Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Moonrise Kingdom and Iron Sky

Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom opened up the Cannes Film Festival leaving many critics delighted with many applauding the quality of the film. After his last animated effort (Fantastic Mr Fox) Anderson returns to where he started dealing with younger rebellious characters in love (though in Rushmore the younger character falls in love with an older character). Known for creative and idiosyncratic talents much of Anderson visual talents are on display in his latest work Moonrise Kingdom.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Grey and Haywire.

Apparently The Grey saw a lot of walkouts due to the fact that the trailer misrepresented the film making it seem as though it was an action thriller in which Liam Neeson calls a wolf a ‘motherfucker’ and punches it in the face. Whether the misleading trailer or the impatience of some modern cinemagoers is to blame for these walkouts is debatable, but after seeing the film it becomes clear that the trailer is nothing like the actual finished product.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Descendants.

Best known for his satirical depiction of modern America Alexander Payne returns after seven years since he directed his last film (Sideways) with The Descendants, a touching and poignant film based on the novel, of the same name, by Hawaii resident Kaui Hart Hemmings. It may lack the satirical and comic elements of his previous films, but The Descendants went on to become a Box Office success as well as being nominated for Best Picture Oscar and winning one in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Spartacus came about because Kirk Douglas got a tad stroppy at the fact he lost the leading role in the 1959 epic Benhur to Charlton Heston. Spartacus was designed to be just as epic as the 1959 Best Picture winner, and thus when original director Antony Mann was sacked because he did not meet Douglas’ epic vision Douglas hired Stanley Kubrick to replace Mann in directorial duties. At this time it is clear that Douglas’ ego was as big and epic as the film itself.

Paths of Glory (1957)

Kirk Douglas was so impressed with Stanley Kubrick’s previous outing The Killing that he agreed to work with the director on his next project Paths of Glory which is often regarded as Kubrick’s first masterpiece and rightfully so as Paths of Glory is certainly a staggering film. The film tells the story of three French soldiers who are under trial for cowardice in the face of the enemy, Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) is assigned to protect them in a court martial. The penalty for cowardice in the face of the enemy is death, yet the mission they were sent on, under orders by General Mireau (George Macready), is suicidal. At first Mireau wants to execute 100 men from each regiment but is eventually persuaded to reduce this down to ten and then eventually one. This single person will be selected by the regiment’s captain in a manner he sees fit.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Killer's Kiss and The Killing

Two years after the failure of Fear and Desire Kubrick moved onto his next project Killer’s Kiss. Similarly to his first feature film Killer’s Kiss had a very low budget; Kubrick was forced to borrow $40,000 from his uncle to finance the project. Despite having a similar budget to his previous film the step forward Kubrick had taken is more of a giant leap forward as Killer’s Kiss is superior to Fear and Desire in every possible way.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Fear and Desire - Kubrick's career part one.

While making Fear and Desire Stanley Kubrick was essentially a twenty-five year old man with a crazy dream, making his first feature film. Despite having made several short documentaries before 1953 Fear and Desire was his first shot at the big time. While showing some signs of skilful filmmaking it is rather surprising to see Kubrick rise from this low budget box office failure to creating a film that, to this very day, influences a whole genre and created, as Steven Spielberg put it, ‘the genre’s big bang’.

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Thing with Man on a Ledge is there is more tension found in Salmon Fishing in The Yemen.

Directed by Lasse Hallström (Dear John and The Cider House Rules), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Ewan McGregor as a fishing expert who is blackmailed by his boss into joining a project that he believes to be fundamentally unfeasible. This plan, conducted by Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked) and supported by consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), involves bringing the sport of Salmon fishing to Yemen (south of Saudi Arabia, in the Middle East, if your geography is not up to scratch).

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Mission Quite Difficult but Entirely Possible

I am perfectly aware that this joke has been said many times, but it becomes apparent after a TV show and four films that it really isn’t mission impossible, but mission quite difficult but entirely possible, though Mission Quite Difficult but Entirely Possible - Ghost Protocol doesn’t exactly go well together, does it? That said it is still a better title than Marvel Avengers Assemble.