In these modern times of broken down economies, social strife and geopolitical tension, there is a definite need for a feel good film to make everything seem that bit cheerier, if only for a short while. Well, I can safely say that a feel good film is most definitely here. The first theatrical Muppet outing in 12 years is charming, funny and unashamedly fun from start to finish. The movie may centre on the premise that the Muppets are outdated and nobody cares about them anymore but when the final song has been sung and the final dance routine has been danced, you’re left in no doubt that Kermit and friends are just as welcome now as they ever were.
He might have been denied a BAFTA, what with not being a human and having the 'unique motivation' of sausages', but Uggie, the scene-stealing canine co-star of The Artist finally gained the recognition he deserved last night after winning top prize at the inaugural Golden Collar awards, a showbiz bash to recognise the four-legged stars of the silver screen.
Ah mid-February, too late for awards season and too early for the summer blockbuster. So instead this week we’re left with an awkward smorgasbord of re-releases, half term fodder and studio leftovers, AKA awards friendly pics that were overlooked in the run up.
Martha Marcy May Marlene is an unsettling look into the mind of a mentally scarred young girl. This is not a typical thriller, choosing to focus on the character rather than any shocks. Indeed, it struck me as a character piece, a window into the world of a deranged woman.
Elizabeth Olsen plays Martha, who is seen escaping from a self-sufficient farm (read: brainwashing cult) in upstate New York at the beginning of the film. From there she is reintroduced into the privileged world she escaped from two years prior. The drama comes from her difficulty to settle back into a world that takes its conventions and idiosyncrasies as ‘natural’ and ‘normal’. However you view the cult’s pretty revolting use of drugs and sexual deviance, Martha does at least learn one crucial thing: that things can be done differently.
Unless you’re a film critic for the Guardian newspaper, Tintin heralded a major return to form for Steven Spielberg with the spirited young journalist (hmm, he reminds me of someone, but I can’t quite place my finger on it) very much keeping up with the (Indiana) Joneses in terms of adventure and excitement.
It was no secret that The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn was to be the first instalment of a trilogy, based on Hergé’s comic book series, but the bearded godfather of the blockbuster has now revealed a few crumbs of information to Total Film about the production schedule for the sequel.
Do you freeze every time a foxy lady walks your way? Do you inevitably spill mustard / gravy / curry sauce down your front when you’re on a date? Never fear. Movie men have done far less winning things and still walked away with the girl of their dreams. Helen Cox, author of the soon-to-be released book True Love is like the Loch Ness Monster and Other Lessons I Learnt from Film advises one or more of the following ploys to secure some hot property this Valentine’s Day.
The premise of Man on a Ledge is very much in the same vein as Joel Schumacher‘s 2002 thriller Phone Booth. The focus of the film is of a man unable to move from a single spot whilst something bigger goes on in a sub-plot. The premise is moderately intriguing, especially as this time around it involves a couple trying to prove the innocence of another, rather than breaking into a building for their own gain. It is easier to know which characters to support in the film, but this also means that it is easy to guess how the story will conclude.
The startling thing about The Vow is not how saccharine the film is but that it was not based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. It stars Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum and the plot revolves around love overcoming impossible odds like war (Dear John), distance (Message In A Bottle), and Alzheimer's (The Notebook).
In fact it is inspired by true events and the story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. The wife, Krickitt, was involved in an accident and lost all memory of her husband. She never regained her memory but they are still happily married and now have two children. A true story with a happy ending that has been given the Hollywood treatment, resulting in the usual sickly-sweet, dumbed down schmaltz that proves so popular around Valentine's Day - hence its release this week.
Nine days before the Academy Award ballots are due, the Orange British Academy Film Awards, given out today, are the final set of awards that could impact the major categories. An interesting twist, such as Hugo or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy winning Best Picture, could have potentially given some hope that the Oscars may not be as predictable as all pundits agree they will be.
However, the awards were utterly suspenseless, mirroring the likely Oscar winners down the line, with the big awards going to The Artist and a handful of technical awards being given to Hugo.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, Universal Pictures UK has released a commemorative Limited Edition Collector’s Series Blu-ray of the landmark film. Available from today, 13 February 2012, the digitally remastered and restored adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel is loaded with over three and a half hours of bonus features, including two feature-length documentaries. The hardcover digibook also includes exclusive movie memorabilia including script pages with Gregory Peck’s handwritten notes, storyboards, poster art and much more.