Nov 09

It Would Have Been Somethin

Do You See + FT/1 comment • 372 views

estoestodo2 You’d think that “Wanna Be Startin Somethin” would be the ideal way to open a movie about Michael Jackson. In This Is It, though — patched together from four or five rehearsals for the 50-concert extravaganza which famously never took place — Jackson just sort of shuffles to it, stiffly, barely dancing, like a Frankenstein parody of Bill Cosby’s own parody of dancing. I wondered if I had wandered into a Kraftwerk concert film by mistake. That hip shake looked seriously Teutonic.

“Good God,” I thought to myself, licking my lips from a shoe-leather and cardboard sandwich gleaned from the Trocadero’s downstairs Subway sandwich stall. Had this all been a terrible mistake? Not just my decision to see what had become of MJ, but MJ’s own decision to find out the same thing. It turned out — not at all.


The Duran Duran New Moon Soundtrack Alternative

Do You See + FT/5 comments • 606 views

Saw New Moon tonight. Survived the emoness of the film, though was disappointed by the halfhearted emo-ness of the soundtrack. Yes Death Cab For Cutie, yes Lykke Li, and how you managed to get proto-emo Thom Yorke on the soundtrack I don’t know. But what they really wanted was a thematic soundtrack by one band only. And there is one band who have already written a soundtrack for this more lupine entry of the Twilight saga. And that band obviously being Duran Duran. So the soundtrack as it should have been:

New Moon On Monday – only totally relevant if you see it on a Monday but New Moon On Sunday also works,
Girls On Film – for when Bella gets her camera as a birthday gift. Its digital but how could Le Bon have predicted that?
Ordinary World – What Edward wishes for Bella when he leaves.


Nov 09

It’s Oh So White

FT/1 comment • 291 views

There is a sequence in Werner Herzog’s Encounters At The End Of The World, where we see the Camp McMurdo safety training procedure. There is a large proportion of it that involves people wearing buckets (which the recruits have painted happy smiling faces on) on their heads to simulate the complete lack of visibility caused by a whiteout, a storm where literally all you can see is snow. Its a well shot sequence, funny without ever losing the edge of danger.

There is a similar sequence in Whiteout, the South pole crime thriller whose trailers pretended it was potentially a horror film. In the Whiteout sequence the camp Doctor gets some newbies to take their jackets off outside, to explain to them how quickly the cold will effect them. There are no happy smiling faces on buckets, just a man vaguely injuring people to tell them how much they would be killed if they were to do something as stupid as what HE TOLD THEM TO DO. It is symptomatic of Whiteout’s stupidity


Nov 09

The Loudest Film Ever Made

Do You See + FT2 comments • 1,058 views

Spinal Tap does not go up to eleven. Crank could be cranked up a bit. Even a film like Transformers with its non-stop explosions and destruction does not come close to the new holder of this title. Enter the little movie that could, Tulpan from Khazakstan. Initially you would not peg this tale of nomadic sheep herding on the Khazak steppes to have the means to be that loud. In doing so you underestimate the natural sounds of storms, wind and very noisy sheep and camels. You also disregard the ear splitting volume of any motorised vehicle in this environment, and the associated increased volume of any music played to drown it out. And you are probably not considering quite how loud, and annoying, an eight year old child singing at the top of her lungs to deliberately irritate her father can be. All of this is deliberate in Tulpan, the noise just stresses the loneliness of steppes life.


Nov 09

Robotic Midsomers Murders

Do You See + FT6 comments • 262 views

“Surrogates is not that far off the mark…”

Here is a teaser which tries to convince us that the robot puppet movie Surrogates is in anyway the near future of humanity. The idea that in just ten years nearly the entirety of the North American population will be agoraphobic housebound ninnies strapped into chairs controlling a robot version of them seems to fail the basic rule of science fiction. Namely how did we get there? Well according to the film

Step 1: James Cromwell invents the stem chair which can wirelessly and remotely control and feedback data to a user of a remote robot. It is invented for disabled people.

Step 2: Rich people start getting lifelike surrogates of themselves for a laugh.


Nov 09

This Summer: Triggers Will Be Freaky

Do You See + FT77 comments • 996 views

So I just stumbled across the impressive effects looking but terribly edited new trailer for the remake of Clash Of The Titans. Here you can see it yourself.

Yes, that’s right. The tagline is indeed: TITANS WILL CLASH.
Which if I remember the original isn’t exactly what happens. More Epic Heroes will kill stop motion creatures with mirrors. But the Harryhausen film holds a soft spot in my heart, even though Harry Hamlin is no-ones idea of Perseus. Anyhoo: TITANS WILL CLASH. Such a simple formation if only other films did that. We could have seen some of these:


In the theatre: “This Summer, A SALESMAN WILL DIE”


Nov 09

Julia & Julienne

Do You See + FTPost a comment • 288 views

This is one where the critical consensus was exactly that. Everyone agreed that Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia is half a good film, that half being Meryl Streep’s biopic bit of Julia Child. But is that any surprise? One half of the film is a light telling of a woman learning how to do something wonderful, in a picturesque Paris post war. It has the sweep of history from Stanley Tucci playing her husband who is a diplomat, it has the Gallic sexism of the time and in Julia Child it has a wonderful role, which Streep more or less does a broad impression of whilst wearing stilts. It may not offer much in the way of insight, but it is at least a sweet story of a nice person overcoming the few obstacles life has put in her way to become happy. And it also has Jane Lynch as her even taller sister, which is always going to be good.

But does the Julia Child story deserve a film to itself? The plus point of the framing device is the story of Julie Powell’s blog, whilst self obsessed and deliberately small, means the Julia Child stuff takes up just about as much time as it needs to. A full feature Julia Child film may throw some childhood in, extend into the television career and would probably have had extended cooking montages. All of which would have been padding.


Its Almost The Ewok Adventure

FT/2 comments • 270 views

Here’s a little factoid for you: the word “Jedi” is said 24 times in The Men Who Stare At Goats.

The two words “Star” and “Wars” are however only ever mentioned once, in the context of Ronald Reagan really liking the film..

Bearing in mind that it is Ewan MacGregor doing almost fifty percent of the saying of the word Jedi, there is clearly the most obvious of injokes going on here. But even in a film as often ridiculous as The Men Who Stare At Goats, the New Earth Battalion never, ever has the temerity to start talking about midichlorians. Which makes it at least better than any of the Star Wars prequels, and possibly almost as good as the Ewok Adventure (better than Caravan of Courage). And George Clooney finally brings in a comic performance which, whilst ticking and goggling like an old ham, actually feels in character and importantly funny.

Nov 09

A Sex Education

Do You See + FTPost a comment • 224 views

I thought An Education would be terribly worthy. I bought my ticket, thinking that it would probably be quite well made, and looking forward to seeing Carey Mulligan’s star making turn. I’ve always found Peter Sarsgaard remarkably watchable (if often creepy) and – well – its had good reviews. None of which had convinced me that it would actually be all that enjoyable.

It is more enjoyable than I expected, but its as if director Lone Scherfig knew the audience would be drifting in with a case of the worthies. Because the credit sequence, a jaunty piece of blackboard animation set to Floyd Cramer’s “On The Rebound” just shouts flippancy at you. Its such a carefree track that it completely disarms any pre-conceptions of the film being worthy and also leaves you with a sense of innocence that Mulligan’s Jenny will be constantly battling with.
Floyd Cramer – On The Rebound (’61).mp3


Nov 09

Adventureland vs Zombieland

Do You See + FT7 comments • 2,141 views

1: Zombieland has lots of zombies in it.
Adventureland has scant adventure in it.
A: 0 Z:1

2: Adventureland is a sweet romance disguised as a slightly older version of Superbad!
Zombieland is a sweet romantic comedy disguised as a zombie film.
A: 0 Z:2 (Zombieland is the better romance)

3: Adventureland stars Jesse Eisenberg.
Zombieland stars Jesse Eisenberg.
A: 0.5 Z: 2.5

4: Despite being called Zombieland, it isn’t very scary.
Whilst called Adventureland , the real adventure is the one of falling in love and growing up.
A: 1.5 Z: 2.5