, director of Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, managed to talk about both recently on Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode’s BBC 5Live film review radio show; while answering questions about We Need to Talk About Kevin, she let slip that one of her potential future projects is a sci-fi film. A sci-fi film based on Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick.
Having clearly put a lot of work into defining his abdominal muscles, teen Twilight star Taylor Lautner is now reportedly seeking an opportunity to define himself as a credible actor.
Based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Dairy was written in the early 1960s but wasn’t published until 40 years later. It took nine years for the film adaptation to get off the ground (with things starting properly in 2009) and then another two years for it to reach our screens. In total, it took 51 years. The film regretfully suffers from this lengthy process, becoming a drag itself.
The Rum Diary is director Robinson’s first film in 19 years. Whilst the film is visually attractive, with a lot of the focus on the 1950s Caribbean setting, it is also quite dark. In between the pretty back drops and the humour derived from Depp, the story is dull and uninteresting.
Right, the Avengers trailer and spy pics from The Dark Knight Rises have got my geek sense tingling, but I can't help feel that we are heading for a superhero movie meltdown soon. I'm a huge comic geek (I sold the things for a living for nine years) and am an absolutely huge fan of comic book movie adaptations (and not just superheroes – gotta love modern classics like Ghost World and American Splendor too), but something tells me we're on the verge of the genre crumbling again, and us dorks will once again be relegated to the sidelines of film fandom for a few years.
The Ides of March is an engaging and well balanced political drama written, starring and directed by George Clooney. To pigeon-hole it as merely a political drama however is perhaps slightly misleading as although it undoubtedly takes place in the high pressure world of professional politics, it is just as much about the lure of power, the corruption of morals and your own personal battle between idealism and the quest for success.
These broad concepts are channelled through Ryan Gosling’s character Stephen, who starts out an enthusiastic and inherentlymoral character but the further into the murky world of politics he goes, the less so he becomes. In a similar manner to AlPacino’s Michael Corleone, who is never the same after he gets blood on his hands, Stephen visibly changes over the course of the film and the fresh faced character we know at the beginning of the film is nowhere to be seen come the end.
Roland Emmerich has never been one to let history get in the way of a good story. His 2000 film The Patriot took untold liberties with the facts of the American Revolution, idolising Mel Gibson’s Benjamin Martin whilst utterly damning the actions of the British. It should come as no real surprise then that Emmerich luxuriates in creating a wildly and wholly inaccurate world of Elizabethan era London for his latest picture Anonymous.
Utilising a discredited niche conspiracy theory that William Shakespeare was a bumbling fraud and a mere front for the refined Earl of Oxford as the basis for this alternative history, Emmerich and scribe John Orloff make the critical mistake of promoting this faction as in any way credible.
Addressing bitter resentment towards corrupt businessmen, director Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist is as much a revenge film as it is a comedy. With a strong cast including Ben Stiller in the lead and Eddie Murphy alongside him, the film is absurd fun, yet never as funny as it probably could have been.
Set at a New York City high-rise apartment complex aptly named The Tower, Stiller is Josh Kovacs, the general manager in charge of ensuring that the wealthy inhabitants are impeccably looked after. Josh manages a diverse staff including Casey Affleck’s stressed and somewhat clueless concierge Cole, Michael Peña as Rick the newly hired lift operator and Jamaican maid with visa troubles (Gabourey Sidibe). When The Tower’s penthouse resident, Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda exemplifying both the charm and manipulation of such a character) is arrested by the FBI amid claims of securities fraud and with the staff’s pensions lost in his rogue dealings, despair and denial set in amongst Josh and his co-workers.