January Round Up

January has been a really busy month. Although I have managed to squeeze a lot of new releases into my schedule, unfortunately I’ve not had the time to review them (woe is me). Nevertheless I’ve decided to round up what I saw in the cinema in January.

Texas Chainsaw 3D

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series is one of the most iconic horror franchises in cinema. Kicking off with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974, three sequels followed before it was inevitably remade in 2003, the remake then spawning a prequel in 2006. 2013 sees its first foray into 3D and you know it isn’t that bad…for the first 5 minutes at least. Continuing right after where the original left off, a lynch mob burn down the Sawyer family’s farmhouse with all of them inside. Finding a baby has survived, one of the mob adopt it only for her to grow up into Alexandra Daddario suggesting that she may not be a blood relative of her cousin Leatherface. Continue reading

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Hitchcock (2013)

Hitchcock 1The master of suspense. Alfred Hitchcock was one of the giants of movie making in the twentieth century.  One look at his canon of work is impressive enough. What marked him out from others at the time was his ability to generate buzz around his films that captured the public imagination and attention. From this gift he was able to develop a public persona of an enigmatic and slightly menacing figure. Hitch reveled in this and was always happy to play his part in building the myth. It got to such a level that the distinction between truth and fiction got blurred. I suspect that the film Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren has a similar relationship with reality. Continue reading

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Sleeper (1973)

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By 1973 Woody Allen was a firm favourite with Cinema going audiences. Although not yet feted as a master by the critical community his films were highly successful at the box office. That’s not to say that he was simply pandering to the masses for financial gain. In retrospect you can see him developing his film making style over the course of these early comedies. Each new film showed that Allen was spending a great deal of time honing his craft. His Direction, writing skills and acting all improved over a hand full of very well received movies giving him the confidence to try new things and more importantly produce an interesting end product. When Sleeper was released it was seen as a new high in Allen’s career. Continue reading

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Lincoln (2013)

Lincoln PosterAbraham Lincoln’s recent cinematic outings have seen him as a vampire hunter or zombie smasher. Lincoln instead goes for the much more authentic story of his fight against his real enemy; Slavery. It’s not your usual biopic though as it doesn’t tell the full tale of the man’s life, but instead concentrates on the last few months and one of the greatest achievements of his personal and political life; the 13th Amendment to the Constitution resulting in the abolition of slavery.

Lincoln opens well into his career meeting soldiers at the Confederate Union base at Petersburg battlefield two years after the famous Gettysburg Address. He is already a hugely respected man by both white and black soldiers and the opening exchange between himself and some grass roots troops sets the tone for the entire movie. The soldiers are in awe of the President as he speaks and tells a tale in his soft, grandfatherly way. This sets the tone for the rest of the movie, which is largely a succession of Abe’s speeches and amusing anecdotes. Continue reading

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Django Unchained (2012)

Django UnchainedDjango Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s 7th outing as Writer / Director and takes us back to his love of the Spaghetti Western. It tells the story of the black slave Django’s escape from bondage in a pre-civil war america at the hands of the bounty hunter Dr Schultz. The two of them set off on a lawful rampage of bounty collection before venturing into the heartlands of Mississippi to find and liberate Django’s wife from the Candieland estate.

Down the years I have seen all of Tarantino’s films and this follows a very similar vein to the ones before it. Whilst I am not his biggest fan I have always enjoyed them (ignoring Kill Bill pt2 – snore) but never really felt the need to add any of them to my DVD/Bluray collection. In fact I think I preferred his early work to what has followed and nothing since Jacky Brown has warranted a second watch!

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Jack Reacher (2012)

Jack reacher 1Expectation can be a dangerous thing. Especially when it’s fans of books about to see a long held hero brought to life on the silver screen. When it was announced that the Jack Reacher books would be adapted the initial excitement turned into howls of anguish as it became apparent that Tom Cruise’s production company was involved and the title role would be filled by Tom himself. The issue for most fans of the book was that Reacher is described as six-foot five and built like a brick outhouse. Tom Cruise on the other hand is about five and a half feet tall and doesn’t have the same imposing physical presence. The issue was put to bed for most of the fans when the book’s author, Lee Child, gave his opinion. He said that with any other (taller) actor you would get one hundred percent of height and ninety percent of the character but with Tom Cruise you get ninety percent of the height but one hundred percent of the character. While being generous with the estimation of Cruise’s dimensions Mr Child hits the nail on the head. The film is an interpretation and the core of that is a totally committed characterisation. Continue reading

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News: Eva Green is A Dame to Kill For

evaIt’s been 8 years since Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel series Sin City was unleashed on the big screen. For a while there it didn’t look like it would ever see the light of day, however it’s happening. You better believe it’s happening and now co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Miller himself have announced the title character for the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

The role of Ava Lord was originally written with Angelina Jolie in mind however it is Eva Green that the duo have picked. The character has ben described by Miller as “every man’s most glorious dreams come true, she’s also every man’s darkest nightmares.”

Rodriguez and Miller said, “We’ve been wanting to tell this story for a very long time. Ava Lord is one of the most deadly and fascinating residents of Sin City. From the start, we knew that the actor would need to be able to embody the multifaceted characteristics of this femme fatale and we found that in Eva Green. We are ecstatic that Eva is joining us.”

Continue reading

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Preview: Sockzilla!

SOCKZILLAJust released to the world is the trailer for the new film from Director Paul Bruce. Best known for his five minute award winning epic Zombie Asockalypse from 2009, Paul and his team have been hard at work on the follow up. Staying with the horror genre, the subject of the new film is Sockzilla the sock monster from fifty thousand fathoms.  Featuring the same high quality wool blend and voice talent it looks as if Paul has another winner on his (sock covered) hands.

The trailer for the film can be found here

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Zombie Asockalypse (2009)

zombie asockalypse 1The perennial question for film makers is how to make their latest offering unique. In an overly crowded market place they need a hook to hang their product on. Something that will entice people to watch and enjoy their film. Over the years the most innovative thinking has been done by horror film makers. With small budgets restricting the process the film makers have had to think radically in order to produce an interesting product. Within the horror genre the most overused character type (after the vampire) is the Zombie. So how best to revitalise the genre? In the case of Zombie Asockalypse the answer is to have all the characters played by sock puppets. Continue reading

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JJ Abrams to Helm Star Wars 7!

George Lucas speaks to JJ Abrams

Image © Joi Ito

I don’t know what to say! I’m stunned! If he does anywhere near as good a job as he has been doing for Star Trek we could be in for a treat! Just Fanboy Wow! I got the news from The Wrap.

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